The requirement to demonstrate institutional effectiveness through the assessment of student learning outcomes and the assessment of the effectiveness of services provided by our administrative and educational support units has become a permanent feature of higher education. The concepts of institutional effectiveness and the assessment of student learning are central to the accreditation process and the goal of continuous improvement to meet the highest standards of quality and excellence in our programs resulting in high levels of student learning. We need to adhere to these requirements in an effective manner.
Department and/or unit assessment plans should capture the uniqueness of the department and/or unit and methods of assessment should be appropriate to the department or unit. While multiple assessment measures must be used, assessment methods must be meaningful and limited in number. Mostly importantly, the results of assessment must be used to improve academic programs and educational and administrative support services.
Administrative and academic support units must evaluate or assess how well they are functioning and/or providing designated services to students, faculty, administrators and staff of the University. In developing the department or unit plan, faculty and/or staff should recognize that the plan is not simply a self-description of the status quo but an opportunity for continuous improvement and a vehicle for change.