Student success is our success.

“Assessment is not about you as a teacher; it is about your students” - Damen Lopez

Reading Chapter 8 of "No Excuses University" written by Damen Lopez has definitely confirmed my ideals and mindset in regard to assessments. I agree that student success is our success. Not only based off of test scores on exams, but by real life takeaways, knowledge, and life skills, along with the ability to grow academically. Lopez states, "Our reason for assessing students has to be grounded in a commitment to use the information in a way that helps us to generate greater success for them" Lopez also mentions multiple time in this chapter the importance of effective and efficient collaboration. He goes on to say that all teachers and administrators need to be in sync with one another about assessment schedules, material, and much more to ensure the success of their students in regards to assessing students. This mirrors my ideals, as well that collaboration and genuine commitment to student success with result in good assessment scores and evaluations.

four key questions

The first question that Lopez exemplifies is, "Why are you participating in the assessments that you use with students?" This question really resonates with me not only in my career with everyday life. I believe in doing things with a true purpose behind it to better myself and my students. Lopez states if one can't answer the question of the purpose of a task or what you will get out of it, then it might not be a good idea and to start over with a new assessment idea that will really evaluate student knowledge. As an enrollment advisor i give my students small tasks such as being on time for appointments, maintaining a regular communication schedule, update me if something is going on that is preventing them from completing an assignment, as well as the task of completing their financial aid documents on time (if eligible). By these small assessments I give them, I know which students will be most successful as a student. The other questions have just as much importance and relevance because it analyzes whether an assessment is valid or not.

Making students your partner

At the beginning of my career as an advisor at Ashford, I thought all students were initially the same. I thought they would all turn in their homework on time, completely understand the online modality, maintain a communication schedule with me, ect. I asked myself, "How hard can this be?" Quickly i learned that all students are different. They have different needs, differently learning styles, different proficiency in computer use, and much more. I personally felt like i failed some students just out of pure lack of experience. I then learned to analyze each student, get to know them on a personal level, learn how to coach and help them, and treat them as individuals rather than a generalized group as a whole. Now, i feel confident that I am partnering with my students to ensure that they achieve success in their first class and to set them up for the rest of their degree.


Lopez, D. (2013). No excuses university: No excuses university: How six exceptional systems are revolutionizing our schools (2nd ed.) Turnaround Schools Publications.