Assessment at AUP is guided by three shaping forces: (1) the mission, vision, and priorities of the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan; (2) the needs of individual units, departments, faculty and staff; (3) the requirements of our accrediting body, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.*

* See Assessing Student Learning and Institutional Effectiveness: Understanding Middle States Expectations at http://www.msche.org/publications/Assessment_Expectations051222081842.pdf

 

From these we have derived a set of principles and values that guide assessment across the whole institution.

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning is the responsibility of all

Only through the active participation and collaboration of all University constituencies can it produce accurate, meaningful, and useful results.

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning is in every constituency’s interest. 

All University constituencies should participate in assessment processes and be informed about the overall assessment results of the institution and how these are used in planning.

Assessment of student learning is the core of institutional assessment

Assessment of effectiveness in all other areas reflects the same commitment to student success.

Assessment of institutional effectiveness aims at improving institutional planning,

resource allocation, institutional processes, and the assessment process itself.

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning is an integral part of University functioning and its results guide decision-making and planning at all levels,

from institutional to unit, programs, courses and all type of activities, with the ultimate goal of supporting student learning and delivering upon the University’s mission.

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning is formed by a set of planned processes

evaluating whether the institution is achieving its goals at all levels. Assessment processes are guided by plans containing a clear statement of objectives as well as methodologies for measuring their achievement. Assessment processes should collect enough information about the achievement of the objectives so as to enable corrective actions in the case that results are unsatisfactory. Assessment plans should be realistic and proportional to the resources available for their implementation.

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning serves as a bridge between individual units and the institution as a whole by assessing how all unit plans converge towards the achievement of the University’s  mission.

Clear relationships should be established between goals – including learning outcomes - at all levels with interactions appearing both between levels and within levels. “If the academic plan calls for a new academic program, for example, the technology plan should ensure faculty and students in the new program will be able to use appropriate instructional technologies. Assessments of the technology plan should evaluate not just whether instructional technologies have been put in place but also how effectively those technologies have helped students to achieve the program’s key learning outcomes.”*

 

* Assessing Student Learning and Institutional Effectiveness: Understanding Middle States Expectations. Appendix 1 to the handbook for Periodic Review Reports. 12th edition Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning covers the total range of educational offerings, services, and processes and addresses all aspects of these offerings, 

including those that can be assessed through quantitative measures and those requiring qualitative gauging. Assessment may be conducted in a variety of settings and situations. However, it should be cost-effective, using quantitative and qualitative measures that are already in place whenever possible and “concentrating on the institution’s most important goals" [ibid].

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning covers the total range of educational offerings, services, and processes and addresses all aspects of these offerings,

including those that can be assessed through quantitative measures and those requiring qualitative gauging. Assessment may be conducted in a variety of settings and situations. However, it should be cost-effective, using quantitative and qualitative measures that are already in place whenever possible and “concentrating on the institution’s most important goals" [ibid].

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning should be useful

in that it should help top administration, faculty, and staff in “making appropriate decisions about improving programs and services, developing goals and plans, and making resource allocations” [ibid].

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning is a dynamic process

that adapts to the evolving needs of our student population and to changes in the internal and external institutional environment. For this reason assessment plans and their implementation are periodically reviewed.

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning should avoid unnecessary complexity 

while providing useful information for effective decision-making.  It “may focus on just a few key goals in each program, unit, and curriculum.” [ibid]

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning is a continuous process

 rather than a one-time or periodic event.

Assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning is supported by institutional leaders

who commit the resources necessary to make effective and comprehensive assessment possible, and recognize and value efforts to improve and assess student learning.