University Accreditation (UA) supports the ongoing process of collecting and analyzing data and implementing data-informed decisions as related to the goals and outcomes of the UNT mission. UA manages the Improve database (formerly known as TracDat) for institutional effectiveness (IE) plans, and reports institutional effectiveness to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Training for Institutional Effectiveness Planning

An online, self-service training course is available on UNT Bridge: Institutional Effectiveness Reporting Guidelines. This training is available for those responsible for IE planning for academic programs, student support services, and administrative areas.

Why Do We Have Institutional Effectiveness Plans at UNT?

The Institutional Effectiveness process is focused on improving UNT's student learning outcomes and services, while increasing student success and institutional quality.  Not only is it the right thing to do for our students and UNT, but including continuous improvement and innovation as part of the institutional culture ensures that student success and achievement are at the forefront of our mission.

UNT has built Institutional Effectiveness plans using Improve for all degrees and graduate certificates; as well as administrative, academic and student support, research and public service units.  In addition, UNT assesses the student learning outcomes of general education courses (core curriculum classes) in Improve.  All of these plans align with SACSCOC Core Requirements 7.1, 7.3, 8.1 and 8.2 which state:

Effective institutions demonstrate a commitment to the principles of continuous improvement. These principles are based on a systematic and documented process of assessing institutional performance with respect to mission in all aspects of the institution. An institutional planning and effectiveness process involves all programs, services and constituencies; is linked to the decision-making process at all levels; and provides a sound basis for budgetary decisions and resource allocations.

7.1.The institution engages in ongoing, comprehensive, and integrated research-based planning and evaluation processes that (a) focus on institutional quality and effectiveness and (b) incorporate a systematic review of institutional goals and outcomes consistent with its mission. (Institutional Planning) [CR]

7.3.The institution identifies expected outcomes of its administrative support services and demonstrates the extent to which the outcomes are achieved. (Administrative effectiveness)

8.1. The institution identifies, evaluates, and publishes goals and outcomes for student achievement appropriate to the institution's mission, the nature of the students it serves, and the kinds of programs offered. The institution uses multiple measures to document student success. (Student achievement) [CR]

8.2. The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of seeking improvement based on analysis of the results in the areas below:

a. Student learning outcomes for each of its educational programs. (Student outcomes: educational programs)

b. Student learning outcomes for collegiate-level general education competencies of its undergraduate degree programs. (Student outcomes: general education)

c. Academic and student services that support student success. (Student outcomes: academic and student services)

-- SACSCOC  The Principles of Accreditation:  Foundations for Quality Enhancement

How Does UNT Document Institutional Effectiveness?

In 2008, UNT adopted TracDat as the university-wide database for the collection and storage of academic and administrative institutional effectiveness plans. In 2018, the vendor changed the name of the system to Improve.  Only minor changes occurred with the name change. University Accreditation (UA) oversees the administration of the database.  UNT's Strategic Plan goals, program objectives and copies of assessments, results and future plans are stored in the database, allowing for outcomes to be tracked across time.  Each assessment plan is reviewed and critiqued annually, in accordance with UNT's Institutional Effectiveness Plan.  

Institutional Effectiveness Timeline and Peer Reviews
In addition to the UA office, UNT utilizes peer-review committees to evaluate IE plans.  These committees score plans according to a rubric; provide feedback; and meet with those needing support.  University Accreditation is thankful for these voluntary members' service and dedication to UNT's Institutional Effectiveness Plan:

UNT Institutional Effectiveness Timeline*

*Inquiries about timelines for Core assessment data should be directed to

This timeline is only for IE purposes, and not for Core assessment.

Academic Year (AY) 2021-22: Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Summer 2022
  1. Assessments occur for AY 2021-22
  2. Data are collected and analyzed
  3. Results are entered in Improve
  4. A copy of the results and/or analysis is uploaded in Improve
  5. Use of Results for next improvement actions planned and updates are entered
October 15, 2022
  1. Final 2021-22 plans due with completed results, evidence, and next improvement actions planned with status updates 
  2. 2022-23 new/updated outcomes (if any), methods of assessment with criterion statements and uploaded samples/supporting documents are due
  3. Plan audits take place in University Accreditation (quantity, not quality)
November 2022 - June 2023
  1. Peer Committee Review and scoring of 2021-22 IE plans in Improve occur (reviewing for quality)
  2. Feedback provided to the IE plan owners

Academic Year 2022-23 IE Plans Due: October 15, 2023

Academic Year 2022-23: Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Summer 2023

  1. Final 2022-23 plans due with completed results and use of results for improvement
  2. 2023-24 new/updated outcomes, methods of assessment with criterion statements, uploaded samples/supporting documents are due


What Tools are Available to Help With IE Plans and Improve?

The UA office is always available to support Improve users with their IE plans.  In additional to one-on-one support, the office has provided some tools assist with institutional effectiveness efforts.  Please contact the UA office if you have any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions on UNT's Institutional Effectiveness Process for Administrative Units

Institutional Effectiveness & Improve Tools

UNT Program of Institutional Effectiveness

This is UNT's program of institutional effectiveness.

Improve and Institutional Effectiveness Guidelines


This is a copy of the training presentation for new Improve users.

End of Year Reporting Guide

A guide to completing year-end reporting expectations due in October each year.

Peer Review Rubric


This is a copy of the rubric used by the peer-review committees to score IE plans for feedback to IE plan owners.

How to hide inactive/complete outcomes


Improve users can hide (filter) their inactive assessment methods and completed outcomes to simplify the work with active outcomes.

Users are asked to never delete inactive or completed outcomes.

How to reveal hidden inactive/complete outcomes


Improve users can follow these steps to reveal inactive or completed outcomes that are filtered.

Improve instructions for assessing the Core


Reporting assessment for the Core is a separate process that also uses Improve.  Follow these instructions for building assessment methods and reporting results for the Core.

Other Assessment Organizations