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Definitions Used By The Office of Institutional Research

Assessment of Institutional Effectiveness is:

  • An assessment process to evaluate Hood College’s effectiveness in achieving the mission and goals of the college along with its compliance with accreditation standards;
  • An assessment of the planning activity of the institution; and
  • The effectiveness of the institution in achieving its mission relative to its strategic plans and their executions.

Assessment of Student Learning

Assessment of student learning is an observational process designed to measure students’ learning performance as it relates to Hood College’s identified student learning outcomes.

Assessment Process

Assessment process, as it is understood at Hood College, is an ongoing practice intended to understand and improve student learning at the core curriculum, undergraduate, graduate and co-curricular activity levels. The process involves making our expectations explicit and public, setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality and systematically gathering, analyzing and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance parallels set expectations and standards. The resulting information is then used to document, explain and improve academic and operational influences.

Component Plans

Component plans are plans from individual departments created as a result of the overall strategic priorities, operational initiatives and action plans as articulated by Hood College’s leadership.

Core Competencies

Core competencies are expectations of student learning outcomes as they relate to the undergraduate experience in basic areas, such as written and oral communication, qualitative analysis, information literacy, technological competence, critical reasoning, etc.

Core Values

Core values are a description of the code of conduct to which Hood College adheres.

Key Action Plan (KAP)

Key action plans are the request for resources from each department of the College to the division vice president for consideration. The vice president then forwards priority requests for funding to the planning and budgeting committee as appropriate.


Mission is the statement of the institution’s purpose for its existence.


Objective is a measurable target(s) that needs to be met toward an ultimate overall goal.

Planning and Budgeting Committee

Planning and budgeting committee is the group of elected faculty, staff and students who join with the president, the senior administration and the director of institutional research to lead Hood’s planning and budgeting activities.

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is a disciplined approach to align Hood’s mission, vision and goals with the decisions and actions needed to meet those goals.


Strategy is best defined as the decisions, actions and plans used as a map for Hood College to meet its stated goals and objectives.

Student Learning Outcomes

Student learning outcomes are Hood’s stated standards of the knowledge, skills and abilities that students are expected to achieve as a result of their undergraduate educational experiences.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis is a planning method designed to identify an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is used to judge what attributes the organization possesses to move it toward its goals and what attributes might impede its progress.


Vision is a description or statement of what Hood College will look like or operate after implementation of its successful strategic plans.