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The Baccalaureate Degree: Meaning, Integrity, and Quality Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges Annual Meeting Atlanta, GA.

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Presentation on theme: "The Baccalaureate Degree: Meaning, Integrity, and Quality Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges Annual Meeting Atlanta, GA."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Baccalaureate Degree: Meaning, Integrity, and Quality Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges Annual Meeting Atlanta, GA December 7, 2009 Carol Geary Schneider

2 Questions about Degree Integrity Are Proxies

3 The real Question is Whether Graduates Are Developing the Capabilities They Need for Their Future and Our Shared Futures

4 Overview Historical Perspective Contemporary Pressures to Raise the Quality of Learning The Academy in TransitionEnsuring Integrity and Capability in 21 st Century Contexts Issues Were AvoidingBut Need to Address

5 Roberts Story – The Laissez Faire Curriculum

6 Issues in Roberts Story Every Course Is an Island Absence of Shared Expectations about the Goals for Advanced Work Grades and Credits Masking Vastly Different Expectations for Student Effort Underdevelopment of Student Capability

7 Historical Perspective: Changing Designs for College Learning

8 Changing Designs for College Learning The Nineteenth Century College The Twentieth Century University A Common Core Curriculum (All learning is general and liberal education) Breadth + Depth (Breadth = General Studies; Depth = Majors; liberal education becomes synonymous with general education)

9 The Twenty-First Century Academy Changing Designs for College Learning A Curriculum in Transition: Rethinking educational purposes and practices to better prepare students for global interdependence innovation in the workplace diverse democracy

10 The World Itself is Demanding More… Disruptive Global and Social Change Diversity as a Daily Reality Epochal Choices Facing U.S. Citizens –e.g., Sustainability, Inequality, Energy, Education Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions

11 The World Itself Is Demanding More… (continued) An Economy Absolutely Dependent on Knowledge and Innovation Employer Anxiety about Finding Highly Capable Employees

12 Productivity Is Now Tied to Learning… Half Life of Industries, Companies, Jobs, and Skills Decreasing Today's Students Will Have Jobs by the Time They Are 38 50% of Workers Have Been With Their Company Less Than 5 Years –25% Less than 1 Year Breadth, Depth, & Applications of Academic Preparation Are Expanding DOL-BLS

13 Key Capabilities Open the Door for Career Success and Earnings Irrespective of college major or institutional selectivity, what matters to career success is students development of a broad set of cross- cutting capacities… Anthony Carnevale, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

14 The Growing Demand for Higher Order Skills Source: Council on Competitiveness, Competitiveness Index

15 [Employers] generally are...frustrated with their inability to find 360 degree people who have both the specific job/technical skills and the broader skills (communication and problem-solving skills, work ethic, and ability to work with others) necessary to promise greater success for both the individual and the employer. From Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Report of Findings Based on Focus Groups Among Business Executives (AAC&U, 2006)

16 LEAP Bringing Educators and Employers Together Around the Learningi.e. CapabilitiesStudents Need

17 – Greater Expectations – A National Dialogue About Goals for College Learning – Liberal Education and Americas Promise (LEAP) Campus Action Public Advocacy Useful Evidence

18 Narrow Learning is Not Enough! The Essential Learning Outcomes Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World Intellectual and Practical Skills Personal and Social Responsibility Integrative Learning

19 Employers Want Colleges to Place More Emphasis on All the Essential Learning Outcomes

20 The Academy in Transition: Ensuring Degree Integrity and Capability in 21 st Century Contexts

21 Five Crucial Priorities Putting Learning Outcomes at the Center Setting Standards for Expected Levels of Learning Using High Impact Practices that Help Students Develop Essential Outcomes Designing Assessments that Put Students Own Work at the Center Facing and Changing the Inequities WITHIN Each Campus (Roberts Story)

22 Putting Learning Outcomes at the Center Thanks to Accreditors, This Is Happening But Students Have Been Left Out of the Loop

23 How many of your students understand your institutions intended goals or outcomes for undergraduate learning?* * Among members at institutions with learning outcomes for all undergraduates Majority Some Almost all Not many

24 Setting Standards for Expected Levels of Learning Integrating General Outcomes with Specific Fields Outcomes AAC&Us VALUE Rubrics An Important Beginning, but Only a Beginning

25 High-Impact Practices First-Year Seminars and Experiences Common Intellectual Experiences Learning Communities Writing-Intensive Courses Collaborative Assignments and Projects Science as Science Is Done/Undergraduate Research Diversity/Global Learning Service Learning, Community-Based Learning Internships Capstone Courses and Projects

26 High Impact Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter by George D. Kuh (LEAP report, October 2008,

27 Outcomes of High Impact Practices for Underserved Students: A Review of the Literature Lynn Swaner and Jayne Brownell (Forthcoming AAC&U report, 2010)

28 The Good News High Impact Practices Do Foster the Essential Outcomes – and Persistance as Well

29 Assessments that Put Students Own Work at the Center Turning High Impact Practices into Sources of Authentic Evidence e.g., Research; Collaborative Projects; Internships; Capstones; e-Portfolios

30 Issues Were Avoiding But Need to Address The Sanctioned Rise of Colleges Committed to Narrow Learning Career Programs – Designed to Allow Minimalist Designs for General Education and the Erasure of Liberal Education The Unacknowledged Obsolescence of the Terminal Degree Concept and Its Close Tie to Minimalist Designs for General Education The Continuedbut OutdatedDistinction Between Liberal Education and Career Education

31 An Outcomes Focus Can Forge New Synergy Between Liberal Education and Preparation for Careers

32 Our Commitment to Outcomes CanIf It Goes DeepRestore and Renew the Integrity of the Degree

33 But Will the Outomes Movement Go Deep?

34 Or Will We Continue as We AreA House Divided Producing Many Liberally Educated Graduates and... Many Others Who Lack Fundamental Preparation for 21 st Century Realities?


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