Program Overview

The Higher Education Assessment Specialist Graduate Certificate program provides training, workshops, and presentations for those that need to meet accreditation and assessment practice requirements. The program is intended for working assessment professionals that do not have the time to complete a master’s degree, but would like to receive professional development education. This program strengthens the skills needed to apply knowledge in a higher education institution.

During the course of the program, students will have interactive discussions regarding higher education policy and how policy affects college assessment practice. Throughout the program, students will also develop and enhance skills such as communication, professional assessment, instrument design, consultation, and statistical analyses. The program utilizes applied projects and work experience to strengthen the student’s expertise in assessment processes and the identification of appropriate measurement tools. Using the modern validity theory, students will be able to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of higher education assessment instruments.

The program requires the completion of two fall courses and two spring courses. The two fall courses are Workshop in Psychology: Public Policy Related to Assessment in Higher Education and Instrument Design for Higher Education Assessment. Students will need to complete Psychology Workshop: Foundations of Measurement & Assessment Design and Assessment Consultant in Higher Education during the spring semester.

Courses within the program will cover a wide variety of topics with the field of higher education assessment. Some topics include history of relevant higher education accountability policy, The Standards for Educational, Psychological Testing, data collection and ethics. Instructors will also provide experience in the development, method creation, and evaluation of assessments.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Certificate

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree: No

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges


    Bachelor's degree (B.A./B.S.). Have a working knowledge of basic statistics. Official transripts. Personal statement. Resume.

    School Overview

    In the heart of an agricultural valley of Virginia, the Virginia Assembly approved the opening of the Normal and Industrial School for Women in 1908 in small town Harrisonburg. The town and school grew simultaneously through the century. Progressing from a public all girls teaching college to a full-fledged co-educational liberal arts institution, James Madison University adopted its “University” status by the 1970s, under the guidance of the then school’s president, Dr. Ronald Carrier. Today, nearly 20,000 students attend James Madison University which encompasses more than seven hundred acres, and students can choose from over one hundred degree programs.

    James Madison University issues undergraduate and graduate degrees through eight colleges.

    •     College of Arts and Letters
    •     College of Business
    •     College of Education
    •     College of Health and Behavioral Sciences
    •     College of Integrated Science and Technology
    •     College of Science and Mathematics
    •     College of Visual and Performing Arts
    •     The Honors College

    James Madison’s Outreach & Engagement department manages distance learning opportunities for adults, nontraditional, and professional students offering credit and noncredit programs, one-time courses, certificate programs, and complete degree programs.


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