About the Office

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The Office of Planning and Assessment consists of two departments, Planning and Institutional Research, and Learning Outcomes Assessment. Both collaborate with other units across the University to support improvement, planning, and assessment initiatives at the unit and institutional level and promote the effective and efficient use of resources to maintain and improve institutional quality.

The Department of Planning and Institutional Research (PIR) can help units and teams assess their needs, develop strategic plans, improve key processes, and develop collaborative team environments. PIR can also provide information and data to support University-wide decision making and work to strengthen the capacity for leadership and innovation.

The Department of Learning Outcomes Assessment (LOA), is focused on ensuring that the University has in place comprehensive and proper support mechanisms for program assessment for degree programs — including undergraduate majors, certificates, minors and graduate programs — and co-curricular programs. The department will also be responsible for coordinating Penn State’s accreditation processes.

In 1983, Penn State established the Office of Planning and Analysis to support planning endeavors, and in 1992 created the Continuous Quality Improvement Center focusing on process improvement. Merging in 1996, they became the Center for Quality and Planning with an expanded mission that included benchmarking and developing performance indicators. In January 2003, the Center became the Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment and continued to promote institutional quality. In October 2015 the office became the Office of Planning and Assessment with two departments, the Department of Planning and Institutional Research and the Department of Learning Outcomes Assessment.

Services of the Office of Planning and Assessment are provided free of charge to The Pennsylvania State University and are adapted to the specific needs of departments or individuals.

About Penn State: A brief fact sheet to provide the context in which we work.