The importance of assessing what we do is well-documented in student affairs and higher education. In times of reducing state support for higher education, assessment can help determine which goals and priorities receive funding.
Assessment helps answer the question how do you know a program (like leadership development) does what you think it is supposed to do and/or affirms that learning takes place (like RA training). And every institutional accrediting body requires the demonstration of multiple years of assessment and documented changes based on those results.
Assessment can no longer be perceived as an add-on but part of one's daily job like supervision, responding to e-mail messages and budget management.
In the Division of Student Affairs at the University of West Florida, we divide our assessment efforts into the five categories listed above. The menu bar on the left describes our efforts in each of these areas. Members of the division's assessment team serve as consultants who assist department directors and their staff in each of these areas.