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Since the mid-1980s, outcomes assessment has been mandated for most institutions of higher education by governing boards, state legislatures, and accrediting bodies. As the movement has progressed, there has been a shift from summative assessment, primarily useful for purposes of accountability, to formative assessment that has a better potential to improve teaching and learning. Nevertheless, the issue of accountability focuses attention on the summative model, creating a danger that units responsible for curriculum and faculty development will not discover the value of assessment for their work. Perhaps the least known aspect of outcomes assessment is its importance as a vehicle for unveiling inherent institutional values and invigorating values inquiry. In both content and process, outcomes assessment is central to values in higher education.