Samford University has long fostered a culture of assessment. The history of assessment at the university is documented in The Story of Assessment at Samford University and Betterment the Samford Way. In the spirit of the continual quality improvement paradigm that has guided the university, assessment processes were revised with the change in presidential leadership. Dr. Westmoreland, when assuming the presidency, included a new strategic planning process and a revised assessment process in his list of major first-year initiatives. The strategic planning process is overseen by the president, and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, whereas the assessment processes are facilitated by the associate provost in Academic Affairs.
Model of Assessment
Samford’s model of assessment was developed and implemented in 2006. This model revolves around 5 guiding principles that the assessment process:
- must accommodate the mission of each unit and university
- must be manageable, flexible and simple
- should not duplicate current assessment efforts
- should have a clear timeline and consistent format
- should be built upon and facilitated by a structure
Samford's Model of Assessment incorporates 5 assessment areas that span the University.