Isothermal Community College

Institutional Assessment

Personal Performance Appraisal vs. Program Assessment


At times the line between performance appraisal and program assessment can seem thin. Performance appraisal refers to a process that an individual employee participates in to get formal feedback from his or her supervisor. It is an individual process and the information from appraisal instruments is not used in combination to make determinations about the necessity/merit of a program. Aspects of performance appraisal include: job descriptions, self-evaluation forms, and supervisor evaluation forms. For faculty, performance appraisal also includes course evaluations, course observations, and PEP Plans.


Program assessment focuses on the modifications that need to be taken for a program to reach a stated goal. In academics, the goal is set for a group of students, specifically graduates. For a service or support program, the group is also students but in a less direct way. In areas where the responsibility for a program goal rests mostly on one individual, it is important to note that having strong and consistent performance on elements of a performance appraisal (such as timeliness, professionalism, team player) is expected. In program assessment, it is expected that the people responsible for the goal will determine and carry out modifications on any goal that does not achieve its predetermined threshold. Therefore, not meeting a program goal does not mean poor personal performance. (It does mean work to do.) Poor performance on program assessment occurs when the employee does not engage in the process of setting, assessing, and when necessary, modifying intended goals/outcomes.