By Brianna O’Connor
The second candidate for Assistant Provost for the Center of Institutional Effectiveness addressed the campus on Monday, Dec. 3 in an open forum held in the Library Auditorium.
Ann Marie Senior spoke to the campus community in a presentation called “Monitoring Institutional Effectiveness: Reflection on the Performance Standards Project.”
“This project was one that was near and dear to us because it got the college excited about assessment,” Senior said. “It was a simple project that had a big impact.”
According to their website, the CIE has a two-fold mission to provide data through assessment and analysis to inform resource allocation, and to promote a culture of assessment and continuous improvement at the College.
The project was conducted at Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, where Senior currently serves as the director of the Office of Institutional Research and Quality Assurance.
Senior previously worked at both Rider University and the University of Michigan.
The “Performance Standards” project’s goal was to see if Thomas Edison State College, which serves adult students over the age of 21, was adequately serving students in an efficient and timely manner.
“Assessment has benefits that people don’t realize, and until you point that out, it seems more punitive,” Senior said. “Assessment is not meant to be specific to a person or program. It is meant to demonstrate how well our college is graduating students.”
Senior noted that assessment is an integral part of ensuring that an institution’s services and products adequately meet certain standards, or “benchmarks of success,” in terms of student needs.
Assessment also functions to indicate where changes can be made in order to improve student services and products.
“We didn’t just stop and say ‘this is broken.’ We said ‘this is broken and this is how we are going to fix it,’” she said.
When asked about faculty resistance to assessment, Senior was positive about the effects and outcomes of self-directed measurements of achievement.
“Assessment is a team effort. We were communicating with each other to ensure we were doing what needed to be done,” Senior said. “And overall we do all of this not just to improve our workflow, but to improve our services to our students.”