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Assessment Resources

Assessing the work we do in higher education is an important step in ensuring the student experience is a successful one. The process of assessment does not have to be difficult, especially with the variety of resources available online.

Below is a roadmap of free learning opportunities to assist student affairs professionals in understanding the role of assessment and how to begin evaluating programs.

Penn State Student Affairs Staff

Download the Assessment Plan Template as a guide to creating your unit's assessment plan.

Utilize the standards created by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) specific to your functional area in order to assess program and service effectiveness. Penn State employees do not need to purchase these. Please contact SARA staff at saraoffice@psu.edu or 814-863-1809 for access.

Introduction to the Importance of Assessment in Student Affairs

The following publications provide a brief overview on the topic:

Making Assessment Meaningful: What New Student Affairs Professionals and Those New to Assessment Need to Know, Marilee J. Bresciani - National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, August 2011

The Role of Student Affairs in Student Learning Assessment, John H. Shuh and Ann M. Gansemer-Topf - National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, December 2010

Review of Terms You May Encounter Regarding Assessment

Read through Truman State University's Glossary of Common Assessment Terms to familarize yourself with assessment lingo.

Understanding the Assessment Cycle

The University of Connecticut provides an overview of the assessment cycle on its Assessment Primer site.

James Madison University offers a step-by-step guide to the assessment cycle.

Additional Resources

American College Personnel Association (APCA) Commission for Assessment and Evaluation

Association for the Assessment of Higher Learning (AALHE)

Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) - requires purchase to access

Internet Resources for Higher Education Outcomes Assessment

NASPA Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge Community

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Program Evaluation Handbook and Logic Model Development Guide

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