SUNY Plattsburgh Assessment Procedures and Policies for All College Units

The purpose of assessment is to maintain and strengthen programs and services so as to achieve stated goals and objectives and to be responsive to expectations of students, parents, the general public, and accrediting agencies. Assessment is based on data concerning individuals (students, alumni, faculty, staff, and others), but the conclusions focus on improvement of the institution, not performance of the individuals per se.

  1. Scope of Activities and Responsibilities
    1. Responsibility for assessment of the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the services and programs of each department or unit rests with that department or unit.
    2. Learning outcomes assessment is to include the major, general education, basic skills, and personal and social development.
      1. Responsibility for assessment of academic majors rests with individual departments.
      2. Responsibility for assessment of general education and basic skills, which are part of our general education program, rests with the General Education Committee and the Faculty Senate.
      3. Responsibility for assessment of students' personal and social development rests primarily with Student Affairs, with participation from academic and support units throughout the college.
    3. Non-instructional outcomes assessment is to include services and programs of the college designed for and provided to faculty, staff, and students.
      1. Responsibility for assessment of specific services and programs rests with the individual units.
      2. Responsibility for overall assessment of a division rests with the Director/Dean or Vice-President.
    4. The Office of Institutional Research collects course enrollment data, carries out campus-wide surveys (e.g., SUNY/ACT Student Opinion Survey, Plattsburgh Freshman Survey, CESTA employee survey), and makes these and other data available to the college community for assessment purposes.
  2. Division/Department/Unit Plans
    1. Each division, center, department, program, and unit (academic and non-academic) is to develop a plan for assessing outcomes. The plans (which can and should be revised periodically) are to consist of the following:
      1. The outcome objectives of the unit.
      2. The criteria to be used to determine whether the outcome objectives are being met.
      3. Identification of the features of the programs and/or services intended to accomplish each objective.
      4. The method(s) the unit proposes to use to gather information. These will be up to the reporting unit, but they should yield findings which are sufficient (reliable, valid, inclusive) to assess progress in meeting the objectives.
      5. A description of how the findings will be used in planning for the improvement of the program and/or services.
      6. A time line for implementing the plan.
    2. Programs directly related to student learning and development must include student learning and/or developmental outcome objectives in their assessment plan.
    3. The plans are to be submitted to the appropriate Dean or Vice President. Plans will be evaluated by the Executive Council, in consultation with the Co-Chairs of the Assessment Advisory Committee and the Director of Institutional Research, as appropriate.
    4. Once its plan is approved, a unit will submit a brief annual report of its assessment activities as part of its year-end report to its Dean or Vice President. This report should include what programmatic changes are being considered or have been made based on assessment findings. The report may include changes to the assessment plan.
    5. All units should discuss and evaluate their assessment plans every five years.
  3. Assessment Advisory Committee
    1. Purpose is to provide consultation and information on policy and procedures relevant to assessment.
    2. Membership is broadly representative and includes the Provost (Ex-Officio), the Director of Institutional Research, the Vice President for Academics of the Student Association, two students (one graduate and one undergraduate), a dean, and representatives from all divisions of the institution.
    3. Members serve staggered three-year terms
    4. The Assessment Advisory Committee is co-chaired by the Associate Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs.
  4. Guidelines
    1. The right to privacy of all individuals (students, faculty, and staff) must be respected. Any and all assessment involving the use of human subjects must be cleared through the Committee on the Protection of Human Subjects.
    2. Every effort will be made to insure that the process of data collection has minimal adverse impact on faculty, staff, and students.
    3. Student involvement and support is welcome.
    4. Students may be required to participate in assessment activities. Confirmed by Faculty Senate action in November 1990, signed by President Warren in January 1991, and made explicit in the college catalog.
    5. Only summary information regarding the nature of assessment activities and results needs to be reported by departments and other units to the Dean, other administrative offices, or the Faculty Senate.
    6. Assessment activities themselves need to be assessed in a timely manner.
  5. Faculty Senate Involvement
    1. The Faculty Senate reviews assessment policy.
    2. The Faculty Senate reviews and approves the General Education Assessment Plan.
    3. The Faculty Senate receives an annual report on assessment activities prepared by the Chairpersons of the Assessment Advisory Committee and the Director of Institutional Research.
  6. Assessment Activities of the Director of Institutional Research
    1. Proposes policies and procedures to the Assessment Advisory Committee and the Provost.
    2. Facilitates unit assessment plans and procedures.
    3. Facilitates the procurement of instruments, e.g., MFATS.
    4. Reviews unit assessment plans with the Chairpersons of the Assessment Advisory Committee and the Executive Council.
    5. With the Chairpersons of the Assessment Advisory Committee, prepares an annual report to the Provost and the Faculty Senate on the state of assessment at Plattsburgh.
    6. Assists in the development of assessment instruments and strategies.

Contact Information

To recommend additional materials or to ask questions about Assessment Programs at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact

Stephen Light, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Office: Kehoe 708
Phone: (518) 564-2195
Email: lightsc@plattsburgh.edu