University of Maryland Campus Assessment Working Group (CAWG)
The Campus Assessment Working Group (CAWG) was created in 1996 and is a deliberate blending of the assessment and quality agendas. CAWG is charged with developing a campus "Culture of Evidence" in which data and assessment play a key role in campus decision making.
CAWG responds to the need to regularly gather and exchange information about the student, staff, and faculty experience at the university. The data can feed directly into program and campus improvement efforts. Departments and administrators take advantage of these data collection efforts to ask questions that are important for their own improvement efforts. CAWG works on developing strategies for the sustainable data collection needed to continue moving the University of Maryland forward in its status as the flagship campus.
Many good sources of campus data already exist, but often those studying one set of data are not aware of other sources. Thus CAWG's missions include:
- Connecting and facilitating access to the existing data
- Coordinating the ability to assess experiences over time by asking the same questions on multiple surveys
- Maximizing collaboration opportunities and resources within the community
- Analyzing, interpreting, and disseminating data to campus decision-makers
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This sub-committee of CAWG is directed to investigate and implement instruments (both national and in-house) to assess the attitudes, perceptions, and experiences of UM students during their junior and senior years. The committee also uses a "Nielsons" method of surveying targeted sections of the student population at regular intervals.
ACES is chaired by Julie Kromkowski
Special Assistant to the Associate Vice President, Facilities Management
The focus of this sub-committee of CAWG is on the experiences, attitudes, and perceptions of incoming undergraduate students through the completion of their freshman year. The needs of both transfer and "native" students will be examined.
Beginnings is chaired by Joann Prosser
Director, Research, Department of Resident Life
The Retention and Completion sub-committee of CAWG focuses on factors that help students stay enrolled at UM and complete their degree. It looks at situations that lead to the withdrawal or continuation of students, as well as the retention of students who are academically at risk. It also focuses on the completion of the education experience for undergraduate and graduate students and explores the transition of our alumni into the working world.
Retention and Completion is chaired by Dave Eubanks
Associate Director, College Park Scholars
How to Get Involved
Faculty, staff and students interested in CAWG efforts are encouraged to contact the Office of Institutional Research Planning and Assessment at 301.405.5590 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
CAWG stands for the Campus Assessment Working Group and was created in 1996 through the Continuous Quality Improvement Council in order to help the University become more responsive, flexible, and collaborative. CAWG's mission is to build a culture of evidence at the University.
The membership of CAWG contains representatives from four divisions (Academic Affairs, Administrative Affairs, Student Affairs, University Relations) of the University. The group meets on a regular basis to explore ways to create data collection processes that can be coordinated centrally, but highly flexible to meet the interests of campus committees, departments, and colleges. CAWG has a cross-functional emphasis that addresses institution-wide information needs and concerns such as:
- Who are our students?
- Who leaves the university prior to graduation?
- Why do some students leave and others stay?
- How do our students and alumni view the university?
As a first emphasis, the experience of students has been the focus of CAWG efforts. Occasional CAWG efforts will address the faculty and staff experience.
CAWG's first focus is on students, but the group intends to build on success with this group to also help understand the needs of other key constituents, faculty and staff. Realizing that quite a bit of information is already gathered on students, CAWG has committed to creating profiles of student attitudes, perceptions, and concerns that will be available to a wide campus constituency.
The following strategy agreements were set forth in CAWG's Charter:
- Bring together various streams of student data already available
- Refine existing procedures and methods for data collection and analysis
- Review points of contact between the University and students and explore ways to make use of these opportunities for data collection
- Explore ways to combine and share different resources on campus for data collection and analysis
- Consider ways in which new technologies can aid in helping people collect and analyze data
- Manage data collection with minimal intrusion on student time and effort
With these strategies, the process of moving from episodic to routine data collection and dissemination, is now underway.
CAWG is trying to provide a coordinating role with respect to surveys on campus. In some cases, CAWG may request that a graduation survey include certain questions so that there is continuity with questions asked elsewhere. In other cases, CAWG may ask units which questions the unit would like to ask on one of our surveys.