Assessment is studying how well a particular activity is achieving its goals, and then using what is learned to change 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 right 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.
Assessment 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, President's Staff, and the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment. If you have questions about assessment, please feel free to contact Robin Huntington Shores, our Director of Institutional Research and Assessment. Robin is assigned 1/3 time to the Provost's Office to help in guiding the faculty in our efforts to assess student learning, and also works with President's Staff members regarding assessment in other areas.