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NASPA Assessment, Planning, and Data Analytics Conference

Division/Group Events Assessment, Evaluation, and Research

Presented By


The NASPA Assessment, Planning, and Data Analytics Conference convenes scholars and practitioners to promote student learning and success by strengthening assessment, improving educational quality, and developing intentional persistence programming.

Institutional leadership must create an environment which builds capacity, as well as encourage an organizational culture that includes comprehensive assessment as part of strategic planning. Similarly, institutional leaders have a unique role to play in providing an environment and education that encourages student persistence, especially for under-served, low-income, adult, part-time, and minority students.

The NASPA Assessment, Planning, and Data Analytics Conference is designed to address these important issues in assessment and persistence, as well as to provide a forum for experienced professionals to advance their skills by discussing assessment and persistence with practitioners and policy-makers.

For more information on the 2024 NASPA Conferences on Student Success in Higher Education, please visit this website. If you are interested in learning more about the Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge Community, please click here.

Learning Outcomes and Themes

Fundamentals of Assessment

Effective assessment becomes easier to understand and manage when grounded in a solid foundation of knowledge. Sessions in this theme provide an understanding of foundational assessment concepts by exploring topics that align with fundamental assessment skills and knowledge.

Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

  • Defining the philosophical purpose of assessment and common terms used in assessment practice;
  • Writing and assessing institutional, departmental, and activity level learning outcomes;
  • Formulating and effectively moving through an assessment cycle;
  • Addressing ethical, institutional, and political issues in assessment method implementation, analysis and reporting;
  • Developing an assessment process within a student affairs division or department;
  • Using standards, best practices, research based/theoretical framework; and
  • Engaging and training staff in quality assessment implementation.
Assessment Methods and Measurements

A strong foundation of knowledge grounded in methods and measurements is necessary for effective assessment. Sessions in this theme provide foundational or advanced concepts of methods (e.g. case studies, portfolios, interviews/focus groups, use of national datasets, rubrics, etc.) and data analysis.

Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

  • Explaining the use of a specific method that aided in data acquisition that impacted a campus decision;
  • Discussing data analysis techniques, to include how to share results with various audiences; and
  • Sharing best practices for creating successful data analysis collaborations, which positively impact the student experience.
The Role of Data in Institutional Decision Making

Institutions and their departments rely on relevant and timely data to inform their practices. Sessions in this theme provide foundational to advanced concepts of how data is collected, analyzed, and acted upon. As well as how institutions have built their infrastructure: capacity, integrate systems, processes.

Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

  • Demonstrating how institutional data is communicated to various stakeholders and acted upon;
  • Identifying strategies for data collaboration and integration between academic units and student affairs;
  • Using data from multiple sources to describe learning outcomes achievement; and
  • Collecting and using data in the accreditation process.
Retention & Planning Initiatives for Diverse Populations

This learning theme highlights system-wide efforts to support persistence as well as institutional efforts to support student retention initiatives for specific and diverse student populations including first generation, low-income, minority (e.g. racial, religious, sexual orientation, etc.), adult, part-time, transfer, veteran, disabled, and other underserved students.

Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

  • Programs/services that have demonstrated improvement in persistence for diverse student populations (e.g. Financial Aid, Wellbeing, Curricular Support, etc.);
  • Partnerships across institutions and collaborations within  institutions that demonstrate improvement;
  • Partnerships across administrative functions in support of institution-wide retention and completion efforts (e.g. TRIO, NCAA, Student-at-Risk programs and other administrative units); and
  • Examples of collecting and sharing data on sensitive or protected (e.g. disabled, students seeking counseling, etc.) populations.
The Integration of Assessment into Retention Practices

Higher education leaders must create an infrastructure that connects assessment with student persistence, degree completion, and job placement. Sessions in this theme provide examples of how programs, initiatives, and strategies connect assessment to institutional outcomes.

Sessions in this theme may include the following topics:

  •  Demonstration of how student interventions, programming, or services have been connected to institutional outcomes;
  •  Examination of which data collection and analysis methods are most effective for demonstrating the connection between student affairs programming and institutional outcomes; and
  • Discussion related to student success and learning integration across assessment, persistence, and retention practices.