As an institution committed to accountability and evidence-based decision making, the Division of Student Affairs seeks to assess and understand the students' college experience at all levels of involvement.
To assure that performance and effectiveness are objectivesly reviewed regularly, Student Affairs assesses student learning outcomes, the campus environment and culture, and professional competencies of staff at the Division-level.
At the Department-level and Program-level, Student Affairs assesses student learning and program outcomes, key performance indicators (metrics), satisfaction, and cost effectiveness.
National benchmarking and research efforts occur at the Department- and Program-level as well. Figure 1 depicts the various types and levels of data collection as they occur in an ongoing, iterative cycle (Upcraft & Schuh, 1996).
Bresciani et al. (2004) describes assessment as an ongoing cycle that continuously moves toward improvement. By aligning departmental missions to the division's mission, student affairs programs and services can demonstrate how they are contributing to both the division and the institution's mission.
To ensure quality assessment occurs at the department and program level, Bresciani et al. (2004) suggest the following 5 steps be included in any assessment cycle:
Bresciani, M.J., Zelna, C. L., & Anderson, J.A. (2004). Assessing student learning and development: A handbook for practitioners. National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Publication
Upcraft, M.L. & Schuh, J.H. (1996) Assessment in Student Affairs: A Guide for Practitioners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass