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Assessment Plan Infrastructure  

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The Social Work Program Assessment Plan Committee

The Program Director and the other full time faculty member currently share overall responsibility for developing, guiding, and updating the ongoing assessment process. They serve as the Program Assessment Plan Committee.

Role of Adjunct Faculty Members
Adjunct faculty meet regularly with the Program Director during semesters they are teaching courses, and twice a year in a meeting with full-time faculty to review and discuss assessment results.

Role of Advisory Board
The Advisory Board serves in an advisory capacity related to the Assessment Plan design and implementation, offering input similar to adjunct faculty about objectives, performance indicators and curriculum content. Most members are current social service practitioners or junior college human service instructors. In addition, they supply an accountability checkpoint for the program, asking questions when results indicate areas of concern and providing kudos when strengths are affirmed.

Role of Program Students
Informal feedback is sometimes sought (or spontaneously given) from students as new assessment activities are introduced in the classroom. In addition, students provide input on curriculum and assessment gaps and unplanned duplication of instruction material.

Role of Committee Advisors and University Assessment Committees
The Assessment Coordinating Council is a university-wide committee that oversees the campus assessment plans and approves new assessment instruments being used for any campus evaluations. The EOAC (Educational Outcomes Assessment Committee) is a faculty committee that works to collect assessment information on the undergraduate core courses. They also assist faculty in learning about assessment and supply a packet of supplemental materials about grading and evaluation to each faculty member.

Timeline of Assessment Tasks and Review Periods
The Assessment Plan timeline is ongoing and circular. There really is no start or stop point in the system. Results, analysis and conclusions are reviewed by faculty and the Program Director after each semester and by the Advisory Board, Administration and students on an annual basis. Changes in all program aspects are ongoing and result from data analysis and conclusions, as well as constituency input. Currently, the effectiveness of the plan is looked at by faculty, the Program Director, the Advisory Board, The Assessment Plan Committee and Advisors, and the Avila Administration on an annual basis. Changes in the assessment plan itself result from data analysis and conclusions, as well as constituency input.

Data Analysis
The steps of data analysis regarding attainment of objectives involves the following:

  1. Data is collected for each assessment activity, compiled and submitted to the Program Director for computation.

  2. Results are compared to the benchmark established for the specified assessment activity.

  3. A conclusion about the achievement of a specific performance indicator is drawn based on the achievement of the benchmark(s) specific to that performance indicator. Faculty review these conclusions, and as a result affirm strengths and make recommendations for specific improvements in that area of the curriculum.
  4. For further clarity about the attainment of the objective, Key Assignment attainment data is aggregated under each performance indicator.

    (a) A program benchmark is established to evaluate the attainment of performance indicators based on aggregated Key Assignment data. The benchmark for this step in the analysis is “A specific performance indicator is considered to be attained if 80% of the Key Assignments linked to it have achieved their benchmarks.”

    (b) Following that computation, the rate of Key Assignment attainment for each performance indicator for an objective is evaluated against a second benchmark “A specific objective is considered to be attained if 80% of the performance indicators linked to that objective have achieved the attainment rate of 80% or above.”

  5. To complete the multi-modal assessment, once all data in each category of measurement has been evaluated independently, further review involves comparing achievement results from different types of measures. Conclusions about overall achievement of each objective are drawn based on a review of an overall attainment rate of benchmarks in each measurement category related to the objective. Confidence in results of particular measures is also considered. Tools with mixed or low confidence are reviewed carefully when factored into the overall attainment conclusion. Future efforts involve strengthening all tools so that each has the faculty’s full confidence.

Continuous Improvement
Once data has been analyzed and conclusions drawn, areas for improvement are identified and plans are made to implement these changes to strengthen the program and its effectiveness at attaining objectives. Faculty meet individually with the Program Director to identify course changes. In addition faculty meet twice per academic year to discuss assessment results and plan for changes as a result of assessment conclusions. Faculty also review and affirm areas of strength and discuss how these areas can be further strengthened.

Publication of Assessment Results and Impact
An annual report is written in June, after the academic year’s data has been compiled, analyzed, reviewed and conclusions have been made. This involves both affirmation of strengths and plans for changes. A full report, including all of the data from each assessment activity is distributed to faculty. A Summary Report is also condensed and distributed, making the information more manageable for most constituency groups.

Copies of the annual Summary Report are distributed to the Advisory Board, students at their SSWA meeting, the EOAC committee and Academic Affairs office. Anyone interested can also access either report by request from the Program Director.