Augustana supports and maintains effective systems for collecting, analyzing and using organizational information. These evaluation and assessment systems contain appropriate data and feedback loops (including periodic reviews of academic and administrative sub-units) that are used throughout the organization to support continuous improvement.
General Education Program
Augustana made major revisions to its general education program in 1992 and again in 2004. In each case, the revision was driven by a careful and widespread consideration of the evidence of student achievement and program structures.
Academic Departments and Other Programs of Study
In the late 1990s, the administration and faculty took a number of steps to encourage and support the development of departmental and program assessment plans. Five programs submitted models that were used by the other departments. An assessment workshop was sponsored on campus in February 1997. In September 1997 a further work session for department chairs also focused attention on assessment. In 1998-99, the Assessment Review Committee (ARC) met with each individual program, asking that they summarize their assessment activities and resulting changes in curriculum and instruction. A monthly newsletter entitled The Assessment Advocate was sent to all faculty. In fall of 1999-2000, department chairs were asked to submit updates in the spring. Since 1999, programs proposing a new hire must include an updated program review, and 85 percent of our programs have undergone such an authorization process. To assist the ARC, the dean hired an additional consultant during the 2002-2003 academic year, and an associate dean met with representatives of every program to discuss current assessment strategies and recommend updates and modifications. Starting in 2003, departments submitted revised assessment plans to the ARC. ARC asks each department to submit an Annual Assessment Update in June, and meets several times each term to monitor the programs' effectiveness in implementing the plans. All departments have developed their assessment strategies and have gathered data annually. Results and modifications are reported to the ARC.
Graduating seniors are surveyed on their satisfaction with college services and programs on an annual basis. The American College Testing Service (ACT) Student Opinion Survey (used 1994-96, 1998-99) has been helpful in providing national user norms for satisfaction items. Compared to these national norms, most of Augustana's administrative departments and college services have scored significantly better. Augustana's most recent 2005 scores are generally higher than our earlier ones. Also, all administrative offices undergo frequent internal assessments. Supervisors evaluate subordinates during yearly employee performance reviews. At the cabinet level, senior administrators now set annual goals for their areas and assess whether targets have been met through annual reports to the president.