$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.