Brandman University Builds Associate and Baccalaureate Competencies Using the DQP

Laurie Dodge, Associate Vice Chancellor of Institutional Assessment and Planning
Jeremy Korr, Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences

Brandman University serves adult learners at 28 campuses in California and Washington, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through blended and fully online delivery formats. In 2011, the University adopted five competencies for all baccalaureate students based on the DQP and with consideration of AAC&U’s LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes: Applied Learning, Innovation and Creativity, Civic Engagement, Global Cultures, and Integrated Learning. These five competencies serve as the Institutional Learning Outcomes.

The General Education Task Force, comprised of faculty from the schools of Arts & Science, Business & Professional Studies, Education, and Nursing & Health Professions, developed learning outcomes, built curriculum maps, and revised courses and/or programs to ensure that the five competencies were included in all undergraduate degrees. Faculty created rubrics based on AAC&U VALUE Rubrics and designed signature assignments. Brandman has adopted a course embedded assessment approach for all program and institutional learning outcomes which greatly facilitates data capture. For additional information, please see Brandman University Adopts the DQP.

Assessments of the competencies are on a three-year cycle with the first Assessment Report completed for Integrated Learning and Civic Engagement in 2013. Results supported a high percentage of mastery of competencies for students across all degree programs. Faculty also conducted pilot studies for calibration and training of rubrics demonstrating a high level of agreement in grading but a need for clarity in signature assignments.

The strong assessment structure and work with the Lumina DQP paved the road for Brandman University’s first competency-based education (CBE) program (Bachelor of Business Administration). The faculty created 13 general education competencies as part of the CBE program with summative signature assignments and robust rubrics that fall in the following areas: Communication, Humanities, Information Literacy, Natural Science, Quantitative Reasoning, and Social Science. In addition, the five DQP-based institutional learning outcomes and basic skills were mapped across the general education competencies and throughout the CBE program. Competency statements for general education and the full CBE program are available at: