“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Institutions of higher education are chasing a lot of goals these days, and the stakes are high. Some are succeeding far more than others and we attribute some of that success to thoughtful attention to academic excellence through institutional effectiveness planning. Join us to hear how Mount Saint Mary’s University is using a collaborative and comprehensive institutional effectiveness structure to ensure quality education for their students.

Join us to learn how:

  • Program assessment liaisons (PALS) contribute to the assessment process.
  • Professional development can help sustain assessment.
  • Assessment structure can make your work meaningful and manageable.

Michele StarkeyDr. Michele Starkey

Associate Provost
Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles

Dr. Michele Starkey is the Associate Provost and Accreditation Liaison Officer at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles. A graduate of the Mount, Dr. Starkey began working at the University in 1997. Prior to her current position, she served as Assistant Provost, and, before that, as co-chair of the Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics. She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership and her masters in Mathematics, both from California State University, Long Beach, and has been teaching college-level mathematics for over 15 years. She began working in the area of state authorization and compliance in 2014. Her research interests include quantitative literacy, math anxiety, and assessment of student learning outcomes. In her current position, Dr. Starkey helps lead campus-wide assessment, the First-Year Seminar program, and oversees state authorization for distance education. Michele is author or co-author of numerous academic papers with a special emphasis on mathematics education, instruction techniques, assessment, and achievement.


Laurie Wright GarryDr. Laurie Wright Garry

Chair, Religious Studies
Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles

Laurie Wright Garry, Ph.D., is the chair of the Religious Studies Department at Mount Saint Mary's University in Los Angeles, CA, where she has taught since 2004. Dr. Garry's teaching and research interests emphasize liberation theologies (especially feminist, womanist, mujerista, minjung) and their various intersections.

Laurie Wright Garry briefly will present her conversion from "anti-assessment" to "reluctant Program Assessment Liaison (PAL)" to "Weave-Certified Assessment Practitioner" in Religious Studies. She is proud of her department which improved from "emerging" to "developed" assessment.


Elizabeth SturgeonDr. Elizabeth Sturgeon

Professor of English
Co-Chair, Academic Assessment Committee
Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles

Elizabeth Sturgeon teaches English composition and literature courses, in addition to the First-Year Seminar, at MSMU. She is a Professor of English and Co-Chair of the Academic Assessment Committee, helping to onboard and train assessment leaders.


Implementing and sustaining assessment efforts can be difficult.

Quality education for students requires attention to academic excellence.

  • What contributes to a higher success for some?
  • How does institutional effectiveness planning impact academic excellence?
  • How do you build a collaborative and comprehensive institutional effectiveness structure?

Looking for guidance, best practices, or successful experiences? 

This session will cover ideas and strategies for addressing the following:

How do program assessment liaisons contribute to the assessment process? How can professional development help sustain assessment? How can assessment be structured so that it is meaningful and manageable?

We look forward to seeing you!


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