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Approaches to Assessment

Approaches to Assessment

There are two approaches to academic advising assessment:
1. Program-level assessment
2. Student learning outcome assessment

Program-Level Assessment

The advising program outcomes developed by representatives from the Texas A&M advising community are based largely on the recommendation of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) Standards and Guidelines for Academic Advising Programs.  The CAS standards were modified to address advising programs at Texas A&M and can be further modified by users.

The ten components of the program assessment are listed below, along with a brief description of the outcome.  More detailed outcomes, and a rubric for evaluation, are on the instrument, at Academic-Advising-Program-Outcomes-and-Rubrics. Department advising programs might choose one or more of these outcomes to assess while colleges might look at all of the outcomes in one, large assessment.  The rubric included, which ranges from “Does not Meet” to “Exemplary” is a sample; individual assessments can be modified to use measures which are most relevant to the program and it’s users.
  1. Mission - The primary purpose of Academic Advising Programs (AAP) is to assist students in the development of meaningful educational plans.  The mission must be appropriate for the department/college’s student populations.  The mission and values of academic advising at Texas A&M University are included in the assessment materials.
  2. Program - The formal education of students, consisting of the curriculum and the co-curriculum, must promote student learning and development outcomes that are purposeful, contribute to students’ realization of their potential, and prepare students for satisfying and productive lives.  Academic Advising Programs (AAP) must collaborate with colleagues and departments across the institution to promote student learning and development, persistence, and success.
  3. Organization and Leadership - To achieve student and program outcomes, Academic Advising Programs (AAP) must be structured purposefully and organized effectively.
  4. Human Resources - Academic Advising Programs (AAP) must be staffed adequately by individuals qualified to accomplish mission and goals.
  5. Diversity, Equity, and Access - Within the context of Texas A&M’s mission and in accordance with institutional polices and all applicable codes and laws, Academic Advising Programs (AAP) must create and maintain educational and work environments that are:  welcoming, accessible, and inclusive to persons of diverse backgrounds; equitable and non-discriminatory; and free from harassment
  6. Program and External Relations - Academic Advising Programs (AAP) must reach out to relevant individuals, groups, communities, and internal and external organizations
  7. Financial Resources - Academic Advising Programs (AAP) must have funding to accomplish the mission and goals. 
  8. Technology - Academic Advising Programs (AAP) must have adequate technology to support the achievement of their mission and goals.
  9. Facilities and Equipment - Academic Advising Programs (AAP) must have adequate, accessible, and suitably located facilities and equipment to support the mission and goals.
  10. Assessment and Evaluation - Academic Advising Programs (AAP) must have a clearly articulated assessment plan to document achievement of stated goals and learning outcomes, demonstrate accountability, provide evidence of improvement, and describe resulting changes in programs and services. 
Academic Advising Program outcomes were developed using the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education Standards and Guidelines for Academic Advising Programs (2012).  The outcomes were developed to be measurable at the program, department, college and university level and can be used by individual advisors or advising units.  Standard assessment processes should be used and can be found at .  In addition, the Texas A&M Office of Institutional Assessment and the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies can provide training and resources for assessment projects.

Rubric

Student Learning Outcome Assessment
 In 2012, representatives from Texas A&M advising community reviewed and revised the student learning outcomes for academic advising developed in 2007 by a team of advisors working with NACADA staff.  The learning outcomes have also been associated with Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) established in 2010.

Student Learning Outcomes for academic advising are “an articulation of the knowledge and skills expected of students as well as the values they should appreciate as a result of their involvement in the academic advising experience” (NACADA, 2010).  These learning outcomes answer the question, “What do we want students to learn as a result of participating in academic advising?” (NACADA, 2010).  Assessment of student learning should be a part of every advising program.
 
It’s important to distinguish student learning through advising from student satisfaction with advising.  Every academic advisor is familiar with situations where students may not have been satisfied with the outcome of an advising experience but she or he certainly learned something through the experience.  This is not to say that advising processes and delivery and student (and other stakeholder) satisfaction is not important.  Advising programs should also be assessed and members of the Texas A&M advising community have developed materials for this purpose.  Materials related to assessment of advising processes can be found at weaveONLINE Template for Assessment of Academic Advising.
 
Student Learning Outcomes for Academic Advising at Texas A&M
  1. Campus Resources (Undergraduate SLOs: 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6)
    1. Students can recognize high impact educational experiences, such as internship, externship, study abroad opportunities, field experience, etc.
    2. Students are able to identify participative opportunities in student and professional organizations on campus.
    3. Students distinguish resources for assistance, such as the academic and career support, counseling services, and transfer course equivalency guides.
  2. Problem Solving (Undergraduate SLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7)
    1. Students are able to identify opportunities that support their ambitions and aspirations.
    2. Students are able to appraise their academic performance and its contribution to their educational and personal goals.
    3. Students employ critical and creative thinking to make informed decisions regarding their educational and personal goals
  3. Degree Requirements (Undergraduate SLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, & 6)
    1. Students are able to recall their degree requirements.
    2. Students are able to identify the courses required for their degree plan.
    3. Students are able to generate and interpret a degree evaluation.
    4. Students are able to propose courses in degree planner that satisfy degree requirements and evaluate a degree evaluation for completion.
  4. Policy (Undergraduate SLOs: 1, 2, 4, & 7)
    1. Students recognize and understand the academic rules of the university, college, and department.
    2. Students are able to evaluate individual actions in correlation to student rules.
 
Student Learning Outcomes for Academic Advising were developed to be measurable at the program, department, college and university level and can be used by individual advisors or advising units.  Standard assessment processes should be used and can be found at (add link).  In addition, the Texas A&M Office of Institutional Assessment and the Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies can provide training and resources for assessment projects.