W6 - Growing and Sustaining a Culture of Program Assessment: Strategies for Keeping it Meaningful, Manageable and Sustainable
A key feature of a culture of assessment within academic programs is that faculty regularly engage in activity to understand student learning and use that understanding to guide improvements to their program. This culture of assessment is most likely to develop when faculty engage in assessment because they see it as important to their work as educators and have found ways to fit the work into their other numerous responsibilities. In other words, assessment is sustained over time because faculty see it as meaningful and manageable.
In this workshop we will share tips for how faculty and academic administrators can nurture a culture of assessment within academic programs. For example, administrators can help foster a culture of assessment by recognizing and supporting faculty assessment work and embedding assessment into work that is already being done, such as strategic planning or academic program review. We will also share tips for how faculty can develop and sustain a meaningful and manageable assessment process in their academic programs. For example, faculty should be encouraged to keep the process simple and build on existing practices and resources as much as possible rather than starting from scratch with assessment.
The tips we will share are drawn from our work as assessment leaders on college and university campuses. We know that these ideas work and can apply in different types of academic programs and institutions. For each strategy we will provide concrete examples and engage participants in exercises to help them understand how they work.
- Participants will leave knowing multiple ways that administrators can grow and support a culture of program assessment
- Participants will leave knowing multiple techniques that faculty can use to grow and sustain and a culture of program assessment
Laura Massa is the Director of Assessment at Loyola Marymount University. In this role she has guided the development and implementation of a university assessment plan, which has included efforts to help the LMU community understand and improve achievement of the WSCUC five core competencies. Through consultations and educational resources, Dr. Massa provides support at LMU for core curriculum assessment, program assessment, academic program review, and program-specific accreditation. In addition, Dr. Massa conducts educational workshops for WSCUC and serves as a WSCUC evaluator. Dr. Massa and her co-presenter, Margaret Kasimatis, recently published the book Meaningful and Manageable Program Assessment: A How-To Guide for Higher Education Faculty with Stylus Publishing.
In her role as Provost at Saint Mary’s College, Margaret Kasimatis oversee the operational management of the College, with specific responsibility for academic affairs, enrollment, student affairs, and technology. In her previous role as vice provost for strategic planning and educational effectiveness at Loyola Marymount University she provided leadership in the areas of academic program planning and review, strategic planning, faculty development related to teaching effectiveness, educational effectiveness, accreditation, and continuing education. With 16 years of experience in academic administration, Dr. Kasimatis previously served as executive director of institutional research, assessment and planning at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and director of assessment at Harvey Mudd College. In addition, Dr. Kasimatis has been actively engaged in regional accreditation processes through the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). She served for six years as a WSCUC commissioner and in two of those years held the position of vice chair of the commission. She also serves as a WSCUC evaluator and was a member of the WSCUC Interim Report Committee and the WSCUC Program Review Task Force. She earned her PhD. in social psychology and has held full-time faculty positions at Harvey Mudd College and Hope College.