Assessing Everything Else: Creating an Internal Assurance Asystem to Assess Support Services

Assessing Everything Else: Creating an Internal Assurance Asystem to Assess Support Services

Institutional Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Data Collection/Data Management
  • Accountability
  • Management
  • Accountability
  • Institutional Research/Data Collection and Analysis
  • Strategic Planning
New Mexico Military Institute (NM)

New Mexico Military Institute located in south-central NM integrates a four-year secondary (prep school) and a two-year post-secondary junior college education using a military model.

  • Institutions


New Mexico Military Institute had a system for assessing learning outcomes but did not have a system to evaluate support services.

  • New Mexico Military Institute needed a comprehensive system that would integrate the assessment of student learning with the evaluation of programs to support that learning and which could be linked with our Strategic Goals, Objectives, and Learning Outcomes as well as accrediting agencies' criteria. The need was to seamlessly link planning, programming, budgeting, assessment and accreditation through a data-driven comprehensive organization and process.

  • The system that was developed had to be able to accommodate current as well as future internal and external evaluation and assessment requirements and the organizations conducting them.


An internal assurance system was developed which is based upon evidentiary documents, both quantitative evidence with benchmarks and mission documents. The evidence documents act as the nucleus for the database. This system integrates the planning, learning, assessment and feedback loop and serves to facilitate submission of evidence to HLC by linking the Criterion and Components to the evidentiary documents but it can also link them to other accrediting agency’s requirements.

There are four charts that explain the structure and process:

  • Figure 1 shows the Planning Unit Structure
  • Figures 2 & 3 show the entire annual Strategic Review and Assessment process
  • Figure 4 shows how data is input into either or both the Assurance Database (for support services) and the Assessment Database (for assessing learning objectives)

The Strategic Plan Annexes detail the organization and processes. These are located at

  • Our process is comprised of four phases. At the completion of each phase, an assessment is made based on the specific purpose of that phase in accomplishing the overall process outcomes.

This past year was the first year of implementation. A measured and data-driven evaluation of the success of each of the organizations to support the academic, leadership and athletic missions and to correlate that evaluation to the assessment of student learning. The process enables the administration to integrate 1) program evaluation conducted by each of the support organizations in terms of meeting benchmarks aligned with goals and objectives in the Strategic Plan with 2) student learning assessment based upon rubrics measuring the learning outcomes also identified in the Strategic Plan.

It provides every level of the organization transparency, accountability, compliance, evaluation and assessment of not-only their individual orgnaizations but how they come together to meet the overall mission of the school. This is particularly important at a military school because it is comprised of three specific mission elements: Dean of Academics, Commandant of Cadets, and Athletic Director


A Microsoft Access database was developed by the Institutional Research Officer and the Assistant Dean of Curriculum Planning.

  • None

  • The intensive amount of time invested envisioning the process and bringing it to fruition was worth it in the end.

  • It is best to use a bottom-up approach.

  • Moving from paper input to an electronic format was much appreciated by the users.

Further refinement of the database to provide more reports, queries and analysis.


BG Douglas Murray
Chief Academic Officer
New Mexico Military Institute
101 W. College Blvd.
Roswell, New Mexico 88201
Phone: 5756248020
Fax: 5756248027

Michele Bates
Institutional Research Officer
New Mexico Military Institute
101 W. College Blvd.
Roswell, New Mexico 88201
Phone: 5756248096
Fax: 5756248027