Office of Assessment and Planning

    "...assessment has become the primary tool for understanding a​nd improving the ways in which students learn and for developing and enhancing those institutional structures and programs that support student learning."                

Michael F. Middaugh, Planning and Assessment in Higher Education (2010)

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The Office of Assessment and Planning serves Fairmont State University by supporting research, planning, and institutional effectiveness needs.  The Office has primary responsibility for coordinating the collection, analysis, interpretation and application of all relevant institutional data and the preparation of documentation and reports for use in assessment, and institutional strategic planning and decision-making; facilitating professional development of faculty and staff in areas related to assessment and institutional effectiveness; and, enhancing and managing the University’s capabilities to conduct and implement strategic planning and grant procurement, implementation, and administration in support of the University’s strategic vision and initiatives. 

The Office of Assessment and Planning replaces the former Office of Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness, and is staffed by Director of Institutional Assessment and Effectiveness, Robynn K. Shannon, and Director of Planning and Grants, Amantha L. Cole.  Assessment and Planning is an operating unit within Student Services, under the Interim Vice President for Student Services, Timothy R. Oxley.  The two Directors collaborate with each other and respective campus groups and committees to promote good research, best practice, professional development, and collaboration for assessment and planning toward a continuous improvement culture within the University.

Current Projects

1) Facilitation of the peer review process for program assessment for the 2015-2016 academic year, and compilation of institutional report;

2) Coordination of monthly meetings of the Institutional Assessment Council (Critical Friends Group);

3) Development and actuation of elements of the Comprehensive Institutional Assessment Plan;

4) Planning and facilitation of professional development for faculty and support for course and program level assessment;

5) Development of institutional data and research around common information needs for accreditation, assessment, and reporting;

6) Engagement with institutional research partners in analysis of gathered data and information,  including NSSE/FSSE, IDEA ®, and other survey data, and improve the collection, dissemination, and use toward institutional effectiveness outcomes;

7) Facilitation of the continuing efforts of the Campus Collaborative for Recruitment and Retention around existing or new initiatives for improving persistence and completion metrics;

8) Planning and facilitation of campus conversations around core themes in The Undergraduate Experience (Felten,, 2016);

9) Facilitation and monitoring of actuation of institutional Campus Compact initiatives;

10) Development and maintenance an institutional reporting process on progress toward Campus Compact initiative fulfillment;

11) Creation of a clearinghouse process for grant approval and oversight, in cooperation with the Office of Sponsored Grant Accounting and, in the case of private grants, the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc.;

12) Development and maintenance of a Consumer Information page on the institutional webpage;

13) Development of a plan for campus community engagement in strategic planning during the 2017-2018 academic year.


"...gathering evidence of student learning is not for compliance with external demands but, rather, an institutional strategy, a core function of continuous improvement, and a means for faculty and staff to elevate student successs and strengthen institutional health."

 George D. Kuh, et al., Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education (2015)