Developing a Comprehensive Outcomes Assessment Program (COAP) Model for Southwest Texas State University
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In response to the growing need for adopting an organizational perspective in addressing assessment in higher education, this research attempts to lay the foundation for developing and implementing a Comprehensive Outcomes Assessment Program (COAP) model based on review of related literature as well as a survey of higher education institutions. The ideal elements in the model include: Leadership Commitment, Establishing a Centralized Office, Culture Development, Partnership with Strategic Planning, Conducting Assessment, Disseminating Results, and Utilizing Results. Assessment programs at four-year public institutions in the United States with a minimum enrollment of 8,000 students are evaluated using the proposed COAP model. Two hundred sixty-one surveys were distributed, with ninety-four returned. A secondary method of evaluation included the analyses of institutional web pages, based on the web addresses provided via the survey. Recommendations are made for an ideal COAP model to be established at Southwest Texas State University based on the results of the research. The findings of the research indicate that the originally proposed model derived from the literature be implemented as presented. Although some of the elements were not actually practiced at the surveyed institutions, responses overwhelmingly indicate that assessment administrators believe each of these elements are important.