While the University has a long tradition of assessing the student experience through student surveys and the examination of institutional data, the strategic use of planning and ongoing assessments to advance the University’s ambitions for undergraduate education moved to a new level starting in the mid-1990s with the introduction of the Planning and Budgeting System and the passage of a Board of Trustees resolution that established the University’s goals for pursuing excellence in undergraduate education.

The position statements adopted by the board in 1996 identified the aggressive pursuit of excellence in undergraduate education as one of the University’s top priorities and articulated the University’s ambitions regarding undergraduate education. In 2000, the board again adopted a position statement that reinforced excellence in undergraduate education as a top priority, noting that building on the successes the University had experienced since the 1996 statement would require, among other things, “the continuous assessment of progress by monitoring indicators—such as retention rates, time to graduation, academic achievement, and alumni satisfaction—that can be monitored over time.” Over the ensuing years, ambitious, measurable goals were established, and the University engaged in a process of ongoing planning and assessment through which the University has successfully advanced those goals.

The following sections report on the findings of the Working Group on Using Assessment to Improve the Student Experience’s findings regarding the effectiveness of the University’s assessment processes as they relate to the student experience appendix reference.