Key Competencies in Assessment and Evaluation

We define “key competencies” in this micro-credential area as the knowledge, skills, and critical commitments that must be mobilized by CEPs to effectively track, monitor, assess, evaluate, and improve program outcomes, partnerships, and student learning and success. 

To earn this micro-credential, an individual effectively demonstrates their knowledge, experience, skills, and critical commitments in the following areas:

1. Developing robust and rigorous assessment plans

  1. Ability to identify and map department and campus goals and processes for assessment of student learning, student success, and institutional effectiveness.
  2. Knowledge of and engagement with national initiatives and associations that support assessment and program improvement in higher education.
  3. Ability to identify metrics, models, tools (i.e., interview protocols, pre/post questionnaires, surveys, rubrics) and departmental/campus resources that are most appropriate (i.e., pragmatic) to achieve the goals of an assessment plan for community engagement.
  4. Ability to create or articulate an assessment plan that outlines the scope, purpose, participants, methods of analysis, and strategies for communication/ dissemination of data to stakeholders.
  5. Ability to design an assessment plan that tracks and monitors outcomes and impacts over time on various constituencies including students, faculty, staff, the institution, community partner organizations, and community identified goals. 

2. Assessing, Evaluating, and Tracking Civic and Community Engagement 

  1. Ability to to convene and facilitate a committee of key stakeholders to inform assessment design in order to track the most salient points of data for community-campus collaborations 
  2. Ability to track participation rates of students, staff, faculty, and community partners to report on who is doing what and towards what goal area.
  3. Ability to identify key student learning outcomes and conduct assessment of student learning and civic growth/development (including but not limited to self-report surveys) within and across engagement activities.
  4. Ability to articulate the inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts of community partnerships, from single partners to multidimensional partnerships, in ways that engage partners in the evaluation process
  5. Ability to track faculty involvement and advancement in engaged scholarship activities (including engaged teaching and research, professional development, dissemination/outreach, or other engaged initiatives)
  6. Ability to capture a comprehensive portrait of the level and variety of civic- or community-related activities across an institution 

3. Program Effectiveness

  1. Ability to establish measurable and observable objectives/benchmarks to determine the extent to which activities/programs are effective in achieving  stated goals and implement continuous improvement. 
  2. Ability to guide or support others (e.g. faculty or community collaborators) as they design and implement assessment for their engagement programs.

4. Communicating Assessment

  1. Ability to prepare and effectively communicate assessment findings to a variety of the institution’s internal and external audiences and stakeholders
  2. Ability to work with others to create dashboards or monitoring systems to track and share outcomes and impacts of community engagement initiatives in a transparent way for various stakeholders
  3. Ability to translate insights gained from assessments and evaluation to be used in strategic planning, funding requests, and institutional/programmatic decision-making
  4. Ability to communicate and collaborate with other campus/institutional units engaged in assessment in order to develop measures to track and evaluate the institution’s progress to advance or institutionalize civic and community engagement. 
  5. Ability to demonstrate how measurements connect community engagement to one or more important and specific strategic goals of the institution. 

5. Equity and Inclusion

  1. Ability to develop or utilize data tracking or assessment that takes into account diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) indicators/measures in order to gauge the progress of DEI efforts in the unit’s engagement programs (including, for example, assessments of equity in representation/participation, access, resource distribution, outcomes/impacts, or equity-mindedness). 
  2. Ability to assess student learning and success during college (e.g., persistence rates, graduation rates, DFW rates, and other metrics important to the leadership of your institution) through community engagement as it relates to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  3. Ability to partner with, or contribute to, broader institutional assessment efforts on campus designed to advance articulated DEI goals. 

Critical commitment

  1. Willingness to address and confront the tensions of using data on community engagement as a public relations or public affairs tool (i.e., awareness of critical notions of assessment and willingness to reflection on the tensions between the campus assessment/measurement norms and processes and the practices of inclusive assessment and evaluation)