Writing Administrative Program Objectives

After your department decides upon its broad-reaching goals, you can identify relevant outcome objectives. These statements describe the end result achieved because of the change. That is, what do you plan to achieve and what will be different in your program or culture after you achieve your objective? The objectives should focus on the impact or outcome of your efforts, and not the process that you use to get there.

Outcome objectives answer the question: What are the results of your program activity or operations?

  1. Every objective should align with the departmental mission.
  2. Outcome objectives are written in terms of results, impact, or outcome. The statements should not be written as process objectives, which specify how a change will occur or how something will be done.
  3. Every objective should be measurable, focusing on a visible activity, e.g., number of professional development workshops held or the number of new operational policies put into effect.
  4. Every objective needs at least three methods linking to a specific task, activity, or event. The method identifies a metric, tool, or instrument (a sign-in sheet, meeting minutes, etc.) to measure the achievement. Having three methods shows that key objectives receive attention in multiple initiatives.
  5. Each method requires a criterion or quality indicator. This identifies the target or minimum performance standard for each task, activity, or event, e.g., 100% of employees will attend at least 20 hours of professional development during each academic year.

Program Outcome Objective Components

Objective
(results)
Methods
(activities)
Measures
(data collection)
Criterion
(standard of performance)
An objective of this program is to… To meet this outcome, staff will… To evaluate this objective, the program will… As a sign of success, the target will be…
EXAMPLE
ensure that staff increase their professional development attend professional development workshops track the number of professional development hours for each staff member in a spreadsheet 100% of staff will complete 20 hours of professional development annually