Presentation on theme: "Understanding Middle States Expectations for Assessment Linda Suskie, Vice President Middle States Commission on Higher Education 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia."— Presentation transcript:
Understanding Middle States Expectations for Assessment Linda Suskie, Vice President Middle States Commission on Higher Education 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia PA Web: MSCHE Annual Conference December 2009
What the Heck is Going on with Accountability & Assessment?
The US Accreditation System Regional accreditors –All require liberal arts foundation –Oldest, strongest reputation –Historically examined inputs, not outcomes National accreditors –Mostly colleges without liberal arts foundation Specialized accreditors –Mostly programs, not colleges State licensure All accreditors voluntary, membership-controlled
1965 Higher Education Act (HEA) Title IV funds go only to colleges accredited by Federally recognized accreditors. –Pell, SEOG, Trio, Migrant grants –Federally-insured student loans Accreditors must comply with HEA criteria to be recognized.
1980s and 1990s HEA reauthorization –1986: First outcomes assessment language –1998: Assessment language strengthened –Regional accreditors rewrote standards to emphasize assessment of student learning outcomes Learning-centered movement –1980s: Movement and assessment movementbegan –1995: Barr & Taggs seminal article in Change published –Research on what promotes student learning & success
Recent Decades: A Changing World Shifting public policy –Higher education more private than public good –Students pay more and expect moneys worth Broadening market for higher education –Most well-paying jobs require post-secondary education. –Moneys worth is better pay. Not necessarily a richer education
2000s: Calls for Accountability 2007 Spellings Commission 2008 Higher Education Act negotiations Public information on quality & effectiveness –Transparent - easy to find & understand Systematic information, not anecdotes Comparable assessments Value-added assessments
Will Assessment Ever Go Away? Federal regulations Other calls & mandates for accountability Learning-centered focus
Understanding Standards 7 & 14
Assessment as Part of a Four-Step Cycle 1. Goals 4. Using Results 2. Programs, Services & Initiatives 3. Assessment/ Evaluation
Institutional Effectiveness: Are We Achieving… Community Service Scholarship Diversity Revenue Generation Productivity/ Efficiency 14. Student Learning 7. Mission & Goals Access
So What Does Middle States Want?
Have a goal for anything you do and assess how well youre achieving it. Institutional goals (mission & strategic plan) –Administrative goals Division goals –Administrative unit goals –Student learning goals Institutional Gen Ed curriculum Academic programs Student development programs Support programs
Make sure your students graduate with the learning you value. What knowledge, skills, competencies, and attributes does a successful student have? Why do you think these are important?
Make sure you achieve whatever else you want to achieve. Mission Strategic goals Other important goals
Are you satisfied with your results? Why or why not? If not, what are you doing about it?
Questions a Reviewer Might Ask
GoalsAssessmentsImprovements For Each Goal… (Institutional, Gen Ed, Program) How is the goal being assessed? What are the results of those assessments? How have those results been used for improvement?
How Much Has Been Implemented? Are there any significant missing pieces?
What Do Assessment Results Tell Us? Do results demonstrate… –Achievement of mission and goals? –Sufficient academic rigor?
Do Institutional Leaders Support and Value a Culture of Assessment? Is there adequate support for assessment? –Overall guidance, coordination, resources Are assessment efforts recognized & valued? Are efforts to improve teaching recognized & valued?
Is the Process Sustainable? Simple Practical Detailed Ownership Appropriate timelines
Where is the Institution Going with Assessment? Will momentum slow after this review? What Commission action will most help the institution keep moving?
What Should Institutions Document? Clear statements of goals Organized, sustained assessment process –Principles, guidelines, support –What assessments are already underway –What assessments are planned, when, & how Assessment results documenting progress toward accomplishing goals How results have been used for improvement
How Might Institutions Document This? Need not be a fancy bound document! An overview in the self study A chart or roadmap for assessment documentation in the self study or as an appendix More thorough information in an appendix, online, and/or burned onto CD –A few samples of student work Exemplary, adequate, inadequate
MSCHEs Fundamental Expectations for Assessment 1.Read the directions. 2.Keep it useful…and used. 3.Tie assessments to important goals. 4.For student learning, include some direct evidence. 5.Use multiple measures. 6.Keep doing something everywhere, every year.
Bottom Line on Moving Ahead Keep assessment useful. Keep things simple. Especially in terms of time Ask MSCHE about anything that doesnt make sense. Value assessment. Just do it!
Volunteer for Middle States Evaluation Teams! Go to Click on Evaluators Consider joining as an Evaluation Team Associate.