Mission & Values
The vision of the Doctor of Philosophy and Combined M.A./Ph.D. programs in assessment and measurement at JMU is to establish and maintain a national reputation as a valuable resource in educational outcomes assessment,applied and theoretical measurement, and quantitative methods. As such, the program will help meet the growing demand for professionals in these areas.
To attain this vision, the mission of the Ph.D. and Combined M.A./Ph.D. programs is to:
- Provide training for its graduate students that combines rigorous, theory-based course work in assessment, measurement, and quantitative methods with extensive real-world assessment experiences.
- Conduct high-quality scholarship that will significantly advance knowledge in the fields of assessment, applied and theoretical measurement, and quantitative methods, and promote more effective practice in these areas.
- Provide, both for JMU and outside constituencies, valuable service activities that promote effective practice in assessment, measurement, and quantitative methods and contribute to the professional well-being of these fields.
The focus of the training in the Ph.D. and Combined M.A./Ph.D. programs is on the design of program assessment strategies, identification of appropriate existing and/or construction of new assessment measures/methods, empirical analysis of aggregate data, appropriate use of assessment and measurement results, effective use of quantitative methods, and effective communication of results to a variety of audiences. With the extensive background in measurement theory and quantitative methods provided, the graduates of these programs are trained as experts in these areas, enabling them to enter the field equipped with a knowledge base that extends far beyond the pragmatic aspects of implementing assessment strategies. Although the program focuses on applications of assessment, measurement, and quantitative methods in higher education, students can apply many of the skills and knowledge gained in the program to assessment and measurement in K-12 education as well as to the health care and business sectors. Students are not trained to perform psychological assessment of individuals for clinical diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. Instead, training revolves around the design and improvement of assessment, measurement, and quantitative methods more broadly.
The Ph.D. and Combined M.A./Ph.D. programs in assessment and measurement adhere to a practitioner-scientist, applied model of graduate training, built on a solid theoretical base in scientific psychology. The program integrates selected, major pedagogical foundations of psychology, assessment, measurement theory, quantitative methods, and applied experience. The training model is further designed to capitalize on the previous educational and professional experiences and training of incoming students to expand, strengthen and supplement these skills.