Assessment of Co-Curricular Activities
The Office of Student Affairs at Pitzer is committed to an integrative approach to student learning and to assessing and strengthening co-curricular programs on a regular basis. The Office recognizes and values that student learning is most effective when students are able to make meaningful connections across their many educational experiences, both curricular and co-curricular.
This report outlines how Student Affairs will systematically assess and strategically improve connections where it will impact student learning the most. The College’s educational objectives are used as a guiding framework to create a plan for assessment and review of co-curricular programs. This approach should result in improved student learning and further integration of academic and campus life.
Each of the major programs overseen by Student Affairs has:
• Developed goals and student learning outcomes
• Used the educational objectives as the basis for co-curricular student learning
Each of the programs will:
• Use existing and develop new assessment tools to determine whether student learning outcomes are being achieved
• Review assessment results and use them to guide change where needed
• Find and create alignment and overlap with relevant programs and constituencies in Academic Affair
• Conduct overall program reviews.
In addition to assessment of specific co-curricular programs, it is important to review larger programs and use the resulting information to improve the overall quality of programs, as well as to ensure that they are in alignment with the College’s educational objectives.
Student Affairs has conducted larger program reviews periodically: the Center for Asian Pacific American Students (CAPAS) in 2005-06 and Career Services in 2010-11. The plan going forward is to systematically cycle through major program reviews and to conduct regular co-curricular program reviews.
In an effort to be more intentional and strategic, not every event or initiative will be assessed; rather the focus will be on major programs and those with the strongest connection to the academic program and the College’s educational objectives.
Staff will engage in a regular process of clarifying goals and outcomes, developing assessment tools, conducting assessments and collecting information, then using this information to inform decisions and future directions regarding programs and co-curricular student learning.
Concurrently, assessment of student learning in specific programs in Student Affairs will be conducted on a schedule based on when they occur, and in relation to the College’s educational objectives. For example, all new students participating in the Orientation Adventure program and New Student Orientation this year will be required to complete surveys that not only measure their satisfaction with the programs, but assess what they learned in terms of content knowledge and skill acquisition.
In addition to these two areas, this fall there will continue to be ongoing assessments of particular residential life programs that are focused on social responsibility. Also, staff will be developing goals, learning outcomes, and assessment tools for new programs as they are developed.