Assessment has long been a component of higher education community engagement. Various measures to assess impact and learning outcomes have been developed within individual institutions and across the field. These assessment tools have built the capacity of institutions and program-level directors to measure effectiveness in student learning as well as to measure community impact. Many of these measures and tools are geared towards students while others provide institutional community engagement snapshots or a view of engagement across higher education. 

See also Institutional Assessment Collection

Useful assessment, institutional self- assessment, and quality improvement tools include the following:

  • Service Learning Quality Assessment Tool (SLQAT) - This assessment tool measures the quality of design and implementation of service learning courses.
  • Civic Learning and Skills Questionnaire - This questionnaire focuses on college student self-assessment of attitudes and skills that may be affected by a service learning experience.
  • HEIghten Civic Competency and Engagement Assessment - This assessment evaluates college students’ civic learning.
  • Global Community-Engaged Learning Rubric (GCEL) - This rubric was developed as a tool to support community partners, academic and student affairs staff, faculty members, and unit administrators in program planning, implementation, and evaluation of ethical, respectful, high quality, and high-impact global community-engaged partnerships.
  • National Survey of Student Engagement - This survey collects information from first-year and senior students about the characteristics and quality of their undergraduate experience.
  • CIRP Freshman Survey - This HERI survey looks at the characteristics, behaviors, and attitudes of approximately 15,000 first-year students nationally. This includes data on their social and political engagement.
  • Carnegie Community Engagement Classification - The Carnegie Foundation’s Elective Classification for Community Engagement provides a special-purpose classification for higher education institutions with commitments in the area of community engagement.
  • The Collaboratory Open Access Dataset - Now publicly available on the CivicLEADS data repository hosted by ICPSR at the University of Michigan, this archive representing data on community engagement and public service activities occurring between higher education and its surrounding communities.  43 institutions have tracked more than 4,800 published activities encompassing more than 6,600 community organizations and 1,500 community based course connections.
  • National Study on Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) NSLVE is conducted through The Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, based at Tufts University. NSLVE offers colleges and universities an opportunity to measure the voting and registration rates of their students and to study the effectiveness of educational programs to increase student civic learning and engagement in democracy.
  • National Assessment of Service and Community Engagement (NASCE) - The NASCE is an institutional assessment for measuring how well participating colleges and universities fulfill their missions as they relate to service and community engagement.
  • The Transformational Relationship Evaluation Scale (TRES) (V1. and V.2) - TRES was developed to support both the study of effective community-university partnerships, as well as contribute to improving the practice of partnerships. 
  • Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) - VALUE is an authentic approach to assessment designed to articulate and measure the skills, abilities, and dispositions that students need and that parents, policymakers, and employers demand.