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Program and Unit Assessment

The Office of Academic Effectiveness (OAE) (i.e., Accreditation, Assessment, and Testing) is responsible for monitoring, educating, training, and coordinating the University's on-going planning and assessment to ensure compliance with federal, state, and institutional accrediting bodies. The OAE collaborates with the University Assessment Advisory Committee (UAAC) to maintain a campus culture of assessment that fosters university-wide participation with monitoring and implementing policies, best practices, and improvements from assessment results.

The UAAC is a standing university committee established to advise and guide Norfolk State University in its evaluation of institutional effectiveness.  The University Assessment Advisory Committee provides a channel for open communication, support and liaison among NSU academic programs, educational support services, and administrative units. In addition to overseeing and monitoring the University's assessment processes, the responsibilities of the committee are outlined in Administrative Policy #39-02, University Assessment Advisory Committee.

At Norfolk State University, assessment of academic programs is the responsibility of the program's faculty; thus, outcomes assessment in academic programs is an intentional, iterative, faculty-driven process of inquiry that includes:

  • Identification of the program's mission, goals, and corresponding student learning outcomes;
  • Development and/or selection of assessment measures and methods;
  • Systematic collection and analysis of data that focuses on the extent to which students have achieved the program's learning outcomes, and
  • Implementation of improvement efforts arising from the data collected.

The University has adopted an annual planning and assessment process to ensure that each program or unit develops and assesses expected student learning outcomes.  For all academic programs, academic support, and administrative services, the Watermark/Accountability Management System (AMS) software is the University's internal assessment repository. The Watermark/AMS software is password protected and can be assessed through:   

Academic programs and administrative units enter annual assessment plans in TaskStream by Watermark in each fall semester and complete a report summarizing and analyzing assessment findings and plans for improvement in the spring semester.  Watermark trainings are provided every semester to faculty and staff as may be needed.

The assessment staff offer professional development to faculty and staff designated as assessment facilitators on the development of outcomes, measures, and analysis of results. The UAAC members, under the management of assessment staff, review assessment plans and reports using the Annual Outcomes Assessment Report Rubric.

The assessment of academic programs, academic support services and administrative services at NSU conforms to the requirements stated in the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement (2018), section 8.2(a) as related to student outcomes in educational programs and 8.2(c) as related to student outcomes in academic support and student services. 

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