2nd Edition

Student Affairs Assessment Theory to Practice

By Gavin W. Henning, Darby M. Roberts Copyright 2024
    424 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    424 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This second edition of Student Affairs Assessment: Theory to Practice provides updated content that reflects current student affairs assessment practice and signals the direction in which the field is headed.

    Chapters feature foundational concepts of assessment design, outcomes, and data collection methods while also addressing current topics in student affairs assessment such as the prevalence of data analytics through higher education and equity-centered assessment. In addition, this volume further broadens the scope of the assessment process by highlighting the impact of culturally responsive ethics and Indigenous paradigms. Ultimately, this book provides student affairs staff with the grounding they need to integrate assessment into how they design and monitor the programs, services, and activities they create to contribute to students’ development.

    A useful reference for implementing assessment of co-curricular programs and services, this book is an excellent guide for student affairs practitioners and experienced assessment professionals to develop their assessment skills and knowledge.

    1. Assessment in Student Affairs—Setting the Stage 2. Paradigms and Assessment 3. The Assessment Process—The Big Picture 4. Types of Assessment 5. Outcomes—Building Blocks for Assessment 6. Quantitative Designs 7. Qualitative Designs 8. Planning and Designing Assessment Projects 9. Survey Design 10. Interviews, Focus Groups, and Talking Circles 11. Additional Assessment Methods 12. Quantitative Analysis and Statistical Overview 13. Qualitative Analysis for Assessment 14. Data Analytics and Assessment 15. Sharing Assessment Results 16. Using Assessment Results—Closing the Loop 17. Integrating Equity into Student Affairs Assessment Practice 18. Assessment Ethics 19. Politics in Assessment 20. Cultivating and Sustaining a Culture of Assessment 21. The Future—Where Are We Headed?


    Gavin W. Henning is Professor of Higher Education at New England College is Professor of Higher Education at New England College and directs the Doctor of Education and Master of Science in Higher Education administration programs. He is a past president of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education and a past president of ACPA–College Student Educators International.

    Darby M. Roberts is Director of Student Affairs Planning, Assessment & Research in the Division of Student Affairs at Texas A&M University and teaches in the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education master’s program. She has twice co-chaired the NASPA Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Knowledge Community.

    “Student Affairs Assessment: Theory to Practice is one of a handful of new publications directed specifically at student affairs practitioners and graduate students who seek to study assessment. As the title indicates, this is a comprehensive text that includes topics not always covered in similar texts, including the history of assessment in student affairs, the importance of epistemology or ‘ways of knowing’ when it comes to thinking about assessment, the politics of assessment, and the uses of technology in practice. Henning and Roberts’ text would be ideal for course instruction as it covers theory to practice and could be taught in the order best suited for the class. Course instructors may choose to create assignments tethered to key points and discussion questions provided by the authors.”

    -- Teachers College Record

    “If my graduate program curriculum had included an assessment course, I would have liked for this new book from Henning and Roberts to be the text. And as I prepare to introduce a position dedicated to assessment and storytelling into my Student Affairs portfolio in the coming months, I’ll certainly purchase this book as a resource for our staff. Accessible to assessment newcomers and useful for seasoned professionals, Student Affairs Assessment: Theory to Practice belongs in Student Affairs libraries everywhere.”

    -- John Austin, Executive Director, Student Affairs, Ryerson University

    "Rigor in implementing assessment is emphasized throughout this volume. Rigor also characterizes the book’s contents, which are particularly thorough in explaining why and how to do assessment and how to use results to improve programs and services. The authors make unique contributions in chapters on epistemology, politics, closing the loop, and ethics."

    -- Trudy W. Banta, Professor of Higher Education and Senior Advisor to the Chancellor, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

    "This comprehensive primer on student affairs based assessment is a welcome and valuable contribution to the profession. This is the best kind of example of connecting theory and practice, all for the benefit of our students. In many ways student affairs has led the academy in implementing true assessment of student learning and this work enables higher education to make even stronger progress on this critically important work.”

    -- Mike Segawa, Dean of Students, University of Puget Sound

    "Henning and Roberts bring their superb scholar-practitioner orientations to this informed, accessible, and comprehensive approach to assessment. Their experience shines with practical examples embedded in solid research methodologies. Built from now-classic documents in student affairs, both graduate students and those coming into student affairs work new to assessment will find this book foundation to their professional practice."

    -- Susan R. Komives, professor emerita, Student Affairs Graduate Program, University of Maryland and past president of both ACPA and CAS

    “If tasked to spearhead assessment with little support, this single resource might be what saves you. Whether new to assessment or interested in bolstering your grasp of assessment, you will find that this isn’t simply a textbook on assessment but rather a comprehensive review of the context, methods, and implications of assessment. Important chapters on the history and mechanics of assessment are balanced by often missing discussions of political realities and implications associated with assessment activities. This is a thorough handbook for everyone in student affairs.”

    -- Dean L. Bresciani, President, North Dakota State University and Professor of Human Development and Education

    "The timely update to this standard, much read, and oft-cited book which is routinely used in student affairs focused graduate programs reinforces the role of assessment as a key practice for student affairs professionals. Operationalizing assessment within a specific context and dynamically changing environment, this updated edition offers invaluable insights to advance both the philosophy and practice of student affairs within the context of today’s students and educational realities. Building from the foundation provided by the first edition of this seminal text in student affairs assessment, the second edition provides a research-oriented, comprehensive overview that is both insightful and process oriented to provide strategic direction to new and seasoned assessment professionals alike. With coverage of elements such as equity, ethics, politics, methods, paradigms, and culture, Henning and Roberts remain secured in their position as the go-to resource for student affairs assessment."

    --Natasha Jankowski, PhD, Higher Education Consultant

    "As enrollments decline, resources become increasingly scarce, and expectations for graduates increase, student affairs educators simply must become the most skilled professionals at data-informed practice at our campuses.  It’s not enough to know you’re doing important work for students—you have to prove it and then improve it.  This is the book I wish I had back when I was teaching these concepts in student preparation programs, and this is the book I now want to see worn and used on the desks of student affairs educators at my campuses."   

    -- John L. Hoffman, PhD, President, Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College

    "Brilliant, practical, and timely. Never has it been more important to provide data informed practices for assessing students outside of the classroom. Henning and Roberts have provided a comprehensive approach to guide this critical work."

    --Charles Lloyd, EdD, President, White Mountains Community College

    "This is a must-have reference for faculty, students, and professionals (new and seasoned) who need a complete and contemporary reference for conducting high-quality, ethical, equity-based assessment. If you are looking for one book that covers design to analysis to reporting, Student Affairs Assessment: Theory to Practice (2nd Edition) is the text you need."

    -- J. Patrick Biddix, PhD, Jimmy and Ileen Cheek Endowed Professor of Higher Education, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    "This book is a must-read for any student affairs practitioners seeking to engage in assessment work that translates across the institution in meaningful ways. Drs. Henning and Roberts walk practitioners through the steps, grounding the work in theory, and subsequently empowering student affairs professionals to engage in university learning and development outcomes dialogue that will support institutional transformation."

    --Marilee Ludvik, PhD, Associate Provost and Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Loyola University Chicago