We are excited to have an area in Housing dedicated to ensuring quality research and assessment of the programs and services we provide to our residents. The area of Assessment in Housing has a relatively brief history at the University of Arkansas, officially beginning only just a few short years ago in 2009. Since then, this has led us to begin building a culture of evidence-based decision-making.
The area of Assessment in Housing now provides assistance to all units, which can range from designing a quick opinion poll, to summarizing student residence hall experiences, to conducting advanced statistical analysis and producing professional research for presentation and publication.
We have found that Assessment, when truly integrated into an organization, can become more than simply a routine practice or a process that happens in the background. When utilized often and intentionally, Assessment can become what I would characterize as a habit of the mind. Such a habit has led us to look forward by producing realistic timelines for projects, considering who our stakeholders will be and bring them into the process from the beginning, determining upfront how we define success, and finally, continually asking ourselves two important questions that must be answered before we can begin: Are the outcomes we seek measurable?, and, How will we use the information to improve the services and programs we provide to residents we serve once we have obtained it?
Feel free to contact me anytime for more information about Assessment in Housing at the University of Arkansas.
Aaron J. Scott
Assistant Director for Assessment in Housing