Assessment: A Critical Student Affairs Skill

Date: Two Parts: July 15 & 23, 2009
Time: 1-2:30 pm CST (both dates)
Location: Hughes-Trigg Forum (both dates)
Contact: Troy Behrens at

Assessment is not a "nice to know skill" – It’s a need to know tool for operating efficient and effective programs in student affairs. In today’s tough economic environment, programs need to show that they are reaching their goals and serving students and the community.

Part 1 – Reinforcing Critical Skill Sets

Designed for those beginning the assessment journey and those who could benefit from an intensive review, this event will focus on the language of assessment and dispel some of the myths that student affairs professionals may encounter as they dig into what assessment is and what it can do for an institution.

An expert panelist, Dr. Emily Langdon will help you explore the role of learning outcomes in assessment and discuss how they are crafted and measured for optimum success. There will be a brief discussion of two current national databases — CIRP and NSEE — and how to incorporate their use into departmental, divisional, or institutional assessment plans. And, finally, you will learn how student affairs professionals can work with other key actors on campus to create a culture of assessment at the institution.

Join us as we address the following questions:

  • What is assessment? Revisit basic vocabulary in the assessment field.
  • Why do assessment? Understand reasons that assessment is important and what keeps many student affairs professionals (and faculty and academic affairs administrators) from doing proper assessment.
  • How does assessment serve student affairs? Identify and understand key ways that assessment will help us do our work more effectively and provide information to decision-makers about programs and services that will help in difficult budget times.
  • What are learning outcomes? Explore how to design and measure learning outcomes.
  • How do I get started? Learn about two existing national datasets and how they can be utilized for campus assessment.
    What do I do with all these data? Discuss how to design your own campus-based data collection strategies and turn data into an effective report.
  • How can I get some help with this? Generate ideas for a team approach to campus-wide assessment, which will help move an institution closer to that ideal culture of assessment we strive to attain.

Part 2 – Reinforcing Critical Skill Sets

This webinar is designed to take program evaluation and assessment to the next level. To help professionals use assessment and program evaluation techniques to better address the key problems addressing student affairs (retention, working with academic missions and cost analysis of programming).

An expert panelist Dr. Brian Van Brunt will address how to create quantifiable learning objectives, assess knowledge retention over time and how to creatively make use of business and program evaluation assessment modeling within student affairs. He will be taking the best principals from graduate assessment classes and will be applying them to practical cases on campus.

This more advanced Assessment webinar will cover the following four areas:

I. Introduction to Advanced Assessment Terms and Techniques:

  • How to use data to answer specific questions
  • The use of pre/post test design to show learning
  • Using and creating quantifiable learning objectives

II. Applying Business/Program Evaluation techniques to Student Life:

  • Consumer Approaches
  • Management Approaches
  • Summative vs. Formative Assessments; Objective vs. Subjective
  • Naturalistic Inquiry vs. Scientific Method

III. Applying Assessment to common Student Affairs Questions:

  • How can I determine if our programming is improving retention?
  • Is Student Affairs working in tandem with academic institutional goals?
  • Calculating the factors in student programming when looking at funding..

IV. A review of third party companies and how they can be used to assist:

  • Survey Monkey
  • Student Voice
  • Eduventures

About Faye Cagle

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