Purpose of Assessment in Administrative DepartmentsMSCHE Accreditation Standard VI requires affiliated institutions “to continuously assess and improve its programs and services” and to provide evidence that assessment results are used to inform planning and continuous improvement.
Annual assessment and 5-year program review processes support this accreditation standard. More importantly, however, they provide an opportunity for departments to reflect on their practices and analyze their effectiveness, particularly with respect to professional standards and best practices. Further, they demonstrate the extent to which a department is meeting the mission and strategic planning goals of the institution. Done well, assessment processes inform continuous improvement and evidence-based decisions.
Requirements and Expectations
All non-academic administrative departments should have clearly articulated goals and clearly identified assessment methods. Where appropriate, targets or benchmarks should be informed by the respective standards of each unit’s professional association. Departmental goals (and student learning goals, if required by the unit) should be assessed on an annual basis. Plans and results are due to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness by June 30 of each year.
Non-academic departments are also required to complete a 5-year program review,
Annual Assessment ReportThe annual assessment cycle includes an assessment of operational goals from the academic year that concludes on May 31 and an assessment plan for the academic year that begins on June 1. Assessment reports and plans should be submitted to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness by June 30 of each year.
All members of a department are expected to participate fully in the annual assessment and planning processes.
Department heads should meet with the respective vice presidents to review any significant assessment findings, discuss concerns related to assessment efforts, and communicate anticipated resource needs based on assessment evidence.
Assessment reports from administrative departments with responsibility for student learning are reviewed by the Co-Curricular Assessment Committee. The Institutional Effectiveness Committee reviews the reports and plans from the remaining administrative departments.
Program ReviewThe 5-year program review for administrative departments consists of a self-study, an internal and external review, and a quality improvement plan. The process and procedures for the 5-year program review are outlined in the Guide to Annual Assessment and Program Reviews: Co-Curricular and Non-Academic Departments.
The program review schedule has been established by the Institutional Effectiveness Committee.