Office Services

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What Is The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment?

The Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment (OPIA) facilitates the University’s planning, quality and assessment initiatives and approaches its work using a model[PDF] that integrates planning, assessment and improvement. The Office uses continuous quality improvement principles to help departments and units to develop strategic plans, improve key processes, and assess institutional needs.

How Can We Help You?

Faculty and staff should contact the Office when they want to:

  • Rethink a unit or department’s mission, goals and objectives

  • Develop action plans that will implement a mission or vision

  • Use quantitative and qualitative data to assess outcomes

  • Improve the performance of departmental or unit programs and processes

  • Enhance their knowledge of strategic planning, assessment and improvement strategies

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

We Will Help You By:

  • Consulting and Facilitating: Consultants are available to assist teams and units involved in strategic planning, assessment and continuous quality improvement efforts and change management.

  • Educating: Office staff provide education and training in planning, improvement, and assessment, and related tools, through scheduled programs offered in conjunction with the Human Resource Development center and as modules in Penn State’s various certificate programs. In addition, OPIA staff can provide customized training related to these topics designed specifically for your unit.

  • Developing Models: The Office uses continuous quality improvement principles and tools to create models that help units translate goals into action plans and develop performance measures that complement their strategic mission.

  • Creating Information Solutions: Office consultants help identify the data needed to solve a problem and design the best method for gathering that data.

  • Sharing Best Practices And Building Networks: The Office maintains a library of current books and journal articles on planning, assessment and process improvement and supports facilitator’s network.

Examples of Our Services Include:

  • Assisting in the development of benchmarking plans.

  • Conducting focus groups for academic and administrative departments and units.

  • Consulting with CQI teams on the design of customer surveys.

  • Facilitating unit-wide strategic planning retreats.

  • Conducting assessment workshops.

  • Analyzing survey data.

  • Providing ‘just-in-time’ training for CQI teams.