Assessment is the systematic and on-going process of collecting, interpreting, and acting on information relating to the goals and outcomes developed to support the institution’s mission and purpose. It does two things:
- Establishes accountability. This is the idea that the resources allocated to our programs and/or services are spent responsibly and are translated into results. Furthermore, it shows that the programs and/or services operations are achieving the objectives of the University’s Strategic Plan and the Division of Student Affairs Strategic Initiatives.
- Provides information permitting us to improve our programs and/or services and ultimately student learning outcomes.
In the future, evidence-based decision making will be a routine part of Student Affairs’ operating philosophy and practice such that we exhibit a “culture of evidence.” There will be an expectation within the division and throughout the clusters that all reports and business requests (i.e. year-end reports, budget proposals, space requests, pilot programming, etc.) that go under consideration must be grounded in assessment data. Most (but not necessarily all) decisions will be informed by data obtained through the assessment process. Programs and services will be self-assessors with staff who are knowledgeable and can identify the skills and tools needed to perpetually evaluate program performance. Therefore, we feel it is important that staff be well trained in assessment best practices and that continual training is necessary.