At Union College, the purpose of assessment is to help faculty and staff find ways to help the College achieve its goals as the highest possible level. Assessment provides information to each unit of the college, and to the college as a whole, about how well we are performing at each of those goals. Our assessment measurements are outcome-based; they measure our success at producing the results we wish to produce. They are also systematic; they measure the whole of what we do, rather than particular cases which may not be representative. The faculty and staff of each unit then use this information to discuss what is being done well and to identify priorities for improvements and new efforts.
The structure of assessment
We perform assessment at both the institutional level and unit level. Institutional goals are defined by the college community as part of the regular revision of the Strategic Plan. Unit level goals are defined by each unit of the College. The assessment of institutional goals is conducted by the Planning and Priorities committee; the assessment of unit goals is conducted by the units, in both cases with the assistance of the director of assessment. Each unit writes an annual assessment report documenting its measurements that year and its plans for improvement in the coming year. The Planning and Priorities committee conducts a periodic review of the elements of the strategic plan, including measurements of the achievement of institutional goals, and recommends changes for future improvement.
Institutional and unit goals are available on the college's website. Annual unit reports are available to the campus community through the Nexus information system. The college's Strategic Plan and mission statement are also available on the website.