UTSA Assessment helps to foster a culture of continuous improvement by performing system-level evaluations and assessments using an improvement process of PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act).

What is Assessment in Higher Education?

“The process of providing credible evidence of resources, implementation actions, and outcomes undertaken for the purpose of improving the effectiveness of, instruction, programs, and services in higher education.” (Banta and Palomba, 2015)

The PDSA Approach

PLAN – identify a goal or purpose, formulate a theory, define success metrics, and put a plan into action.
DO – implement the components of the plan.
STUDY – monitor and analyze outcomes in order to test the validity of the plan for either progress or possible areas of improvement.
ACT – integrate the new information generated by the assessment. Possible actions include adjusting the goal, changing methods, or broadening the assessment from a small-scale sample to a full implementation strategy.

Role and Function

UT System Assessment:

  • Helps ensure that the UT System Strategic Plan is meeting its target goals
  • Performs climate surveys to evaluate policies, practices, and procedures that influence faculty and staff behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions
  • Assists intra-campus efforts and programs through systemwide assessments
  • Collaborates with campus Assessment offices to develop best practices for assessment in higher education
  • Provides leaders with evaluations of current system practices to enhance decision-making


UT System Assessment partners with these units that perform campus-level assessment:

UT Knoxville Institutional Effectiveness
UT Chattanooga Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness
UT Martin Assessment
UT Health Science Center Institutional Effectiveness