About Assessment at Haverford
Haverford’s approach to institutional improvement arises from our institutional vision and goals, and is implemented through comprehensive evidence-based planning and institutional structures for assessment and evaluation. Our Assessment Plan incorporates four interrelated core areas : Student Learning Assessment, Academic Program Assessment, Institutional Development, and Employee Performance. There are several unique aspects of our institutional culture that facilitate effective assessment processes. First, our small size allows for effective informal assessments through direct communication among campus constituents. Second, our culture of consensus-based decision-making (particularly within the faculty and through our committee structure) facilitates deliberate discussion about many issues, leading to change in practice and policies.
The Institutional Effectiveness Committee is charged with overseeing assessment activities that help the College improve and best achieve its mission. The IE Committee facilitates institutional improvement and transparency through evidence-based inquiry and information sharing to help the College meet its near- and long-term institutional goals. The committee provides information to the individuals and governance structures that are best equipped to implement appropriate action, thus closing the "assessment loop". The committee takes an institutional view of assessment efforts and encourages fluid information-sharing across the divisions of the College. The Committee reports to the President and provides feedback to Senior Staff either directly or through its members to the relevant Senior Staff member. The IEC is a collaborative mechanism for monitoring progress towards achieving our stated goals, plans, and priorities as set by our internal constituencies, and for communicating this progress both internally and externally.
Crucial to productive assessment efforts are administrative structures that provide leadership and data in support of such activities. The Office of Institutional Research (IR) serves this function at Haverford, by leading the College in accreditation-related activities, compiling data and analyses to support planning and policy development, and assisting the College in responding to demands for assessment. IR tracks a diversity of high-level data elements across time, and publishes these important assessment metrics in an annual Factbook.