Institutional Assessment Committee

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1 Institutional Assessment Committee Preamble The need for establishing an Institutional Assessment Committee (IAC) stems from analysis of the following assessment-related recommendations of the AUB 2008 Self-Study report: 1. Institutionalize the process of reviewing and monitoring the implementation of strategic plans in faculties and major administrative units. Standard Two: Planning, Resource Allocation and Institutional Renewal 2. Strengthen and expand assessment efforts at the institutional level (strategic planning, Balance Score Cards, OIRA assessment survey cycle) to support the development of a comprehensive university-wide assessment plan. Standard Seven: Institutional Assessment 3. Develop university-wide policies and mechanisms for the periodic and systematic review of all educational offerings at AUB. Standard Eleven: Educational Offerings 4. Accelerate the development of course and program learning outcomes and their assessment tools to ensure that educational offerings are adequately and regularly evaluated. Continue providing the CTL with the means and resources appropriate for the completion of the learning outcomes initiative coordinated by ULOCC. Standard Eleven: Educational Offerings 5. Review and assess AUB s general education program periodically. This should be the task of the Senate s new General Education Committee, which should also develop standards for the classification of general education courses; re-evaluate these standards periodically; oversee the classification process; and actively solicit the creation of new general education courses. The committee should also set university-wide standards for writing excellence. Standard Twelve: General Education 6. Continue to support faculties in establishing processes to assess student learning outcomes when these processes do not yet exist. Faculties with student learning assessment processes should develop systems for the periodic evaluation and continuous improvement of these processes. Standard Fourteen: Assessment of Student Learning 7. Work with faculty units and major department levels to develop a comprehensive assessment plan. Now that these academic and administrative units have missions, objectives and plans, there is a need to assess them and monitor their effectiveness. Standard Seven: Institutional Assessment 8. Share assessment plans with all University constituencies to ensure proper implementation and utilization of results. Standard Seven: Institutional Assessment The University has taken serious steps in addressing the above recommendations. AUB is committed to improving and monitoring the quality and renewal of its academic programs, and to ensuring the achievement of stated program learning outcomes. Several assessment initiatives were initiated at institutional, faculty, program, and General Education levels. In June 2010, the Senate approved the Periodic Program Review policy, which began to be implemented in October Faculty-level assessment coordinators and departmental assessment committees were established in FAS and FAFS, two faculties without program accreditation, and committee members were trained by the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) on the development of 1

2 assessment plans and tools, and on writing assessment reports. The Senate General Education Committee has developed standards for the designation of General Education courses, approving more than 280 courses in various disciplines, and has developed an assessment and evaluation plan for GE program learning outcomes. The CTL is responsible for the continued training of GE committee members in the assessment and evaluation of the program s learning outcomes. The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) has been extensively involved in the development and evaluation of institutional KPIs, both academic and administrative, in coordination with the Office of Strategy Management (OSM) and with those established committees which address AUB s strategic goals. Quantitative KPIs based on indirect assessment methods or standardized tests need to be supported with other data to assess student learning, such as the results of focus groups, interviews, or document analysis. In addition, indirect methods need to be validated with direct and indirect assessments from the various stakeholders at the faculty/school and department/academic unit level, which will guide the decision-making process by which AUB ensures that it is meeting its goals. It might also be useful to filter and/or aggregate or disaggregate assessment data and reports for better focus and to ensure the most effective use of data for improvement. Filtering relevant data for academic improvement should be done without overburdening faculty and staff with assessment tasks. There is a need to ensure that all assessment activities on campus are coherent and consistent with the University mission, and a need for a common assessment language and framework for discussing and reporting assessment data. The University Steering Committee on Strategic Planning (president, provost, VPs, deans, and directors of all academic and administrative service units) already exists and is the forum for reporting and approving institutional goals, for establishing institutional strategies to meet goals, and for synthesizing KPIs to measure the extent to which goals are being met. However, an institutional assessment committee will be charged with setting the overall parameters of assessment and with devising a comprehensive approach to assessment for all units to ensure the institution s effectiveness in fulfilling its mission and attaining its goals. It will serve as an advocate for the development of a culture of assessment on campus and will require that the indepth analysis of the academic state of the University be based on solid direct data from the academic programs and units offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. For the above stated reasons, the proposed membership and functions of the new Institutional Assessment Committee are presented below. A. Institutional Assessment Committee (IAC) The IAC is a University committee formed by the provost to provide advice on the institution s academic assessment plans and their periodic review; to coordinate assessment activities, to ensure the appropriate use of assessment information to improve student learning and academic programs research and administrative services; and to identify assessment results for dissemination to the appropriate sectors of the campus community. 2

3 The IAC, in the long term, shall provide oversight of assessment processes and track program improvements across the University, identify their stakeholders, and ensure that they are coherent and consistent with the University s mission. 1. IAC Composition a. Provost, Chair. b. Associate Provost c. AUB Accreditation Liaison Officer (MSCHE) d. Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning e. University Coordinator of Program Review f. Director of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment g. Director of the Office of Strategy Management 2. Functions a. Develop, approve, supervise implementation of, and periodically review and update the Institutional Assessment Plan (IAP). b. Develop a strategy for coordinating the gathering of assessment data. c. Work with VPs and deans to create organizational structures to implement and support assessment within each division. d. Review Faculty/school annual assessment summary reports and recommended actions for the improvement of student learning outcomes. Research, academic support, and student service units annual assessment summary reports, and recommended actions for the improvement of support services in meeting institutional goals. e. Receive and review additional information required to report to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. f. Consider and recommend changes in adopted assessment policies, indicators, and methods to concerned stakeholders. g. Prepare interim institutional assessment reports on implemented changes by various academic programs that led to improvement in student learning and student services. h. Periodically publish the institutional assessment calendar and the directory of key personnel responsible for assessment in various units. B. Roles and Responsibilities of Various Units in Institutional Assessment Activities Provost s Office - Coordinate the institutional assessment plan with the BOD. - Support the assessment role of the various units involved in compiling, analyzing, and evaluating assessment data. 3

4 - Allocate resources as appropriate to support recommendations and initiatives resulting from data generated. Center for Teaching and Learning - Provide training on all processes and procedures needed in for the assessment of student learning. This should be its primary function. - In coordination with the GE Committee, follow up on the implementation of the GE assessment process, acquire all GE assessment data, and train the GE coordinator and evaluators on the assessment of GE learning outcomes as needed. - Be the University s repository for course and program learning outcomes and program assessment plans (in addition to program review coordinator). General Education Committee - GE coordinator 1 : Write or update the GE assessment report annually. The report shall describe the successes, challenges, and the extent to which GE courses and the GE program meet the GE program learning outcomes. The report shall include recommendations for updating courses, the program, learning outcomes, processes, and/or the assessment methods. - GE evaluators 1 : Collect and evaluate assessment data on selected learning outcomes and report results to the GE coordinator. - GE committee and course instructors: Use the GE report for the continuous improvement of the GE program. Office of Institutional Research and Assessment - Prepare and recommend a calendar of institutional assessment activities (surveys, standardized tests) to present to the IAC. - Prepare institutional assessment plans for research, academic support, student services, and administrative services, in coordination with the concerned units. - Assist in developing and implementing assessments of program learning outcomes for major programs and the General Education program. - Prepare progress reports on institutional accreditation recommendations. - Analyze and report ICE results. - Prepare a statistical summary of all aspects of the University including student and faculty demographic data for international comparison and ratings. - Prepare an annual summary report on the diversity of the student body and the effectiveness of previously recommended corrective actions. - Develop, administer, and report the results of institutional indirect assessment surveys as recommended by the IAC and the various units of the University. - Conduct and report the results of ACT standardized testing. Coordinator of Program Review 1 A GE coordinator will be appointed to follow-up on the assessment process with CTL. At least two GE evaluators will be selected each term according to the Learning Outcomes under assessment. 4

5 - Develop an annual plan for program review in coordination with the provost, the faculty dean(s), the departmental chair(s), and the directors of the Office of Financial Planning and the OSM. - Meet regularly with the provost, the faculty dean(s), the chair(s) of departments under review, and the directors of the Office of Financial Planning and the OSM to coordinate implementation. - Compile an annual report on departmental action plans for the improvement of student learning and the academic standing of the department in alignment with faculty and University missions. MSCHE Accreditation Liaison Officer: - Ensure that compliance with the Commission s standards and policies is incorporated into the ongoing planning and evaluation processes of the institution. - Serve as a key resource person in the planning and preparation of documents related to institutional accreditation documents. - Communicate with MSCHE staff as necessary. Office of Strategy Management - Compile and share KPIs related to the assessment of student learning. - Compile and share KPIs related to the diversity of the student body. - Compile and share KPIs related to faculty research and graduate education. - Act as liaison with the University Strategic Planning Steering Committee and subcommittees. Writing Center - Prepare an annual report on campus curricular writing activities that includes an assessment of the writing skills of students in the various majors. Academic Faculties/Schools - Prepare, implement, and disseminate the faculty/school assessment plan. - Prepare an annual summary report of assessment results and corrective actions using student learning assessment data. - Coordinate assessment activities at the departmental level with chairs. - Provide departments with support for assessment activities when and as needed. - Provide an annual summary of faculty academic and research output and achievements. Chairs/Conveners of Departments/Tracks - Lead departmental faculty in the annual assessment of undergraduate course and program learning outcomes and submit summary reports on department/program assessment activities with recommendations to the dean of the faculty/school. 5

6 - Ensure that current and new courses have up-to-date course syllabi with clear learning outcomes correlated to program learning outcomes. - Monitor course and program quality using appropriate assessment tools, including the results of examinations, final-year projects and other instruments; the Instructor Course Evaluation; student exit surveys and interviews; alumni and employer surveys; and additional measures as appropriate. - Maintain a record of the raw data (i.e., the academic and statistical records) used in the assessment of course and program learning outcomes and follow a regular assessment schedule. - Oversee periodic and thorough undergraduate and graduate program reviews according to the schedule devised by the Dean s Office in coordination with the Provost s Office. - Submit to the dean of the faculty/school an annual summary of the academic and research achievements of departmental faculty. 6

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