Thursday, June 10, 2010

Assessment in the Spotlight

The push for accountability in community colleges is shifting way from measuring traditional outcomes such as attendance and toward completion and graduation. A committee appointed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be recommending how colleges can report on these outcomes and explore some alternative assessments of student learning. This committee has some overlap with the American Association of Community College's Voluntary Accountability Framework working groups and steering committee.

On another somewhat related note, getting a job is considered one of the key reliable measures of the effectiveness of a community college workforce program. One community college took this goal very far by guaranteeing students a job or their money back.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Back from Travels: Highlights

The spring is a busy time, and this year it was particularly busy with conferences: The League for Innovation in the Community College, the Council for the Study of the Community College (CSCC), and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). Each meeting had many highlights too numerous to fully list, but one key point: Voluntary Accountability Framework. This effort by the AACC, falls under the heading of "if we don't do it, it will get done to us." There are three strands to this program: academic, workforce, and communication. The meeting drew an SRO crowd. Efforts to engage faculty members in accountability tend to end in acrimony (see this example from California)--hence the communication committee.