Institutional assessment covers a university's articulated goals for overall growth and development.

It is different from student learning assessment, but how well student learning assessment is carried out is a large part of it. Institutional assessment can also include an evaluation of a campus’s plans for administrative, technological, and financial growth, professional development, policies and procedures, and governance structures.

Institutional assessment can be best thought of as a continuous four-step cycle:

  1. Forming and defining institutional goals;
  2.  Putting in place strategies aimed at achieving those goals;
  3. Evaluating achievement of those goals;
  4.  Using the results of those evaluations to improve programs and services and inform planning and resource-allocation decisions.