Buffalo statue on campus during fall

Our mission is to facilitate a culture of continuous improvement in the Division of Student Affairs. We support Division staff in collecting, analyzing, reporting and sharing meaningful data that inform and enhance their programs, services, and physical spaces. We lead Division-level strategic planning to prioritize and align the work of our diverse units with campus-level priorities.

The Office of Assessment and Planning supports Student Affairs units in gathering and analyzing data to inform meaningful changes to their activities, services and facilities. We provide the following services to the Division of Student Affairs:

  • Consultation with Student Affairs units to develop and implement unit-level assessment plans
  • Providing expertise to units on outcomes, methods, instrument development, analysis, reporting and use of results to drive improvement
  • Leading the Division’s Strategic Plan development, implementation and reporting processes
  • Disseminating relevant data and reports to Division, campus and other stakeholders
  • Coordinating requests for institutional data
  • Representing the Division on committees related to assessment, planning, institutional data, campus surveys, and accreditation


The Office of Assessment and Planning works closely with staff in the Division of Student Affairs to support assessment planning and practice. Assessment consultations can be team-based work on specific initiatives within or across units, as well as individual staff members working on behalf of their units.

Your consultant will seek a comprehensive understanding of your assessment needs, asking questions such as:

  • What are the key questions you want to answer?
  • How would you be able to act upon what you learn from this assessment project?
  • What data, if any, do you already have available about this program or service?
  • How does this project align with your unit’s mission, goals, and outcomes?

Consultants then provide recommendations, offer technical and content expertise, assist with data collection and analysis, and offer additional services to support the specific project and unit. 

OAP conducts a number of trainings during the year. We highly recommend that Division staff who are interested in learning more about assessment begin by attending Assessment 101. In this foundational training, participants will learn the cornerstones of assessment at CU Boulder.

Specifically, participants will learn the assessment language used in the Division, understand the expectations of assessment for the Division, and begin the conversation for their unit’s assessment plan.

Update: March, April and May trainings will be transitioning to Zoom. Participants who register will be sent instructions on how to access the training.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Assessment 101 

This training is an introduction to the assessment framework used in the Division of Student Affairs. Specifically, the training will cover assessment terminology, methods that are appropriate for student affairs, and the reporting framework that is used in the division.

Tuesday, February 4 | 8:30 to 10 a.m.


Strategies for Convenience Surveying​ 

This training will review how convenience sampling may be used to collect information from student affairs program participants during an event or activity. Training participants will discuss when to use convenience surveying as an appropriate methodology along with its advantages and limitations, considerations for design and administration, and examples from the division.

Tuesday, February 11 | 8:30 to 10 a.m.


Advanced Survey Design 

This advanced survey design training will focus on developing thoughtful and valid questions. Specifically, we will discuss appropriate language, scales, etc. Participants need to have attended the Survey Design and Administration training prior to attending this training.

Tuesday, February 25 | 8:30 to 10 a.m.


Inclusive Assessment Strategies 

Inclusive assessment is a relatively new concept in higher education, but one that is critically important to understand student data and to make accurate interpretations. Join us as we learn new strategies at every point in the assessment cycle in order to conduct more inclusive assessment.

Tuesday, March 3 | 8:30 to 10 a.m.


Foundational Principles of Data Interpretation 

Data interpretation is critical to the work we do in Student Affairs. Come to this session and learn about the pillars of data interpretation in Student Affairs. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of assessment terms, limitations of assessment in SA, and how to verify the validity of findings in Student Affairs.

Tuesday, March 17 | 8:30 to 10 a.m.


Micro-Training Series​ 

This series provides an opportunity for participants to be introduced to a narrow concept in assessment. Each training will last for only 50 minutes and will focus on understanding a specific concept and direct application.

All trainings will be held from 9 to 9:50 a.m.

  • Friday, February 14 | Survey Design 
  • Friday, February 21 | Qualtrics 101
  • Friday, March 6 | Data Visualizations
  • Tuesday, March 24 | T-test
  • Friday, April 3 | Google Forms: Alternate Modality for Quick Feedback Surveys
  • Tuesday, April 7 | How to Ask Good Questions about Data
  • Tuesday, April 14 | Conducting Learning Assessment
  • Tuesday, April 24 | Findings and Next Steps - How to Use Data to Answer Your Questions
  • Friday, May 1 | Identifying Correlations


Data Crossroad Discussions​ 

The Office of Assessment and Planning will be hosting monthly informal conversations about data collected across the university and in the division. These conversations will feature data sets that bring to the forefront interesting combinations that inspire discovery and meaning making. We will rely on participants to bring their perspectives and engage in these conversations. The general topic has been selected for each discussion, but is subject to change. Participants will be notified of changes.

All sessions will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

  • Friday, February 18 | Hot/Cold Empathy Gap
  • Friday, March 20 | Rites of Passage
  • Friday, April 17 | Leadership Development
  • Friday, May 8 | Engagement by Gender & the Impact of Social Constructs


Power BI Training and Development​ 

The Office of Assessment and Planning is offering a series of training opportunities to introduce Power BI and provide some useful skills if you are building reports, dashboards or presenting information. These training opportunities can help people who are consuming reports as well as those who are creating reports. Please contact Crystal Cyr (crystal.cyr@colorado.edu) if you would like additional information.

All sessions will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

  • Monday, February 17 | Introduction to Power BI
  • Monday, March 2 | Creating Power BI Reports from Excel Data
  • Monday, March 30 | Analyzing Complex Data & Creating Engaging Visuals
  • Monday, April 27 | How to Tell Your Story with Power BI


Trainings available upon request

Passive Programming Assessment 

There are a variety of services and programs offered in Student Affairs that make it challenging to assess the impact. In this training, we will discuss various strategies for assessing programs that are less invasive than some traditional methods used in Student Affairs, and aim to understand the effectiveness of more passive programs.

Qualitative Assessment Methods​ 

Join us as we discuss qualitative assessment methods in Student Affairs. Participants can expect to be able to differentiate between paradigms, identify types of inquiry well-suited to a qualitative approach and understand the type and purpose of qualitative methods.

Qualitative Coding Workshop​ 

The qualitative coding training will provide a foundation for participants to analyze qualitative data. This will include working from a data sample that will be sent prior to the training. It is an expectation that participants will have read through the data set prior to coming to the workshop. **(Must have completed the Qualitative Assessment Methods training)**

Using R to Analyze Qualitative Data​ 

In this training, we will use the software R to conduct analysis more quickly. We will demonstrate how to download R, understand the main features, import data, and analyze qualitative data.

Survey Design and Administration 

Join us as we identify inquires that are appropriate for surveys, describe the key steps in the survey development process, and articulate important considerations for survey administration. We will also discuss use administration types and suggestions to increase response rates, etc.

  • OAP serves as the Division of Student Affairs liaison to the Office of Data Analytics and Institutional Research. We coordinate Division data requests out of the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Please review the data request policy and contact us to discuss your needs and timeline.
  • The Office of Assessment and Planning serves as the advisory and consulting unit for Division staff as they plan and administer large-scale campus surveys. Please review the campus survey administration policy and contact us to discuss your needs and timeline.

The 2017-2020 Division of Student Affairs Strategic Plan aligns closely with the Chancellor’s Strategic Imperatives and will serve as the Division’s guiding framework to accomplish the Imperatives and contribute to other high-level university initiatives, such as Inclusive Excellence.


  • General: Qualtrics is licensed to the University of Colorado Boulder to support staff and students. The Office of Information Technology provides several resources, including an FAQ and guide to activating a Qualtrics account.
  • Webinars: There are a number of webinars available for all users, such as “Advanced Survey Building,” “Reporting Your Insights Using Qualtrics,” and “Quick Start with Qualtrics.” 
  • Qualtrics Support: Do you have a question about Qualtrics that you have not been able to answer? Contact OAP staff or the Qualtrics support team.

External Assessment Organizations & Resources


Kimberly Kruchen, Manager of Assessment and Planning

Crystal Cyr, Assessment Specialist

Ling Ning, Quantitative Research Analyst