After a department has conducted its assessment, the fourth phase of the assessment process involves analyzing results to determine whether the desired targets have been met and what steps, if any, are needed to make further improvement. Assessors should evaluate what the results mean for their units in terms of the strengths and weaknesses of the unit. Among the questions to be asked include:

  • What worked well and what needs to be improved?
  • What does the unit need to do differently going forward?
  • Are there any additional pieces of information that are needed?
  • How can the information be used to make improvements to programs and services?

Analyzing, Discussing, and Interpreting Results

Example 1. Financial Aid Department

“Results from follow-up surveys sent to students who filed a financial aid help request indicated that 82% were satisfied that the issue they had reported had been resolved. However, 35% indicated that the wait time for an initial response was over 2 days, which didn’t meet our goal of responding to all requests within 24 hours.  Analysis of the results by the type of problem reported suggested that the majority of delays had occurred in financial aid student support services, where we have vacancies in several key positions”

Example 2. Student Support Services

“Results from the 2014 retention study indicate that the gap between the graduation rates of lower-income students and all other students has been reduced by 10 percentage points over the three years since the implementation of this support program. We are currently ahead of schedule in achieving our goal to eliminate the gap entirely by 2018.”

If improvements are needed, units proceed to developing an Action Plan that will form the basis of further assessments the following year.

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