About AAC&U

Excellence in Assessment Designation

The Excellence in Assessment (EIA) designation, the first national initiative of its kind, recognizes institutions that successfully integrate assessment practices throughout the institution, provide evidence of student learning outcomes, and use assessment results to guide institutional decision-making and improve student performance. The EIA designation’s focus is on processes and uses of assessment data, rather than on student performance or accomplishment.

For more information on the Excellence in Assessment Designation, visit the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment site.

2021 Designees

  • Cameron University

    Cameron University is designated as Sustained Excellence in assessment through the commitment to continuing to improve on an already solid and mature system of assessment. Cameron University is doing an admirable job of involving and developing additional opportunities to incorporate external stakeholders in meaningful ways. Internally, the level of engagement and communication between the Institutional Assessment Committee and programs/units is impressive and a clear strength of Cameron’s assessment process. Additionally, the attention to rewarding faculty for participation in assessment activities formally through promotion and tenure, annual review, and service obligations assists in centering assessment work at Cameron.

    Capella University

    Capella University maintains the Sustained Excellence designation and is
    indeed an exemplar for transparency of outcomes coupled with quality
    teaching and learning processes. Capella’s websites continue to serve as an excellent tool for students, faculty members, and employers by
    communicating and tailoring evidence of student learning to various
    audiences. The assessment plan at the institution-level includes a logic
    model of how learning and change happens over time, meaning there is an
    institutional approach to learning management driven by learning and
    buttressed by accreditation standards. Capella has managed to build
    assessment processes that have become natural and sustained through
    leadership and organizational changes.

    Community College of Baltimore County

    The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) maintains the Sustained Excellence designation by continuing to practice excellence in
    assessment. From communication with partner institutions to varied
    stakeholder engagement across the college to the wide variety of
    committee work, various pieces connect assessment into a scalable
    meaningful process of engagement with student learning at CCBC.
    Additionally, the faculty-initiated, team-based assessment projects as
    well as recognition of assessment activities in the evaluation and
    promotion process for faculty are to be elevated. Given the level of
    maturity and sophisticated assessment infrastructure of CCBC, its
    institutionally tailored processes for assessment planning and evidence
    still allow flexibility for those engaged in the process to revise
    efforts to meet changing student needs.


    IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) maintains the
    Sustained Excellence designation with a strong narrative reflective of
    the journey to an integrative assessment culture. IUPUI continues to
    expand its understanding and knowledge of ongoing assessment, leaning
    into its strength of providing abundant opportunities for professional
    development both internally and externally, including making significant
    contributions to the field through the Assessment Institute in
    Indianapolis, the oldest and largest U.S. higher education event focused
    on assessment and improvement. There is high engagement of alumni,
    employers, advisory boards, and students in various and connected
    processes of assessment. The leadership, intentionality, and balanced
    approach to assessment across the institution at-large is of the guiding
    ship, or lighthouse quality. IUPUI’s assessment process offers
    institutions of any size a model to consider, emulate, or replicate to a
    scale reasonable for their institution and its mission.

    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology maintains the Sustained Excellence
    designation with an impressive systematic and longstanding process of
    assessment. Rose-Hulman’s view of accomplishment of institutional-level
    assessment, shareable with internal and external stakeholders, is well
    situated with a large number of artifacts (over 2,000!) evaluated
    annually, along with strong stakeholder participation. Accessibility of
    up-to-date, real-time data in dashboards as well as regular discussions
    of assessment data within committee work allows for those at Rose-Hulman
    to know what data are available, where to find it, and how to use it.

  • California State University-East Bay

    California State University East Bay’s (CSUEB) narrative highlights
    quality assessment practices at work. CSUEB’s interconnected and dynamic
    processes collectively operate at the course, program, and
    institutional levels to advance improvements in students’ learning
    experiences. CSUEB’s collaborative approach to assessment is
    commendable. CSUEB has a remarkable repository of information on their
    website and the integration of assessment activities makes for an
    efficient process and maximum use of student work and data for
    meaningful institutional self-reflection and improvement.

    Whatcom Community College

    Whatcom Community College has put significant time and effort into
    making assessment a sustainable, integrated, and useful part of their
    institutional practices. Additionally, Whatcom has worked hard to
    develop an organized and sustained effort at involving faculty and
    staff, including adjunct faculty, in assessment planning and
    implementation processes. Whatcom’s assessment and institutional
    research website is rich with evidence of assessment changes which is
    monitored and communicated publicly to stakeholders across the
    institution. Whatcom Community College’s transparent and honest
    evaluation of their practices is refreshing.

2022 Application Timeline

Coming soon!