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Campus Assessment Working Group (CAWG) Charter

The University of Maryland is dedicated to creating strategies, systems, and methods for achieving excellence. Toward that purpose, the Campus Assessment Working Group (CAWG) was created in 1996. It is charged with developing and promoting a culture of evidence in the campus community through:

Assessment planning and design
Consultation about data needs and survey assessment methodologies
Access, dissemination and utilization of information
Maximizing collaboration opportunities and resources within the campus community

Specifically, the Campus Assessment Working Group:

Identifies and explores key student, faculty, and staff issues
Promotes and collaborates in routine campus-wide efforts to collect and analyze customer-driven data and information
Ensures sound methodology using current technologies
Ensures that collected data are analyzed, interpreted, and disseminated to campus decision-makers
Organizes to continually address selected needs and demands of the campus
Responds to urgent or unforeseen information requests that are of campus concern
Provides support for campus-wide data collection and analytic projects
Facilitates comparisons of campus survey data to peer institutions and national trends to provide a context for UM data

Current Structure

Chair: Sharon La Voy, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment

Campus Assessment Working Group membership is cross-divisional and cross-functional, and includes faculty, staff and students. Currently there is a Steering Committee and three subgroups within CAWG, each with its own focus.

     Studies of Student Entry (Beginnings): Incoming and first-year students
     Assessing Campus Experiences (ACES): Large-scale surveys and polls of junior and senior students
     Studies of Retention and Completion (RetComp): Factors affecting retention and withdrawal for current students and alumni

The Work of CAWG Encompasses

Assessment Planning and Design

Selects and develops core topics that will be tracked longitudinally primarily through survey data
Establishes a multi-year schedule for monitoring survey samples, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of results
Facilitates assessment of the campus community, including studies of sub-populations
Selects and develops survey instruments and data collection methods
Facilitates warehousing of data collection projects
Responds to non-routine data needs of the campus

Data Access, Dissemination, and Utilization

Addresses and collaborates in development of policies about data access and dissemination
Promotes targeted distribution of data and findings
Compares campus survey data with data from other universities and with nationwide trends to provide a context
Encourages cataloguing of past survey efforts by the campus community
Provides assistance to campus data users in accessing CAWG and other catalogued data

Consultation and Referral

Publicizes CAWG's mission and services
Engages potential data providers and data users
Provides technical assistance and advice regarding assessment and evaluation processes
Promotes learning opportunities for data collection and evaluation, and the assessment process

History of CAWG

The Continuous Quality Improvement Council was established in June 1993 to develop a system for taking action in a constantly changing environment. The Campus Assessment Working Group (CAWG) was established in 1996, and was one of three coordinating groups linked to the Continuous Quality Improvement Council. CAWG's founding Chair was the Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. William L. Thomas, and he remained chair until May 2000. The CQI Council has ceased to exist, but CAWG continues to function through the support of the Vice Presidents for Academic and Student Affairs, and is housed in and supported by the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment.

(revised : 11/13/15)

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Campus Assessment Working Group
Telephone: (301) 405-5590
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