Institutional Effectiveness

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness provides leadership and support for strategic planning, assessment of student learning and development, research (including data collection, data reporting, survey creation and survey administration) and accreditation. A comprehensive approach to institutional effectiveness provides NDSCS a process to align our mission and objectives with the outcomes of our programs and activities in a cycle of continuous improvement that informs planning, budgeting and assessment.


NDSCS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the AQIP (Academic Quality Improvement Program) process of accreditation. The College is committed to continuous improvement as a philosophy and management style. The Vice President for Student Affairs is the Accreditation Liaison Officer to the Higher Learning Commission providing oversight and direction for communication and reports with the Higher Learning Commission. View NDSCS Accreditation information.

Assessment of Student Learning

The College is committed to evaluating student academic achievement and general institutional effectiveness. Assessment is a way of thinking about teaching and learning. It is a philosophy of education which stresses a better understanding of student learning and continuous improvement of instruction.  It provides for an organized plan that systematically reviews the effectiveness of the institution as it relates to its mission and purposes. Evaluative data is collected and utilized in the process of continuous improvement of student learning.
NDSCS recognizes that assessment should provide:

  • a means of improving student academic success.
  • multiple indicators of success.
  • a feedback system that puts assessment results into the hands of those most responsible for making improvements.
  • a means of connecting improvement plans to institutional resources.
  • ways to stimulate individual initiative that encourages creativity and academic freedom.
  • support for a climate that meets or exceeds student expectations.
  • support for the open enrollment philosophy of the college, while providing for placement of students in appropriate level courses.

Entry Level Assessment
Students must present ACT scores if under the age of 25 (NDUS Board Policy) in order to be placed in college level courses. Students over the age of 25 who have not completed general education requirements or wish to challenge their placement based on their ACT scores will take the ACCUPLACER test in reading, writing, and/or mathematics for appropriate course placement.

For more information on ACCUPLACER Testing please click here .


NDSCS research, which includes data collection, survey distribution, and data dissemination, official reports including IPEDS and state accountability data are coordinated and distributed through the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE).  The OIE subscribes to ethical principles and guidelines for the protection of privacy and confidentiality of human subjects.

Research and Data

Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is a comprehensive process based on intensive data collection and analysis. It involves input and communication with stakeholders in determining future direction of the College. Strategic goals and AQIP Action Projects are determined from the strategic planning process that sets future direction for the college for the next three to five years. It is a fully integrative process that guides assessment of student learning, budgeting, programming, and accreditation priorities.

NDSCS Strategic Plan