Assessment Takes a Village: The Power of Collaboration

2015-03-14_OhNoLogo22-abby3Collaboration is an awesome thing. I’ve been working with various people and departments on campus on some exciting assessment projects over the last year. Good assessment takes a village; I can’t do it alone. It’s been a pleasure and a gift to benefit and learn from all the talent of my campus colleagues.

Here’s an overview of just a few of these projects:

  • Institutional Research: The associate director of IR and I have been working on all sorts of projects. One such project focuses on the learning goals our summer interns created prior to their internship. She analyzed these learning goals, coded the goals into overarching themes, and (eventually) will examine how those themes overlap with learning goals in the classroom (a project and expertise she’d initiated at a previous institution). 
  • ITS: Wow…ITS has helped our office with a number of incredible projects. Too many to list! They built a digital pipeline from our internal counseling note system (i.e., Symplicity) to the College’s data warehouse (read: so much data mining potential!!). And, they built us an interactive online career development tool for students – it’s an organizer, planner, and tracker all in one. Students can see our Career Center learning goals and the programs/services tied to each, select which they’d like to complete, pick a date they’d like to complete it by, and then check it off to track their progress. Did I mention, WOW?!?!
  • College Communications/Marketing: College communications took our survey data about student interns and created some really beautiful data visualizations. I don’t have an actual proof to show you yet but the concept comes from *TIME Magazine. The original piece (see photo) focuses on income brackets, whereas, ours focuses on interns by year and shows data about students and their internships (e.g., geographic location of internship, top internship industries, etc.) along the sides surrounding a photograph of the student. 
    Time Intern Posters
  • Mathematics/Statistics Department: This academic department offers a statistics elective called Statistical Consulting – the class organizes students into consulting groups, takes on actual organizations from the community as clients, and helps the organization address their real current issues using data. The Career Center was a client – the student group reviewed our data about student visits and helped us better understand which students we’re seeing, how often, and during which weeks in the year. Conversely, we also have a better understanding of who we’re not seeing. Valuable insights from this collaboration.

There are MANY other great departments and people collaborating with the Carleton Career Center; these are just a few from the last year. Assessing learning can be a blessed mess, so an ENORMOUS thank you to all the many people and offices who helped us achieve so many of our assessment goals. We couldn’t have done it without you!

With whom are you collaborating??

*Barone, E. (2014, September 8). Who we are. TIME, 184, 53-58.
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One thought on “Assessment Takes a Village: The Power of Collaboration

  1. Pingback: Focus Groups: How Do We Get Students to Participate? |

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