Co-curricular Assessment

In this section:

Assessment Template and Resources

These resources are intended to help Student Affairs Departments and Units with reflecting on their past learning outcomes assessment work and developing their Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Plans:

Example: Completed Student Affairs Assessment Plans (2019-2020 submissions)

Current Co-curricular Assessment Activities

Student Affairs at Illinois is participating in the campus-wide effort to systematically collect and effectively use assessment information on student learning outcomes. We have developed a student learning outcomes assessment planning template that mirrors the process that academic programs have embraced, while being uniquely tailored to the co-curricular experiences that students engage at Illinois.

All Student Affairs units and departments have been tasked with actively engaging in learning outcomes assessment related to their plans since the 2017-2018 academic year. Progress is tracked periodically in discussions with Student Affairs Assessment Committee, as well as annually through formal reports.

➢ The campus will be collecting information on learning outcomes assessment.

  • Over the 2016-2017 academic year, Student Affairs at Illinois campus community engaged in a process of developing learning outcomes assessment plans for each department and unit within our division. This process resulted in the completion of assessment plan templates in which all Units articulated learning outcomes, connected learning outcomes to institutional guiding documents, reflected on past student learning outcomes assessments, and planned future student learning outcomes assessment activities.
  • In 2017-2018, the focus shifted from planning to action, when each department and unit engaged in systematic learning outcomes assessment efforts.
  • Beginning in 2018, each August, all departments and units now submit reflections on their progress to date, along with updated learning outcomes assessment plans in order to focus their efforts for the coming year.

➢ What are some of the key features of the Student Affairs Assessment Plans?

  • Target Student Audiences
    Student Affairs Departments and Units select a target student audience for the focus of their student learning outcomes. Some examine learning outcomes for the students who use programs, services, or other experiences offered, while others examine learning outcomes for student employees of their department or unit. Both types of experiences offer rich learning environments that connect well to desired learning outcomes in our campus community.
  • Student Learning Outcomes
    The student learning outcomes for the selected target student audience are entered into the assessment plan template so that they are clearly stated and easily accessible. For departments and units that did not have agreed-upon student learning outcomes prior to starting their assessment plan templates, resources for creating these statements were provided in an accompanying Resource Packet.
  • Acknowledging Student Learning Outcomes Connections
    All departments and units connected their student learning outcomes to institutional documents that served as a guide for practice, including the Student Affairs Strategic Plan, the Campus-wide Student Learning Outcomes, and the metrics that their Student Affairs department or unit tracks in the Strategic Profile Metrics hosted by the Division of Management Information (DMI). Departments and units were also welcome to connect student learning outcomes to other documents and resources that they find meaningful and useful to their work.
  • Reflection on Past Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
    All departments and units were asked to note and reflect on their experiences with student learning outcomes assessment in the past two years. This provided an opportunity to recognize areas of knowledge, expertise, and understanding, as well as to identify areas where opportunities for growth have been identified or more information is needed.

Assessment Planning

In the final section of the assessment plan template, all Student Affairs departments and units write at least three questions that they would like to pursue to explore student learning at their department or unit level. Assessment plans are encouraged to span over a 3-5 year period, and not every learning outcome needs to be assessed every year. The expectation is that some assessment work will take place each year, but that it will be kept manageable and meaningful.

➢ What is the timeline for Student Affairs Assessment Plans?

  • Our initial learning outcomes assessment plans were prepared in May 2017, with collegial feedback sessions held during Summer 2017, and revisions accepted until early November 2018.
  • Now that plans are being implemented in our Student Affairs Departments and Units, representatives are provide opportunities to check-in on progress during monthly Assessment Committee meetings. In addition, Brief Reports and updated plans are due annually each August.

➢ Where can I find resources and support?

  • Student Affairs has charged the Student Affairs Assessment Committee with supporting this learning outcomes assessment plan work and carrying out this new partnership with the Office of the Provost. To that end, the Student Affairs Assessment Committee offers help sessions and consultation throughout the academic year to assist departments and units with their efforts.
  • You may also find helpful resources on the Student Affairs Assessment website.

For More Information

More information on Student Affairs progress with learning outcomes assessment and planning can be obtained from the Student Affairs Assessment Committee.

Student Affairs Assessment Committee, 2020-2021


  • Beth Hoag, Interim Director of Assessment and Planning, Student Affairs
  • Ryan Young, Research & Assessment Analyst, Office of Minority Student Affairs