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NILOA July 2017 Newsletter

This month’s NILOA Newsletter begins with a gentle reminder to please check with your senior academic officer to make sure your institution has participated in the 2017 NILOA Provost Survey. If not, please do so! We also feature a new NILOA Occasional Paper by Alan W. Grose, Internships, Integrative Learning and the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP), a new Assessment in Practice by Marjorie Dorimé-Williams, Erika Carlson, and Christopher Shults, Developing Systematic Assessment Practices for Administrative, Educational, and Student Support Units, and a new Viewpoint by Demetrius Johnson, The Comprehensive Student Record at Dillard University. Also included is a Featured Website from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV), an update on NILOA in the Field, News Items, and information on relevant Upcoming Conferences and Programs. 

2017 NILOA Provost Survey

NILOA’s third National Provost Survey is in the field. It was sent to the senior academic officer of all accredited two- and four-year colleges and universities in the United States to gain a current picture of outcomes assessment practices nationwide. Updating NILOA’s first national survey in 2009 and second survey in 2013, the questionnaire takes only 10-15 minutes to complete. To take the survey, please click here. Then, you will need to click on "Don't know your Login ID" and enter your institutional email for verification purposes. Read More... 

New NILOA Occasional Paper

Internships, Integrative Learning and
the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) 
Alan W. Grose

Internships are among the most beneficial of the out-of-classroom experiences designated as High-Impact Practices (HIPs). Yet, due to the diverse and unscripted nature of internship experiences, as well as the many different models for facilitating them, outcomes assessment practices are a long way from capturing the full power of internships as learning experiences. This paper draws upon the framework of the DQP to sketch three different curricular pathways that the learning from internships might follow. This allows for mapping the specific learning outcomes expected in internships, as well as the identification of appropriate forms of evidence for documenting their achievement – including evidence from intentionally designed assignments. The paper explores Integrative Learning as a framework for evaluating the learning associated with different internship learning pathways. It concludes with suggestions for collaboration on- and off-campus that can help facilitate meaningful learning though internship experiences. Read more…

New NILOA Assessment in Practice
AiP cover 

Developing Systematic Assessment Practices
for Administrative, Educational, and
Student Support Units

Marjorie Dorimé-Williams, Erika Carlson, & Christopher Shults 
Borough of Manhattan Community College

Among other things, institutions of higher education provide students with the academic programs and support that enhances student learning and the environment for success. Accreditors and others expect colleges and universities to present evidence of effective classroom instruction along with educational and student support areas. These non-academic areas are labeled as administrative, educational, and student support (AES) units. The institutional effectiveness system in place at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), which is built on an integrated planning model, is driven by the use of assessment results in both the academic programs and AES units. Read more...

NILOA Viewpoint

The Comprehensive Student Record at Dillard University
Demetrius Johnson, Marymount University

College and universities are increasingly challenged to demonstrate student learning and employability to parents, students, accreditation agencies, and employers. Institutions are not merely competing for students, but are also seeking to find ways to distinguish the institution within the broad marketplace. In 2015, Dillard University was selected as a participant in the Comprehensive Student Record (CSR) project funded by the Lumina Foundation. Representatives began working to meet student and industry needs by developing a comprehensive student record designed to capture and assess learning that occurs outside of the classroom through student leadership experiences, community service, internships, and other co-curricular experiences. While traditional academic transcripts focus on degree completion, the CSR would serve as a tool for students to narrate the depth and breadth of their learning to potential employers and graduate schools. Read more...

NILOA In the Field

Through a combination of keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, presentations, and meetings, the NILOA team was busy this past month. NILOA staff and senior scholars attended a meeting by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF), Taskstream's Tk20 Interactive Conference, the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE) conference, a convening by the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN), A Competency-Based Approach to Talent: Connecting Military, Higher Education and Workplace Learning, and the Assessment in Higher Education (AHE) conference among othersRead more…

NILOA Updates

NILOA Featured Website

The Office of Academic Assessment’s website, at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV), hosts a variety of resources showcasing the university’s efforts on improving student learning. The information provided on the website includes a variety of useful materials instructing educators on how to undertake assessment of student learning at UNLV. The website outlines a plan for academic assessment, including definitions and assumptions. Information on general education assessment as well as the peer review process and UNLV academic assessment policy are easily located. Additionally, the Department has established a culture of transparency by publishing periodic assessment reports and plans by program. Read more...


Learning from the Evaluation of Assessment: How Faculty and Staff Can Use Results to Inform Practice
In a guest commentary, Dr. Natasha Jankowski offers four principles for using evidence to improve teaching and learning. Included in those principles are using evidence to improve student learning and engaging key stakeholders, both internally and externally, in a cycle of continuous improvement.

The Education Writer Gospel of 'Academically Adrift'
The book, Academically Adrift, is frequently cited as evidence for how colleges are failing to educate students without proper acknowledgement of its methodological limitations. John Warner argues that the findings from Academically Adrift make for good headlines, but the study itself does little to allow for generalized conclusions about the “value added” of higher education.

Learning Success: The Convergence of Assessment, Student Success, and Career Readiness
In order to close the awareness gap – students’ failure to connect classroom learning with real world experience/skills – there needs to be a larger partnership between curricular and co-curricular offerings. Assessment plays a key role in ensuring students not only attain desired learning outcomes, but are also acquiring skills required by employers. 

Backers of an Audit Model for Judging Education Quality Invite Feedback
Supporters of an alternative accreditation approach that calls for independent third-parties to audit colleges and universities have released a 22-page outline of how this approach could work.

"Perfect Storm" Skills Shortage Threatens Economy, But We Have a Path Forward
Using lessons learned from the 2017 Education Symposium, the author argues that a path to remedy the current skills shortage has led to an increase in nontraditional educational offerings, such as competency-based education (CBE) programs. Examples of the Army’s CBE approaches with nontraditional students have been effective in capturing acquired skills of its soldiers.

Learning to Work, Working to Learn
Employers prefer college graduates who have had meaningful learning experiences. This publication from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation offers examples of partnerships between employers and colleges to increase student engagement in career development though meaningful college experiences.

Job Announcements:

Equity Assessment Consultant at Penn State
Penn State University is seeking an Equity Assessment Consultant responsible for supporting the Office of Educational Equity when it comes to assessment of issues revolving around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Director of Academic Assessment
The University of South Alabama is hiring a Director of Academic Assessment to lead college-wide assessment endeavors including program reviews for accreditation purposes.

Upcoming Conferences and Programs

July 24. Call for Proposals - NEean Fall Forum
Worcester, MA. The College of the Holy Cross.

July 30-August 2. Teaching and Learning National Institute 2017
Olympia, WA. Evergreen State College.

July 31. Proposals Due: 2017 Virginia Assessment Group Conference
Richmond, VA. Virginia Assessment Group.

August 8-11. 2017 SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference
Minneapolis, MN. State Higher Education Executive Officers.


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