Research & Assessment

Welcome to Student Affairs Research and Assessment at LMU

The mission of Student Affairs Research and Assessment at LMU (SARA at LMU) is to create a Division-wide culture of evidence.  Through capacity building and leadership in large-scale research and assessment, SARA at LMU envisions a Division that leverages multiple data sources to inform practice and better communicate outcomes.

A culture of evidence is supported by four necessary characteristics. The first is a clear definition of what we aim to achieve. This is articulated very clearly through the LMU Student Affairs Student Learning Goals. Second is the capacity to measure the achievement.  Third is the commitment to utilize results for improvement.  Communication of outcomes is the final element of a culture of evidence; both internally to the Division and University and externally to our constituents.  To this end, SARA at LMU: 

  • serves as a dynamic resource to both staff and students through the delivery of regular workshops, development opportunities and consultation.  SARA also curates a clearinghouse of current tools, practical examples, and current and reference literature on research and assessment in higher education.
  • as units build capacity, facilitates the sharing and communication of “useful practices” across departments and units.
  • provides leadership and support for large scale assessment and original research.
  • ensures the Student Affairs Division is aligned with complementary assessment and research efforts across the University through relationships with Office of Assessment and Institutional Research and the Academic Affairs.
  • represents the Division on all accreditation-related activities.
Our students see their college experience as a whole--they do not necessarily differentiate between learning insider or outside of the classroom.  To this end, the Division of Student Affairs seeks to create a seamless learning environment.  In addition to providing co-curricular learning opportunities, the Division integrates into the formal academic experience in a variety of ways.  The Division is also aligned with the University's ethos of assessment.
 
As a university, LMU is committed to creating a culture of evidence, learning centeredness and continuous improvement.  This commitment begins with LMU's Mission Statement to which our Undergraduate Learning Outcomes and the Student Affairs Division Goals are aligned.  Integral in this mix is the 2012-2020 Loyola Marymount Strategic Plan.  Together, LMU's mission, learning goals and strategic plan provide clear signposts for development successful LMU graduates.
 
The assessment activities of the Division of Student Affairs are informed by the Guiding Principles for Assessment, developed by the University Assessment Committee and approved by the Executive Vice President and Provost. This document articulates LMU's philosophy of assessment for improvement and provides a framework for the way we approach assessment as an institution.