Assessment of student outcomes has become a major dimension in the "accountability movement" and the accreditation process. Whether an institution is accredited by a regional accrediting agency such as the North Central Association, a professional accrediting agency like the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education or a subject specific accreditation at the departmental level, the systematic measurement and analysis of student outcomes over a prolonged period of time is a common theme in the accreditation process. Implementation of effective assessment procedures is a dynamic process and not a product.
Assessment of student outcomes should be viewed as a formative process that enables faculty and staff to use results to focus on enhancement of teaching and improved student performance on identified outcomes. With the preceding statements in mind, the following description of the Assessment Program at UNK reflects the need for continuous development and utilization of assessment of student outcomes in a systematic and continuous manner. Faculty ownership of the assessment process is tantamount to successful implementation and utilization of assessment at UNK.
The primary goals of the assessment program are to:
- implement a strategic assessment plan
- establish guidelines for the assessment and enhancement of student outcomes (knowledge, skills, values, preparation for career/advanced degrees, etc.).
- assist colleges, departments, or other units with
- assessment planning,
- evaluation of data,
- revision of assessment plans or tools,
- application to strategic planning or educational change
- disseminate data obtained from assessment
- conduct/assist assessment initiatives that address institutional questions or issues that impact students
- conduct an annual review and analysis of assessment planning and implementation by academic programs
- report on the progress of University programs in the implementation and utilization of assessment
- analyze data trends across programs in order to identify potential areas of faculty or program development needs
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
The SVCASA has the responsibility for oversight of assessment at UNK. This includes the development of a strategic assessment plan and the supervision of the work of the Director of Assessment and the Assessment Committee. The data collected from assessment will be used in strategic planning and resource allocation to improve instruction and programs. Annual reviews of assessment developed by the Assessment Committee will be used to provide direction for the strategic assessment plan.
The deans of the colleges, or units, have responsibility for oversight of assessment within their respective area of responsibility. The data collected from assessment will be used in college strategic planning and resource allocation to improve instruction and programs. The deans will use the annual reviews of assessment developed by the Assessment Committee to provide feedback to departments within the college regarding the status of their respective assessment plans.
The chairs, or directors, of programs have responsibility for oversight of assessment within their respective areas as well as being responsible for its utilization in planning initiatives. Data collected and analyzed during the cycle between APRs will be included in the APR Self Study.
Assessment of interdisciplinary programs will be the shared responsibility of the program director and department chairs.
The faculty and staff members of each program have responsibility for interpreting the guidelines for assessment identified by the Assessment Committee. Faculty will develop and implement an assessment plan for evaluating student outcomes at the program level. The faculty and staff members have the responsibility for analyzing and interpreting the assessment data in order to make decisions regarding instructional or program change.
Faculty Assessment Committee
The Assessment Committee is responsible for providing guidance and oversight in meeting the goals of the assessment program at UNK. The Committee also provides representation and advocates for faculty in issues related to the assessment process.
Student Assessment Committee
The Student Assessment Committee represents the interests of UNK students in the assessment process. They committee provides a voice for student concerns and issues and collects and reports data on specific assessment issues that directly impact students.
Director of Assessment
The Director of Assessment is responsible for
- chairing the Assessment Committee and implementing the assessment guidelines and directives of the committee
- working with the SVCASA to develop and implement a strategic assessment plan
- presenting the annual reports of assessment to the SVCASA, deans, Faculty Senate, and departments
- assisting the SVCASA and deans with assessment planning and implementation
- including deans in the communication loop when working with departments
- assisting departments with assessment
- serving on the Strategic Planning Council to ensure assessment data is disseminated to the group
- disseminating assessment data to appropriate groups
Coordinator of Assessment
The Coordinator of Assessment is responsible for
- assisting departments with assessment plans
- assisting with the development of the department annual reports
- providing feedback to departments on their annual reports
- interpreting data
- assisting with the development of annual reports on assessment
- assisting the director of assessment in developing future assessment initiatives and in strategic planning
- developing faculty initiatives to encourage a climate of assessment
Web Site Manager
The Web Site Manager will be responsible for developing and maintaining the assessment/NCA focused visit website for assessment.
The current membership consists of
- two faculty representatives from each College
- one faculty representative of the Graduate College
- one faculty representative of the C. T. Ryan Library
- one representative from Student Life
- one representative of the Faculty Senate (who may also be one of the other representatives)
Length of terms - Rotating 3 year terms (replace 1/3 of membership each year)
Meeting Date: 1st Monday of each month
Meeting Time: 3:30 p.m.
Attendance: Replacement of committee member after three absences per academic year
Required: Read Assessment Essentials (by Palomba and Banta) or other text selected by the Committee
- Director of Assessment (committee chair)
- Coordinator of Assessment
- Web Site Manager
- Director of General Studies (or representative from General Studies Council Assessment Subcommittee)
- Faculty 12-13
- Administrative 4
Faculty and student members will be selected the the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs after consultation with appropriate constituencies.
All members of the committee shall have voting privileges.
The Student Assessment Committee is composed of UNK students. The Coordinator of Assessment serves as an advisor to the group. The purpose of the committee is to involve students in the assessment process, to allow students to have a voice in decision making processes on campus, and to educate the UNK student body about assessment issues on campus. In order to achieve these goals the Student Assessment Committee collects and disseminates data each semester as described below.
Each semester the Student Assessment Committee selects a topic important to the student learning experience at UNK for a survey. The topic is chosen because of a perceived lack of information on the topic of interest on campus. (Past topics include student advising, the General Studies Program, and student involvement). It is hoped that the survey results will aid various stakeholders on campus in making decisions.
The group researches the topic and relevant existing surveys. Based on this information a survey is developed and tailored to UNK. Stakeholders are involved in revising the final version of the survey to be administered (e.g. General Studies Director, Dean of Student Life) to maximize the value and the buy-in for important stakeholders.
The survey is administered electronically to the relevant group of interest (typically students, faculty and/or staff).
Results are compiled, analyzed, and disseminated to various groups on campus. Methods for disseminations include: presentations at Faculty Senate meetings, Student Government meetings, presentations to individual colleges or departments, posters/presentations at conferences, articles in the assessment newsletter, and articles in the student newspaper.
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