7P1 Selecting, Managing, and Using Data to Support Student Learning, Institutional Objectives, and Improvement
Western selects, manages, and uses data associated with student learning, state data requests, strategic planning, developmental outcomes and improvement efforts, program and institutional accreditation, and retention and promotion decisions.
The State of Missouri requests information on a number of variables related to student characteristics, preparation, and student success in higher education. For example, the State mandates that Western assess student outcomes in general education objectives (Figure
1.9), freshman success (Figure
1.19), and senior exit exams in the major field area (Figure
Western uses state data to evaluate and improve student success and to compare outcomes with other institutions. Western uses a variety of measures of student performance in order improve the student learning experience (1P13). Departments use the results of senior exit exams to evaluate and recommend changes in departmental curricula and programs.
Academic departments adopted five-year plans and associated goals to reflect the Strategic Plan (8P1). Each year, departments complete a report that examines pertinent data and evaluates the progress made on departmental and institutional strategic goals. Based on this data, they set new targets for the following year.
Western has a strong developmental education program in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics, and monitors the placement of students in these courses, their performance, and completion rates (Figure
1.8). Student performance in general education courses that require reading, writing, or mathematics skills is closely monitored. Analyses of these data enable Western to make informed decisions about needed program modification.
Students complete a faculty evaluation for every course each semester. The department chair evaluates this information. Chairs and faculty discuss opportunities for improving teaching and learning efforts. These data are also used in the reappointment, promotion, and tenure processes.