Assessment is studying how well a particular activity is achieving its goals, and changing that activity as necessary. These pages describe Swarthmore's assessment processes, provide information about College assessment activities, and present broad institutional indicators. The second panel at the left provides links to resources for members of the College community conducting assessment.
From our Strategic Plan, approved by the Board of Managers in December 2011:
The College is committed to assessment. Swarthmore has placed a high priority on assessment for many years. Throughout our history, our periodic reviews of curricular elements such as the Honors Program, our participation in research with consortia of peer institutions, and our constant attention to the effectiveness of our work as teachers, scholars, and administrators has been part of our stewardship of the College. In 2006, we formally articulated a plan to make these efforts more systematic. Throughout the strategic planning process, the importance of ongoing assessment for new initiatives as well as ongoing programs has been underscored. As the College uses its resources in the most effective ways, we must continue to instill a culture of continuous evaluation relative to our mission and goals.
There is no one person or office responsible for assessment. Rather, it is a responsibility that is shared across all areas and levels of the institution. Leadership and guidance is provided by a number of entities, including the Provost's Office, the Academic Assessment Committee, the Office of Institutional Research,and President's Staff. If you have questions about assessment, please feel free to contact Robin Huntington Shores, our Director of Institutional Research. Robin is assigned 1/3 time to the Provost's Office to help guide the faculty in our efforts to assess student learning, and will also act as liaison with President's Staff members regarding assessment in other areas.