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Assessment Cycle

The Office of Institutional Assessment promotes a university-wide cycle of assessment, one that is continuous and systematic. The practice of assessment allows departments to periodically reflect on their mission and adapt changes to ensure alignment to their mission.

Assessment Cycle

The assessment cycle provides a structure to the assessment process. At UL Lafayette, the cycle is roughly one year that corresponds to the academic calendar.

Start of the Assessment Cycle (typically early Fall)

What happens now? Departments are responsible for:

  • Reviewing (or establishing) the department (or program) mission, vision, and values (as applicable)
  • Affirming that the mission aligns to the university’s mission and, if applicable, any external accreditation agencies
  • Define the goals, measurements, and criterion of success for that cycle. That is, What do you want to do? and How will you know you were successful?
  • Ensure that any previous action plans or unmet goals from previous cycles have been addressed or updated in the current cycle.

Who should participate at this stage? Assessment Coordinators should discuss the mission, goals, measures, and criterion with the department head (at a minimum), but ideally with the department’s assessment committee or responsible faculty and staff. Each individual who is responsible for a task in the assessment plan must be notified at the start of the cycle.

Middle of the Assessment Cycle (typically Fall-Spring)

What happens now? Departments are responsible for:

  • Conducting the assessments that have been established in the assessment plan
  • Tracking results / entering findings, and securing additional documentation (if necessary)
  • Discussing preliminary results and possible implementation plans
  • Communicating any dates and planning any meetings for the “End of Cycle” discussions about findings and implementation plans.

Who should participate at this stage? Assessment Coordinators and those conducting the assessments should remain in close communication during this stage.

End of the Assessment Cycle (late-Spring/Summer into early Fall)

What happens now? Departments are responsible for:

  • Reviewing all findings that have been submitted by the Assessment Coordinator and recommending implementation plans on those goals that were not met. That is, now is the time to answer the question: How did we do?
  • Entering all findings, implementation plans, and reflections
  • Identifying what goals, measures, and criterion may need to change for the following cycle

Who should participate at this stage? Assessment Coordinators and Department Heads must communicate the results and plans within their departments. 

Assessment Cycle Resources

The following handouts have been created to assist in navigating the Assessment Cycle.