Assessment Questions and Answers
Why should students be interested in assessment?
One of the key factors in learning includes self-reflection. When
you participate in assessment, you have an opportunity to work with
a member of the student affairs professional staff who will help
you discover ways that will enhance your learning. You will be able
to work on personal goals and track your progress throughout the
year. Along with working on personal goals we sporadically ask students
for feedback on programs and services through surveys. Your feedback
is very important to us as we develop student-centered initiatives.
How do students participate in assessment?
Each of the departments within the Division of
Student Affairs has a link to their individual assessment plans that
include cohorts of students. We have provided quotes from students
who are working on individual learning outcomes. Generally, we work
with students or student groups to monitor their progression in a
self-identified area. For example, the student who wants to improve
his/her public speaking skills may choose to video tape their first
speech and after working on particular areas may video tape another
speech and observe the changes. Other students work with administrators
on proposed learning outcomes of a particular project or committee.
We also encourage students to participate in surveys we distribute
that help provide the institution with benchmarks for comparisons.
When we administer these surveys, we often follow up with focus groups
to enhance the quantitative data
What are some of the surveys or assessment tools that Assumption
First year students: Outside the Classroom; Alcohol Edu; Cooperative
Institutional Research Program (CIRP).
Seniors: Senior Exit Survey
Throughout your college career: quality of life surveys; institutional
image analysis; religious values; health and wellness; student satisfaction.
Beginning in the fall of 2007 all first year students and seniors
will participate in the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE).
Why is there a need for assessment in the Student Affairs
division at Assumption College?
The opinion and thoughts of our students have always been instrumental
within Student Affairs. Students regularly participate on departmental
committees and their views are solicited on a range of topics including
hiring personnel, programming and leadership training. Information
collected from student assessment is used to help administrators
as we define the campus culture and strategically plan departmental
goals. Data from student assessment surveys have had a direct impact
on departments including the providing of additional services and
upgrading of campus facilities.
Overall, the main purpose of assessing student
learning outcomes is to evaluate our effectiveness in “transforming the minds
and hearts of students.” The Student Affairs division is committed
to providing quality programs, services and facilities to our students.
Student assessment data can also serve as a tool for accountability
and maintaining accreditation standards.
How are student surveys administered?
Many surveys are conducted conveniently over the Internet as a
way to increase the response rate. Students are often sent an email
invitation to complete the survey, the introduction will include
information on how long the survey will take and what the purpose
of that particular survey is. Confidential web surveys can record
the student responses without tracking identifying information.
Students may also be asked to complete written surveys or evaluations.
The majority of departmental programs or student services include
a written evaluation piece. Students are strongly encouraged to take
the time to evaluate the programs that they attend or services that
they have used.
The student population may be surveyed randomly, as a whole, by
class year, or by cohort. For example, all first year students are
asked to complete the confidential Alcohol.edu survey while all seniors
are asked to complete the Senior Exit Survey. Student athletes may
be sent a specific survey as a way to evaluate their experience as
a student athlete.
Some surveys may ask for identifying information. For example,
surveys that are intended to track the employment data of graduating
seniors will ask for student name, major and employer/graduate school
information. The information collected on this survey will not be
shared with anyone outside the college without the written permission
of the student.
How is the assessment data used outside of Student Affairs?
The results from student assessment can be used within the larger
community to showcase the effectiveness of Student Affairs programs,
services and facilities. Information from student surveys can be
used to create awareness in the student body regarding issues that
their peers feel are important. Results may also be used to communicate
to students the positive aspects of campus life that other students
are experiencing as way of increasing student engagement.
Student assessment data can be used in marketing or informational
campaigns. For example, Admissions may choose to highlight positive
data from student life or graduate employment surveys. Assessment
data may be shared with parents as a way of keeping them informed
of our ongoing commitment to student services.
Student Affairs assessment data may be shared with faculty and
academic administrators in a collaborative effort to keep them informed
on the outside the classroom student experience at Assumption College.
By keeping each other informed we can better work together for the
continued benefit of our students.
Assessment data is often used at Assumption within college committees
which are responsible for policy or funding decisions. Sometimes
campus assessment data is used when presenting at local, regional
or national conferences and shared with other professionals in the
field of higher education.
Can Assumption parents view the surveys and tools used
for student assessment?
Yes, in fact parents of first year students are given a special
internet log on so that they can view the Alcohol.edu online survey.
Parents can request a copy of any and all assessment surveys and
tools that are used in the Student Affairs division at Assumption
College. Parents do not have access to the individual survey results
of their student.
Within Student Affairs does each department’s assessment
plan stay the same each year?
Each department prepares an assessment plan and then is responsible
for collecting data on measurable student learning outcomes. The
data is then analyzed and then used to prepare a report on student
learning so that each department can see their successes and areas
for re-evaluation. As a result, the assessment plan for an individual
departments may change each year to include new areas of focus for
How can I as a student get help with self assessment?
If you are active within a certain department or regularly use
the services of a specific department in Student Affairs please speak
to an administrator about setting up a self assessment plan. This
plan will include your goals in relation to that department and how
these goals can be assessed after you have achieved them.
Does each department at Assumption College have an assessment
If you follow the links below you will see the assessment plans
of all departments in the Student Affairs division at Assumption
College. The Student Affairs division is currently the only division
at Assumption that has created an Assessment Web Page.
During the past few years, Assumption College has had a campus
wide initiative regarding assessment planning. Each department at
the college has established their own plan for measuring learning
outcomes as mandated by accreditation standards. For example, some
academic departments use a student portfolio as a means of evaluating
student learning outcomes while other academic departments have identified
core competencies which are evaluated. If you are a student with
specific questions regarding assessment within your major, please
speak to your academic chair.