Regular Assessment Affords TAMIU Needed Insight for Important Change
Posted: 06/10/2010

Regular Assessment Affords TAMIU
Insight for Important Change

As part of an institutional commitment to quality improvement, Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) regularly conducts satisfaction assessments of its students, full-time employees and evaluates academic experience, student opinions and more.

Mary Treviño, TAMIU, associate vice president for academic affairs, said approximately seven assessments or surveys are conducted on an annual or bi-annual basis and their results regularly reviewed to determine the need for adjustments or change.

“These assessments are basically our barometers, our indicators of how we’re doing. It’s important that we not only offer these assessments and share our results, but that we carefully review the findings and determine how we can change to reinforce our commitment to continuous improvement,” she observed.

Treviño noted that in the University’s earlier days such opportunities for feedback generally came from conversations with students or anecdotal observations. Not so much today. Delivery is electronic, regular and secure.

“We’re looking for data and for chances to measure, benchmark and improve our operations, programs -- all aspects of our service and its delivery,” she observed, “and we require a regular cycle of these assessments so that comparative data can be easily mined.”

For example, surveys of graduating students and their responses helped the University to justify the need for an increase in courses provided online and on weekends and also found ways to encourage building or enhancing partnerships that would strengthen student scholarships and stipends and financial support for students to participate in Study Abroad Programs.
“We were able to show a direct correlation for these changes and modifications based on results of student assessments that were provided,” Treviño observed.

While student opinions are clearly much sought-after, she noted that opinions and feedback from members of the University’s employee community are also deeply relevant.

“Our Survey of Organizational Excellence, designed for our employee community, helped us to establish the need for an Enrichment activity for employees that is held each May. It provides a casual day of training sessions on work-related matters such as communication, team-building, software or hardware changes and internal processes and has proven to be a great value to our employees,” she said.

The Student Opinion Survey looks specifically at 23 services offered by the University and its findings are used to measure the quality of services and what can be done better to ensure TAMIU meets the needs and demands of the student body.

For example, one of the weaknesses cited by students was advising services. Advising has now been enhanced through designated faculty advisors and the expansion of the Advising and Mentoring Center. This year, advising was one of the top 5 services cited on the survey.

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) highlighted the University’s level of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, and supportive campus environment with higher scores than other system schools, peer institutions and the national NSSE average.

The Faculty Survey of Student Engagement looks at how faculty view students’ classroom performance and multiple iterations of the student-faculty dynamic.

For more information on the assessment program at TAMIU, contact Treviño at the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning, visit offices located in Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 334 or call 956.326.2322.

Assessment results are available on the University’s website at tamiu.edu/adminis/ie/surveys

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu