In academic institutions, multiple departments engage in similar or identical processes to assess themselves as part of a larger institution or college-wide initiative. The scope of these types of assessments involves many different units and is generally initiated at the top levels of an institution’s administration. Because these broadly focused types of assessment can include strategic planning, accreditation, and program assessment, they require the use of Improvement Initiatives.
Improvement Initiatives allow administrators at an institution to report on aggregated processes to generate a picture of Improvement Projects institution wide. Serving as an umbrella entity, Improvement Initiatives link the individual Improvement Projects used by different Units that gather data supporting institutional goals that are relevant to their programs and courses.
After an Improvement Initiative has been created, it appears on the context home page for easy access. Users who are creating Improvement Projects in the same unit or one of its sub-units are able to link their Improvement Project to the Improvement Initiative. This makes it possible for the users managing the Improvement Initiative to monitor the progress and report on findings of the linked Improvement Projects.
Improvement Initiatives begin at different times and span different time frames. For example, an Improvement Initiative might be created to allow reporting on a number of Improvement Projects created by different units for accreditation purposes. In this case, the Improvement Initiative would be created at the start of the accreditation process, and change very little, if at all, during the entire process. When the various Improvement Projects are created, a link is made to the Improvement Initiative. After the Improvement Initiative and associated Improvement Projects have been created, use of the Improvement Initiative occurs only occasionally by the managers of the Improvement Initiative to check-in and report on the status of the associated Improvement Projects.