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About Assessment: Background and Philosophy

Financial Aid staff using assessment survey tools on handheld devicesLearn why a commitment to assessment is important to the success of Student Affairs programs.


In May 2008, Vice Chancellor Penny Rue convened the first meeting of the Student Affairs Assessment Coalition to discuss current theories and trends about learning and assessment in higher education. See Dr. Rue's presentation (PDF) given at that meeting.

Since then, staff members continue to share ideas and learn how a "culture of assessment" can improve student experiences and enhance student learning in these meetings.

In order to support our staff in their new commitment to best assessment practices, Student Affairs hired Baseline, an outside consulting firm. Baseline and staff members work together to:

  • Develop customized assessment projects using surveys and rubrics
  • Analyze data
  • Share findings across units

Why We Assess

Assessment begins with a natural curiosity and commitment to student learning.

We ask ourselves, "What do we want students to be able to know, do, or value as a result of our services and programs?" and "Are we making a difference in the lives of our students? How do we know?"

Assessment answers these questions, and helps facilitate growth in our new programs and services.

Assessment helps us:

  • Improve programs and services
  • Share knowledge about students
  • Promote organizational effectiveness
  • Stimulate organizational learning

Student Affairs Assessment Philosophy

  • We're creating a culture of assessment, not just a project
  • We're committed to assessment for, but not limited by, learning
  • We believe in assessment as an engaged practice, working towards a continuous improvement
  • We see assessment as a reflective practice, where we step back from day to day in order to engage the deeper meaning of our work
  • We promote assessment as transparent practice, where we eagerly share findings with the community and hold ourselves accountable for our actions

Contact Us

Student Affairs Assessment & Evaluation
University Center 112
9500 Gilman Drive #0015
La Jolla, CA 92093-0088