Why Do We Assess and Evaluate?
Students on Campus
The Division of Student Affairs at Longwood University assesses student learning and evaluates programs for many reasons.
Student Affairs administrators employ assessment and evaluation to better understand the needs of a constantly changing student population. In addition, assessment and evaluation are used to foster student learning, such as identity and skill development.
Assessment and evaluation are also used to improve the quality and affordability of programs and services.
Furthermore, assessment helps Student Affairs administrators develop effective university policies and procedures, contribute to strategic planning, and demonstrate to external constituents their commitment to continually change to meet various student development needs and learning styles.
In short, we use assessment and evaluation to determine and reinforce what we do well and improve what we do not.
What is the Difference between Assessment and Evaluation?
Evaluation appraises the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products, and organizations to improve their effectiveness.
Assessment is an on-going process aimed at improving student learning, programs, and services that involves a process of:
publicly sharing expectations
defining criteria and standards for quality
gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence about how well performance matches the criteria
using the results to documents, explain, and improve performance.
The Division of Student Affairs at Longwood University uses both evaluation and assessment to guide our work. Evaluation is to determine significance or worth or judge the effectiveness of educational programs. Assessment is to determine a rate or amount and is used as an activity to measure student learning and other human characteristics.
A Matter of Strategic Planning
The Division of Student Affairs uses national standards for practice in Student Affairs created by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). CAS collaborates with specific professional associations to create national best practice guidelines in each area. We use these best practices as one way to judge our work.
The Division of Student Affairs at Longwood University is committed to providing first rate customer service to its students. Student Affairs desires to assess and continually improve customer service because a student that has had an excellent experience with a particular department will be more willing to direct their peers to take advantage of the services of that department and will use the services again.