Administrative & Co-curricular Units

Introduction

In aligning with the assessment requirements from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), UNM administrative and co-curricular units are asked to assess their programming and other efforts. This process is meant to be a self-review of programming and processes, completed internally for use in continuous improvement. The Office of Assessment & APR is happy to provide guidance and support for units as they create and implement assessment plans, collect and analyze data, and submit documents to be held in the UNM Assessment Repository. While the Office of Assessment & APR does not require use of any one template in particular for administrative and co-curricular unit assessment reporting, units should submit assessment documents that:

  1. detail their assessment process
  2. summarize the findings of that assessment process.

Template

The UNM Office of Assessment & APR has developed a template that will help guide you through the process of assessment planning and reporting. It is located here.

Timeline

Finalized assessment documents are due on May 31 using the OA Repository. It is recommended that you review the guidance for uploading academic/co-curricular documents to the repository. The Office of Assessment & APR is expecting to receive from each Administrative or Co-curricular Unit:

  1. an outline or plan of what and how you will assess your unit activities and success (updated and submitted every 3-5 years)
  2. an annual assessment report that describes which outcomes were assessed, an analysis and learning component, modifications needed, and a description of how the report will be communicated (see Guidelines for Administrative/Co-curricular Assessment Reports below).

Guidelines for Administrative/Co-curricular Assessment Plans

Submitted assessment plan documents should detail the following:

Goals are higher-level aspirations that describe what you would like your office or program to achieve and/or what you strive to achieve in terms of student success, staff development, etc. These goals are broad, achievable statements and are qualitative in nature. Goals “define the destination.” Questions to consider:

  • What does your unit strive to do?
  • What service do you aim to provide?
  • If you could stand in the future and look back to the past, what would you want to change?

Outcomes are statements that relate to your goals and describe a specific result that can be achieved. Outcomes must be measurable and attainable. Outcomes will define the areas that you want to assess and provide direction for your assessment process. Questions to consider:

  • What are the major areas (outcomes) that build towards successful completion of the goal?
  • How is each outcome related to the overall goal?
  • How do you or will you know you have been successful in attaining those goals?
  • How can you evidence or illustrate that success?
  • Will you compare your unit to a similar unit at a peer institution?
  • Will you use benchmarks or key process indicators? For example, you could strive to see 100% of students your unit served improve in the class they are seeking tutoring for. Or you could strive to help at least 80% of your students with online registration. The goal is to articulate what success would look like for your unit. Also consider existing data you are already collecting that you may be able to use!

Strategies are action items that you complete in order to achieve your outcomes, and ultimately, your goal. Questions to consider:

  • What are the detailed tasks that need to be completed in order to meet each outcome?
  • What resources do you need? 

Standards/Benchmarks are established milestones that will help you articulate what success will look like for your unit/program. Questions to consider:

  • How did you establish the standards/benchmarks (e.g. national standards, best practice, historical trends)?
  • How will you know if you have been successful in attaining your goals and outcomes?
  • How can you evidence or illustrate that success?
  • How will you compare your unit to others?

When reviewing Data Source(s) and Collection Methods, consider these questions:

  • What data are you going to collect to measure your progress towards meeting your outcomes? * Consider existing data that you already collect and that you may be able to use!
  • Are there outcomes that need more than one data source as evidence; and inversely, are there data sources that satisfy several outcomes?
  • What population will you be assessing? i.e., everyone you serve, or a smaller sample?

What are you going to do with the data once it is collected? In the Analysis section, consider these questions:

  • How will you analyze the evidence in a meaningful way?
  • How can you use what you learn to influence programmatic continuous improvement?
  • What will you do when you achieve your original goal?
    • Will you focus your assessment efforts on another goal?
    • Will you work to continually progress in the original goal?
  • How long will you utilize this assessment process? Three years? Five years?

Communication of results and progress is critical. Questions to consider:

  • How will you communicate and implement your assessment results?
  • Who will results be communicated to?

While not required, administrative and co-curricular units are welcome to use this template (forthcoming) for their assessment processes. Please remember to use the Office of Assessment & APR workshops, walk-in hours, and staff as resources. Additionally, your unit may find the UNM Student Learning Goals helpful in developing goals and outcomes.

 

Guidelines for Administrative/Co-curricular Assessment Reports

The Outcome(s) Assessed section asks about if a subset of outcomes were assessed during this ratings period. If you assessed less than all of the outcomes that are listed in your plan, let us know which ones were assessed in this area. Additionally, please provide information on how each outcome was measured, and the result of each (i.e., X number of students completed a workshop).

To aid in the completion of the Analysis & Learning section, the prompts below will help you analyze the information that you have gathered for each outcome. This section provides the opportunity to discuss context and direction of the collected information and the process used. Consider these questions: 

  • Is your collected data sufficient to support an accurate assessment of each outcome?
  • Which outcomes met the standards/benchmarks defined in your assessment plan? What did you learn from this?
  • Which outcomes did not meet the standards/benchmarks defined in your assessment plan? What did you learn from this?
  • Considering the above, what steps have you taken to implement continuous improvement?

During your assessment process, Assessment Modifications are sometimes necessary as information is collected and the process matures. Consider these questions: 

  • Could changes be made to the outcomes to better measure the progress of the program?
  • Are there any other modifications to the assessment process that are necessary or desired (e.g., assessment tools, data collection, population size)?

Communication is a key factor in determining the success of any assessment process. A communication plan helps develop understanding at all levels and ensures that results are communicated rapidly and effectively. Consider this question:

  • How, when, and to whom were your results and recommendations communicated to?