Academic Effectiveness and Digital Innovation

Academic effectiveness

About the Office of Academic Effectiveness and Evaluation

The Office of Academic Effectiveness and Evaluation provides leadership in the development of systematic plans for rigorous assessment, analysis of data, and implementation of how to use evidence to inform instructional and programmatic decisions. We strive to provide an environment supportive of assessment and evaluation through collaboration with faculty, staff and administrators in the development and utilization of assessment techniques. Additionally, The Office of Academic Effectiveness and Evaluation provides ongoing support for accreditation and accountability, and state and federal compliance requirements.

We help to establish a culture of assessment through the following activities:

  • Create workshops for faculty based on observed needs and requests
  • Consult with faculty and tailor workshops for programs
  • Host assessment-related events for faculty, staff, and administrators
  • Facilitate General Education assessment in collaboration with faculty members
  • Assist faculty in determining what contributes to student learning
  • Share effective assessment practices, examples, and guides (see "Resources")

Where does assessment fit within higher education?

Fort Lewis College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1958. Since 1965, federal financial aid (e.g. Pell grants) is provided only to students attending accredited institutions. The Higher Education Act of 1998 placed a great deal of emphasis on outcomes assessment as a pre-condition of Title IV funding (e.g. federal student financial aid). In 2003, the Higher Learning Commission adopted a newly revised position statement on the assessment of student learning to reaffirm and strengthen its position that it is an essential component of every organization's effort to evaluate overall organizational effectiveness. According to HLC, "effective assessment is best understood as a strategy for understanding, confirming, and improving student learning."