KC Spotlight - Assessment, Research, and Evaluation

Ashley Buchman, NASPA IV-W Assessment, Research, and Evaluation KC Representative

September 29, 2016

Congratulations SA Pros! You have survived the first two months of the fall semester! I hope your academic year is off to a fantastic start. I am sure you all have been very busy collecting data as it relates to improving student, divisional, and institutional success! If this does not sound like your current situation, do not stress! There are many resources available to assist you in creating a culture of assessment, evaluation, and research within your division and institution.

In my quest for knowledge regarding co-curricular and curricular assessment, I have been reading any information I can get in my possession. Recently, I finished reading the NASPA/ACPA publication titled Coordinating Student Affairs Divisional Assessment: A Practical Guide. The book lived up to its name; it was a very practical guide. Chapters Six and Seven were hands down my favorite chapters of the book.

Chapter Six focused on building talent and increasing assessment knowledge. The chapter gave excellent examples and resources of how to organize divisional assessment at your institution. This information is relevant for those who are new to an Assessment Coordinator role or even a Senior Student Affairs officer who wants to ensure their division has an effective assessment plan in place. If you need a starting place or to make sure your division is on track, this will be the chapter you will revisit often!

Chapter Seven focused on linking assessment to planning. This chapter reiterated the fact that everything should be connected. Aligning assessment plans with the mission, vision, and goals of the division is the first step in ensuring success. The second step is to ensure the assessment plan supports the mission, vision, and goals of the institution. The alignment will demonstrate to the campus community that the division of student affairs is focused on making data-driven decisions that has the best interests of the students and institution in mind at all times. Integrating all of the necessary areas into the assessment plan can be challenging at times, however, it is the best method to guarantee success!

So if you are looking for a new book to add to the stack on your night stand, I would recommend Coordinating Student Affairs Divisional Assessment: A Practical Guide.

For the latest information on what is happening in the NASPA Assessment, Research, and Evaluation Knowledge Community, you can follow them on Twitter @NASPA_AERKC and like them on Facebook at NASPA Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge Community.

Ashley Buchmann, Ed. D., is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Arkansas State University-Newport and currently serves as the KC Coordinator for Assessment, Research, and Evaluation for NASPA Region IV-West.  Ashley can be reached at [email protected].     

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