Skip Navigation

Office of Strategic Planning Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OSPIRE)

Assessment: Institutional Level

The Office of Strategic Planning, Institutional Research and Effectiveness (OSPIRE) conducts a number of surveys and polls that measure satisfaction, knowledge, behavior, cognitive, and social development, and programmatic outcomes at an institutional level. Each year OSPIRE administers surveys and standardized assessments that provide Shaw University with a comprehensive picture of student and program level outcomes.  Shaw University continues to enhance its culture of assessment and evidence. The University recognizes that assessing student and program learning outcomes should not be restricted to a single day each year. As a result, assessment scheduling and activities are conducted at appropriate times throughout the academic year.  

Internally developed assessments were administered annually through academic year 2008-2009 initially using a paper-pencil approach and eventually an on-line format.  Results and analysis were provided to the University Community by OSPIRE in the form of written reports, presentations, and shared folders on the campus intranet.  

Starting in 2009, the University realized the need to move away from internally developed assessments and utilize nationally standardized instruments.  Based on this realization, the institution implemented the following assessments starting in the fall of 2009--National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), College Student Inventory (CSI), Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI), Survey of Academic Advising (SAA), College Senior Survey (CSS), Student Instructional Report (SIR II), Major Field Test (MFT), and the Area Concentration Achievement Tests (ACAT). 

These commercially developed assessments are administered annually in the fall and spring using both a paper-pencil approach and a web-based interface. Results and analysis are provided to the University Community by OSPIRE in the form of written reports, oral presentations, data hearings,  folders on the institution’s intranet site, and via the campus Learning Management System.   


Assessment: Departmental Level

Each program and unit within the University is required to submit an end-of-year report following an approved format.  This format is utilized so that the reports uniformly address specific topics (goals, student learning/operational outcomes, measurement of success, evaluation of the measurements, and plans for improvement (if needed).  

Each program and unit within the University, with assistance from OSPIRE, is responsible for conducting their own assessment system.  As a result, there are a variety of assessment instruments and activities that are used at Shaw University.  Examples of these instruments are the ETS® Major Field Tests, Area Concentration Achievement Test, ETS Proficiency Profile, Student Instructional Report II, Student Satisfaction Inventory, National Survey of Student Engagement, College Senior Survey and other standardized assessment instruments.

In order to help synthesize assessment information across the institution, OSPIRE produces an annual report that summarizes programmatic changes that occur due to the usage of assessment results. The report is intended to be comprehensive and provide an accurate picture of the assessment activities/findings and use of results within the University.