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Administrative Assessment

At WCU, the purpose of assessment in administrative and student support units is to collect, analyze, and use data to drive improvements in the functions of our units/departments/programs.  Continuous improvement reporting and assessment follow the expectations and principles of our institutional accreditor, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and (for units that educate students) the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.   

The best resource for SACSCOC standards is the Resource Manual for The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement. There are two sections of the SACSCOC standards that apply to administrative and student support units - section 7 and 8.  

Administrative Units

For administrative units, the SACSCOC standard that applies to these areas regarding continuous improvement is Section 7 Institutional Planning and Effectiveness with specific guidance for administrative units in Standard 7.3 Administrative Effectiveness.

Standard 7.3 states, "The institution identifies expected outcomes of its administrative support services and demonstrates the extent to which the outcomes are achieved."

Questions to consider when reporting on administrative effectiveness (2018 SACSCOC Resource Manual, p.62):

  • Are expected outcomes defined in ways that allow meaningful measurement of actual outcomes?
  • Is there evidence of goal-setting and assessment activities for each unit? 
  • Can you meaningfully determine whether expectations were met? 
  • How does administrative assessment relate to the goals found within the comprehensive planning and assessment processes of the institution? Does your organizational structure hinder or advance administrative effectiveness?
  • For units with combined administrative and student support functions, how do you deal with both elements? 
  • Are your expected outcomes of administrative units consistent with the data underlying your institutional budget? 
  • If the institution used sampling, why were the sampling and findings an appropriate representation of the institution’s administrative units?

Academic Services and Student Support Units

For student success units and student support services, the SACSCOC standard that applies to these areas is Section 8 Student Achievement with specific guidance for academic/student services in Standard 8.2.c.   

Standard 8.2.c. states. "The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of seeking improvement based on analysis of the results for academic and student services that support student success." 

Questions to consider when reporting improvements and effectiveness of academic & student services (2018 SACSCOC Resource Manual, p.74):

  • Has each unit developed expected outcomes in clearly defined and measurable terms? 
  • For units that have direct instructional responsibilities, or that provide specific co-curricular activities, are there measurable expected student learning outcomes for these functions?
  • What types of assessment activities are undertaken by each unit?
  • How (and by whom) are the findings analyzed in order to take possible action on the findings?
  • If weaknesses are found, what is the process for seeking improvements in the delivery of academic and student support services? What are some of the efforts made to improve services?
  • If the institution used sampling, why were the sampling and findings an appropriate representation of the institution’s academic and student support units?

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