Winthrop University: Student Support Unit Assessment

Student Support Unit Assessment

All student support units are responsible for submitting an annual Continuous Improvement Report (CIR), addressing the level of attainment of outcomes and outlining continuous improvement action plans for the subsequent year.

The responsibility for the annual assessment of each student support unit rests with the senior administrative officer of the unit (i.e., Vice President, Director). The institution sets a submission date of September 15 for all CIRs from the previous academic year and CIPs for the current academic year.

A common template is used for submission of Continuous Improvement Reports (CIRs) and Continuous Improvement Plans (CIPs) to maintain consistency of reporting across units. Student support units work in Blackboard Content Collection to submit completed CIRs, CIPs, and supporting documentation.

Each component of a CIR is discussed below. The Development and Completion Guidelines for Continuous Improvement Reports (PDF - 213 KB) provides a more complete description of each component and illustrates each with examples.

  • Mission – The mission statement of the University is included as a reminder of the institution’s collective efforts. Each student support unit identifies its mission statement in light of the institutional mission. The unit’s mission statement is a concise statement describing its purpose, stating it primary functions, and identifying whom the unit serves.

  • Outcomes – Operational outcomes are specific statements, generally process-oriented, that address the unit’s performance, particularly in regard to operations, programs, and services. Student learning outcomes (SLOs) clearly state the expected knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes that students are expected to acquire and reliably demonstrate by the end of the educational programming.

  • Alignment with the Winthrop Plan, Division Strategic Plan, and University Level Competencies – The operational and student learning outcomes of the unit align with the work of the division and the institution. In this way, the collective work of all units within a division and of all divisions across the institution advances the mission of the University.

  • Summary Statement of Assessment-based Accomplishments and Improvements – The summary statement highlights the impact of engaging in data-informed actions on unit performance and student learning, thus providing a high-level understanding of improvement efforts.

  • Activities – Activities describe the actions taken in support of attaining the desired outcomes and are reflective of the Action Plan articulated in the previous year’s Continuous Improvement Report.

  • Assessment Methods – Assessment methods include the strategies, techniques, tools, and instruments used for collecting information to determine the extent to which desired outcomes are attained. The methods chosen should allow the unit to evaluate its effectiveness, highlighting strengths and areas for improvement.

  • Targets – Targets are a measure of the performance level expected for each outcome.

  • Assessment Results and Discussion – Assessment results are the findings gathered from executing the activities. Analysis of the data/information determines the extent to which the unit’s expected outcomes have been realized. A systematic data collection and analysis process maximize the impact of the efforts.

  • Documentation – Documentation comprises the materials/documents that provide evidence of the assessment methods used and the assessment results attained.

  • Continuous Improvement Action Plan – The Continuous Improvement Action Plan defines the data-informed activities to be undertaken in the subsequent year to enhance unit performance and student learning.

Continuous Improvement Reports (CIRs) and supporting documentation are reviewed by members of the Student Support Assessment Committee via a common rubric. Completed rubrics are returned to student support units to assist in the quality enhancement of subsequent CIRs.

The institution’s Department of Institutional Effectiveness provides a variety of assessment support materials to student support units and conducts individualized meetings and training sessions, as requested by divisions or units.

 

RESOURCES

Read Me First (PDF - 164 KB)

This document guides the units through process details and explains available resources to support their assessment efforts.

Development and Completion Guidelines for Continuous Improvement Reports (PDF - 213 KB)

This document addresses each component of a continuous improvement report, explaining its purpose and composition, and providing an applicable example.

Annotated Sample Student Support Continuous Improvement Report (PDF - 187 KB) and Plan (PDF - 148 KB)

These samples include all the required reporting sections for one outcome, with the annotation providing guidance on the strengths of the Report and Plan. Several annotations within the Sample Plan allow the reader to comprehend the link between a Report from one year and a Plan for the subsequent year, noting how the latter naturally evolves from the former.

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Action Verbs (PDF - 48KB)

Bloom’s Taxonomy provides a cognitive framework, arranging learning from lower level cognition (remembering) to higher cognitive functionality (creating). The listing of action verbs assists in identifying the level of cognition desirable for each student learning outcome.

Glossary of Assessment Terms (PDF - 96 KB)

The Glossary defines a number of assessment terms, enhancing the use of a “common” assessment language.

2021-22 Report Rubric – Student Support (PDF - 235 KB)

This rubric is used by the Student Support Assessment Committee to assess each Continuous Improvement Report (CIR) submitted by student support units. The rubric allows for numerical ratings and reviewer comments for each of the rubric’s nine dimensions (i.e., mission statement, operational outcomes, student learning outcomes, summary statement of assessment-based accomplishments and improvements, activities, assessment methods, assessment results, documentation, continuous improvement action plans). Completed rubrics are returned to student support units to assist in the quality enhancement of subsequent CIRs.

2022-23 Plan Rubric – Student Support (PDF 178 KB)

This rubric is used by the Student Support Assessment Committee to assess each Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) submitted by student support units. The rubric allows for a yes/no response for each of the rubric’s five dimensions (i.e., mission statement, program outcomes, student learning outcomes, activities, assessment methods) and an overall comment. Completed rubrics are returned to student support units to assist in making any necessary adjustments to the Plan prior to implementation.

Blackboard User Instructions (PDF - 121 KB)

Blackboard Content Collection serves as the institutional repository for all student support units’ Continuous Improvement Reports (CIRs). These instructions provide a detailed guide to student support units, allowing them to access their CIR and CIP templates.

Last Updated: 8/12/22