Accreditation & Assessment Seeks Students for Advisory Committee
The mission of the Office of Accreditation & Assessment is to provide leadership for the planning and implementation of academic program review, student learning outcomes, university assessment and assessment-related training. While that description sounds rather technical, it is actually a vibrant group of individuals, working with the Kean community to advance the university’s dual mission of excellence and access.
A vital component of this effort is the Kean University Student Advisory Committee (KUSAC). In a nutshell, KUSAC is geared towards getting Kean students’ voices and opinions heard in an all-inclusive way. Instead of rallies or a selection of members in a hierarchical fashion, the committee is comprised of students from all backgrounds and majors, who come together to provide data from a series of growth-related surveys.
“The great thing about KUSAC is that students are not selected; they willingly choose to participate,” said Julie Narain, a communication specialist for the Office of Accreditation & Assessment. “We want all kinds of students, ranging from the more involved students to the less involved. We make it a point not to discriminate between students at all.”
Periodically throughout the academic year, LaMont Rouse, director of Accreditation & Assessment, emails committee members a small survey to fill out via Qualtrics, the university’s survey provider. The results are returned electronically to the office, where it is analyzed in cooperation with departments and/or units relevant to the particular issues or concerns addressed.
The whole point of assessment is to use data with decision-making. Merely collecting data is just half the process; the other half is using data for organizational change. - LaMont Rouse
Rouse stressed that any data set is always seen as part of an ongoing conversation. “We often have a vision of the way we want things to be, yet the data often presents outcomes that suggest we haven’t met our target,” he said. “You should use the data as an opportunity to modify operations and introduce change.”
To that end, KUSAC empowers its members by offering an open forum for their perspectives to influence policies and procedures at Kean University. “We want opinions, feelings and impressions from students in this committee to be based not solely on what the majority thinks, but what the unheard, minority believes as well,” said Narain.
In addition to KUSAC, Rouse also hosts a series of workshops for students on a wide range of topics, including leadership skills, conflict resolution and organizational management. He also hosts a series of workshops for faculty and staff, including Developing a Mission Statement, Producing Measurable Goals & Objectives and Retention 101: Student Outcomes and University Benchmarks.
Students interested in getting involved in KUSAC have several ways to sign up. They can contact Narain at email@example.com or Rouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908.737.3357. The Office of Assessment also maintains an open door policy, welcoming students at any time in Townsend Hall, Room 126. Students are also welcome to write on the office’s Facebook page or connect with the office via its YouTube channel.