By: Jarvis Lane
The ACPA Student Affairs Assessment Institute is intense but impactful. As a 2016 Scholarship recipient, I had the tremendous honor of attending the ACPA SAAI and collaborate with student affairs scholars and practitioners from all across the country. Assessment is something people cringe about or grit their teeth over when they hear about it, but at the ACPA SAAI , the message was clear “be not afraid.“
Hailing from an HBCU in the south, we assess as most institutions, but I came to fine tune my assessment skills for the benefit of our Division of Student Affairs. The running phrase was “creating a culture of assessment” and learning to specifically identify what you are trying to measure and getting “stakeholder buy in” to ensure that everyone is capturing data. One of the most fascinating points of the conference was hearing about how various units within a division, could have very important data they are hoarding that could be useful to other units, but it is being captured buy a another department within the unit. Fundamentally departments have to communicate about what data they need and work to capture the data efficiently and succinctly. One of the signature pieces of the conference was the CYOA (Choose Your Own Adventure) It really allowed you to customize your educational experience and for that reason I highly recommend the institute.
My understanding of the “Aligning Goals and Outcome Across The Division” session was great, “Survey Design” “Rubric Design” and “Building a Division Assessment Team”, all were some of my favorite sessions and the plenary sessions were the perfect accent to a robust experience.
I highly recommend the ACPA Student Affairs Assessment Institute to anyone who was to be empower to create a culture of assessment and wants to learn how to creatively sustain it on a campus. The faculty were great, the accommodations were great and the experience was memorable.
Jarvis Lane is a housing professional at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) and has been working in student affairs for approximately 7 years. He is currently oversees a Freshman Living Community, First Year Experience Programming and coordinates Residential Life programming for the Office of Residential Life and Housing at AAMU. He came to AAMU from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).