In this section we discuss the process and procedures that will be used to assess the QEP project. Being in a position to determine the extent to which the project is meeting its goal is crucial to realistically impacting academic success at the university. Two different levels of assessment will be used to monitor the success of the QEP. The first level will be at the project level. This assessment will directly address the goal of the QEP effort, student academic success, by examining student learning outcomes that can be defined as academic success. The second level of assessment will be used to monitor the progress of the 14 plays. This level of assessment focuses on project implementation and uses both process outcomes and student learning outcomes. The student learning outcome measures to be used at the second level are not intended to be academic success outcome measures, but rather success outcomes that our previous findings have indicated directly impact academic success. Regular assessment data will inform continuous improvement and successful plays will become ingrained in the institution.
Project Level Assessment
The project level assessment will focus on the extent to which students achieved academic success. We have defined academic success using four different student outcomes:
- the student’s performance in the classroom,
- whether students return to the university after their first-year,
- whether they have successfully earned the recommended number of hours for a first-time student after the first academic year, and
- whether they are able to successfully progress through the university and graduate in no more than 6 academic years.
Specific metrics that will be used for each of these student outcomes are provided in Appendix 7.
The first project measure, student’s classroom performance, will be collected each long semester for each first-time freshman cohort (i.e., Fall and Spring). Data on student retention after the first-year will be collected for each first-time freshman cohort during the Fall semester following their initial enrollment at the University. Likewise, data on student’s academic progression in regards to credit hours earned will be collected for each first-time freshman cohort during the Fall semester following their initial enrollment. And finally, the graduation rate for each freshman cohort will be collected after 12 and 16 long semesters after their initial enrollment.
Implementation Level Assessment
The second level assessment measures will be both process outcomes and student learning outcomes. Process outcomes will be used for plays related to knowledge of university practices and plays related to institutional engagement. Student learning outcomes will be used for plays related to skills and motivation.
Appendix 7 provides a list of these second level outcomes, along with the metric that will be used to assess success.
For four of the knowledge plays (Application and Admission, Financial Aid, Advising and Registration, and Residential Engagement) assessment data will be collected at the end of the 45-day intervention window for each first-time freshman cohort exposed to the QEP intervention. For all other plays data will be collected at the end of the first semester for each first-time freshman cohort exposed to the QEP intervention.