Rebecca House Stankowski, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs – Institutional Effectiveness
The Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness is central to continuous improvement efforts at Purdue University Northwest, leading and supporting activities and initiatives that enable the university to meet its strategic goals. These include assessing student learning, implementing multiple methods for the presentation and dissemination of information, and meeting accreditation standards—all within a strategic planning context.
PNW is focused on developing a culture of assessment. During the past year academic departments held assessment-based faculty meetings, colleges hosted assessment-based retreats, and the Faculty Senate discussed best approaches to general education assessment. Faculty Senate General Education and Assessment Committee members facilitated five college-based fora that generated lively discussion about student learning assessment and program improvement.
These discussions led to the adoption of university level student learning outcomes, which map to all program-level learning outcomes. Additionally, after a lengthy vetting process, PNW implemented Taskstream by Watermark as the software platform used for recording student learning outcomes, curriculum maps, rubrics, and assessment results.
To enhance PNW’s information-driven planning activities, Institutional Research (IR) developed a suite of data visualizations in the Tableau platform that enables the university community to see real-time enrollment plus demographic and retention information, which can be filtered down to the program level with a few keystrokes.
To better understand departmental planning activities and data needs, IR conducted a “listening tour” with all department chairs and school directors. Those meetings revealed several common informational needs. IR is now developing customized graphical data dashboards that will provide departments with richer, more detailed data to support planning and improvement efforts.
Several PNW academic programs recently completed successful reaccreditation reviews including:
- College of Business; accredited by the Association
to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB);
- Marriage and Family Therapy; accredited by the
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and
Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE);
- Nursing baccalaureate and graduate programs;
accredited by Accreditation Commission for
Education in Nursing (ACEN)
At its heart, institutional effectiveness is about quality. But this is a simplistic definition; effectiveness is not just doing things excellently, but doing the right things excellently. Two years into its transformed existence, PNW is poised to consider what is right for our university by assessing institutional mission, vision, goals, objectives, and resources.
Accomplishing this will occur during an upcoming multi-year process dubbed Imagine PNW, involving participation from the entire PNW community. These are exciting times!