I believe in a logical, step by step approach to assessment.
- Good assessment starts with good program goals. Goals for programs should be defined clearly and in such a way that you are capable of determining whether success has been achieved. Nebulous or hard to prove program goals should be avoided at all costs.
- Counts are the first level of doing quality assessment. I define counts broadly. We are all capable of simply counting people that attended an activity or event, but we should be endeavoring through the use of technology to get attendance nailed down to who attended each program or activity and how many activities that individual participated in across the student affairs division.
- Post event or post program, we should have some way to determine if the program succeeded or failed. Sometimes it is wise to contact students post event for all events or activities and sometimes it’s best to take broad strokes over the course of a semester. We should be careful not to antagonize students with constantly reaching out to them for information about their participation in a program or service.
- Results should be shared as widely as possible. An assessment committee, divisional day of assessment sharing, or a simple publication online can be an effective way to get the results out. Sharing creates emulation (rising tide), and increases accountability.
- Student Affairs Analytics – We have a variety of data touchpoints that are underutilized. Combining these is something that needs to happen.
- Retention models for all 4 years
- Effective results sharing