Assessment for Excellence

As a Division, we strive for a culture of excellence – it’s an outcome of one of our strategic plan goals. One valuable tool we use to stay on the right course is assessment. As part of our excellence model, we created a framework to illustrate excellence using the words Participate, Partner, Progress and Purpose. Below are a few examples of how departments use assessment data in their pursuit of excellence.

Participate

Recreational Sports implemented a pilot program where four sport clubs tested HornsLink for online membership and other submissions. Feedback resulted in modifications to the form that made it easier for members to use, improved communication between representatives and enhanced monitoring of club/team budgets. HornsLink then became the required management system for all 43 Sport Clubs in 2014–2015. (Contact Nicole Olmeda for details)

Partner

New Student Services (NSS) surveyed Transfer Student Orientation participants. Based on student comments, NSS revised the 2015 Transfer Orientation schedule to allow more opportunities to take campus tours or attend organization and resource fairs. NSS then used the survey data to work with campus partners and execute these changes. (Contact Leslie Kavanaugh for details)

Progress

From a satisfaction survey of students who contacted their telephone counseling services, the Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) discovered a disconnect between students’ use of counseling services and students’ need for crisis intervention. After reviewing of all the data, CMHC decided to rebrand the telephone counseling line as the CMHC Crisis Line to increase student awareness of the purpose of the service and its appropriate use. (Contact Adryon Burton-Denmark for details)

Purpose

After several years of employing an online program for new students focused on alcohol education, University Health Services (UHS) tracked phone calls and emails from students and parents with concerns about the program, technical challenges and other issues. Based on this information, UHS decided to undergo a comparative evaluation of similar products and selected a new program that better meets the needs of the institution and incoming first year students. (Contact Susan Hochman for details)

As you can see, we’re making great progress, but there’s so much more for us to explore, evaluate and improve. Has your unit conducted an assessment project that helped you innovate your services? We’d love to know. If you see room for improvement in your area, but are not quite sure how to make it happen, please email me. Remember, our drive toward excellence is a journey, not a single step.

By Gale Stuart

Director of Assessment