AES Assessment


Assessment as a Tool for Improvement through Learning

Let's face it, the word "assessment" is anxiety-producing for many. For some the word conjures images of draconian "accountability" activities, others struggle with understanding its utility in everyday work. A former teacher by the name of Joe Bower (1979-2016) shared this observation about "assessment":
“Assessment has been bastardized into meaning measurement. It’s not the same thing. Assessment is not measurement. I assess my students every single day, but it’s not in what is maybe the conventional sense. Assessment is not a spreadsheet, it’s a conversation.” (article: "Assessment is not a spreadsheet, it's a conversation", Dec. 2016)

Whatever your perception of assessment has been, Hostos Community College has been (and still is) working diligently to transform assessment into what it was always intended to be: a meaningful opportunity for reflection, discussion, and informed decision-making. To this end, assessment activities at Hostos are designed, scoped, and supported to help units/programs be reflective learners and continuous improvers; constantly reflecting on the question: "what have I learned about my unit/program and what implications does it have for how we can operate even better?"

Types of AES Assessment Activities

There are 2 distinct (but interrelated) categories of assessment that each have an aligned assessment activity: annual assessment and periodic assessment. Below is a brief summary of each:
  Annual Assessment Periodic Assessment
Assessment Activity Annual Planning and Assessment Reporting Process AES Program Reflection Process
Who engages? All AES units in all divisions All AES units in all divisions
How frequently? Every academic year Once every four years
General timeline Begins early Fall semester; concludes end of Spring semester Begins early Fall semester; concludes end of Fall semester
What's being assessed?
  • Results and learnings from unit's annual activities
  • Identified support outcome (SO), student learning outcome (SLO), and/or institutional advising outcome (IAO)
  • Impact (over time) of major unit activities on unit goals/mission
  • Unit's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats
  • Progress toward achieving unit's identified objectives and/or goals

For more information about each of the aligned assessment activities, including resources and pertinent information, click on one of the icons below.

Supports for AES Assessment

Currently, there are 2 primary entities that provide assessment support for Administrative and Educational Support (AES) units. Below are the entities and the types of support offered:

Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Assessment (OIERA)
  • Develop and communicate resources to support academic and AES assessment
  • Provide training and support to unit, department, or program leadership undertaking assessment activities
  • Provide data guidance and support, as needed
AES Assessment Committee (AESAC)

AESAC's purpose is to provide support, guidance, and assistance specifically to Administrative and Educational Support (AES) units throughout the college undergoing annual and periodic assessment activities. This newly established, cross-divisional committee acts as both an advisory, brainstorming group (consistently revisiting and determining the best ways to support AES units with assessment) and a technical assistance group (aiding AES units where needed). Some of the supports include:
  • Provide assessment consultation to AES units as needed
  • Collaborate with OIERA in offering AES assessment workshops and resources
  • Collectively problem solve any barriers to AES assessment processes and develop solutions to continuously improve both primary processes.