To facilitate the assessment process at UMSL, the Assessment Research Council was established in 2009. The Assessment Research Council provides professional leadership, expertise, and technical assistance to the Division of Student Affairs in developing, conducting, and maintaining high quality assessment, evaluation, and research projects. ARC conducts research and assessment activities aimed at supporting evidence-based decision making as well as program and policy improvement for all units within the Division of Student Affairs. ARC members are designated by unit supervisors and develop and maintain assessment within their department as well as assisting in the development of division-wide assessment.
ARC members are responsible for:
As a means of cataloging assessment efforts within the Division of Student Affairs, units are required to submit Assessment Plans that: (1) reference guiding documents such as UMSL’s Mission and Vision and the unit’s mission and goals, (2) articulate intended outcomes that result from its services, (3) provide two means of assessing intended outcomes, and (4) state criteria by which to evaluate the success in achieving these outcomes. After units collect data throughout the year, they submit annual Assessment Reports where assessment results are compared against stated criteria. Each unit interprets whether or not the intended outcomes have been achieved and often provides a description of factors that influenced the results.
For example, following the opening of Oak Hall in Fall of 2006, the level of building security and guest accessibility was still a work in progress. Qualitative analysis of resident opinions (in the form of town hall meetings, interviews, and policy feedback) lead to the existing security safeguards and policies. During an exhaustive assessment of Residential Life services, facilities, and programs in the 2008/09 academic year, data showed that residents of south campus facilities reported a satisfaction with building security that ranked above the national goal. As seen below, however, north campus residents fell shy of a satisfactory response rate.
Immediately following the analysis of these results, measures were taken to ensure an increased sense of safety among our apartment residents. Landscaping was trimmed back to increase visibility, outdoor lighting was increased, laundry facilities were secured, a police substation was placed in the clubhouse, and multiple emergency blue phones were placed on the property.
Initial interviews and resident feedback have given Residential Life staff confidence that the 2010 assessment of safety will display a substantial increase in satisfaction among north campus residents.
For more information about the Assessment Research Council or current assessment activities, contact the Assessment Coordinator, M.K. Stallings by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 314-516-6948.