Some Important Questions
As we prepare our 5th Year Interim Report for our regional accreditation agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges, we are being asked to answer questions such as these:
- How are expected outcomes clearly defined in measurable terms for each unit?
- What is the evidence of assessment activities for each unit?
- How does the institution’s use of assessment results improve academic and student support services?
- What assessment instruments were used and why were they selected? Were multiple assessment methods used? If so, describe.
How would you answer these questions for your department?
Additionally, when you think about the outcomes you have identified for your area, how would you label them using the scale below?
- 1 = Outcome is non-applicable (i.e., N/A)
- 2 = Outcome is applicable, but is not being addressed (i.e, “missing”)
- 3 = We hope/believe that the outcome is being addressed (i.e., “hopeful”)
- 4 = We have anecdotal evidence that the outcome is being addressed (i.e., “probable”)
- 5 = We have empirical evidence that the outcome is being addressed (i.e., “demonstrated”)
Thanks to the University of North Carolina – Wilmington via Campus Labs for sharing this scale.
There are lots of internal benefits of setting outcomes and measuring progress toward those outcomes, but we are also responsible for answering these questions externally, as well. The hope is that we can move toward level 5. I encourage you to use this scale to evaluate where you are at your own department.
See you next month!
Director of Strategic Planning and Assessment
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs