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 weaknesses that are discovered. Any program will discover some areas that can benefit from improvement.
  2. The focus of assessment is on outcomes. For administrative and educational support units, the focus is typically on the effectiveness of services to students. Administrative and educational support units often are assessing the effectiveness of processes within the unit.
  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/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 administrative or support unit identify no more than three to five program outcomes for a given assessment cycle. The assessment of different student learning outcomes and program outcomes 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 use to ascertain their strengths and improve their programs and services.