Innovating Institutional Effectiveness with AEFIS


Source: SUNY Oswego

Higher education is in the midst of a new transformation to radically shift its processes to collect data that demonstrate the overall impact on student learning and a clear return on investment. This transformation includes conducting data governance audits, modernizing systems, adopting new technologies, analyzing current data, and seeking opportunities to gather more meaningful data to provide answers about how to more effectively and efficiently support student success.

“The AEFIS Team is starting to see more of a push for Institutional Research, Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment in general to transition into one main office. These functions are becoming more of a campus-wide initiative and all units are involved in the process. Assessment needs to be holistic of the student, not just academic courses. IE and IR historically separate from assessment, but all use the same data.”

Caitlin Meehan, VP of Client Success, AEFIS
Source: Grand Challenges in Assessment 2021

Unifying Resources

Assessment in higher education has a range of challenges related to improving measurement, addressing inequities, and fostering continuous improvement. To enable collective solutions to these grand challenges, the shift away from compliance towards assessment for improvement needs to be fully realized,”

(Singer-Freeman & Robinson, 2020)

In an ability to unify efforts, the early 2000s saw a pivot in the traditional Registrar and Admissions Units on campuses. “In terms of organization on many campuses, the offices that are most often put together in enrollment-management efforts include admissions, financial aid, registration and records, orientation, and retention-related services and programs. Others can include marketing and communications, publications, and institutional research. Increasingly, new electronic student-information systems are playing a part, too,” (Hossler, 2004)

Similar to the pivot Admissions, Registrar, and Enrollment Management offices made to pull together much-needed resources to support students, we are seeing a similar pivot in the traditional Institutional Research and Assessment Offices across the country.

The changes to the traditional offices for institutional assessment are not directly due to the pandemic and in some areas of the country, this transformation began way before we even heard of COVID-19. Institutional Research, Effectiveness, Evaluation, Assessment, Accreditation, and Strategic Planning Units are coming together to support one another as resources that ultimately support the Mission and Vision of the Institution.

“We decided to go after a product like AEFIS because we knew as an institution we had outgrown the systems we had to track our strategic plan each year and as we were planning for our Middle States self study, we wanted to have a system— that could really gather in a meaningful way— institutional data to not only help us be organized and successful with our re-accreditation but also to help us continue to make the progress with the evidence that had been collected and the documentation and the narrative and more importantly the connections between the Middle States Standards and our Strategic Impacts for years to come. So this is not a task to have a successful study but to really bring the institution forward year after year.”

Kristi Eck, Chief of Staff
State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego

AEFIS—Your Institutional Effectiveness Partner

AEFIS provides you a pathway toward your digital transformation and supports your institutional effectiveness. AEFIS is flexible, customizable, and provides you with a way to organize your assessment efforts for these shifts you are making. In this way, AEFIS paves your road to digital transformation.

AEFIS is a complete educational impact platform for all of your institutional assessment needs. Through its integrated solutions, AEFIS supports your institutional planning leading to an increase in the quality of data collected, innovative models of assessment to guide resource allocation, and opportunities to experiment with different strategies for instruction.

Organize your institutional effectiveness efforts

Set up customized workflows to collect data directly from your stakeholders linked to institutional goals to make meaningful decisions and resource enhancements to support student learning.

Customized Assessment Collection Forms

Digitize your current process using AEFIS. Use your current forms and current workflows but automate them to collaborate with your faculty and staff. Your team is notified when they need to add their documentation—AEFIS will track all of your changes and streamline your process.

Improve Your Institutional Story-Telling

Run reports and push data linked to your institutional goals to your dashboards or provide access to these reports through AEFIS as your one-stop evidence and reporting solution.

Advance Your Institutional Excellence

Celebrate your successes and plan your enhancements with data at your fingertips and sustainable processes for collecting data year after year.

AEFIS is the leading ed-tech company that partners with colleges and universities to improve learner success and empower authentic lifelong learning through a unified platform for assessment management, learner success, and continuous improvement to help activate authentic lifelong learning.

Learn More

Your Planning and Improvement Hub

Your Institutional Effectiveness Hub

Lightning Talk Series—”Assessing Your Strategic Initiatives Using Inclusive, Collaborative Planning at SUNY Oswego”


Catalano, D. What Data Can — and Can’t Yet — Tell Us. (2020, August). Inside Higher Education.

Hossler, D. How Enrollment Management Has Transformed — or Ruined — Higher Education. (2004, April). The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Mintz, S. New Approaches to Assessing Institutional Effectiveness. (2020, December). Inside Higher Education.

Singer-Freeman, K., & Robinson, C. (2020, November). Grand challenges in assessment: Collective issues in need of solutions (Occasional Paper No. 47). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.

SUNY Oswego.

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