While the University has a long traditionof assessing the student experience throughstudent surveys and the examination ofinstitutional data, the strategic use of planningand ongoing assessments to advancethe University’s ambitions for undergraduateeducation moved to a new level starting inthe mid-1990s with the introduction of thePlanning and Budgeting System and thepassage of a Board of Trustees resolution thatestablished the University’s goals for pursuingexcellence in undergraduate education.

The position statements adopted bythe board in 1996 identified the aggressivepursuit of excellence in undergraduate educationas one of the University’s top prioritiesand articulated the University’s ambitionsregarding undergraduate education. In 2000,the board again adopted a position statementthat reinforced excellence in undergraduateeducation as a top priority, noting thatbuilding on the successes the University hadexperienced since the 1996 statement wouldrequire, among other things, “the continuousassessment of progress by monitoringindicators—such as retention rates, timeto graduation, academic achievement, andalumni satisfaction—that can be monitoredover time.” Over the ensuing years, ambitious,measurable goals were established, and theUniversity engaged in a process of ongoingplanning and assessment through whichthe University has successfully advancedthose goals.

The following sections report onthe findings of the Working Group onUsing Assessment to Improve the StudentExperience’s findings regarding the effectivenessof the University’s assessment processesas they relate to the student experience appendix reference.