Strategic Planning: Assessment Process
University Institutional Effectiveness Assessment
Policies and Procedures (download pdf version)
UCF Institutional Effectiveness Assessment Process
More than 207 academic programs, 105 administrative units, and 43 courses from five general education foundation areas are involved in conducting assessment at the University of Central Florida. Each year, faculty and staff collect data, report results of the previous year’s assessment, and develop assessment plans for the upcoming year. This process includes the annual submission of an assessment report made up of the following components: 1) results of the previous year’s assessment, 2) proposed or actual changes based on these results, and 3) a new assessment plan to measure the impact of these changes (which includes measurement of the effect of change made). Results and plans are submitted to Divisional Review Committees (DRCs) for reviews that are designed to promote excellence in assessment of processes, operations, and student learning outcomes.
The University Assessment Committee (UAC), the DRCs, and the office of Operational Excellence and Assessment Support (OEAS) work together to provide training and support for faculty and staff, to promote timely submission of results and plans, and to ensure that an effective review process is implemented. After DRC members have reviewed plans, the chair of the DRC releases the reviews of results and plans to assessment coordinators to inform their IE assessment process. At the end of each cycle, assessment plans are made available for online viewing.
The UCF Institutional Effectiveness (IE) Assessment Web Application is the primary medium that is used to submit assessment plans and results. This web application is also used by DRC members and UAC members in the review process. The IE Assessment Web Application site is password protected; people involved in the assessment process must login to use it. The University Assessment Committee (UAC), the Divisional Review Committees (DRC), and the office of Operational Excellence and Assessment Support (OEAS) work together to provide needed training and support for faculty and staff, to promote timely submission of results and plans, and ensure that an effective review process is implemented.
University Assessment Committee
Purpose: The University Assessment Committee was established by President Hitt in 1996 to support a process of continual self-evaluation and improvement at the University of Central Florida. The primary purpose of the UAC is to oversee and assist academic and administrative units in conducting ongoing assessment to improve student-learning, student development, and university services and operations.
The University Assessment Committee provides assessment leadership for more than 355 academic programs, administrative units, and five general education foundation areas across the university. Each UAC member chairs a divisional review committee for an academic, administrative, or other designated unit in the university. Each college and primary university division is represented, as is the general education program.
Each academic college and major administrative and student support unit is represented on the UAC. Individual UAC members are selected and appointed by the appropriate college dean or vice president to serve as chair of their respective divisional review committees. The university president, through consultation with appropriate administrators and the UAC, appoints the chair of the UAC. The chair will serve for a specific term, typically two years.
Term of Service
Each UAC member shall serve at the pleasure of his/her college or division administrator and for a period of not less than one year. The normal length of service on the UAC is three years and a member can succeed himself/herself. The UAC has the following charge:
- define and implement university institutional effectiveness (IE) assessment policy and procedures;
- oversee and review the quality of the divisional review committees’ reviews of program and unit assessment results reports and plans;
- provide an annual report to the president documenting strengths and weaknesses of the university’s overall effort in assessment and institutional effectiveness;
- provide feedback to OEAS regarding the development and improvement of the university assessment Web application.
Each UAC member performs the following duties:
- serves as chair of a divisional review committee; organizes the DRC reviews of assessment results and assessment plans;
- apprises the college dean or appropriate vice president of issues and updates related to the continuous quality improvement process;
- provides assistance and guidance to the unit and department heads on the IE assessment policies and procedures;
- provides timely communication of all UAC mandates, instructions, and deadlines to assessment coordinators and others as appropriate;
- maintains a current list of assessment coordinators in the colleges and divisions and updates this with OEAS each fall or whenever changes are made;
- maintains a current list of divisional review committee members in the colleges and divisions and updates this with OEAS each fall or whenever changes are made;
- establishes internal submission deadlines for initial and final submissions of assessment results reports and plans;
- reports the DRC consensus reviews to the UAC at the close of the assessment cycle;
- serves as the liaison for any unit or program in his/r her college or division that requires assistance in the development of plans, analysis of collected data, documentation of assessment results, and navigation of the UCF Institutional Effectiveness Web Application. (If necessary, the UAC representative will call upon OEAS for additional assistance.)
- works with the OEAS to coordinate training for assessment coordinators and other appropriate groups.
- The UAC meets each fall and determines a tentative meeting schedule for that academic year, with more frequent meetings typically being held during times of greater need (such as the period of review of DRC reports). The UAC sets the final due date for presentation of DRC results and plans reviews to the UAC.
- Additional meetings may be called by the chair when necessary.
- One-half of the UAC membership plus one, not counting the chair, constitutes a quorum.
- A representative from the respective UAC member’s college or division may vote by proxy representation at a UAC meeting.
- The UAC chair will be a voting member in the case of a tied vote.
UAC Chair Responsibilities
- During the spring semester, a memorandum is sent from the UAC chair to deans and vice presidents summarizing the status of the submission of assessment plans and assessment results of the respective college or division, with copies sent to UAC representatives.
- A memorandum is sent from the UAC chair to units and academic programs that are not in compliance with assessment requirements at least 30 days prior to the annual report (early to mid-June). Copies of this memorandum are sent to supervisors and UAC representatives.
- A final update on the status for the programs or units that fail to complete all required IE assessment tasks will be sent to the appropriate deans or vice presidents at the end of the summer semester.
- The UAC chair will convene ad hoc groups as needed to discuss special issues in university assessment and to bring those issues to the full UAC.
- The UAC chair will meet with OEAS personnel as necessary to discuss administrative issues and concerns, to prepare for the first meeting of the academic year, to prepare for the institutional effectiveness assessment annual report to the president, and when otherwise deemed necessary.
Divisional Review Committee
In October 2001, the UAC unanimously approved the creation of the DRC to implement the institutional effectiveness assessment process throughout the University of Central Florida. DRC members are typically experienced assessment coordinators from the review group. Each major academic or administrative division determines the composition and length of service for its DRC members.
As of Fall 2010, there are a total of 19 Divisional Review Committees:
Academic Divisional Review Committees
College of Arts and Humanities
College of Business Administration
College of Education
College of Engineering and Computer Science
College of Health and Public Affairs
College of Medicine
College of Nursing
College of Sciences
General Education Foundations
Rosen College of Hospitality Management
Specialized Programs (Two programs from College of Optics and Photonics and three
programs from Undergraduate Studies)
Administrative Divisional Review Committees
Administration and Finance
Provost A (Deans’ Offices, Vice Presidents, and the Provost)
Provost B (units in Information Technology and Resources, Academic Affairs, Undergraduate
Studies, and Graduate Studies)
Office of Research and Commercialization (includes several research centers and related units)
Community Relations and University Relations
Student Development and Enrollment Services
Strategy, Marketing, Communications, and Admissions
Divisional Review Committee members:
- assist faculty and staff in adhering to specific review criteria
- review and evaluate the quality of program or unit results reports and plans
- compare the results reports and plans to those of the previous year
For each program or unit participating in the IE assessment process, at least one faculty member or staff member is assured to be the assessment coordinator. The assessment coordinator for academic programs is usually appointed by the chair of the department. The assessment coordinator for the program or unit is responsible for entering assessment results and new plans in IE Assessment Web Application. For academic programs, the assessment coordinator is an experienced faculty member who is familiar with the program. For administrative areas, the assessment coordinator is experienced in the unit mission and functions. Often, this person coordinates the data collected by the faculty and staff responsible for implementing the assessment measures. After faculty or staff develop the program or unit outcomes and measures, they collect data and examine the data in terms of the original outcomes. Assessment coordinators lead the faculty or staff in a group review of the results of their annual assessment and in making changes to the new assessment plan. Program chairs and directors and unit directors review the results reports and plans prior to submission.
Note: The UAC will collaborate with administrative unit heads and vice presidents to determine if a unit is exempt from participating in the assessment cycle. A written request for exemption must be submitted to the UAC for consideration. Reasons for exemption may include, but are not limited to the following:
- unusual affiliation with UCF
- mission of unit does not lend itself to assessment efforts
Each undergraduate program, graduate program, and administrative unit that has been identified to conduct assessment is required to submit documentation of assessment results, plans for changes, and implemented changes on an annual basis. Undergraduate programs incorporate Academic Learning Compact student learning outcomes assessment (as specified by the Florida Board of Governors) into their assessment results reporting.
Each undergraduate program, graduate program, and administrative unit that has been identified for assessment is required to submit an annual assessment plan. Undergraduate programs incorporate Academic Learning Compact student learning outcomes and their assessment (as specified by the Florida Board of Governors) into their assessment plans. The program or unit submits its plan in accordance with the guidelines, due dates, and procedures established by the UAC and its Divisional Review Committee.
Survey Support: Operational Excellence and Assessment Support (OEAS) conducts all institutional level surveys and makes results available for IE assessment. These include the UCF Graduating Senior Survey, the UCF Graduating Graduate Student Survey, the UCF Alumni Survey, and the UCF First Destination Survey. Periodically, other surveys are administered and results are disseminated through OEAS, including the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). In addition, individual support for program or unit specific surveys is provided.
Training: OEAS, often in partnership with the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, provides training and support for faculty and staff involved in all aspects of IE assessment. The UAC provides suggestions and feedback to personnel in OEAS for these and other training asneeded.
- best practices in assessment
- development and implementation of student learning outcomes for academic and student support units
- development and measurement of operational and process outcomes for academic and administrative units
- development of appropriate assessment tools
- assessment coordinator training and use of the IE Assessment Web Application
- divisional review committee training and use of the IE Assessment Web Application