In general, administrative units provide services which maintain the institution and are essential to its operations, but do not impact directly the institution's instructional programs.
Educational support units are those which, while not primarily instructional in nature, contribute directly to student learning or instruction. Separately organized research units and service/continuing education activities are specialized types of educational support units.
AES units participate in assessment activities to promote service improvement and to provide data to inform decision-making. Through assessment the institution demonstrates and documents that it is accomplishing its statement of purpose or mission; described in terms of most regional accreditation organizations as “Institutional Effectiveness” (IE). Those units which provide a unique service to the UMMC education mission, are classified as AES units for institutional effectiveness purposes. Large departments, such as the Department of Information Systems (DIS), that provide multiple distinct services, are assessed as smaller units based upon internal division designations.
While assessment/IE reporting is a requirement for accreditation, the assessment process benefits the unit as much as it satisfies institutional information requests. The assessment process highlights unit progress and advancement toward stated end-goals. Data garnered from the assessment process provides the unit with feedback for improvement and information that can be used to emphasize the unit's contribution and performance impact. Individual units use assessment data to support development and to provide assurances; attesting to the maintenance of continuous quality. The data-driven approach provides objective, factual information that reinforces assertions, guides decision-making activities, and promotes targeted enrichment in fulfillment of the institution's education mission.
AES Unit reports/plans are submitted to the Office of Assessment. Reports are stored in Nuventive Improve and are available to be accessed by program directors and assessment office personnel.