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Contact Information

Office of Assessment & Institutional Research


Ross Norman, Assessment Director & Institutional Research Officer
Graham Hall 104
1200 S. Jay St.
Aberdeen, S.D. 57401
Phone: 605-626-2433
Marilyn Zimmerman, Testing Coordinator
Graham Hall 105
Phone: 605-626-3290
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University Assessment

Welcome to University-Wide Assessment, an informational site for current Northern students, faculty members and administrators. Here, you will learn about COMPASS, proficiency, and senior exit exams, as well as other forms of university-wide assessment. Please refer to the navigation bar at left for more information.


Functions of the Assessment Office


The University-Wide Assessment Office supports NSU departments, schools, and colleges. The office provides guidance in assessing learning outcomes as they relate to the university and department/program mission statements, and in using assessment results to enhance curriculum and instruction.


The office supports the university community by:


  • Helping each academic program create a clear, concise assessment process, in consultation with deans, assistant deans, department chairs, and faculty;


  • Offering assessment training;


  • Promoting the use of assessment data to improve student learning outcomes;


  • Improving the effectiveness of assessment instruments and data analysis;


  • Facilitating appropriate reporting structures and data maintenance procedures for assessment;


  • Encouraging the inclusion of professionals and other participants in the creation of assessment plans;


  • Developing and maintaining public reporting of NSU's assessment results;


  • Helping the NSU community be recognized as a university with state-of-the-art assessment processes and procedures, through faculty and staff publications and presentations on assessment;


  • Helping programs, departments, and colleges to be nationally recognized for having high-quality programs, including faculty and department-led efforts to improve programs through the use of assessment information; and


  • Communicating to the university community successes and opportunities provided by the office's assessment activities