The importance of assessment in all areas of higher education continues to grow. There is an increasing desire to ensure that time, effort, and resources at colleges and universities are being deployed in the best way possible. In addition, assessment serves as the foundation for institutional effectiveness, how we ensure we’re achieving the institutional mission and goals. At Carroll Community College (CCC), the two Associate Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs provide assessment and program/unit evaluation guidance and expertise to academic departments and educational support units to ensure continuous improvement to student learning and the environment for student learning. This website was created to support the effective assessment and support of student learning and the environment for student success within the College’s academic programs and educational student support services units.
What is Assessment? Broadly defined, assessment is an ongoing, systematic, and organized process aimed at understanding and improving student learning, the environment for student learning, and all college operations. Assessment is a recurring process used to examine whether day-to-day activities are successful in meeting unit goals and outcomes. It provides evidence that supports claims that institutions are achieving clearly articulated mission, goals, student learning, support service outcomes. Finally, assessment is key to making data-informed decisions about activities, programs, and initiatives within a unit, department, or institution regarding improvements. The ongoing nature of this process is illustrated below.
Student learning, development, and support for the environment of student learning is at the core of CCC’s purpose and mission. The interrelationship between the institution’s mission and goals and its instructional and educational support unit outcomes are the core of the College’s assessment philosophy. The ability to gauge institutional effectiveness is dependent upon the assessments and activities conducted at the course, discipline, program and educational support unit levels. Determining how effectively these activities impact student learning and the environment for student success provides the information necessary to determine if goals, institutionally and at the program and unit levels, are being met. Achievement of the goals provides a proxy for institutional effectiveness through the intentional, systematic alignment of mission, goals, and outcomes. Accordingly, assessment is central to this plan.