Office of Institutional Effectiveness
AES Unit Assessment
When people think about colleges, probably the first thing that comes to mind is the academics: majors and concentrations, and faculty and students in classrooms. While this is an essential part of a college, these couldn’t exist without the units that support faculty students, and even the spaces (virtual or physical) where teaching and learning is taking place.
Administrative, educational, and student support (AES) units each play a key role in the functioning of the college. The AES assessment process gives units and offices the opportunity to examine and improve their functioning and evaluate how they serve the needs of the college, as well as how they connect to the college’s mission.
In collaboration with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, each AES unit identifies goals, creates instruments aligned with these goals, gathers and evaluates results, and generates a data-informed action plan for subsequent activities aimed at improving outcomes. All AES areas assess their contributions to equity, which is a central component of the college mission statement.
AES units may use assessment data to reflect on:
- How does the work of this unit help support Kingsborough’s mission?
- Is the unit meeting its goals?
- Does the area create a positive experience for staff and students?
- Do staff have the resources and training necessary to effectively perform their work?
In addition to wanting to know how well the unit or area is functioning, they may also want to know how effective they are at contributing to and supporting student learning. Student advisement, for example, is not just about getting students registered for classes or enrolled in a major. They also play a major role in teaching students about how to be a successful college student and individual ready to enter the workforce. So, these units might also want to collect evidence of student learning throughout their interactions, to demonstrate that students come out of their interactions with the unit with new knowledge and skills that will help them in their college career.
Read below for more information about how KCC conducts assessment of its AES units.
In Summer 2022, each AES unit either wrote or revisited/revised their existing unit mission statements. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness conducted a series of workshops/working sessions where they discussed the purpose of developing mission statements (to communicate about what your office does and how they do it!) and how to write one.
A bit of terminology:
Mission Statement: A brief, stakeholder-facing description of what your unit does, how you do it, and who you do it with.
e.g., The mission of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness is to cultivate a culture of assessment (what we do) by engaging the campus community (who we do it with) in assessment, strategic planning, and institutional accreditation activities and by gathering and sharing evidence of the College’s progress toward its mission and institutional goals (how we do it).
Goals: Overarching, multi-year areas of importance that remain important year over year.
e.g., Provide accurate institutional data in a timely manner in a way that allows users to adequately interpret and use the data.
Objectives: Annual outcomes or strategies the unit will be working toward that year.
e.g., For our goal of providing accurate institutional data, one of our objectives for 2022 was to “improve tracking of incoming data requests”.
See the slides from the workshop/working session, which explain in more detail how to develop mission statements and goals below:
- Mission and Goals Summer 2022 Working Sessions Slides
- The KCC Mission and Strategic Plan with Division Mission Statements Handout
- A Developing Mission Statement Rubric, to evaluate whether your mission statement is effective as written
- A Developing Goals Rubric, to evaluate whether your goals are effective as written.
- Multi-Year Assessment Planning Tool (PDF) AES Assessment Plan Worksheet.xlsx. For units that are conducting multiple assessments or want to plan out assessment over multiple years, this tool can help organize the work and plan ahead.
At the beginning of each year, AES units consider what major projects or initiatives they will undertake that year to ensure that they will continue to work toward each of their goals. The idea is to align each major initiative with one of their unit-level goals, to ensure that the focus of the unit each year is working toward a major goal and to ensure that each goal is being emphasized each year.
The units also focus at the beginning of each year on how they will assess their progress toward their goals. What data do they need to collect? How will they analyze it? Do they need to get data from IR? Conduct surveys? Work with IT to develop online forms or gather usage data from specific tools? Planning in advance ensures that they are able to get the data they need to evaluate their work.
Then, at the end of the year, units report on two things:
- Whether they were able to achieve each of the objectives they set out to achieve that year
- What they learned from the assessment/data they collected.
Units use the tools below to plan and report their annual activities: