The following Guiding Principles were developed by the Assessment Work Group to guide assessment efforts across NC State University. These Principles are core values and philosophies that describe how NC State University currently conducts and strives to conduct assessment. Developing and reviewing these principles assists the coordination of assessment, provides a perspective of what is expected and increases the sense of shared responsibility for student learning.
Purpose of Assessment
The purpose of assessment is to systematically improve the quality of teaching, learning, research, service, extension, and engagement at NC State. Assessment informs planning and decision-making and provides a gauge for the quality of all units.
Culture: Assessment works best when guided by the curiosity and intellectual dialogue that characterize the culture of higher education.
Process: NC State is committed to assessment that is meaningful, manageable, efficient, and useful for making decisions at the department or unit level as well as at the college and university levels. After decisions have been made and implemented, then assessment continues to determine how well the changes are working.
Involvement: Effective assessment is: a) owned by all faculty, staff, and administrators who contribute to the quality of programs and services; b) valued, recognized, and rewarded; and c) supported and sustained by campus leaders and resources at the college, division, and university levels.
Evidence: Assessment evidence is relevant to the objectives/outcomes of programs and services and to the needs of the owners. Evidence is collected through a variety of methods and from multiple sources.
Use of Results: Assessment results substantially contribute to: a) enhancing the quality of programs and services, and ongoing assessment processes; b) highlighting excellence; c) making evidence-based decisions; and d) informing planning and resource management. Though assessment can be useful for external reporting, its primary purpose is as a systematic method for making improvements and decisions.
Statements of Best Practices for assessment at NC State University were developed as a subset to the Guiding Principles for Assessment listed above. The best practices statements are intended to provide direction, focus, and vision for assessment at NC State University.