Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 30

No Small Measure To some, assessment may seem frightening or intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. Christina Frazier, writing for NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education), actually makes the case that assessment can be empowering. Assessment can also be a tool for empowerment. The basic premise is that faculty and student affairs staff are invested in their students’ learning and have a set of learning outcome goals for their students. Assessment can show that students are achieving the goals, which can be an empowering experience for faculty and student affairs staff. If assessment shows that the students are falling short, changes can be formulated to enhance student learning. A sense of accomplishment comes from devising a process that demonstrably helps students achieve learning outcome goals. The faculty and student affairs staff are empowered by being active participants in the decisions and actions relevant to the establishment and continuation of the system, including setting learning goals for their students, determining if they have achieved those goals, and, in cases where they have not, working to develop new strategies to help them improve their performance. Marilee Bresciani, co-author with Carrie Zelna and James Anderson of Assessing Student Learning and Development: A Handbook for Practitioners (2004), also recognizes assessment as a tool for empowerment; if done well, assessment can • reinforce or emphasize the mission of your unit; • modify, shape, or improve programs and/or performance; • critique a program’s quality or value compared to the program’s previously defined principles; • inform planning; • inform decision-making; The Seven Steps What makes for a complete assessment? The term can sound ominous, and it can seem like an imposing process to those not familiar with it. In Assessment in Student Affairs: A Guide for Practitioners, M. Lee Upcraft and John Schuh proposed what they call a “comprehensive assessment model” that identifies the most important factors to consider in an assessment. Viewing the process as a series of manageable steps makes it seem much less daunting as well as much more applicable when complete. According to the authors, the primary components to assess are as follows: 1. Service, program, and facility utilization How many “clients” do you have, and who are they based on gender, race, age, and other demographics? Is the service or facility reaching the appropriate numbers and the intended audience? 2. Client needs What do your clients (generally students) need, and how does that differ from what they say they want? 3. Client satisfaction After identifying needs and creating ways to serve clients, the next step is to ensure that they are being served in a satisfactory way. Will clients return? Will they pass on recommendations to others? 4. Campus environments and culture How is the service, program, or facility perceived by the campus culture as a whole? Does it complement the larger mission and goal? 5. Outcomes What is the effect of the service or program on student clients regarding their academic or developmental success? How can you demonstrate a connection between the service and the changes, isolated from other variables? They are difficult to prove, but invaluable to the process. 6. Comparable institutions How does your program or service match up with those at similar institutions? Can the comparison be to benchmark your existing service against others or to discover a pre-existing solution that can be applied at your institution? 7. Accepted standards How does your institution match up with the standards or best practices from across the profession? For student affairs, these could come from the Council for the Advancement of Standards for Student Services/Development Programs (CAS), the ACUHO-I Housing Standards, or others that are appropriate. The important issue is that the standards are widely accepted or established by a respected body.Talking STick

Talking Stick - November/December 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Talking Stick - November/December 2009

Talking Stick - November/December 2009
Contents
Online Now
Vision
Just In
Your ACUHO-I
Transitions
Regroup
Facilities
Business
Calendar
No Small Measure
Military Matriculation
Conversations
First Takes
Reporting Out
Welcome
Snapshot
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - BB1
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - BB2
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Talking Stick - November/December 2009
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Cover2
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 1
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 2
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Contents
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Online Now
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 5
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Vision
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 7
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Just In
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 9
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 10
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 11
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 12
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Your ACUHO-I
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Transitions
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 15
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Regroup
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 17
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 18
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 19
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Facilities
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 21
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 22
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 23
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Business
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 25
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 26
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Calendar
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - No Small Measure
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 29
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 30
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 31
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 32
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 33
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 34
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 35
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Military Matriculation
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 37
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 38
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 39
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 40
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 41
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 42
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 43
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Conversations
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 45
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 46
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - First Takes
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Reporting Out
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 49
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 50
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 51
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 52
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 53
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Welcome
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - 55
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Snapshot
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Cover3
Talking Stick - November/December 2009 - Cover4
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