Assessment, Evaluation, & Research
ACUI offers resources to help members conducting assessment on campus and guidelines for the work of those researching the profession.
CUSA Evaluation Program
As campus leaders strive to improve their organizations, the College Union and Student Activities Evaluation Program (CUSA) provides an external review and specific recommendations from experienced professionals.
Through document analysis and interactions with stakeholders during campus visits, consultant teams provide practical and objective feedback to help host institutions identify strategies for overcoming current challenges, prioritizing staff and financial resources, and communicating the value of campus community.
WHAT TO EXPECT
From submitting the initial host intake form to the delivery of the final report, bringing CUSA to your campus takes approximately three months. A typical project involves three consultants spending two and a half days on campus.
With competitive pricing for ACUI member institutions, project costs vary based on the scope of the review, length of the campus visit, and number of consultants requested. In collaboration with the host, ACUI will identify and contract consultants, facilitate travel and lodging arrangements, organize planning discussions, and oversee the production of the written report.
Contact Steve Chaplin to learn more and start a conversation about bringing CUSA to your campus!
EXAMPLES OF PAST PROJECTS
CUSA is intentionally customizable for institutions to build a visit based on their unique needs. Past projects include:
- Evaluating how current facilities, services, and procedures are meeting student needs and are aligned with trends in the college union field.
- Completing a comprehensive departmental external review using functional area standards as part of an institution’s assessment schedule.
- Assessing staffing resources, organizational structure, departmental alignment, and position descriptions to best achieve the unit’s mission.
- Recommending programmatic needs to support increased demands related to student organizations, leadership training, and risk management for campus events.
- Identifying how a department can improve communication and collaboration to prepare for the opening of a new student union facility.
- Providing objective insights on how to manage financial resources to achieve the strategic goals of the organization.
ACUI’s research agenda is focused on the development and dissemination of knowledge that supports the work of college union and student activities professionals, creates theoretical frameworks that inform practice, addresses gaps in literature, and links practitioner and scholar.
The Association’s research agenda is aligned with the strategic direction of the Association and responsive to issues facing the profession with the goal of contributing to and improving the work of college union and student activities professionals. If you are interested in conducting research, you can find more about the guidelines and contact Steve Chaplin to get started.
CAS Standards & Guidelines
CAS creates credible standards, guidelines, and self-assessment guides that help campus leaders design and evaluate programs and services.
With increased scrutiny over campus resources and department budgets, CAS tools help you benchmark current facilities and staffing, identify opportunities to improve student learning and operational success, and communicate the value of the union and activities to senior administrators.
- CAS Professional Standards for Higher Education (11th Edition) provides standards for more than 40 functional areas, including timely revisions to the CAS general standards, which guide effective practices in student affairs.
- CAS Self-Assessment Guides are downloadable assessment resources, reformatted in 2015 to help measure progress toward meeting the standards.
- ACUI members have access to download three relevant standards at no cost. Login to view these standards.
Research Request Guidelines
ACUI is committed to supporting and advancing scholarship in the college union and student activities field.
To that end, the following guidelines and procedures have been established for researchers interested in accessing ACUI’s membership for scholarly purposes. These research procedures guide requests for the process of systematic inquiry into the college union and student activities profession, acknowledging that some other assessment, evaluation, and data analysis projects might not apply.