Grants in Higher Education



Click here for other projects in Outcomes and Assessment.

November 2008
Belmont University and Wagner College
Learning by Doing: Assessing the relationship between liberal learning and experiential education
Project Leaders: Jeffrey Coker


$288,000 over 36 months to assess liberal learning outcomes achieved through experiential learning requirements that are embedded in the two institutions' general education core. This project was developed with a planning grant from the Teagle Foundation.

College of the Holy Cross, Assumption College, and Saint Anselm College
Assessing students' moral and spiritual growth in liberal arts colleges | Project website
Project Leaders: Timothy Austin


$297,441 over 36 months to employ data from national survey instruments, responses to essay questions embedded in course examinations, and student-led focus groups to explore the degree to which students at these three liberal arts colleges mature as moral and spiritual persons. This project was developed with a planning grant from the Teagle Foundation.

Fairfield University, Fordham University, and Georgetown University
Assessment of the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN)
Project Leaders: Richard Ryscavage


$296,105 over 36 months to assess student learning in the context of humanitarian content coursework, the impact on students participating in the JUHAN project, and the organizational impact of the student leadership teams on their home campuses in developing effective means of aiding in humanitarian crises. This project was developed with a planning grant from the Teagle Foundation.

Rhodes College, Niagara University, and Franklin & Marshall College
Systematic assessment of student learning in community-based learning programs
Project Leaders: Suzanne Bonefas


$280,713 over 36 months to assess the added value of community-based learning courses and programs on student learning and civic engagement. This project was developed with a planning grant from the Teagle Foundation.

Seattle University and Gonzaga University
Using embedded assignments to create cultures of assessment in the major and the core
Project Leaders: John Bean


$300,000 over 36 months to help departments assess the ability of graduating seniors to think and write like professionals in their disciplines (majors), and to develop core structures driven by learning outcomes and amenable to a discourse approach to assessment. This project was developed with a planning grant from the Teagle Foundation

Ursinus College, Goucher College, McDaniel College, Washington College, and Washington & Jefferson College
Think, Feel, Do: Enhancing student engagement with diversity through a holistic assessment approach
Project Leaders: Annette Lucas


$300,000 over 36 months to use quantitative and qualitative data from faculty, students, and staff to assess how diversity initiatives in four areas—access and equity, formal and informal curriculum, campus climate, and student learning and development—shape the student experience, and to identify the conditions associated with value-added change. This project was developed with planning grants led by Goucher College and Ursinus College from the Teagle Foundation.

May 2008
University of Southern California
Assessing the impact of diversity courses on students' higher order thinking skills
Project Leaders: Darnell Cole


$299,912 over 36 months to determine whether the study of difference—between peoples of different races, sexes, religions, abilities, sexual orientations, etc.—improve both students' respect for those unlike themselves, as well as their higher order cognitive skills.

May 2005
Beloit College, Knox College, Lake Forest College, Monmouth College, and Ripon College
Project Leader: Marion Fass


$25,000 over 12 months. The collaborative will develop strategies for faculty-driven assessment of liberal education that rest primarily on course assessment, seeking to preserve pedagogical autonomy as a building-block of an effective assessment program while taking into account the programmatic context in which courses are offered. In fall 2005, the collaborative will convene expert consultants and faculty and administrators from each institution for a workshop that will sharpen their project objectives, focus, and language, enabling them to develop a stronger assessment program.

The project is guided by the following objectives:
  • To educate faculty in assessment methods and approaches, including assignment design and grading to improve student learning;
  • To encourage faculty leadership in and commitment to ongoing classroom and program assessment as they contribute to institutional goals;
  • To engage faculty in the discussion of course goals and outcomes in relation to larger departmental and institutional missions;
  • To facilitate collaboration between faculty and administrators in developing the structures and mechanisms necessary to ensure data are productively integrated into a continuous process of institutional improvement;
  • To share best practices;
  • To tailor assessment strategies and feedback mechanisms to the particular needs and culture of individual institutions.

Bethel University, Asbury College, Gordon College, Greenville College, Houghton College, Mount Vernon
Nazarene College, and Northwestern College
Project Leaders: Richard Sherry


$25,000 over 12 months. The collaborative will meet at Bethel for a three-day workshop in August 2005 to review member institutions' general education practices and approaches to assessment. Discussion will focus on shared project goals and possible targets for success, and the group will also approve activities and responsibilities for the upcoming year's work, which will be conducted through research pairings or partnerships within the collaborative. Possibilities for embedding assessment activities within normal campus activities—with the intention of increasing their cost-effectiveness and ensuring their sustainability—will also be considered. The collaborative will meet again for two days in January 2006 to discuss the results of the first semester's work.

The College of Wooster, Denison University, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, and Ohio Wesleyan University
Project Leaders: Iain Crawford


$25,000 over 12 months. A year-long program entitled Introducing Value Added Assessment will have as key elements the hiring of an assessment expert to work as a consortial consultant and workshop coordinator, and the convening of two assessment workshops in 2005-2006. The first workshop will bring together faculty and administrators from the five institutions to:
  • Discuss how we measure the apparently least measurable aspects of a liberal arts education (critical thinking, critical writing; problem-solving abilities, using multiple methodologies, etc.)
  • Review the status of assessment on each of the campuses;
  • Brainstorm strategies that increase faculty engagement in assessment;
  • Hear from outside experts.
An assessment consultant will be invited to focus discussions and provide feedback on campus assessment plans. Some of the questions the collaborative intends to address are:
  • How can they determine the "starting point" of their incoming students?
  • What qualitative and quantitative data allow for comparisons from students' admission to and graduation from college?
  • How can they encourage faculty to be engaged in assessment?
  • What feedback mechanisms exist for institutional change?
  • What assessment tools might work best in their particular environments for longitudinal studies?
A second workshop will gather faculty from history and the social sciences, mathematics and sciences, and fine arts and the humanities, along with the collaborative's assessment consultant, and an outside facilitator/speaker, to address key issues in each academic division with respect to general education and value added assessment. These activities will result in a revision of current assessment plans, identification of tools for value added and general education assessment, and a commitment from faculty members at each institution to engage in a three-year plan to develop appropriate tools for value added assessment.

Moravian College, Drew University, Lafayette College, Muhlenberg College, Roanoke College, and Susquehanna University
Project Leaders: Curt Keim


$25,000 over 12 months. The collaborative will develop interactive assessment expertise (ie. a category of assessment methods that emphasizes face-to-face interactions between investigators and students) and delineate specific questions that participating institutions wish to answer through value added assessment. To this end, Moravian College will host a conference for member institutions on methodologies in value added assessment. Participants will read works on value added assessment and interactive assessment that will help the collaborative think about how their project might add to the methodologies and knowledge that already exist. The collaborative will also engage an assessment consultant who will help the campuses devise the methodologies and questions that will allow them to assess programs of intense student-faculty interaction. The expected result is a proposal for funds to implement the plans formulated over this year.

Wofford College, Agnes Scott College, Converse College, and the University of North Carolina at Asheville
Project Leaders: Ellen Goldey


$25,000 over 12 months. The collaborative will explore and utilize methods for assessing institutional creativity, paying close attention to an institution's qualitative features that add value to a liberal education. While national rankings are based largely on quantitative information (SAT scores, selectivity, etc.), the collaborative argues that an institution's culture of creativity is just as important in maximizing desirable outcomes for students and faculty members. Characteristics of institutional creativity to evaluate are:
  • A culture of collaboration among all constituencies;
  • A culture of continuous reflection, improvement, and innovation;
  • Strong institutional support for the first two characteristics.
In 2005-2006, teams from each campus will convene to exchange ideas and discuss potential best practices in this area that can be undertaken going forward. Nationally recognized experts in liberal education, assessment, and institutional creativity have agreed to help guide the discussion as the collaborative formulates a concrete plan of action for value added assessment that can be widely adopted.