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Guiding Principles of Administrative Assessment

A Unit’s assessment plan should be a living document that changes and grows with the unit. Assessment activities within the administrative and educational support units should be guided by the following principles:
1. A comprehensive, systematic, and ongoing assessment program is a necessary condition for continuous improvement and demonstrates a true commitment to excellence.
2. Assessment allows us to examine the relationship among our mission, actions and our outcomes.
3. Assessment should be inclusive, involving students, staff and administrators.
4. Assessment plans should involve multiple measures, assessing both outcomes and process variables, which can be linked to improvement opportunities.
5. The purpose of assessment is to offer students the best living/learning environment  possible and to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of all the offices that support this environment.
6. Assessment reports or information on closing the loop should be communicated.
7. An effective feedback loop ensures that assessment results are utilized in long term planning and strategic decision making.
8. We cannot assess all things at once. Therefore, program outcomes must be prioritized with an eye toward maximum learning and improvement.
9. Assessment responsibilities should be indicated in the performance programs of a top level administrator of each unit. Assessment should become a routine part of supervisor‐supervisee meetings and of Vice‐Presidents and direct reports.
10. The assessment process itself should be assessed regularly for refinement and enhancement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ql. Who is required to complete an institutional effectiveness plan?
Al. All administrators are expected to complete effectiveness plans.

Q2. How do I input my IE Plan?
A2. Paper templates are available to input the information. These would be transcribed in SPOL software later.

Q3. Who will review my assessment Plan?
A3. The DEC will review the plan based on a rubric developed by AAC.

Q4.How many outcomes should I include in my IE plans?
A4. Three is recommended but it should not exceed 10.

Q5. What is the criterion for developing a good outcome measure?
A5. SMART- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

Q6. What does an outcome map have to connect to?
A6. Connection needs to be made with a goal in the strategic plan, a core value, or the College’s mission.

Q7. Is there any training available on this?
A7. Yes. First, please direct any questions related to clarifying the concepts of assessment or the mechanics fo SPOL to:  Dr. Gurvinder Khaneja (ext.7766) or Dr. Brittany Williams-Goldstein (ext. 7609);

Rubrics for Administrative Assessment
Seven Step Checklist and Flowchart for Administrative Assessment
Glossary of Assessment Terms

Accreditation: The designation that an institution earns indicating that it functions appropriately with respect to its resources, programs, and services. The accrediting association, often comprised of peers, is recognized as the external monitor. Maintaining accredited status ensures that the college
remains in compliance with federal expectations and continues to receive federal funding.

Administrative Unit Review: An in-depth process of reviewing most aspects of a unit, including operational, financial, and unit inputs, outputs, and outcomes. The review is completed on a three-year schedule.

Assessment: Systematic and ongoing efforts to collect, analyze, and interpret evidence that describes institutional, unit, program or course effectiveness, ultimately to improve student learning, unit functions or institutional performance. It is specified on the new Standard V by middle States
Commission on higher education.

Assessment Instrument: A tool used to evaluate assignments, activities, artifacts, or events that support outcomes. These can be measurement tools such as standardized tests, locally designed examinations, rubrics, exit interviews, or student, alumni, or staff surveys.

Assessment Method: Refers to how the outcome or goal is assessed. The assessment method describes generally how the information/data will be collected, which may involve either direct or indirect measurement. Additionally the method specifies from whom the data will be collected and
at what time points. Example assessment methods include but are not limited to evaluation of student academic work, observation, and self-report methods.

Assessment Plan: A document that outlines and describes assessment activities, including identifying learning outcomes, methods, and criteria. The plan should include enough detail that anyone could read it and know exactly what to do to implement the plan. The plan should be reviewed frequently and revised any time new learning or operational goals are identified. Generally, programs update assessment plans early each academic year and submit results, analyses, and action plans by the following fall.

Assessment Responsibility: Identifies who is responsible and accountable for each step in the assessment process, including who crafts outcomes and methods, collects and analyzes data, enters results, makes decisions based on data, and ensures decisions are implemented.

Close the Loop: The phrase indicates the ability to demonstrate—through a cycle of collecting, analyzing, and reporting on data—continuous improvement of curricular, programmatic, or operational efforts. It calls for using assessment results to improve programs.

Direct Measure: Direct measures assess student or unit performance without the use of opinions, thoughts, or assumptions. A direct measure will usually be very concise and easy to interpret.

Effectiveness: The degree to which programs, activities or unites achieve intended results. Effectiveness indicates how well each curriculum, program, unit and even the college, achieves its purpose.

Embedded Assessment: Denotes a way to gather effectiveness information that is built into regular activities. When assessment is embedded, it is routine, unobtrusive, and an ongoing part of the teaching-learning or operational process.

Evaluation of Results: The process of interpreting or making meaning about the data. The evaluation compares the results to the intentions and explains how they correlate.

Feedback: Providing assessment results and analysis to interested constituents in order to increase transparency. Information can be communicated to students, faculty, staff, administrators, and outside stakeholders.

Formative assessment: Refers to assessment that is conducted during the operation of a program, course or project, to provide information and increase understanding that is useful for improving implementation. It involves gathering and interpreting evidence of performance at least once prior to the end of the program, course or project.

Goal: A broad and un-measurable statement about what the program, course or unit is trying to accomplish to meet its mission.

Indirect Measure: Indirect measures assess opinions or thoughts about whether or not the unit meets its outcome or completes all tasks that are expected. Student indirect measures ask students to reflect on their learning rather than to demonstrate it. Indirect measures are most commonly captured by the use of surveys.

Institutional Effectiveness (IE): The term used to describe how well an institution is accomplishing its mission and how it engages in continuous learning.

Instrument: An assessment tool that is used for the purpose of collecting data, such as an exam or an interview protocol.

Learning Outcomes: Specific, observable, and measurable knowledge or skill that the student gains/develops as a result of a specific course. These outcomes are clearly stated in the course syllabus. There are three categories of student learning outcomes.
• Cognitive Outcome:  What students KNOW; knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
• Psychomotor Outcome: What students CAN DO; skilled performance, production of something new (e.g., a paper, project, piece of artwork), critical thinking skills (e.g., analysis and evaluation).
• Affective Outcome: What students CARE ABOUT; students’ feelings, attitudes, interests, and preferences.

Method: Describes the procedures used to collect data for assessing a program, course, or unit including identifying the assignment or activity and the process for measuring or scoring it.

Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE): This is the accrediting agency of higher education institutions in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, United Kingdom, British Virgin Islands, Chile, Italy, Switzerland, Taiwan, Washington DC, Canada, Hungary, Puerto Rico, Egypt, Lebanon, France, Italy, and United Arab Emirates.

Mission Statement: Explains why a program or unit exists and identifies its purpose. It articulates the program or unit’s essential nature, its values, and its work and should be aligned with the college mission.

Program Outcome: The specific, measurable knowledge, skill, and ability that students should be able to demonstrate as a result of their studies. Outcomes should be specific, measurable, aggressive/ attainable, results-oriented and time-bound (SMART). Outcomes are stated on the
program master course description.

Program Review: An in-depth process of reviewing most aspects of a program, including operational, financial, programmatic, and academic inputs, outputs, and outcomes. The review is completed on a three-year schedule.

Results: Report the qualitative or quantitative findings of the data collection in text or table format to convey whether the outcomes were achieved at desired levels of performance.

Sample: A defined subset of the population chosen based on 1) its ability to provide information; 2) its representativeness of the population under study; 3) factors related to the feasibility of data gathering, such as cost, time, participant accessibility, or other logistical concerns.

S.M.A.R.T. Outcomes: Outcome that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, and Time-bound.

SPOL: Strategic Planning Online (SPOL) is a software program used to capture and report on institutional effectiveness. SPOL Glossary of Terms.

Standard of Performance: A specific expectation of student or unit performance that shows progress toward an outcome.

Summative Assessment: Refers to assessment that is carried out at the end of a program, course, project, or time-frame to evaluate whether the outcomes were achieved (i.e., the overall performance). Summative assessment may be conducted for the following reasons: evaluation and
accountability; decision-making regarding fund allocation; to aid in program level decision-making; to respond to demands of accrediting bodies, state, and federal agencies.

Triangulate: The use of a combination of assessment methods, such as using surveys, interviews, and observations to measure a unit outcome. It is recommended that three assessment methods be used for each outcome.

Unit Outcome: Intended outcomes that reflect the area or service that can be improved using current resources and personnel and are assessable within one assessment cycle. Unit outcomes should be measurable statements with expected levels of achievement (targets), under the direct control of the unit, and supportive of the college’s goals and outcomes. The resulting data used as the criteria for tracking success in future years. FOR ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS, unit outcomes describe the desired quality of key functions and services. Operational outcomes describe what the
services should promote. FOR EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT UNITS, unit outcomes may include both service and student learning outcomes.