Current Assessment Activities


Each year, the Office of Institutional Research, Effectiveness and Planning conducts or assists in the adminsitration of a number of assessments designed to assist campus planning and effectiveness efforts.  Our projects include survey's, standardized assessments like the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), and institutionally designed assessments of student learning.

Direct Assessments of Student Learning

Standardized Tests

We currently use the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) as our standardized assessment of student learning.  An initiative of the Council for Aid to Education, the CLA+ is an assessment tool that is used to measure students' critical thinking and written communication skills providing subscores for analysis and problem solving, writing effectiveness, writing mechanics, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical reading and evaluation, as well as critique an argunment.  Students at participating institutions complete a Performance Task and selected response questions.  Written responses to the tasks are evaluated to assess the students' ability to think critically, reason analytically, solve problems, and write clearly and persuasively. After controlling for college entrance scores (SAT or ACT), Freshmen scores are compared with Graduating Senior scores to obtain the institution's contribution, or value added, to the students' higher-order skills.  

UNCA administers this test approximately every three years.  It was last administered in 2014-15.

Institutionally Designed Assessments (rubric based - pre-post testing)




Survey projects include surveys of admitted and enrolled students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Below we detail our most recent and upcoming projects.

National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

The NSSE is an annual survey of first-year and senior students that was specifically designed to assess the extent to which students are engaged in effective educational practices and what they gain from their college experiences.

We participate in NSSE every two or three years. Our most recent administration was in the Spring of 2015.  

To view our most recent NSSE results, click here.

Graduating Senior Survey

The Graduating Senior survey is administered every three years to all graduating seniors at UNC Asheville. Graduates are surveyed withing three months of their graduation date. In addition to campus analyses, data from fall and spring graduates is sent to UNC GA for the UNC system-wide Graduating Senior Survey.

Survey items cover quality of instruction, help outside the classroom, knowledge skills and personal growth, student support services, administrative services, overall satisfaction measures and plans for after graduation.

This survey is being administered in 2015-16 for submission to GA.  

Sophomore Survey

Overseen by the UNC System General Administration, this project involves administering a survey during spring term to second semester sophomores in the UNC system who have completed 30 hours at the home institution. The Sophomore Survey is administered every three years.

Survey items cover quality of instruction, help outside the classroom, campus safety, student support services, administrative services and overall satisfaction measures.

This survey will be administered in Spring 2016.

Admitted Student Survey

Most recently administered in the summer of 2015, this is designed to assess the admissions process, impressions of our university, effectiveness of various marketing campaigns, and likelihood of attending UNC Asheville in the fall.  Once students matriculate, this data is reviewed to see if there are systemic differences between those who attend and those who do not.

Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE)

COACHE is a consortium of over 200 colleges and universities committed to making the workplace better for faculty.  Based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the consortium advocates taking cost-effective steps to improve outcomes in faculty recruitment, development, climate, leadership and retention.  More than a traditional survey, COACHE provides a survey and diagnostic report, along with regular consultations to senior academic leaders on how to make meaning and take action from the data.  Academic leaders from across the country come together to advance our mutual goals of maximizing the impact of the data, with multiple opportunities annually to meet with counterparts from peer institutions and to preview COACHE’s findings on exemplary programs and practices. COACHE researchers also work with campuses to provide context and expertise on faculty issues.

COACHE was last administered in the spring of 2016.


Great Colleges

In 2008, The Chronicle of Higher Education and ModernThink LLC partnered to create the Great Colleges to Work For program. The top goal was to conduct research that would help leaders understand and leverage the key success factors that differentiate great places to work in academe. In 2015 the program attracted 281 institutional applicants from across the country. The survey is administered to faculty (including part time), staff, and administration.

UNC Asheville participated in the spring of 2015.



Annual Alumni Survey

Administered in partnership with the Career Center the Annual Alumni Survey is administered to baccalaureate degree recipients before and at graduation as well as regularly during their first year after graduation to determine: alumni educational activity career and earnings information preparation for careers and graduate school perceived impact of co-curricular activities.  The measure is 


UNC Asheville participates in this survey annually starting with the spring 2015 graduating class.