Principles

The following is a statement of the principles which guide the development of department and unit plans.

  1. The primary focus of assessment is improvement. The results of assessment should be used to improve any areas of concern that are discovered. All programs will discover some areas that can benefit from improvement.
  2. The focus of assessment is on outcomes. For both academic and non-academic units, the focus is typically on the effectiveness of services to students. 
  3. For the university, the focus of assessment is the effectiveness of our total effort to achieve our university mission and goals.
  4. For purposes of assessment, the unit of analysis is at the program, department, or institutional level not individual students or faculty members. Assessment results will be used and reported in the aggregate.
  5. Multiple types of measure, e.g. attitudinal, cognitive, behavioral and performance measures must be employed as appropriate. Generally, at least two different types of measures should be used for each goal/outcome. Rarely should a unit use only one type of assessment measure.
  6. The implementation of assessment must be cost effective both in time and university resources. While multiple student educational outcomes and multiple methods of assessment must be used, the number of both should be prudent. It is recommended that an academic or non-academic unit identify no more than three to five program outcomes or goals for a given assessment cycle. The assessment of different student learning outcomes and program goals can be rotated over a multi-year period.
  7. Department or unit level assessment is the responsibility of each unit and is based on the department or unit’s own unique contributions to JSU’s institutional mission and goals.
  8. Departments or administrative units are best suited to determine how assessment results can be used to ascertain their strengths and areas of concern in order to improve programs and services.