Example Operational Goals and Outcomes for Academic Departments

The following are suggestions for academic departments on common operational goals and outcomes. Appalachian's current strategic goals could be used as departmental goals, especially the first three as the focus is on the traditional academic areas of teaching, research, and service. There are suggested outcomes under each goal that would be appropriate for academic departments. This is not meant to be an all encompassing list. A printable PDF version of this list is available here.

Creating the Transformational Educational Experience (Teaching)
- Enhance academic quality
- Improve student retention in the major
- Improve graduation rates (or other student success measure)
- Increase student satisfaction with the quality of instruction in the major
- Increase student satisfaction with the quality of advising in the major
- Enhance online course offerings
- Increase number of undergraduate majors
- Increase the number of graduate students
- Improve student quality
- Increase student credit hours
- Increase number of degrees awarded
- Increase the number of students reaching their first destination within 3/6/12 months of
- Decrease time-to-degree within the major

Advancing Knowledge and Addressing the Challenges of Our Region, State and World through Creativity
and Innovation (Research)
- Increase number of student research/scholarly projects
- Increase the number of peer-reviewed publications/presentations/scholarly products
- Increase the number of grant proposals submitted.
- Increase the number of funded grant proposals.

Engaging the State, Region and World (Service)
- Increase participation in community service
- Increase the number of internship opportunities for students
- Increase the number of service learning courses/hours
- Increase number of community partners

Embracing Diversity of Thought, Belief and Community
- Increase recruitment of diverse students (can further define diversity if wish)
- Increase recruitment of diverse faculty
- Increase study abroad opportunities for students
- Increase number of partnerships with international schools
- Increase the number of GLO designated courses

Preserving Faculty and Staff Excellence
- Improve faculty/staff retention
- Increase faculty satisfaction with the department
- Increase department collegiality
- Increase faculty engagement within the department

Building a Responsive Infrastructure for a Sustainable Campus
- Increase online course offerings
- Increase space utilization
- Reduce paper consumption
- Increase faculty/student satisfaction with technology or use of technology

Inappropriate Goals and Outcomes - There are many tasks that a department might accomplish during
the year that are not necessarily assessment goals or outcomes. Assessment is about continual
improvement and involves setting targets that might not be immediately attainable. Here are some
examples of tasks that typically do not qualify as assessment outcomes (but they might be appropriate
action plans when assessment targets/criteria are not met):

● Hiring a faculty or staff member
● Regular job tasks
● Professional development opportunities, workshops, etc.
● Course approval or curriculum reviews
● Anything involving a faculty vote
● One and done tasks

Hint: If you have to say “Yes/No” as a numeric criterion, then it’s not an appropriate outcome. Put these
examples in as a success or challenge rather than force it into an assessment goal/outcome.