Involvement in the Processes
In order for the Arkansas State University – Newport Assessment Cycle to be effective, it must be a shared process among faculty, students, and staff who actively participate in decision making. Our assessment cycle begins with a yearly review of our Mission Statement and our Institutional Goals by our Chancellor, the Vice Chancellors, Division Chairs, Assessment Coordinator, and representatives from faculty, staff, and students. After this review, copies of any changes are distributed to the chairpersons of each core competency committee and the director of each technical program. The committees meet and develop measurable outcomes that reflect the current mission of our university.
After the assessment tool (Plan, Do, Check, Action) has been administered, data is collected, reviewed and interpreted by each committee. Any necessary changes are implemented, and the assessment cycle begins again. This assessment cycle flows from collected data that is reviewed to accommodate institutional growth and strategic planning on a yearly basis.
The Impact of Assessment
In an effort to enable our institution to become more focused upon student learning and institutional effectiveness, the Assessment Coordinator has held many meetings with program directors, faculty members, and departments explaining the meaning of assessment, the importance of assessment, the difference between assessment and evaluation, different assessment methodologies, and how to develop measurable learner outcomes. Additionally, the Assessment Coordinator presents an assessment workshop during the faculty pre-session meetings at the start of each semester. Frequent dialogue concerning assessment is a key to the success of our assessment program. It is our conviction that people are the major resource to make assessment work. Therefore, we engage faculty, staff, and students in conversation regarding assessment. The fundamental question for our institution is what do we most want our students to learn? What evidence can we gather to show that our students have achieved our learner outcomes? How can we improve our effectiveness?