SAAL’s mission is to create an open and welcoming environment for educators who coordinate and/or contribute to assessment for and within divisions of student affairs to share and receive information and resources that will advance their work.
SAAL seeks to improve the quality of assessment practice within student affairs by creating a robust and active network of student affairs assessment professionals, experts, and faculty, who are committed to sharing knowledge and resources, identifying and advancing critical conversations, and producing and distributing high quality training materials and research related to student affairs assessment.
SAAL acknowledges the interconnectedness of inquiry and culture. The data with which SAAL members work is not separate from the complexities of human experiences represented within those data.
The ethos of SAAL reflects the following principles:
- Curiosity – SAAL members inspire a desire to know and understand what creates transformative student experiences.
- Equity - SAAL members have unique responsibilities to gather evidence and report it in ways that demonstrate existing inequities in co-curricular experiences.
- Justice - Inquiry situates SAAL members in positions to use data to highlight existing inequities and to analyze data responsibly and advance toward (social and distributive) justice.
- Intentionality – Advance rigor and trustworthiness by interrogating assumptions in our approaches to assessment, evaluation. Challenge what is valid and real, including the (re)production of dominant discourses about the student experience.
SAAL Member Expectations
- Respect and authenticity
- Keep confidential the stories or questions shared by members.
- Be honest.
- Communicate with respect.
- Cite others' work and ideas.
- Mentorship and learning
- Share what you know and ask what you don't know.
- Seek out professional development and support.
- Provide peer mentorship.
- Active engagement in discussion, projects, and scholarly activities.
- Challenge with respect.
- Learn and reflect.
- Engage in new ideas.
Outcomes of Participation
As a result of participating in SAAL, members will:
1. Identify new strategies for engaging units/departments/divisions in assessment
2. Develop as professionals
3. Contribute to assessment scholarship
4. Identify best practices in student affairs assessment
5. Identify colleagues from whom to get support
Strategies for Achieving Our Outcomes
- Annual meetings (not conferences)
- Structured phone and online conversations
- Members-only listserv
- Informal get-togethers at national conferences
- Presentations at national conferences
- Building assessment scholarship
- Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry
- National Louis University MOOC: Applying & Leading Assessment in Student Affairs