Leading Assessment for Student Success
Ten Tenets That Change Culture and Practice in Student Affairs

Paper: 978 1 62036 222 8 / $29.95
Published: November 2015  

Cloth: 978 1 62036 221 1 / $95.00
Published: November 2015  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 62036 223 5 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: November 2015  

E-Book: 978 1 62036 224 2 / $23.99
Published: November 2015  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
168 pp., 6" x 9"
figures & tables
While both committed to providing effective programs and services that help students succeed in college and beyond, and aware of the increasing demands from internal and external stakeholders that every dollar spent benefits students and contributes to the mission of higher education, student affairs professionals have little guidance about how to create and sustain the culture of assessment to achieve these goals. This book provides the practical directions for embedding assessment in the fabric of practice.

The authors in this volume – all experienced senior level leaders who have established programs that exemplify a culture of evidence-based practice – identify and explicate ten tenets of practice for leading and implementing a culture of change committed to student learning and sound assessment methods.

Grounded in assessment literature, the tenets are:
1. Understand the Why of Assessment
2. Commit to Student Learning as a Primary Focus
3. Lay the Foundation for a Sustainable Assessment Culture
4. Develop Strategies to Engage Staff in a Commitment to Assessment
5. Provide Recognition and Accountability Structures
6. Reaffirm the Importance of Assessment to Anchor Cultural Change
7. Develop Sound Assessment Plans
8. Connect Assessment Plans to Divisional and Institutional Strategic Plans
9. Determine the Appropriate Methods for Assessing Programs and Services
10. Market Data to Leverage Buy-in, and Promote Utility to the Campus Community

The basic premise of this book is that the Senior Student Affairs Officer must be the primary leader and spokesperson for this effort, both in setting the tone and keeping all members of the team accountable for implementation and the commitment of their units.

The book opens with an overview of history and purpose and language of assessment, relates it to the educational mission of student affairs, and outlines the four elements necessary to start a culture of assessment: commitment, connection, consistency, and communication.

In addressing the role of the Senior Student Affairs Officer, subsequent chapters address the process of gaining “buy-in” and the importance understanding the unique culture of the institution; provide guidance on creating an environment of trust, accountability, and transparency; and describe how to lay the foundations to sustainability through consistency and strong interpersonal and collaborative relationships among the staff.

The book concludes by summarizing the essential assessment practices and tools that senior leaders need to be aware of – providing examples of assessment cycle templates that can be applied across departments – and outlining how to establish a strategic plan aligned with institutional mission that is linear, predictable and consistent, and aligned with institutional mission; as well as communicating results both externally and internally for the purposes of improvement.

Table of Contents:



Part One: Philosophical Commitments
1. Tenet One: Understand the "Why" of Assessment
2. Tenet Two: Commit to Student Learning as a Primary Focus

Part Two: Division Leadership and Culture
3. Tenet Three: Lay the Foundation for a Sustainable Assessment Culture
4. Tenet Four: Develop Strategies to Engage Staff in Commitment to Assessment
5. Tenet Five: Implement Accountability and Support Structures to Encourage Assessment
6. Tenet Six: Anchor Cultural Change

Part Three: Sound Assessment Practices
7. Tenet Seven: Develop Assessment Plans
8. Tenet Eight: Connect Assessment Plans to Institutional and Divisional Goals
9. Tenet Nine: Determine the Appropriate Methods for Assessing Programs and Services
10. Tenet Ten: Disseminate Data to Leverage Buy-In and Promote Utility to the Campus Community

Epilogue: Using the Ten Tenets to Navigate Change

About the Contributors


Sample: Introduction

Reviews & Endorsements:
"This book explains how to tell the story of assessment while engaging each student affairs team member on your campus, whether it is the senior student affairs officer or a front-line professional. Each chapter builds on the previous, making the case for why assessment matters and how to implement assessment practice so that inquiry becomes a priority, deeply embedded into the daily work of all who believe in and contribute to student success.

It shares various ways to evaluate implementation of student success theory and practice in a manner that leads to improving relevant outcomes. Upon reading, you will likely gain ideas to cultivate a culture of inquiry along with important means to communicate results to stakeholders and garner their feedback for prioritizing recommendations. This book provides a ‘how to’ in making assessment an integral practice of the student affairs profession.

It is my hope that the leaders (read: all of you) who are reading this book are the leaders who have that kind of courage – the courage to hold space for transformation to occur. If so, I invite you to read this book and fully engage in the lessons colleagues share. Explore how the ideas presented in these pages may be adapted and taken up within your organization. Then, collaboratively execute and enjoy the fruits of your investment in meaningful inquiry.”
- Marilee J. Bresciani Ludvik, Professor, Postsecondary Education , San Diego State University
Related Titles by Subject:
See Assessment & Accreditation ( Higher Education )