The mission of the Office of Institutional Assessment and Evaluation (OIAE) shall be to coordinate and monitor a campus-wide assessment program that reflects the University’s mission and includes strategies for examining individual academic programs and support units for their effectiveness and the ways in which these programs and units interact to fulfill the University‘s mission.
Overview of the Assessment Process
Assessment begins with defining goals and objectives. Goals are defined with respect to the institution and to its constituents – students, faculty, administrators, staff, and alumni. Assessment of goals at the institutional level has to reflect the vision of the leadership of the university and be grounded in its mission. The University’s mission provides a statement of the institution’s identity and is central to everything it does. The following is the June, 2009, recommended revised statement of Howard University‘s mission:
Howard University, a culturally diverse, comprehensive, research intensive and historically Black private university, provides an educational experience of exceptional quality at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels to students of high academic standing and potential, with particular emphasis upon educational opportunities for Black students. Moreover, the University is dedicated to attracting and sustaining a cadre of faculty who are, through their teaching, research and service, committed to the development of distinguished, historically aware, and compassionate graduates and to the discovery of solutions to human problems in the United States and throughout the world. With an abiding interest in both domestic and international affairs, the University is committed to continuing to produce leaders for America and the global community.
An analysis of this mission statement suggests that the following overarching and foundational goals are central to Howard University‘s mission and must be included in the assessment of institutional outcomes:
- Recruitment of students of high academic potential, especially promising Black students
- Provision of an educational experience of exceptional quality (for enrolled students)
- Ability to attract and sustain a faculty who, through their research and teaching, helps Howard University maintain or exceed its status as a comprehensive, research-oriented university
- Development of distinguished graduates
- Development of compassionate graduates
- Quest for solutions to human and social problems
-in the United States
-throughout the world
In order to assess these outcomes reliably, there are several words and phrases in the mission statement should be operationalized: high academic potential, promising, educational experience of exceptional quality, distinguished, and compassionate. For example, is ″high academic potential″ defined by a grade point average, a score on a standardized test, a recommendation from a teacher, or some weighted combination of all of the above? Also, what does it mean to be ″historically aware″? Table 1 demonstrates how some of the words and phrases can be defined so that they can be assessed and evaluated to determine institutional effectiveness.
The Office of Institutional Assessment and Evaluation will serve as the central repository of assessment information and as the focal point for University-wide assessment activities. As such, this office will develop general guidelines and procedures for assessing effectiveness and student learning outcomes. In particular, through programs and services, the OIAE will:
- elicit faculty, staff and student involvement in the development of assessment techniques, strategies, methods and tools to enhance learning, teaching and scholarly productivity and institutional effectiveness and provide reliable information that is used to improve program quality, effectiveness and efficiency (Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability);
- conduct research in support of strategic planning, program improvement and resources allocation by utilizing qualitative and quantitative research methodologies so that the results can be used to improve the quality of educational experiences at the University (Research); and
- serve as assessment and evaluation consultants and technical support personnel to other University offices, units, departments and individuals on the institutional, unit or program level (Education).he mission of the Office of Institutional Assessment and Evaluation (OIAE) shall be to coordinate and monitor a campus-wide assessment program that reflects the University′s mission and includes strategies for examining individual academic programs and support units for their effectiveness and the ways in which these programs and units interact to fulfill the University′s mission.
The Office of Institutional Assessment and Evaluation envisions working collaboratively with all academic and administrative support units to create, cultivate, and ultimately institutionalize a university-wide culture of evidence-based decision making in which Howard University realizes excellence in all of its initiatives and outcomes.
The Office of Institutional Assessment and Evaluation (OIAE) embraces the following core values:
- Quality in everything OIAE does
- Collegiality in working relationships
- Confidentiality for sensitive stakeholder information
- Integrity in research methodology and statistical analysis
- Sensitivity to the effect various cultural and environmental factors have on different types of institutional outcomes
- Awareness of both the benefits and limitations of all assessment tools.
Capstone article on OIAE: April 2009