SOAPs (Student Outcomes Assessment Plan)

Mission Statement, Goals, and Objectives

The mission, goals, and objectives for a program form the framework for an assessment plan. 

Mission Statement

The mission statement gives a general direction for teaching and learning.  The mission statement for a program should be in keeping with the mission of the university while addressing the needs of the program.  Each of the mission statements should address the long term needs of the program.  However, measurement of the success of these may only be measured indirectly.  Providing leadership for diverse communities, part of the mission of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, is difficult to quantify in a meaningful manner.


Goals are general statements supporting the mission but are specific to a discipline.  These statements give specificity to a program and serve as a guide to long-term directions for student learning.  The major distinction between goals and objectives is the non-behavioral nature of goals.  Goals may contain student learning outcomes such as appreciate, understand, and value.  These are all worthy aspirations but can not be measured directly.

SLO's (Student Learning Outcomes)

Unlike the mission and goals statements which are not measurable, objectives are specific short term outcomes that can be verified through direct and indirect measures.  These student learning outcomes are specific to the program. Most objectives or student learning outcomes span several learning experiences but may be unique to a particular course within the program.  Program objectives need to be stated in verifiable terms using action verbs such as compare, support, list, evaluate, and apply.  The most enduring classification of learning outcomes is Benjamin Bloom's, et. al., Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: Cognitive Domain.  In addition, David Krathwohl, et. al. developed a taxonomy of objectives in the affective domain.  The taxonomy of objectives in the psychomotor domain by Anita Harrow gives insight into the evaluation of skilled movements.