At New Mexico State University Carlsbad, we are interested in continuously improving the educational process to better serve students. As a student at NMSU Carlsbad involved in this process you can expect to participate in the following assessment activities during your attendance:

  • ACCUPLACER Placement Tests to place you in appropriate math, English, and reading courses, and to correlate with CAAP when you graduate.
  • Course Activities to assess your learning in individual courses.
  • Program Outcomes Assessment Activities that might include portfolios, interviews, papers, exams, etc., depending on your college major.
  • CAAP Exit Test for all AA and AS degree graduates to assess learning and knowledge gained from your experience at NMSU Carlsbad.
  • Surveys at various times to get your feedback for improvement.
  • For further information, contact your department chair.

    Assessment at NMSU Carlsbad

    Assessment at NMSU Carlsbad is the ongoing, systematic investigation of all aspects of the learning environment, including both academic systems and support systems that contribute to creating an environment in which student success is first and foremost.

    The Assessment Committee at NMSU Carlsbad exists to promote, facilitate, and communicate a positive culture and institutional commitment to evidence-based teaching and learning that transcends discipline and area divisions.

    Institutional Statement on Assessment


    The Assessment Committee:

    • Educates, directs and assists faculty and staff in developing assessment that contributes to continuous and intentional improvements in student learning and retention;
    • Coordinates assessment endeavors campus wide;
    • Ensures institutional policies and procedures promote and protect assessment initiatives; and
    • Remains abreast of developments and trends in assessing student learning and program effectiveness.


    The Assessment Committee works to ensure that the Campus Community:

    • Develops and implements effective assessment practices;
    • Uses assessment to inform decision-making and improve learning experiences and opportunities for students;
    • Engages in integrated assessment endeavors across campus; and
    • Is cognizant about assessment initiatives on campus

    New Mexico State University Carlsbad Assessment Committee

    The New Mexico State University Carlsbad Assessment Committee is comprised of representatives from the faculty and executives of the institution. The Committee serves an advisory role to the President and the Vice Presidents of the campus.

    Assessment Committee Goals & Objectives


    The NMSU Carlsbad Assessment Committee provides collaborative leadership to support a system-wide culture of assessment that promotes and reflects a holistic student learning experience.


    The NMSU Carlsbad Assessment Committee serves as a conduit for communication across the campus by:

    1. Providing oversight in the development of university-wide assessment activities.
    2. Assisting the Institutional Analyst and the Vice President of Academic Affairs in creating a coherent map of assessment at NMSU Carlsbad.
    3. Serving as an advisory board to the NMSU Carlsbad President and Vice-Presidents.
    4. Providing a multi-sided perspective on assessment matters through its diverse representation.


    The NMSU Carlsbad Assessment Committee, through its communication processes ensures that:

    1. Institutional assessment activities are ongoing and meaningful.
    2. Institutional assessment activities are cohesive and coherent.
    3. The President and Vice-Presidents are informed and responsive to the needs of the institution and the campus community.
    4. All constituents of the campus community are represented and considered in matters of assessment.

    Assessment Committee Structure & Operations

    The authorizing body of the Assessment Committee is the Campus President. The Assessment Committee is an active governance committee, and the scope of the work of this committee directly impacts the NMSU Carlsbad campus.
    The purpose of the Assessment Committee is four-fold:

    1. It serves as a clearinghouse for campus-wide assessment initiatives; a place for discussion about assessment activities, thus ensuring everyone understands the assessment process. Such discussion includes reporting back to NMSU Carlasbad staff, faculty, and executives so that assessment information is shared across the University.
    2. It is the primary voice in any decision-making that impacts assessment across the university.
    3. It is an organizer, sponsor and participant in faculty and staff summits and celebrations related to assessment.
    4. It serves as an advisory body to the President and Vice Presidents regarding outcomes assessment policies and practices.

    Assessment Committee membership includes the following representation:

    1. Vice President for Academic Affairs
    2. Outcomes Assessment Coordinator
    3. Science Faculty Position
    4. Business Faculty Position
    5. Computer Science Faculty Position
    6. Manufacturing Sector Development Program Coordinator
    7. Developmental Education Director
    8. English Faculty Position
    9. Math Faculty Position
    10. Nursing Faculty Position
    11. Social Science Faculty Position
    12. Student

    Members are appointed by their departments/programs at the request of the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the President.  Terms are determined by the unit they represent. Chair is selected by voting members of the Council biennially, and confirmed by the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the President.
    The Senior Institutional Researcher provides administrative support.

    Course Level Assessment

    Course-level assessment is based in the content and goals of individual courses within departments and programs. At NMSU Carlsbad, course-level assessment includes two components: (1) measureable course outcomes assessment defined by individual departments/programs and (2) General Education core competencies assessment based on New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) General Education Common Core Competencies.

    Each course within a department or program defines its own:

    • Explicit student learning goals;
    • Learning outcomes that represent the achievement of those goals; and
    • Measures that reliably assess the specified learning outcomes.

    In addition, many courses contribute to the achievement of general education competencies, and these courses are also required to assess NMHED general education learning goals. While course-level learning goals and outcomes are course-specific, they are closely aligned with the goals and learning outcomes of the overall program and/or department within which the course is located.

    While primarily used for internal improvement, course level assessment is reported as a measure of compliance to the New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED), the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and in some programs for professional accreditation.

    Measurable Course Outcomes Assessment

    Measurable course outcomes assessment is used by faculty to assess the collective degree of learning achieved by students on specific desired outcomes (skills, knowledge, behaviors and/or values).  This type of course-level assessment can be formative or summative in nature and is:

    • Used at the discretion of the instructor to inform teaching
    • Inquiry based
    • Intended to help the instructor and students better understand student learning

    Embedded assessment uses evidence from student work that is already required by the instructor for individual student evaluation (grades) to assess collective student learning on specific outcomes. A wide variety of techniques are available which can be implemented without becoming unduly burdensome.

    Documentation of course assessment provides evidence of scholarly teaching. When shared with others, course-level assessment:

    • Can be used to support evidence of program assessment.
    • Helps to inform decision-making about program resources.
    • Directs instructional techniques and curriculum.

    When evidence is shared with students it:

    • Provides a contextual framework for student learning.
    • Communicates expectations for shared responsibility for classroom and program learning.
    • Demonstrates intentional development of curriculum and use of resources to provide the best learning opportunities possible for students.

    General Education Core Competencies Assessment

    General education assessment is focused on improving student learning in the general education curriculum in the freshman and sophomore years.

    General education assessment is an assessment of student attainment of core competencies identified with and cultivated in lower-division general education courses. Results are used in conjunction with other assessment efforts to better understand our students and their learning.

    Assessment of student learning in general education is reported to the New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) as a compliance measure for state mandated assessment of the general education core. As a relevant piece of reaccreditation, general assessment is also reported to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

    State Common Core General Education Course Objectives
    Area I – Communication

    1. Analyze and evaluate oral and written communication in terms of situation, audience, purpose, aesthetics, and diverse points of view.
    2. Express a primary purpose in a compelling statement and order supporting points logically and convincingly.
    3. Use effective rhetorical strategies to persuade, inform and engage.
    4. Employ writing and/or speaking processes such as planning, collaborating, organizing, composing, revising & editing to create presentations using correct diction, syntax, grammar and mechanics.
    5. Integrate research correctly and ethically from credible sources to support the primary purpose of a communication.
    6. Engage in reasoned civil discourse while recognizing the distinctions among opinions, facts, and inferences.

    Area II – Mathematics Algebra

    1. Graph functions.
    2. Solve various kinds of equations.
    3. Demonstrate the use of function notation and perform operations on functions
    4. Model/solve real-world problems.

    Area II – Mathematics Calculus I

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical, geometrical underpinnings of the calculus.
    2. Use concepts of function, limit, continuity, derivative, and integral.
    3. Apply methods of calculus to optimization, graphing, and approximation.
    4. Apply differential and integral calculus to problems in geometry, physics, and other fields.

    Area II – Mathematics College Level Math

    1. Display, analyze, and interpret data.
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of problem-solving strategies.
    3. Construct valid mathematical explanations.
    4. Display an understanding of the development of mathematics.
    5. Demonstrate an appreciation for the extent, application, and beauty of mathematics.

    Area III – Lab Science

    1. Describe the process of scientific inquiry.
    2. Solve problems scientifically.
    3. Communicate scientific information.
    4. Apply quantitative analysis to scientific problems.
    5. Apply scientific thinking to real world problems.

    Area IV – Social & Behavioral Science

    1. Identify, describe, and explain human behaviors and how they are influenced by social structures, institutions, and processes within the contexts of complex and diverse communities.
    2. Articulate how beliefs, assumptions, and values are influenced by factors such as politics, geography, economics, culture, biology, history, and social institutions.
    3. Describe ongoing reciprocal interactions among self, society, and the environment.
    4. Apply the knowledge base of the social and behavioral sciences to identify, describe, explain, and critically evaluate relevant issues, ethical dilemmas, and arguments.

    Area V – Humanities & Fine Arts

    1. Analyze and critically interpret significant primary texts and/or works of art (this includes fine art, literature, music, theatre, and film).
    2. Compare art forms, modes of thought and expression, and processes across a range of historical periods and/or structures (such as political, geographic, economic, social, cultural, religious, intellectual).
    3. Recognize and articulate the diversity of human experience across a range of historical periods and/or cultural perspectives.
    4. Draw on historical and/or cultural perspectives to evaluate any or all of the following: contemporary problems/issues, contemporary modes of expression, and contemporary thought.

    State Common Core Assessment

    General Education Core Competencies Assessment The state of New Mexico Higher Education Department (HED) maintains articulation agreements to ensure that all general education courses within the state are transferable between institutions. Five (5) areas for general education are recognized by the HED: Area I – Communication Area II – Mathematics-Liberal Arts; Mathematics-College Algebra; Mathematics-Statistics Area III – Laboratory Science Area IV – Social & Behavioral Science Area V – Humanities and Fine Arts The state has established State Common Core Competencies for each Area. Courses accepted by the state for the general education State Common Core status are deemed ‘substantially equivalent’ by the state. The State of New Mexico Assessment Task Force was developed to ensure institutions are reflective in their teaching of general education, and are actively assessing student learning in order to continuously improve that learning. Institutions are at liberty to self-determine their approach to general education assessment.

    State Common Core Annual Reports

    Core Competencies 2011-2012
    Core Competencies 2010-2011

    Core Competencies 2009-2010
    Core Competencies 2008-2009

    The essential nature of program-level assessment is to inform program faculty about student learning and identify opportunities to strengthen learning in the program.

    The primary venue for discussion and use of results is within the program and department. Academic program assessment is usually a summative assessment of program outcomes that are couched in discipline specific venues. However, at various times it may be appropriate and even desirable to implement academic program assessment in courses or structures that are not ‘capstone’ in nature. For example, assessment may be focused at a particular lower-division course in an effort to strengthen an identified area for growth in student learning; to determine if curricular changes are effective.

    While primarily used for internal improvement, academic program assessment is reported as a measure of compliance to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and in some programs for professional accreditation.

    The following program assessments are taken by all graduating majors during the semester of graduation.   Results are used for:

    • Documentation of Student Learning
    • Curriculum Improvement
    • Program Review
    • Strategic Planning
    Program Program Outcomes Program Assessment
    General Studies Click Here CAAP Exam
    Nursing Click Here NCLEX Exam
    Associate of Arts Click Here CAAP Exam
    Pre-Business Click Here Capstone Project
    Education Click Here Capstone Portfolio and Written Critiques
    Welding Technology Click Here Projects Portfolio and Classroom Obervations
    Building Technology Click Here Capstone Projects
    Automotive Technology Click Here Capstone Projects
    Criminal Justice Click Here Conference Exams and Competition
    Science Click Here Portfolio
    Business Office Technology Click Here Capstone Course
    Social Services Click Here Service Project
    Early Childhood Education Click Here
    Digital Media Click Here Capstone Paper

    Institutional Level Assessment

    Through the development of campus-wide graduate outcomes, NMSU Carlsbad has set its expectations for what all of its graduating students should know and be able to do upon graduation. These outcomes are characteristics of success and employers find that workers with these abilities do well on the job. The graduate outcomes also reflect capabilities that will help make our students good leaders.

    Graduate outcomes are implemented in all undergraduate courses and major programs across campus. The graduate outcomes state that students, at the time of receiving an associate’s degree, will be able to satisfactorily demonstrate:

    1. Effective communications skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening;

    2. Basic critical thinking skills;

    3. An understanding of the obligations of effective citizenship in a democratic society;

    4. An understanding of the fundamental concepts of mathematics and science;

    5. Appropriate technological literacy and skills for personal and professional use;

    6. An understanding of the fundamental concepts for analyzing significant primary texts and/or works of art, including fine arts, literature, music, theater, and film.

    In order to determine how and at what level our students are developing in these skills, NMSU Carlsbad administers the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) examination, an educational outcome assessment to measure achievement in our students’ abilities in Writing Skills, Reading, Mathematics, Critical Thinking, and Science Reasoning.

    As an NMSU Carlsbad student, you are asked to participate in our on-going effort to provide strong programs, assure student success, and conduct annual assessment activities by taking the CAAP Test.  Your very important participation plays a critical role in meeting continued accreditation for our college’s Higher Learning Commission’s accreditation, Nursing accreditation, and the State Department of Education.   Assessing student skills is an important measure that state legislatures are using for continued justification of programs to be funded.

    Your participation is vital to your educational programs, your institution, and to us. Our New Mexico State Legislature annually reviews assessment data for two-year community college accountability of various institutional programs. Student learning outcomes are reviewed and evaluated for continued accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission’s.  Without accreditation, our college cannot participate in many Federal programs, such as student Federal Financial Aid.

    CAAP Exit Test

    CAAP assessment week will be held April 8 through April 12, 2014. Students who will be graduating at the end of the SPRING 2014 semester or who have accumulated 60+ credit hours are asked to participate in the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) Test. CAAP is a series of five, forty-minute tests measuring: Writing, Reading, Mathematics, Critical Thinking, and Science Reasoning. All materials are provided for you; however, if you wish to use a calculator for the mathematics portion, you must bring your own. For your convenience, come and go testing for the spring 2014 CAAP is available on:

    Day Date Time
    Tuesday April 8 8:00am – 10:00am or 10:00am – 12:00pm
    Wednesday April 9 (Morning) 8:00am – 10:00am or 10:00am – 12:00pm
    Tuesday April 9 (Afternoon) 1:00pm – 3:00pm or 3:00pm – 5:00pm
    Thursday April 10 8:00am – 10:00am or 10:00am – 12:00pm
    Saturday April 12 8:00am – 10:00am or 10:00am – 12:00pm

    Testing will be held on the second floor of the NMSU Carlsbad campus in Room 217. The top four (4) scorers will receive $500 Barnes and Noble College Bookstore certificates. Students scoring above the national average will receive a certificate of achievement from American College Testing (ACT). NMSU Carlsbad will use individual test results only in aggregate format to evaluate the strengths of its programs and identify areas that need to be strengthened.

    Student Guide
    CAAP Test Flyer