Chapter 5: Assessment in Academic Support and Co-Curricular Units

Overview of Assessment in Academic Support and Co-Curricular Units

To comply with accreditation requirements of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), all academic degree programs and academic support/co-curricular units must engage in full-cycle assessment. Full cycle assessment includes identification of clear goals or objectives for the unit each year; a method of measuring those goals or objectives; summary of evidence collected; and development of strategies for improvement based upon the evidence collected. The strategies for improvement may relate to the assessment process as well as to the operation of the unit. All academic year, academic support and co-curricular units will be required to submit an annual report at the end of each fiscal year that includes the following elements:

  • at least three concrete goals or objectives for the unit.
  • a brief description of the method(s) you use for assessing how well the goals/objectives were met.
  • a summary of data collected (e.g., table or graphs) with brief narrative explanation.
  • evidence that findings are discussed widely among faculty/staff of the unit (e.g., date of staff meeting when the findings were discussed).
  • reflections on assessment findings, including strategies for improvement based on evidence;.
  • improvement strategies tracked over time (In other words, note whether the improvement strategies you tried worked or not in subsequent reports.).

Rather than create a separate annual report to be submitted to the University Assessment Council, units are encouraged to simply ensure that the elements listed above are incorporated into existing annual reports.

Units should please email their annual report with the above elements included to William Knight, Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Effectiveness ( by June 30 of each academic year.

Reports will be maintained in a Google folder and shared with HLC reviewers.

Each year, beginning in 2019, a member of the University Assessment Council reviews the reports to ensure that each unit is engaging in full-cycle assessment activity. Assessment activity described in the annual reports will be reviewed using the rubric below, and a brief list of strengths and areas for improvement will be sent to each unit for consideration during the following reporting cycle.

List of Academic Support Units

Program Contact Submit Deadline
Center for Teaching Excellence Ellen Yezierski June 30
e-Learning Miami Ryan Baltrip June 30
First Year Experience/UNV 101 Jeff Wanko December 30
Global Initiatives Cheryl Young June 30
Howe Center for Writing Excellence (also includes Howe Business Writing Center, English Language Learning Writing Center) Liz Wardle Jun 30
Office for the Advancement of Research & Scholarship Jim Oris December 30
Office of Research for Undergraduates Joyce Fernandes June 30
Undergraduate Academic Advising & FYE Jeff Wanko June 30
University Honors Program Zeb Baker June 30
University Libraries Aaron Shrimplin Dec 30

List of Co-Curricular Units

Program/Unit Contact Submit Deadline
General Description of Assessment Activity in Student Life Gwen Fears Dec 30
Armstrong Student Center Gwen Fears Dec 30
Community Engagement & Service Gwen Fears Dec 30
Community Standards Gwen Fears Dec 30
Dean of Students Gwen Fears Dec 30
Diversity Affairs Gwen Fears Dec 30
Miami Tribe Relations Gwen Fears Dec 30
Off-Campus Outreach Gwen Fears Dec 30
Orientation and Transitions Gwen Fears Dec 30
Parent and Family Programs Gwen Fears Dec 30
Residence Life Gwen Fears Dec 30
Rinella Learning Center Gwen Fears Dec 30
Student Activities & Greek Life (Cliff Alexander Center) Gwen Fears Dec 30

Resources for Assessment in Academic Support and Co-Curricular Units

Northwestern University. (n.d.). Student affairs assessment and planning. Retrieved from

Schuh, J.H. & Associates (2008). Assessment methods for student affairs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Student Affairs Assessment Leaders. (n.d.). Assessment resources. Retrieved from

Texas A&M University. (n.d.). Student leader learning outcomes. Retrieved from [also includes rubrics]

Texas A&M University. (2017). Using co-curricular mapping to promote student learning outside the classroom. Retrieved from

Texas A&M University. Student Life Studies. (n.d.). [Assessment podcasts]. Retrieved from

Upcraft, M. L., and Schuh, J. H. (1996). Assessment in student affairs: A guide for practitioners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Upcraft, J.H. Schuh, M.L. & Associates. (2001). Assessment practice in student affairs: an applications manual. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.