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AESS Assessment Process

York College's Administrative, Educational, and Student Support (AESS) assessment process is designed to help units engage in the systematic and ongoing practice of collecting, analyzing and using data to improve operations and services, as defined by the unit mission, goals and outcomes.

Assessment Activities

AESS units engage in an annual process to identify and examine ways to improve the overall student experience by assessing support outcomes and/or student learning outcomes. The AESS assessment process at York is internally driven and designed to:

  • be meaningful and manageable;
  • transparent;
  • lead to data-driven decision-making;
  • maximize the effective use of institutional resources;
  • ensure continuous improvement; and
  • be relevant to the unit.

Assessment is cyclical and activities reoccur to ensure data is used for continuous and sustained improvement of measurable outcomes. In connection with the unit mission and goals, there are six critical activities units will undertake in the assessment process:

  1. Identify outcomes for each goal
  2. Identify measures for each outcome
  3. Collect and organize data
  4. Analyze and interpret data, and identify recommend actions
  5. Develop and execute action plan
  6. Use results to make improvements (“closing the loop")

These specific activities unify assessment practice across AESS units and establishes standards for engaging in continuous improvement.

How it Works

The AESS unit assessment cycle is governed by an annual timeline that requires units to engage in specific assessment activities throughout every year. Units use available templates and other resources to help them complete assessment activities.

  • The 5-Year Annual Assessment Plan template helps units draft long-term plans based on their mission, goals and identified outcomes.
  • Each year, units are required to submit Annual Assessment Plan in the York Assessment Management System (YAMS). The annual plan helps units draft short-term plan for the current academic year based on their mission, goals, outcomes and the five-year plan that continues to serve as a source document. The annual plan allows units the flexibility to modify the plan based on assessment findings of the previous year and/or other changes. 
    • Each year, units are required to use data to assess at least one goal and two measurable outcomes connected to that goal. 
    • Due to additional program requirements, some units (e.g., SEEK, Male Initiative Program) are required to assess all goals every year.  
  • At the end of the academic year, units are to submit an Year-End Annual Assessment Report describing their findings and how they plan to use the results.   
    • Units describe in detail outcomes assessed, measures used to collect data, target of success, and how data was analyzed and interpreted. They also explain how actionable data was used to create action plans and make improvements. If applicable, units also share results mapped to student ILO(s). 
    • The report provides units with the opportunity to discuss factors that may have impeded or accelerated assessment efforts, celebrate assessment accomplishments and concisely communicate outcomes for the following next year.

The plans and reports are submitted by the unit director/head. They are reviewed and approved by the divisional VP and submitted to committee to be internally published. The AESS Assessment Committee randomly evaluates plans and reports each year and provides  feedback to AESS units. The purpose of committee feedback is to ensure quality of assessment.