Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Higher Ed Accountability: The Latest

A group of colleges that focus on training adult workers has developed an accountability system that reports on student satisfaction and learning outcomes achieved, according to an article from Inside Higher Ed. Sponsored by mostly online higher education programs, the new Tranparency by Design online site aims to address the questions working adults have about going back to school. Just launched, the site provides some results from student satisfaction surveys about whether students liked the program, would recommend it to others, and whether they felt what they learned was useful in the workplace. This effort spans 4-year and 2-year programs. It is the latest among efforts to provide quick access to higher education accountability data, such as College Portraits, which involves 302 colleges that are voluntarily making data public, University and College Accountability Network (UCAN), which involves independent colleges, the federal government's College Navigator site, and the Education Conservancy's CollegeSpeak website. Another complement to the transparency effort is the Tuning USA project sponsored by the Lumina Foundation, which involves faculty from several cooperating higher education institutions in establishing the primary learning outcomes required in the select set of fields of biology, chemistry, education, history, physics and graphic design. For more, see this link. Their report is due in late 2009.