Key Assignment Policy

Key Assignment Definition

A key assignment is an assessment in a course that demonstrates congruence with one or more specific program outcomes.


The nursing program has the foundational document of the Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education from AACN. In addition, program outcomes are aligned to the learning objectives of Pacific Lutheran University. Program outcomes are further aligned to each course within the program of study for the nursing program. Therefore, courses have designated certain assignments as ‘key’ and key assignments are evaluated to insure students are meeting all program outcomes. Key assignments are further intended to be possible evidence in the portfolio (as an end-of-program assessment) that they have met the program outcomes. Therefore, key assignments are submitted to the appropriate program-level Curriculum Instruction Committee and evaluated by the program-level Program Evaluation Committee. Once submitted and accepted by the program-level CIC, the key assignment is to be adopted and implemented by continuous instructors of the course. If an instructor wants to change a key assignment, the new assignment, grading rubric and rationale is submitted to CIC for approval because CIC must insure program outcomes are being equitably assessed and met throughout the program.

Key Assignment Assessment

All Key Assignments are demonstrative of a student’s grasp of the knowledge, skills or understanding of the AACN Essentials as described in the program outcomes. Instruction and assistance with uploading assignments to the portfolio will be provided.

Faculty/committee responsibilities:

1. Lead faculty/instructor clearly identifies key assignment for the course.

2. Program-level CIC reviews and approves key assignments.

3. Program-level PEC monitors student success in each key assignment.

4. Key assignments cannot change within a course without program-level CIC approval.

5. Key assignments will be identified in the course syllabus.