IR&A Assessment Program


In addition to the policy-oriented studies the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment coordinates the assessment of academic programs. The office also serves as a resource for a wide variety of assessment activities across campus by providing technical and administrative supports. Currently, there are a number of outcome assessment programs in place including academic program (Student Learning) outcome assessment, non-academic units assessment of the institution's programs and services, and a variety of needs assessment projects.

Academic program assessmentAssessment of the academic programs of the college is mandated by the SUNY System administration. In 1993, a campus-wide committee on assessment developed the SUNY Oswego Guidelines for the Assessment of Academic programs. The Guidelines were revised in 2003, and later in 2010 (Appendix D). According to the guidelines, the responsibility for the definition, design, and conduct of the program assessment studies is within the academic unit that offers that program. Each academic department/program has now developed an assessment plan that includes the operational definition of the program(s), the identification of an instrument to measure the achievement of the intended outcomes, and a description of the method for conducting the assessment study. The IR&A Office has had the responsibility of coordinating the development of the plans and reporting on the implementation of the plans by the means of annual reports. The office has also provided technical and administrative support to the assessment process, including such things as organizing professional development programs on assessment, developing the Assessment Fellow program, supporting the programs in conceptualizing assessment models, identifying /or developing appropriate assessment instruments for  academic departments.  For information about Reporting Guidelines for Annual Submission of Assessment Reports See Appendix E.   

Institutional assessment. The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment has conducted, coordinated, or assisted in a number of assessment programs designed to assess the college's programs and services. The following are examples of assessment programs implemented by IR&A:

  • Student Opinion Survey (SOS). SOS measures student satisfaction with the programs and services of the institution.
  • National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). NSSE collects information from first-year and senior students about the characteristics and quality of their undergraduate experience.
  • Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE). FSSE measures faculty members' expectation of student engagement in educational practices that are linked with high levels of learning and development.              

Division of Academic Affairs - Academic Support Unit Assessment: During the summer of 2014 the Division of Academic Affairs formalized a yearly assessment cycle for the non-academic offices and units supervised within the division.  This work provides a pillar in the institutional effectiveness framework of the college by connecting the work of key functional units with the institutional mission and resource allocation through the use of goal setting and evidence-based inquiry. The Academic Support Units now use the same yearly assessment timeline as the academic departments, as well as a similar reporting template.  (Appendix F)

Division of Student Affairs - Assessment: Depending on the nature and scope, surveys and assessments conducted in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management must be authorized and scheduled by Institutional Research. Authorization from Institutional Research is necessary, primarily to avoid over-surveying our campus population (faculty/staff and students). For information about the assessment process and procedures in the Division of Student Affairs click here.

Needs assessment: A series of studies that have been or are presently being conducted gather data to support the development of new initiatives and/or the modification of existing programs and services. These studies are usually initiated by the director of the existing program or people considering the development of new programs. IR&A provides a range of services including the development of instruments to be used in the assessment, analysis of the data collected, or the administration of the entire study.