Assessment is defined "the systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development" (Palomba & Banta, 1999).
The assessment offices at CSULB use a variety of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods to partner with each other in using assessment results to improve student learning and success. Together, they enable the institution to respond to various regional accreditation and federal education requirements.
Assessment at CSULB
The Office of Program & Institutional Effectiveness (OPIE) in Academic Affairs is committed to promoting educational effectiveness through the complementary actions of annual institutional assessment (of Institutional Learning Outcomes and GE Learning Outcomes), periodic program review, and annual assessment of student learning. OPIE partners with staff from the Division of Student Affairs and Institutional Research & Analytics to provide and interpret meaningful data for the campus community.
The Institutional Assessment Office collects and analyzes data related to a wider variety of institutional projects, student learning outcomes assessment, and accreditation. This office coordinates with Senate committees to advise, coordinate and implement campus-wide assessment efforts, including assessment in general education. In addition, the office is the liaison office between CSULB and our regional accreditor, WSCUC (WASC).
The Program Review & Assessment office provides feedback on all program-level and academic support unit assessment reports In addition, the office conducts workshops on learning outcomes at the course and program level and provides outreach and guidance to academic and academic support programs working on curriculum maps, assessment plans, and new program learning outcomes.
The Assessment and Evaluation Office within the Division of Student Affairs provides central coordination of assessment and evaluation efforts, but view the role of assessment to be an opportunity for all members of the unit to engage in a process of program improvement and accountability to foster a culture of evidence based practice. Planning assessment is essential as it helps “shape the culture of evidence vision in student affairs” (Culp, 2012, p. 23). The Division of Student Affairs Assessment and Evaluation Office aims to serve as a guide for units and departments to plan assessments and evaluation, and conducts Division wide planning of assessment and evaluation. The office staff coordinate student affairs departments’ program review processes, and leads the administration of large campus wide student surveys such as NSSE and the CIRP Freshman Survey.
Institutional Research & Analytics (IR&A) enhances campus decision-making and planning in areas such as admissions, financial aid, curriculum, enrollment management, staffing, student life, athletics, and alumni relations by collecting, analyzing and reporting institutional data. IR&A is also responsible for university compliance with mandated data requests from the California State University Office of the Chancellor, as well as the State and Federal governments.
California State University, Long Beach receives regional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) which accredits institutions in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific Basin, as well as select institutions around the world. WSCUC is recognized by the Department of Education to certify eligibility for federal financial aid. Regional accreditation focuses on the complementary processes of self-reflection and peer review.