blog posts - announcements

Blog posts : "Announcements"

Statistical Standards vs. Student Support: The 'Good Data' Dilemma

On day one of a typical Stats 101 course, your subject’s introduction likely revolves around these foundational concepts: the pursuit of statistical significance and generalizability. We’re taught, fifteen minutes in, that good data must meet specific criteria, including:  an n > 30, p-value < 0…

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How a Light Bulb Moment Inspired Us to Create a Game-Changing Course

Have you ever had a light bulb go off in your head after a couple years of doing the same thing? That’s what happened to us, and ultimately, what led us to creating something that turned out to be a valuable experience. 


Thabuttress Oh GIF - Thabuttress Oh I Got It GIFs

Our assessment office was roughly two years old and housed fi…

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The Documents You Need to Support Assessment Continuity and Vision

In a previous blog post, I recommended assessment professionals develop four documents that can help to guide their work. The guidance was meant to focus our efforts, especially as we get pulled in a million directions. More to the point, these documents also offer a consistent source of reflection …

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Hard at Play: SAAL Leading the Charge

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The Student Affairs Assessment Leaders (SAAL) has been hard at play this summer. You can keep up with all our meeting notes and minutes.  We are definitely leading the charge during a very tense time in higher education where campuses are being forced to chan…

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How to Leverage Survey Data to Target Student Support

Surveys play a pivotal role in assessment, allowing us to connect with a large number of students simultaneously to gain valuable insights into their needs, experiences, perspectives, and knowledge. When intentionally designed and utilized, surveys provide powerful data that can drive continuous imp…

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Barbecue Sauce: A Recap of the NASPA Student Success in Higher Education (SSHE) Conference

Traveling to Kansas City for the NASPA Student Success in Higher Education (SSHE) Conference in late June, I was reminded by numerous people that “Barbeque Sauce” was what I should be seeking during my stay. I wouldn’t say I’m a BBQ lover, but as a diehard Ted Lasso fan, I do enjoy the reference. …

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How to Find Your Footing in Assessment in 9 Easy Steps

Image credit: A Little Bit Meg




This month marks my first full year as a Student Affairs assessment professional. In reflecting back on the year, so many things I love about this work were front and center. But it’s not completely uplifting. Imposter syndrome s…

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ACPA Student Affairs Assessment Institute Recap

2023 Assessment Institute Faculty

(Backrow: Paul Holliday-Millard, Heather Strine-Patterson, Melissa Brown, Kristyn Muller, Sarah LaFrance, Chris Patterson, Shaun Boren, and Jerri-Ann Berry Danso. 

Frontrow: Jennifer Lowman, Amy Pilcher, Britt Spears-Rhymes, Ciji Heiser, Renee Delgado-Ril…

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Assessment or Public Relations: What's my real job here?

Allow me to paint a picture: You, an assessment leader, have been given a seemingly impossible task: to tell the story of a failing program.


Now, you didn’t know going into this project that the program was failing. Anecdotal evidence was positive. The program has been around for some time …

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Assessment Chats Connects Professionals Across the Country!

New to Assessment and looking to connect? SAAL recently hosted a gathering for folk who have been working in assessment for less than two years. A group of 16 folks gathered to meet each other and talk about their experiences beginning their journey into assessment in Student Affairs work. The g…

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Maslow's Hierarchy in Action: How Student Affairs Can use the Framework for Better Assessment of Wellbeing

Every year the needs of our students seem to become greater—and the expectation we will be able to help address these needs grows in parallel. In an era where universities seek to better understand and support student well-being, it's worth considering the relevance of Maslow's hierarchy of need…

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A Reflection on Dr. Bheda’s “Taking Equity Work to the Next Level”


As an assessment specialist with a deep passion for equity work, I stand firm in the belief that the more one knows, the more one sees. For this reason and more, it was a pleasure to join in Dr. Divya Bheda’s SAAL Structured Conversation, “Exploring New Frontiers Together: Taking Equity Wo…

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You’ve got an Assessment Story to tell! Now what?

At my institution, we talk a lot about telling the stories of our work. It’s central to everything we do in assessment. The problem is … this can be tough to do in our profession. Why? Well, when you think of storytelling, you might imagine something like this:

A neat, narrative arc.

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Investing Energy Supporting Individuals Engaged in Student Affairs Assessment

Photo by Matt Bango on StockSnap

The Student Affairs Assessment Leaders (SAAL) is 5 months into its newly formed leadership board. As a fully volunteer run organization, the key foundations of innovation, service, passion and commitment comprise why this organization has survived for 15 years…

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Reflections on Applying & Leading Assessment in Student Affairs

Reva Wittenberg, MPA, California State University, Sacramento

Having just started my position as Student Affairs Assessment Manager a year ago, I was excited to take the Applying & Leading Assessment in Student Affairs course to make sure I was on the right track and to continue to build my k…

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Transforming our reality together: Moving from Equity & Assessment to Assessment for Justice and Liberation

Dr. Divya Bheda

Dear Colleagues,

I have been feeling frustrated lately. More so than usual. Here is why: How can so many of our student support colleagues and assessment leaders—who are all so strongly and passionately motivated by the need to be of service, who want to and often do make a…

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All I Really Need to Know to Be a Professor, I Learned Doing Assessment

Gavin Henning 

Professor of Higher Education, New England College

In 1986, the year I graduated from college, one of the hottest books in bookstores (on bookshelves, not on Amazon since it didn’t exist then), was All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulgham. Throu…

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Say hello to your SAAL Blog Writing Team!

The SAAL Blog is meant to be a place to highlight diverse voices and perspectives of assessment professionals from all skill levels. Over the course of the next year, you will hear from our blog writing team as we reflect on trends in assessment, respond to SAAL programs and events (i.e Structur…

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Sliding Into Home: Reflections on an Assessment Journey

“You don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you are.” Yogi Berra 

I have always loved the Berra quote because it is so true, and has been my experience in life. I am the “Grandma” on the SAAL Board, having been involved in a…

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Adding a Chapter to the Story of SAAL

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To take a leadership role in Student Affairs assessment, you have to be a pretty interesting character. First, you have to want to work for students as an advocate in advancing their experience. You need to be happy doing this by influencing the work of others. A lot of our success relies on other…

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20 blog posts