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Assessment at W&J: Student Experience Assessment

Student Experience Assessment Timeline

Who is involved 

  • Academic Affairs  

  • Student Life 

What is being assessed 

  • Goals related to student learning and development, the learning and living environment for students, and student success. 


Year 1 Dialogues 

  • Faculty and staff whose College roles include teaching, learning, and student development will conduct a year of conversations about the student experience. 

  • Study questions based on department and office conversations will be articulated with a focus on improvement. 


Assessment Activities 

  • Departments and offices will continue to assess their study questions with a focus on improvement. 

  • The CAC will use the study questions as a guide to create a staggered multi-year assessment cycle for each department and office. 

Year 1 Dialogues

To reinvigorate assessment in academic affairs and student life, we will begin with a year of conversations about the student experience. Departments and areas in Academic Affairs and Student Life that work directly with students will meet once per semester and discuss student learning and development, the student learning and living environment, and the student experience in terms of a residential, liberal arts education; departmental and area goals; and the college’s mission and strategic priorities. The purpose of these dialogues is to consider and prioritize the important questions about the student experience, which need further exploration and collaborative study. This qualitative assessment and development of study questions are the first steps in our reimagined process of assessment. The dialogues could focus on new students, current students, and/or students in the major. An example of topics that these dialogues could focus on, include:  

  • How well prepared are our new students for a college experience or for college learning?  

  • How well do our new students understand the process of writing?  

  • Do our new students have the necessary quantitative background to begin some of our quantitatively-oriented introductory courses?  

  • Do students feel connected to the college?  

  • Are we meeting the needs of our athletes to be successful on the field, in the classroom, and in the residence hall?  

  • What are some of the unique challenges of student learning in interdisciplinary programs?  

  • Can we partner with another area on campus to help us understand our students better?  

  • Can we partner with another area on campus to solve a problem that has a multi-dimensional solution or a solution beyond the scope of our area?  

  • Why do students who enter W&J with an interest in our major leave the college or graduate with a different major?  

  • When students lose interest in a major, how do we help to re-direct them or imagine a different major?  

  • Do we attract typically under-represented students to our program?  

  • Have our majors achieved the learning goals of our department or program?  

  • What can we learn from the example of an individual student who absolutely turned her W&J experience around from a floundering one to a flourishing one (or vice versa)? Are there “case studies” of success or failure, which we can share, from which we could all learn?  

  • Are our students graduating from W&J with a sense of achievement and preparation for the next step in life and a lasting hunger for learning and connection to the college.  

Five-Year Assessment Cycle

Replacing the current annual assessment cycle, a staggered five-year assessment cycle will begin during the 2024-25 academic year. Each year, around five academic departments and one to two offices in Academic Affairs and Student Life will start their assessment cycles. During the waiting period, the others will study their assessment questions and conduct short-form assessments. Scheduling will be determined after a review of the Year 1 Dialogue reports.