Leading Assessment for Student Success: Ten Tenets That Change Culture and Practice in Student Affairs

Leading Assessment for Student Success: Ten Tenets That Change Culture and Practice in Student Affairs

Book Title: Leading Assessment for Student Success: Ten Tenets That Change Culture and Practice in Student Affairs

Publisher: Stylus Publishing

ISBN: 1620362228


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Leading Assessment for Student Success: Ten Tenets That Change Culture and Practice in Student Affairs

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While both committed to providing effective programs and services that help students succeed in college and beyond, and aware of the increasing demands from internal and external stakeholders that every dollar spent benefits students and contributes to the mission of higher education, student affairs professionals have little guidance about how to create and sustain the culture of assessment to achieve these goals. This book provides the practical directions for embedding assessment in the fabric of practice.

The authors in this volume – all experienced senior level leaders who have established programs that exemplify a culture of evidence-based practice – identify and explicate ten tenets of practice for leading and implementing a culture of change committed to student learning and sound assessment methods.

Grounded in assessment literature, the tenets are:
1. Understand the Why of Assessment
2. Commit to Student Learning as a Primary Focus
3. Lay the Foundation for a Sustainable Assessment Culture
4. Develop Strategies to Engage Staff in a Commitment to Assessment
5. Provide Recognition and Accountability Structures
6. Reaffirm the Importance of Assessment to Anchor Cultural Change
7. Develop Sound Assessment Plans
8. Connect Assessment Plans to Divisional and Institutional Strategic Plans
9. Determine the Appropriate Methods for Assessing Programs and Services
10. Market Data to Leverage Buy-in, and Promote Utility to the Campus Community

The basic premise of this book is that the Senior Student Affairs Officer must be the primary leader and spokesperson for this effort, both in setting the tone and keeping all members of the team accountable for implementation and the commitment of their units.

The book opens with an overview of history and purpose and language of assessment, relates it to the educational mission of student affairs, and outlines the four elements necessary to start a culture of assessment: commitment, connection, consistency, and communication.

In addressing the role of the Senior Student Affairs Officer, subsequent chapters address the process of gaining “buy-in” and the importance understanding the unique culture of the institution; provide guidance on creating an environment of trust, accountability, and transparency; and describe how to lay the foundations to sustainability through consistency and strong interpersonal and collaborative relationships among the staff.

The book concludes by summarizing the essential assessment practices and tools that senior leaders need to be aware of – providing examples of assessment cycle templates that can be applied across departments – and outlining how to establish a strategic plan aligned with institutional mission that is linear, predictable and consistent, and aligned with institutional mission; as well as communicating results both externally and internally for the purposes of improvement.