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.
Use 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 Student Affairs employees do not need to purchase these. Please contact SARA staff 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.
American College Personnel Association (APCA) Commission for Assessment and Evaluation
Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) - requires purchase to access