Support and Administrative Areas
Areas that are not directly a part of the academic program (co-curricular and student support areas, as well as other administrative offices) will have goals and objectives for their non student-centered functions and activities. (Academic departments and programs have goals that are not directly related to student learning as well.) Our success at reaching these goals are crucial to the effectiveness of the College, and so they should be assessed. The overall responsibility for ensuring that assessment occurs in these areas lies with the President's Staff member in charge of the division in which the unit resides. There is currently no uniform format or mechanism for reporting on these activities, though the framework described in "Assessment Basics" under the "Resources" tab at right is universal. Below is a suggested template for reporting on assessment work in support and administrative areas, modeled after the approach used by our academic departments. Just as in the academic areas, assessment in these areas must begin with a careful articulation of goals and objectives. (Areas that work directly with students should have student learning goals as well, informed by the College's Institutional Level Goals for Student Learning.)
At the beginning of each assessment cycle, the team in a functional area (department, office, committee, working group, etc.) reviews its goals and objectives, ensuring that they are in alignment with College mission and goals, and appropriate division goals, committee charges, etc. The scope of assessment for the cycle should be clarified - on which goals will the team focus, and what evidence should be collected. (This is informed by the previous cycle.) At the end of the cycle, the team reviews the evidence, determines how well it is meeting its goals, and identifies any changes needed for the next cycle. This work should be documented and summarized in a brief report, which addresses the following questions.
- What goals or objectives have you assessed this year?
- How did you do it? Be sure to describe at least one example of direct assessment. Attach any materials (for example, rubrics or instruments) used in collecting or analyzing evidence.
- What did you find?
- What changes will you make as a result of this work?
- What plans have you made for assessment during the coming cycle?
The Director of Institutional Research and Assessment provides advisory and consultative support to administrative departments in designing their assessment process and conducting assessment projects. In some cases the Institutional Research office may be able to assist in gathering evidence.
Please see examples of some of the institutional level work in areas outside of individual academic departments and programs in "Institutional Measures and Activities."
Assessment of goals and objectives in the functional areas of the College should not be confused with Performance Assessments of employees. These processes differ significantly in terms of focus and purpose.