Kentucky to assess student learning in undergraduate education

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Kentucky is one of eight states chosen to participate in a new project to assess and improve the quality of undergraduate student learning, according to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

Kentucky will receive $120,000 for faculty development and new assessment approaches over three years. Sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Quality Collaboratives (QC) project is supported with funding from the Lumina Foundation for Education.

Other states selected include California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin and Virginia.

Faculty and state leaders will test ways to assure that students can demonstrate achievement of essential competencies across all areas and levels of learning, regardless of where they begin or end their educational journeys. The initiative is part of Lumina Foundation’s beta testing of the value of a shared Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP). A DQP consists of specific learning outcomes that every college student, regardless of field of study, should achieve and integrate in five areas: broad knowledge; specialized knowledge; intellectual skills; applied learning and civic learning.

Using this framework, the project will test approaches to assessing these outcomes and developing educational practices that accomplish the following:

  • help students achieve essential outcomes at appropriately high levels
  • document students’ attainment of outcomes
  • facilitate students’ transfer of courses and competencies from two-year institutions to four-year institutions on their way to completing college degrees

Quality Collaboratives is a three-year project that is part of AAC&U’s ongoing Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative. Beginning this month, it will engage teams of educational, assessment, and policy leaders in selected states. Two- and four-year institutions in each of these states have already been working extensively on issues of learning outcomes, curricular change, high-impact practices and assessment. They all will build on these prior efforts to clarify, map, assess and improve the achievement of learning outcomes essential for success in life, work and citizenship in the 21st century.

The QC initiative will result in:

  • a set of new national reporting templates and strategies for assessing student competence on essential learning outcomes for use in student transfer
  • recommended practices, models and demonstration sites for institutionally fostering faculty leadership
  • recommended practices, policies and examples for incorporating evidence of students’ demonstrated competence on a range of learning outcomes within transfer policies and priorities

For more information, contact Sue Patrick at (502) 573-1555.

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