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Standard 7: Institutional Assessment

The institution has developed and implemented an assessment process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in achieving its mission and goals and its compliance with accreditation standards.

Fundamental Elements of Institutional Assessment

An accredited institution is expected to possess or demonstrate the following attributes or activities: 

  • documented, organized, and sustained assessment process to evaluate and improve the total range of programs and services; achievement of institutional mission, goals, and plans; and compliance with accreditation standards that meets the following criteria:
    • a foundation in the institutions mission and clearly articulated institutional, unit-level, and program-level goals that encompass all programs, services, and initiatives and are appropriately integrated with one another (see Standards 1: Mission and Goals and 2: Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal);
    • systematic, sustained, and thorough use of multiple qualitative and/or quantitative measures that:
      • maximize the use of existing data and information;
      • clearly and purposefully relate to the goals they are assessing;
      • are of sufficient quality that results can be used with confidence to inform decisions;
    • support and collaboration of faculty and administration;
    • clear realistic guidelines and a timetable, supported by appropriate investment of institutional resources;
    • sufficient simplicity, practicality, detail, and ownership to be sustainable;
    • periodic evaluation of the effectiveness and comprehensiveness of the institutions assessment process;
  • evidence that assessment results are shared and discussed with appropriate constituents and used in institutional planning, resource allocation, and renewal (see Standard 2: Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal) to improve and gain efficiencies in programs, services and processes, including activities specific to the institutions mission (e.g., service, outreach, research); and 
  • written institutional (strategic) plan(s) that reflect(s) consideration of assessment results.