Institutional Effectiveness (TracDat)

The Office of University Accreditation (UA) supports the ongoing process of collecting and analyzing data and implementing data-informed decisions as related to the goals and outcomes of the UNT mission. UA manages the TracDat database for institutional effectiveness (IE) plans, and reports institutional effectiveness to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Why do we have Institutional Effectiveness plans at UNT?

The Institutional Effectiveness process is focused on improving UNT’s student learning outcomes and services, while increasing student success and institutional quality.  Not only is it the right thing to do for our students and UNT, but including continuous improvement and innovation as part of the institutional culture ensures that student success and achievement are at the forefront of our mission.

UNT has built Institutional Effectiveness plans using TracDat for all degrees and graduate certificates; as well as administrative, academic and student support, research and public service units.  In addition, UNT assesses the student learning outcomes of general education courses (Core curriculum classes) in TracDat.  All of these plans align with SACSCOC Core Requirements 7.1, 7.3, 8.1 and 8.2 which state:

Effective institutions demonstrate a commitment to the principles of continuous improvement. These principles are based on a systematic and documented process of assessing institutional performance with respect to mission in all aspects of the institution. An institutional planning and effectiveness process involves all programs, services and constituencies; is linked to the decision-making process at all levels; and provides a sound basis for budgetary decisions and resource allocations.

7.1. The institution engages in ongoing, comprehensive, and integrated research-based planning and evaluation processes that (a) focus on institutional quality and effectiveness and (b) incorporate a systematic review of institutional goals and outcomes consistent with its mission. (Institutional Planning)

7.3. The institution identifies expected outcomes of its administrative support services and demonstrates the extent to which the outcomes are achieved. (Administrative effectiveness)

8.1. The institution identifies, evaluates, and publishes goals and outcomes for student achievement appropriate to the institution’s mission, the nature of the students it serves, and the kinds of programs offered. The institution uses multiple measures to document student success. (Student achievement) [CR]

8.2. The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of seeking improvement based on analysis of the results in the areas below:

a. Student learning outcomes for each of its educational programs. (Student outcomes: educational programs)

b. Student learning outcomes for collegiate-level general education competencies of its undergraduate degree programs. (Student outcomes: general education)

c. Academic and student services that support student success. (Student outcomes: academic and student services)

-- SACSCOC  The Principles of Accreditation:  Foundations for Quality Enhancement

How does UNT document institutional effectiveness?

In 2008, UNT adopted TracDat as the university-wide database for the collection and storage of academic and administrative assessment plans.  University Accreditation (UA) oversees the administration of the TracDat database.  UNT’s Strategic Plan goals, program objectives and copies of assessments, results and future plans are stored in the database, allowing for outcomes to be tracked across time.  Each assessment plan is reviewed and critiqued annually, in accordance with UNT’s Institutional Effectiveness Plan.  

Institutional Effectiveness Timeline and Peer Reviews

In addition to the UA office, UNT utilizes peer-review committees to evaluate IE plans.  These committees score plans according to a rubric; provide feedback; and meet with those needing support.  The Office of University Accreditation is thankful for these voluntary members’ service and dedication to UNT’s Institutional Effectiveness Plan:

UNT Institutional Effectiveness Timeline *

*Please note that the assessment of The Core is not managed by UA.  Inquiries about timelines for Core assessment data should be directed to Dr.Wendy Watson, Director of the Core, at 940.565.4413 or core@unt.edu.

This timeline is only for IE purposes, and not for Core assessment.

September 2017 – August 2018
  1. Assessments occur
  2. Data are collected and analyzed
  3. Results are entered in TracDat
  4. A copy of the results and/or analysis is uploaded in TracDat
  5. Recommendations for improvement and follow-up entered in TracDat
October 15, 2017
  1. Final 2016-17 plans due with completed results, evidence, and recommendations with follow-up on 2015-16 recommendations
  2. 2017-18 new/updated outcomes (if any), methods of assessment with criterion statements and uploaded samples/supporting documents are due
  3. Plan Audits take place (Quantity, not Quality)
November 2017 – April 2018
  1. Peer Committee Review and scoring of 2016-17 IE reports in TracDat occur (Reviewing for Quality)
  2. Feedback provided to the IE Plan owners
October 15, 2018
  1. Final 2017-18 plans due with completed results and recommendations
  2. 2018-19 new/updated outcomes, methods of assessment with criterion statements and uploaded samples/supporting documents are due

 

What tools are available to help with IE plans and TracDat?

The UA office is always available to support TracDat users with their IE plans.  In additional to one-on-one support, the office has provided some tools assist with institutional effectiveness efforts.  Please contact the UA office if you have any questions.

Common Myths on UNT’s Institutional Effectiveness Process for Administrative Units.

Institutional Effectiveness & TracDat Tools

UNT Program of Institutional Effectiveness

This is UNT’s program of institutional effectiveness.

TracDat and Institutional Effectiveness Guidelines

 

This is a copy of the presentation for new TracDat users.

End of Year Reporting Guide

A guide to completing year-end reporting expectations due in October each year.

Peer Review Rubric

 

This is a copy of the rubric used by the peer-review committees to score IE plans for feedback to IE plan owners.

How to hide inactive/complete outcomes

 

TracDat users can hide (filter) their inactive assessment methods and completed outcomes to simplify the work with active outcomes.

How to reveal hidden inactive/complete outcomes

 

TracDat users can follow these steps to reveal inactive or completed outcomes that are filtered.

TracDat Instructions for assessing the Core

 

Reporting assessment for the Core is a separate process that also uses TracDat.  Follow these instructions for building assessment methods and reporting results for the Core.

Recommendations versus a follow-up

Helpful info graphic showing the difference between recommendation and follow up statements

Other Assessment Organizations