Self-assessment is a tool that we use for continuous improvement here at Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy (OVCMT), as we continue to grow to be the best we can be. Sometimes  the feedback we get helps us become aware of boring stuff like: we need more microwaves. Sometimes it's changing policies or procedures to make  things more clear or  to address changes that have come up.  Sometimes  the feedback we receive gets us excited about redesigning whole courses to make the student experience better, like with our Integrated Science course. Yes, that re-design came from student feedback!
 The idea of self assessment and continuous improvement comes from one of our core values. The pursuit of Excellence. Annually we try  to review every part of our operation. The leadership at OV takes a full day , away from the hustle and bustle of running the college, just to review the valuable feedback we get from our students through year end surveys, course, instructor, and supervisor evaluations. These surveys assist us in making action plans to improve not only courses and school experience, but also to help us plan for staff training,  student resources, and better  college wide communication strategies. 
We also do surveys  with faculty and staff to hear  their perspective on what's working and what's not.  It is true that while some suggested changes can be done, there exist constraints that dictate our actions. For instance, when I was a student at OV, I always wanted a rooftop patio, but the structural limitations of the building  wouldn't allow it. Actually we still get that suggestion today! Sadly no patio . Our self assessment isn't just tied to survey data. We look at all aspects including facilities, supplies, curriculum, policies, and procedures, and create action plans for the upcoming year based on this information.   For instance, we have just completed a 2 year evidence-based curriculum  review, which came out of  feedback we gained from our clinical department.  That started the ball rolling, and today we  are pleased to have one of the only evidence-informed registered massage therapy curriculums in the country.
 Why am I talking about this? First, Yes we do  read your survey data ( we get asked that alot), and second, self-assessment is a great tool that students can use for their own growth. It can be used to make actions plans in your own student journey. You can use self assessment to  identify whether you have all necessary ingredients in place  for success . Evaluating the effectiveness of your  study plan and  environment is a great place to start. While a bustling café might work as a study location for some, it could prove detrimental for others who need less distractions to  absorb material. This is just one facet of the larger equation. Are your hands on skills being actively practiced? Is a balanced diet and getting regular exercise a part of your school plan? Are your stress levels being managed effectively? Are you connecting with your classmates? You can use self assessment to  look at your overall student picture and identify  areas you'd like to change. 
It's essential to note that self-assessment is not self-critique. Rather, it serves as a blueprint for growth. Instead of berating oneself for shortcomings, it can  propel you  towards constructive action. Every self-assessment should transform into an action plan that fuels improvement and drives  your desired outcomes. Will you get it right every time? Probably not , but the journey of quality improvement is about making steps in the right direction. These efforts deserve celebration!
As you embark on you quality improvement journey, rest assured that the spirit of self-assessment is something we embody at OVCMT. Every layer of OVCMT is consistently evaluated, reshaped, and refined, fostering an environment where growth is both a personal and collective endeavor.  So, the next time you say to yourself, " another survey?"  remember you are a part of   a shared  community  where quality improvement is our goal.