Administrative, Educational, and Student Support (AESS) unit assessment is defined as a systematic and continuous process of collecting, analyzing, and using information to improve the unit functions, roles, and services as defined in the unit mission, goals, and outcomes. Assessment of AESS units measures two types of outcomes, Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and Support Outcomes (SOs).
- SLOs are measurable statements derived from the unit goals that state the expected knowledge, skills values, and dispositions that students are expected to attain as a result of the learning experience.
- SOs are measurable outcomes derived from the unit goals that state how the unit expects to perform and/or deliver the information/services.
AESS Unit Assessment answers the following questions:
Who we are, what we do, who we serve and why?
How do we do what we say we do and do we do it well?
How do we know we are doing what we said we are doing?
How can we improve what we are doing to better fulfill our mission, goals, and outcomes?
Why Assess AESS Units?
AESS unit assessment is important for internal and external reasons. Internally, assessment provides an opportunity to further improve unit role/functions as per the individual unit mission. It serves as a self-check and balances for the unit so that the unit always aims to improve what it does and make decisions based on actual data rather than assumptions. Assessments data may facilitate in local decisions within the unit and institution-wide decisions such as strategic planning efforts and initiatives as well as resource allocations. External reasons include compliance with applicable laws and accreditation requirements by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), etc. Assessment is embedded in all of the seven standards of the MSCHE. Meaningful assessments are internally driven, relevant to the unit, aim at continuous improvement and lead to data-driven decision-making.
AESS Unit Assessment at York
At York College, the AESS Unit Assessment is part of the Institutional Effectiveness Accountability Structure. The AESS units work toward supporting institutional effectiveness in terms of student learning, student success, student environment and student experience either directly or indirectly. AESS Unit Assessment is supported by an overarching body, the Administrative, Educational, and Student Support Unit Assessment Committee (AESSAC) and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning.
Administrative, Educational, and Student Support Assessment Committee
The Administrative, Educational, and Student Support Unit Assessment Committee (AESSAC) comprises of members from the four divisions including Office of the President, Academic Affairs, Administrative Affairs and Student Development. The committee reports to the Institutional Effectiveness Committee. The AESSAC works closely with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. The role of the committee is to facilitate, coordinate, review and provide recommendations on AESS unit assessment across the various units in the college.
The Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning guides and supports units across the college as OIESP staff:
- Consults on all assessment matters including planning, executing, and implementing assessment activities
- Provides templates, guidelines, and relevant resources
- Assists in identifying and recommending appropriate measures
- Conducts professional development workshops
- Recommends best practices
- Helps with data analysis and presentation, etc.
How to get started?
The first step is to create an assessment plan which involves reviewing, revisiting/ articulating unit mission, goals and outcomes, identifying how the outcomes can be measured and how the results can be utilized to further improve. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness can help units devise a meaningful assessment plan.