Unit-Level Planning and Assessment

Planning and assessment occurs at a fundamental level - the planning unit.

UWF planning units align their planning and assessment activities in a comprehensive, current, research-based, and systematic manner to support the University’s mission and strategic priorities by making decisions grounded in continuous improvement. Unit activities, objectives and outcomes are reflective of each unit's unique role or purpose. UWF has defined and identified “planning units” throughout the University and has charged each unit with establishing annual and/or multi-year objectives that are aligned with the mission and strategic priorities of the University. Every identified planning unit is responsible for specifying objectives and managing resources to support core functions and specific priorities outlined in the Strategic Plan.

In 2012-2013, UWF licensed Strategic Planning Online (SPOL) to provide a methodical and systematic way for planning units to document their plans, assessments, and improvements, as well as to provide a common system for archiving these data. Further, the migration to Strategic Planning Online allowed for transparent demonstration of planning and assessment at the unit and program level, as well as collaboration and communication between and among units. As each planning unit updates its objectives, that unit must identify the following:

  • Objective Title
  • Planning Unit
  • Original Planning Year
  • Objective Purpose
  • Objective Statement
  • Related UWF Strategic Priorities
  • Related UWF Annual Highlighted Activities
  • Related Divisional Goals
  • Action Steps/ Key Components
  • Measures, Assessment Methods, or Performance Indicators
  • Expected Outcomes or Targets

For broader reporting purposes, UWF has established a “snapshot” date each year when information will be drawn from the progress reports. As each unit enters progress updates related to the objectives it established during the planning phase, that unit must add the following to the existing information:

  • Objective Status
  • Status Notes
  • Summary of Assessment Results (Actual Outcomes)
  • Use of Results for Continuous Improvement (in Summary and Category formats)

Through these coordinated processes, each planning unit reports on progress related to UWF’s strategic priorities and associated performance indicators, as well as on improvements made based on the analysis of assessment results. The unit has the option to continue an objective, revise an objective, determine that an objective has been fully met, or establish new objective(s) informed by the information gleaned from the assessment process. One of the benefits of using the SPOL system has been that UWF can coordinate progress reports across units, divisions, and the University, aggregating information from individual units to better understand how the institution is doing as a whole.

To ensure the University's commitment to unit-level planning and assessment, the University's philosophy has been codified into policy: University Institutional Effectiveness Policy.

Also, to assist units with planning, assessment, and use of results for continuous improvement, procedures were developed to assist with those activities: Procedures for Institutional Effectiveness Unit-Level Planning and Assessment