Student Affairs is dedicated to ensuring each department implements a strong assessment program that not only contributes to each departmentâs effectiveness but also supports student learning. Student Affairs has an assessment planning team to assist the directors in this effort and to monitor the progress of assessment activities. This team is led by a senior manager in the division. In addition, numerous strategic planning workshops and retreats have been, and will continue to be held, to ensure that our programs and activities provide transformative learning experiences for students.
Student Affairs conducts audits of its effectiveness by employing standards from the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education as part of its support unit review. As a result of the unitâs self-study, action plans are formulated for enhancing the quality of administrative units, Student Affairs programming, and student learning through co-curricular activities. Student Affairs conducts regular assessments and will begin a second phase of assessment in 2008/09 as part of the campus Support Unit Review.
Each of the departmentâs assessment plans, as measured in Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, include an evaluation of the following 13 components: Department Mission, Program, Leadership, Organization and Management, Human Resources, Financial Resources, Facilities, Technology, and Equipment, Legal Responsibilities, Equity and Access, Campus and External Relations, Diversity, Ethics, and Assessment and Evaluation.
In addition, Student Affairs provides numerous co-curricular programs which are fundamental to the studentsâ learning process by providing opportunities to engage in learning in a setting other than a formal academic classroom. These programs include, but are not limited to, new student orientation, student leadership, health and wellness, personal development, athletic teams, and peer counselors. To this end, each department within Student Affairs has established student learning outcomes and tracks their progress in meeting these outcomes. These competencies and skills help to enhance and guide the students in their academic endeavors. Our co-curricular programs are assessed on an annual basis, the results of which are published in our annual report. The student learning outcomes are based on areas developed through the work of ACPA and NASPA, as articulated in Learning Reconsidered. They cover the following seven areas:
Knowledge Acquisition, Integration, and Application
Inter/Intra Personal Competence
Persistence and Academic Achievement
The Support Unit Review is conducted every five years and is comprised of both the CAS Standards and co-curricular program review. The Student Affairs directors are charged with developing instruments and collecting data to measure the student learning that occurred as a result of participating in the co-curricular programs and activities. These instruments assist in measuring the student learning outcomes associated with the respective programs or activities and include surveys, pre and post tests, observed competency exercises, and learning outcome rubrics.
As we analyze our progress during our Support Unit Review in the 2008/09 year, we will evaluate the information to determine what modifications are needed in programs and activities, as well as revisions in our data collection instruments, to both enhance our co-curricular programs and our methods used to assess studentsâ competencies and skills. We will use this information as a foundation for evidence-based decision making and student learning outcome-based assessment, a priority in Student Affairs.