Assessment Center
USC Student Affairs
Assessment Center
University of Southern California
USC Student Affairs
What is Assessment?

Assessment is the systematic and on-going process of collecting, interpreting, and acting on information relating to the goals and outcomes developed to support the institution’s mission and purpose. It does two things:

  1. Establishes accountability.  This is the idea that the resources allocated to our programs and/or services are spent responsibly and are translated into results.  Furthermore, it shows that the programs and/or services operations are achieving the objectives of the University's Strategic Plan and the Division of Student Affairs Strategic Initiatives.

  2. Provides information permitting us to improve our programs and/or services and ultimately student learning outcomes.

Assessment begins with the articulation of outcomes. Writing measurable outcomes involves the first three components in the assessment cycle:

• Identify Strategic Outcomes

• Create Criterion for Success

• Design Assessment Methods

The Division of Student Affairs Assessment Committee credits Dr. Henning's work in Assessment for the development of the 5-step Assessment Cycle. The cycle was adapted from ACPA Online Course "Assessment for Student Affairs" by Gavin Henning, Ph.D., Research Associate, Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, University of New Hampshire.