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Campus-Wide Assessment - Overview

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Campus-Wide Assessment

Overview  |  Guides  |  Campus Examples  |  Documents to Download


As community and civic engagement in higher education has evolved, so too have a number of different frameworks, tools, and supports for assessing the quality and degree of campus-wide engagement. This section provides an overview of a few of the key resources and assessment tools that are used to conduct campus-wide assessment.


It is fair to say that these such approaches and tools are both common and different in a number of dimensions:


  • Such assessment may involve quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods of assessing campus-wide engagement. For instance, some tools may actually aim to count the number of hours, projects, and/or courses. Other approaches may involve a wide range of individuals in using a rubric with qualitative but discernible levels in assessing a particular factor, like the degree of faculty engagement in community engaged pedagogies. Other processes, such as an application for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, may ask institutions to provide both quantitative and qualitative evidence.


  • All of the approaches require, to some degree, the involvement of a myriad of constituents from campus and the community. Conducting campus-wide assessment may involve implementing a survey (such as the National Assessment of Service and Community Engagement) and providing supports and incentives such that students complete such a survey. They may involve setting up and carrying out meetings and facilitated processes to conduct assessment using rubrics. They may also require complex decision-making and roll-out, for instance of a campus-wide tracking mechanism like GivePulse or OrgSync. 


  • All of the approaches require, to various degrees, an ongoing investment of time, effort, and resources. Some may involve using a tool (like the Bonner Self-Assessment Tool or Campus-Community Partnerships for Health Assessment Tool) once a year through meetings, conversations, and engagement of key stakeholders. Others, especially mechanisms that may be tied to your own institutional goals and metrics, may involve ongoing management and maintenance.


  • A few of the approaches require a formal application and external review. Additionally, some institutions have commissioned an external review of their campus-wide work in conjunction with accreditation review. 


With this in mind, within Guides and Documents to Download, we offer an overview of the following key resources for campus-wide assessment:


Rubric Assessments:


  • Bonner Foundation Self-Assessment Tool (required to be implemented annually in conjunction with the Annual Report)
  • Building Capacity for Community Engagement: Institutional Self-Assessment (produced in partnership with Campus-Community Partnerships for Health)


Well-known Scholarship which offer frameworks (from which some tools are drawn):


  • Analyzing Institutional Commitment to Service: A Model of Key Organizational Factors by Barbara Holland (1997)
  • Institutionalizing Service-Learning in Higher Education by Andrew Furco (2005)
  • Creating Community-Engaged Departments: Self-Assessment Rubric for the Institutionalization of Community Engagement in Academic Departments by Kevin Kecskes (2009)


Quantitative Surveys which may produce data of campus-wide engagement:


  • National Assessment of Service and Community Engagement (Survey instrument administered by Siena Research Institute)
  • National Survey of Student Engagement (Survey instrument likely used on your campus but administered by NSSE) and NSSE Civic Engagement Module
  • The Personal and Social Responsibility Inventory (PSRI): An Institutional Climate Measure 


Publications that offer frameworks and tools for assessing campus-wide engagement:


  • A Crucible Moment (published by the U.S. Department of Education and the Association of American Colleges and Universities)
  • Stewards of Place (published by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities)


Approaches that involve external review:


  • Carnegie Community Engagement Classification application


We also Tracking Systems, which may provide a mechanism and software program for keeping track of and counting community engagement projects here: Tracking Systems - Overview. These are generally offered by a third party vendor and do involve financial costs.