Assessing Services and AUOs

Assessment is successful when a unit measures its performance, implements changes and improves its performance as a result of the assessment and evaluation process.

City College of San Francisco systematically assesses student support services and adminstrative unit outcomes in addition to student achievement data and student learning outcomes to ensure that decision-making processes are evidence based.

Student Services Outcomes (SSOs)

Ongoing assessments of student service outcomes help determine whether student needs are being met.  They guide improvements in services that help facilitate student achievement.

SSOs are overarching, clear and measureable statements that identify what a student will be able to know and/or do after successfully receiving a service and/or participating in student support programs. The focus  is on student activities, services and processes that support student success. SSOs include events, programs and activities outside of the classroom, complement the academic programs and enhance the educational experience of students through participation in social, cultural, intellectual, recreational and governance programs. Staff, faculty and administration work together to assess SSOs.

Student Services Assessment Details by department

Administrative Unit Outcomes (AUOs)

Administrative units are responsisible for sustaining the learning environment of the college. Though these units do not directly impact student learning, they do so indirectly. Their role in supporting the necessities for teaching and learning is vital to the educational experience of all students, the teaching experience of instructors and all staff members of the college community. Assessment of AUOs supports institutional effectiveness.

AUOs are overarching, clear and measurable statements used to define the unit's goals by describing what the unit does and its impact on its key stakeholders.

Administrative Unit Assessment Details by department

Assessment Plans for SSOs and AUOs

Step 1: Define the mission and the goals of the  unit.

A unit's mission is a broad statement of the unit's direction in achieving the College mission.

  • Align the mission of the unit with the mission of the College.
  • Reflect on the unit's contribution to students' education and career paths, specifically.
  • Agree on primary functions, stakeholders, important distinguishing factors of the unit

A unit's goals should be defined clearly because they serve as the basis for assessment activities.


Step 2: Define the outcomes of the unit.

Outcomes should be a fundamental result of the unit's service and consistent with the unit's  mission/purpose.

Unit goals are general statements and outcomes are more specific. SSO and AUOs focus more on processes and student development than student learning.  Outcomes describe what the unit is doing and its impact on its stakeholders whether they are students, faculty, alumni etc.).

  • Align outcome with mission of program or unit
  • Determine how worthwhile it is in relation to the college mission and ILOs
  • Refer to Bloom's Taxonomy for verbiage
  • Make sure the outcome is measureable
  • Can results be used to make decision s about improvements

Stakeholder + Service Provided = Change in Knowledge, Behavior or Skills

EXAMPLE: Students who apply online will be able to successfully navigate the registration process.


Step 3: Identify the criteria for success for each outcome.

The criteria of success  serves as the main goal of the outcome. It is the standard by which the outcome is measured.  For some outcomes, a satisfaction level serves as the achievement level. The criteria for success is the benchmark by which the unit strives to achieve the outcome.


75% of students will successfully navigate the online registration process after they receive training.

75% of students will rate their experience with the Financial Aid office as exzcellent.


Step 4: Determine use of assessment results and assessment schedule

Assessment is a collaborative effort to make improvements and effect change using data-driven decisions. Efffective assessment plans incorporate a feedback mechanism. The information gathered from assessments must be shared with appropriate constiutents (colleagues, department chairs, students, administrators). The results of an assessment should be used to improve programs and unit processes.

Step 5: Share  and report assessment results

Summaries of assessment results  are reported in the following areas:

  • Departmental websites
  • Semester assessment reports
  • Annual program review
  • Program review SLO summary report