Assessment Budget for Academic Affairs Assessment Committee And Directed Assessment Enhancement Activities

Overview

Three types of funds are available to enhance assessment of student learning outcomes at Ferris State University. The three include conference funds, program improvement grants, and assessment-enhancement grants. Descriptions and criteria for each follow.

Funds for Conferences and Other AAAC Directed Assessment Enhancement Efforts

At the discretion of the AAAC, $15,000 will be available for assessment conferences and other activities directed by the AAAC. Additional funds not used for the grants may be used in this category as well. Any conference attendance or assessment efforts funded from this budget must be approved at a meeting of the AAAC by the members present or through an e-mail endorsement. Reports of conference participation are requested to share with others. Please see Assessment Funded Travel Process for further information.

Program Improvement Grants Based on Assessment Data

One of the greatest challenges of an assessment program is to get programs and faculty to convert assessment data into action. A crucial method of encouraging the utilization of assessment data in improving curriculum is providing a publicized grant for this purpose.

The AAAC will provide that up to three grants be awarded annually, with no grant to exceed $10,000, to programs that demonstrate, based on outcomes assessment data, a budgeted action plan to make improvements in their program, or to conduct essential assessment to lead to action. Since the number of grants is limited, the grant selection process is competitive.

  1. The grant proposals must document the assessment data that demonstrates the need for specific improvements or a specific kind of additional study.
  2. The proposal must specify concrete actions that will be taken using the funds and the outcomes expected from those actions.
  3. The proposal should include a detailed budget that should document that the amount requested is essential to the project.
  4. The proposals should specify the benefits of these actions and why the proposal, therefore, merits selection.
  5. The proposal should clearly document why the action for which the funds are requested cannot be accomplished using the existing Departmental budget.
  6. The proposals will be evaluated by the Academic Affairs Assessment Committee with final selection reserved to the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, who will not be bound by the recommendations of the Committee.
  7. Grant recipients will be responsible for submitting a follow-up report specifying the actions taken with documentation of the funds spent and an initial evaluation of the impact of the actions.

Assessment Enhancement Grants

There is significant variation across Ferris in the quality of assessment. While most programs have clearly specified outcomes and multiple measures to determine that those outcomes are being met, some programs are less well informed about the process. Other programs are ready to make significant progress in their assessment activities. There are ongoing activities to enhance assessment activities including training by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, a regularly scheduled assessment day, mentoring by members of the assessment committees, and assistance by the Assessment Coordinator or the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.

However, programs that are less experienced at outcomes assessment or may incur costs in either initiating an assessment practice or improving their assessment model would benefit from grants available to assist them in their efforts. This may include specific activities such as bringing in a guest speaker or piloting a particular external instrument. These grants underscore Academic Affairs’ commitment to supporting quality assessment.

Up to five grants are available for instituting or improving assessment practices, with no grant to exceed $6,000.

  1. Grants are available for responsible parties to attend conferences or training, for assessment leaders in an area to purchase books or journals related to assessment in their field, for programs to purchase possible instruments for trials, for programs to cover the costs of developing and piloting assessment practices, or for bringing guest speakers.
  2. The grant proposals must document the specific goals of the applicant, the reason the requested funds are necessary, why they cannot be covered by the existing department budget, and how the funds will directly improve the assessment of the program.
  3. The proposal must specify concrete actions that will be taken using the funds and the outcomes expected from those actions.
  4. The proposal should include a detailed budget that should document that the amount requested is essential to the project.
  5. The proposals will be evaluated by the Academic Affairs Assessment Committee with final selection reserved to the Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, who will not be bound by the recommendations of the Committee.
  6. Grant recipients will be responsible for submitting a follow-up report specifying the actions taken with documentation of the funds spent and an initial evaluation of the impact of the actions.