Guiding Principles of Assessment
The following Guiding Principles were developed by the Office of Institutional Assessment and the University Assessment Council (Fall 2016) to guide assessment efforts across UL Lafayette. These principles describe how the university currently conducts and strives to conduct assessment.
Why do we assess?
Robust and meaningful assessment is inclusive of all university entities – academic, administrative, student-support, and research – who contribute to the university’s mission. Through active participation in the assessment process, entities are able to engage in meaningful discussions centered on goals, priorities, expectations, and results. These efforts advance the university’s mission.
Fostering a culture of assessment. Participation in the assessment process is valued and recognized. We will foster a culture of assessment and evidence through continuous engagement in the assessment process. We will ask ourselves and others: “Are our efforts bringing forth the desired results?” We will seek out ways to measure success, and make decisions based on the information we learn. We will use results to inform decisions, highlight excellence, and enhance programs and services.
The following principles will guide efforts across UL Lafayette to foster a culture of assessment.
- Continuous and Systematic Process. The continuous and systematic process of assessment allows us to collectively reflect on how we are actively supporting the mission. By setting goals and measuring progress at specific intervals, we are able to establish benchmarks of success, inform decision-making, and implement change.
- Resources and Tools. The available resources and tools (including personnel, online systems, assessment instruments, etc.) enable the assessment process to function in a consistent manner. We provide opportunities for our assessment coordinators, department heads, administrators, and liaisons to learn about the process and expectations in order to understand the various responsibilities (i.e., administering the assessment tools, documenting and analyzing assessment findings, sharing results, or implementing changes). We maintain tools and instruments which function effectively (and are reviewed periodically) so as not to hinder the process.
- Engagement / Involvement. Assessment is a collective process and most successful when owned by the entity. There are many assessment responsibilities, and we support, value, and recognize the person (or persons) responsible for carrying out these functions. Support comes from within the department, college / division, and university.