At the AEA meetings my colleagues and I presented a paper on assessing the economics program (Assessing A Proficiency Based Economics Program: Weathering The Perfect Storm While Thriving In A New Environment). It has had some nice recognition by Scott Jaschik at InsideHigherEd.com (Jan 7, 2008) and David Glenn at the The Chronicle of Higher Education (News Blog Jan. 5, 2008).
This paper has three goals: (1) to describe the general guidelines for programmatic assessment, (2) to describe our experience in requiring our majors to meet the Hansen Proficiencies and (3) to report results of a national survey of economics program assessment.
Sixty five percent of 208 economics department chairs report that they have a formal assessment plan for their economic program. Our survey results suggest strong confirmation for the actual stated Hansen proficiencies in the discipline, but not necessarily a strong awareness of the work of Hansen.