Planning at Augusta State University is a continuous, strategic process of assessing efforts to improve and then using the results of assessment to adjust strategies for improvement.
In the four major administration divisions of the university (academic affairs, student services, business operations, and development and alumni relations) each vice president is responsible for the following:
- Defining planning units in the division.
- Ensuring that purpose, goals, strategies and other improvement efforts in each unit are supportive of the university vision, mission and goals.
- Establishing a cycle of assessment and adjustment that includes (a) the use of information from unit plans to develop budget requests, (b) adjustments to unit plans after budget allocations and (c) submissions of assessment and improvement data at the end of the academic year.
The concept of institutional effectiveness is at the heart of the philosophy of accreditation and thus it is central to an institution’s programs and operations. It follows that this concept presumes Augusta State University to be engaged in an ongoing quest for quality and that the institution can demonstrate how well it is doing to fulfill its stated mission. Although evaluation of educational quality and effectiveness is a difficult task requiring careful analysis and professional judgment, Augusta State University is expected to document quality and effectiveness by employing a comprehensive system of planning and evaluation in all major aspects of the institution.
Planning and Evaluation: Educational Programs. Educational activities of Augusta State University include teaching, research and public service. Planning and evaluation for these activities should be systematic, broad-based, interrelated and appropriate to the institution. Augusta State University should define its expected educational results and describe its methods for analyzing the results. The institution should:
- Establish a clearly defined mission appropriate to collegiate education.
- Formulate educational goals consistent with the institution’s mission.
- Develop and implement procedures to evaluate the extent to which these educational goals are being achieved.
- Utilize evaluation results to improve educational programs, services and operations.
The University should develop guidelines and procedures to evaluate educational effectiveness, including the quality of student learning and of research and service. This evaluation should encompass educational goals at all academic levels and research and service functions of Augusta State University. The evaluation of academic programs should involve gathering and analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate student achievement.
Measures to evaluate academic programs and general education may include the following: evaluation of instructional delivery; adequacy of facilities and equipment; standardized tests; analysis of theses, portfolios, and recitals; completion rates; results of admissions tests for students applying to graduate or professional schools; job placement rates; results of licensing examinations; evaluations by employers; follow-up studies of alumni; and performance of student transfers at receiving institutions.
Planning and Evaluation: Administrative and Educational Support Services.
In addition to providing evidence of planning and evaluation in its educational program, Augusta State University should demonstrate planning and evaluation in its administrative and educational support services. For each administrative and educational support unit, the institution should:
- Establish a clearly defined purpose which supports the institution’s mission and goals,
- Formulate goals which support the purpose of each unit,
- Develop and implement procedures to evaluate the extent to which these goals are being achieved in each unit,
- Utilize evaluation results to improve administrative and educational support services.
Each unit, in its planning and evaluation process, should consider internal and external factors and should develop evaluation methods, which will yield information useful to the planning process of that unit.
Institutional Research: Institutional research should be an integral part of the institution’s planning and evaluation process. It should be effective in collecting and analyzing data and disseminating results.
The institutional research process at Augusta State University should be centralized and should include the following activities: use of external activities and reports; design and implementation of internal studies related to students, personnel, facilities, equipment, programs, services and fiscal resources; development of data bases suitable for longitudinal studies and statistical analyses; and related activities in support of planning and evaluation.
Augusta State University should assign administrative responsibility for conducting institutional research, allocate adequate resources and allow access to relevant information.
In the planning cycle, the president of the university is responsible for the following:
- Reviewing assessment and improvement data from planning units,
- Reviewing data on progress towards strategic goals,
- Making appropriate information and research-based changes in statements of university mission, vision, goals, and in the planning process itself.
An annual review of progress towards university goals ordinarily begins at the end of the academic year and continues with presentations and discussions at summer meetings of the President’s Advisory Council. If such review indicates that changes should be made in university planning statements, the president will institute such changes during the following fall semester. Changes in the mission statement require approval both of the faculty and of the Board of Regents.