Assessing our Effectiveness

[image 1]In every team and department at Northwest Vista College, there are always great stories to tell that show faculty and staff going above and beyond.

While it’s hard to capture every story, we hope to periodically share in this space some of the major accomplishments or projects that are taking place. Members of the executive team will write about important topics that they feel NVC employees should be aware of. 

Let us know about the positive things your area is doing to help students or improve processes by contacting myself or NVC Public Relations.


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By Amy F. Whitworth, Ph.D., interim vice president for Academic Success and dean of Arts and Sciences

It’s not always easy to take a step back and measure if what we are doing is effective. But for the first time, NVC will take that step to analyze if the teaching, programs and services we provide our students are producing the desired results. 

On Friday, Feb. 19, we are enhancing our assessment process by offering a “training day,” to anonymously evaluate student assignments that were collected in the fall semester. This is the first time both employees and faculty are participating in assessment activities. 

We have invited Dr. Christine Shupala, associate vice president for Academic Affairs at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, to kick off our assessment training and engage with our faculty.  She will give a presentation to the faculty along with a question and answer session from 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. in the Palmetto theater. After the session with Dr. Shupala, faculty will meet in their assessment teams from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. to learn how to assess student coursework, according to rubrics developed by district-wide assessment committees. Dr. Shupala will meet with leaders from Student Success for a working lunch to help design measures to help improve their processes. 

On Friday, February  26, faculty will then meet in their assessment teams at 8:30 a.m. to evaluate the student assignments. Faculty are encouraged to sign up for their assessment team through AlamoTalent. On that Friday, Student Success areas will also participate in their own assessment activities.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges requires that we evaluate our programs and the services that we provide to our students. A particular focus this year is to ensure that we are assessing our programs as they are now defined through AlamoInstitutes. 

As of the October Alamo Colleges Board meeting, our academic programs – the AA, AS, and AAT – are now defined as 42 hours, plus 18 hours. Beginning in the fall of 2016, advising guides replace degree plans and pre-majors replace majors. When students apply they will choose an institute and a pre-major and indicate if they plan to transfer and where. Students will then be advised to follow a degree path that aligns to their program at this transfer institution. 
On March 4, faculty will meet for a brief charrette (planning meeting) to define the standards that we will use to measure the program competencies. While assessment is part of our accreditation, it is more importantly a tool that we can use to ensure that we are always giving to our students the high quality education they each deserve.