Mission of the Office of Academic Assessment
The Assessment Office is dedicated to supporting Brenau University’s commitment to educational excellence. It is our mission, with input from all units of the university, to assist the institution in demonstrating the quality and effectiveness of its programs and services in support of the institutional mission, by means of a broad based and institutionally supported system of evaluation, documentation and use of results for improvement.
What is Assessment?
Assessment is putting into place a systematic process that will answer the following questions on a continuous, ongoing basis:
- What are we trying to do and why?
- What is my program supposed to accomplish?
- How well are we doing it?
- How do we know?
- How do we use the information to improve or celebrate success?
- Do the improvements we make work?
(Bresciani, Zelna, & Anderson, 2004)
Assessment is the process of gathering and discussing information from multiple and diverse sources in order to develop a deep understanding of what students know, understand and can do with their knowledge as a result of their educational experiences; the process culminates when assessment results are used to improve subsequent learning.
(Huba & Freed, 2000)
History of Assessment at Brenau
Brenau University has a long history of a continuously evolving culture of assessment. The Assessment Office was created in 1989, initially to coordinate the assessment of our General Education Program. Subsequently, the focus was expanded to include all of the college’s degree programs, at all teaching locations and including online programming when that was initiated. Administrative units of the university also participate in our university-wide planning, assessment, data analysis and reporting process. The ultimate goal is to use the results of the planning and assessment process to pursue continuous quality improvement in academic programs and student learning, to guide the budgeting process, and to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of all university operations.
Tracking of assessment at Brenau moved from Word document template completion in the 90’s to a system developed in-house called RubricsCube that allowed online planning and reporting during the decade of the 2000’s. In 2011 Brenau contracted with Campus Labs and adopted their Compliance Assist planning module which we currently use to track our strategic planning, unit assessment, and reporting.