Not everything that can be counted counts, and
Not everything that counts can be counted.
Whatever we profess to be important should be assessed for what is worth. We are in the education business. Our role is to provide higher education that ensures student learning in all courses and programs, and to ensure that the institution provides conducive learning opportunities for our students through the services provided. How can we demonstrate the effectiveness of these activities other than by assessing the extent to which we are achieving these goals and using this information for continuous improvement and for demonstrating accountability?
It is commonplace to base individual or collective judgment on anecdotal evidence that our students are learning and that we maintain high quality education. In today’s data-based environment, it is not sufficient to just say “trust me, our students are learning.” This assertion must demonstrably be backed with evidence.
Thus, continuous assessment of the general education, academic and nonacademic programs and services has become the rule rather than the exception at most institutions. This is the only way we can convincingly demonstrate to all stakeholders the extent to which we are achieving institutional effectiveness of our programs and services. As such, the Office of Academic Assessment at Radford University is committed to so assisting departments/units at the University in assessing their programs and activities so they are meeting their student learning goals.
Academic Program Assessment
Academic program assessment is not a one-time activity but a continuous process of defining measurable learning outcomes, collecting data, determining success criteria, analyzing results, and using the results for improvements by developing action plans. The heart of program assessment is in making the connections regarding how assessment results in the previous cycles have informed subsequent assessment planning and improvements/changes.
The deadline for submitting program assessment reports every year is October 1.
Five-Year Academic Program Review
Learn more about the Academic Program Review.
Academic Support Program Assessment
Instructions, examples, and the rubric for Academic Support Programs Assessment (AY 2013/2014) (PDF)
All academic support units are expected to engage in an on-going assessment of their programs and services, and this requires the development of an assessment plan that will guide the process.
Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Assessment
The Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is a component of the reaffirmation process, which reflects the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges’ (SACSCOC) commitment to enhancing the quality of higher education in the southern region by focusing attention on student learning. Every institution is expected to embed the QEP within its ongoing, institution-wide planning and evaluation process which may evolve from the existing process or other processes related to the institution’s internal reaffirmation review.
Developing QEP as a part of the reaffirmation process presents an institution the opportunity to enhance overall institutional quality and effectiveness by focusing on an issue or issues of importance to the institution for improving student learning. The on-site evaluators expect the Quality Enhancement Plan chosen by an institution to present a clear and comprehensive analysis of the important issue(s) on a selected topic.
In SACSCOC’s Principles of Accreditation, Core Requirement 2.12 requires an institution to develop an acceptable Quality Enhancement Plan that focuses on learning outcomes and/or the environment supporting student learning. Also, Comprehensive Standard 3.3.2 requires an institution to ensure that it has the capacity to implement and sustain the QEP, that a broad-base of stakeholders was involved in the process, and that the QEP identifies goals and a plan to assess their achievements.
For Radford University’s reaffirmation of accreditation in 2012, the selected QEP topic was the Scholar Citizen Initiative (SCI)
Learn more about SCI Assessment (PDF)
WEAVEonline is a secure, web-based information management and reporting system for planning and assessment purposes. WEAVEonline can be used for documenting planning and assessment activities such as: tracking goals, objectives, and student learning outcomes; measuring how well each unit is meeting expected target levels; and managing relevant data and documents, as well as generating reports from planning and assessment activities. The system provides reports that are useful for internal planning and management, program review, and for demonstrating compliance with various accrediting agencies (including SACSCOC). Access to WEAVEonline is available to all academic and administrative units at the University.
To schedule a demonstration, or gain access, or ask questions about the system, contact the Office of Academic Assessment by phoning 540-831-2469.
To login, visit WEAVEOnline.