The Office of Academic Planning and Assessment (OAPA) supports the University’s assessment and evaluation priorities by marshaling evidence and promoting a culture of evidence in line with the University’s Strategic Plan. In addition to providing direction and consultation on campus-wide and department-based student learning assessment, OAPA supports intentional improvement by contributing evidence for the strategic planning process, directing the Educational Effectiveness Program (EEP) in Academic Affairs, and designing and directing survey and evaluation research projects across campus.

Student Experience and Outcomes

OAPA draws on a student “pathways” assessment framework, where we consider the variety of students’ experiences from entrance to graduation and beyond. This holistic approach focuses on the quality of the experience at various stages of the students’ journey through UMass Amherst. We use both quantitative and qualitative evidence and direct and indirect measures to shed light on the effectiveness of University offerings and on student achievements.

Program, Curriculum, and Instructional Innovation

OAPA works collaboratively with faculty senate committees, academic departments and programs, individual faculty members, and the campus administration to design and implement a variety of program and instructional innovation assessment initiatives, including Academic Program Review, General Education assessment, and departmental Educational Effectiveness Plans (EEP).

University-Wide Assessment

OAPA contributes to campus-wide assessment efforts through a number of initiatives. These include providing evidence and consulting support for the University’s strategic planning efforts, contributing to NECHE accreditation efforts, and conducting the campus’s climate survey.

Survey and Evaluation Research

OAPA provides survey data and analyses to inform and support evidence-based practice, decision making, benchmarking, and strategic planning. We also work with administrators and faculty to evaluate University programs and services by gathering and analyzing institutional, survey, and/or focus group data, as needed.

Student Response to Instruction (SRTI)

OAPA administers the university’s student rating system and provides resources to individual instructors and departments on the recommended use and interpretation of results.

Tools, Services, and Support

OAPA offers both individual consultation and a host of tools to help you with your teaching and learning assessment efforts, survey development and focus group implementation, and program and external grant evaluation needs.