How Student Affairs Can Benefit from Assessment Data

April 8, 2015 Kristen Hicks

At the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine, they’re using assessment data to do a lot of the things we’ve covered previously on this blog – to provide better student feedback, to enable effective student remediation, to help faculty better prepare students. On top of all these popular ways to turn exam analytics into tangible improvements, they’ve branched out into an additional use: improving student affairs.

We spend a lot of time in higher education circles focused on what goes on in the classroom. When we think about what college is, we mostly think about the classes themselves. They’re the central feature of what makes higher education what it is, right?

While that may be true, the many tasks and responsibilities covered by student affairs play their own crucial role in shaping what higher education looks like for students. A professor may have the deepest understanding of what a student needs day-to-day throughout a particular semester-long course, but a student affairs officer can view the student’s progress from a more macro level. How does their performance today relate to how and what they did in high school? How does it all influence what they go on to do after graduation?

Student affairs already has access to important data on the school’s students (and as technology becomes ever more advanced and affordable, the amount of data only increases), but combining the data they already have with the analytics produced by ongoing assessment provides a more holistic view of the experiences of individual students, as well as the larger trends at play in the school.

Assessment data can enable student affairs staff to better help students (which is the main point of their jobs, after all), but it can also play an important role in providing accountability. If student affairs can show evidence that they use data to improve practices, it aids in the accreditation process and can improve relations with stakeholders.

Dr. Sarah Zahl, the Director of Educational Assessment at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine has first-hand experience with all this. Listen as she disscusses the process and results they’ve gotten at her school from making better use of assessment data.

Her webinar will cover:
• The data collection process
• Using data to improve advising, remediation, and enrollment management
• How using data can help with accreditation
• How data enables schools to provide students with a more holistic educational experience
• How student affairs’ use of assessment data helps improve student learning outcomes and relationships with stakeholders.


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