The Faculty Role in Assessment

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Amid continuing debate, and sometimes disagreement, about the value and wisdom of measuring student learning outcomes in higher education, a few areas of consensus are slowly emerging.

Institutional Research Roundup

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CHICAGO -- Institutional researchers are higher education's version of a utility infielder. That doesn't mean they lack expertise: They specialize in bringing data to bear on issues and problems, and explaining and interpreting those data to campus constituents who often come at the information from widely varying viewpoints. Their versatility comes, though, in the wide range of subjects they touch and of decisions over which they have some influence.

Angst for an Accreditor

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College presidents, faculty/staff unions and state education leaders rarely agree about anything. But mutual frustration with a regional accreditor has united strange bedfellows in California’s community college sector.

A Jobs Mismatch

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WASHINGTON -- The United States economy is in serious danger from a growing mismatch between the skills that will be needed for jobs being created and the educational backgrounds (or lack thereof) of would-be workers. That is the conclusion of a mammoth analysis of jobs data being released today by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

Coppin Plays Catchup On Retention

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Administrators at Coppin State University were hardly surprised when a report published last year showed that the public university in Baltimore had among the lowest graduation rates in the country, with just 19 percent of freshmen who entered in 2002 having earned a bachelor's degree by 2008. "We knew we had a persistence problem," says Reginald G. Ross, the vice president for enrollment management who had been brought to Coppin State in November 2008 in large part to help fix that problem.

Evaluating Community College Rankings

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Washington Monthly causes stir, yet again, by listing what it calls the "best" two-year institutions in the country -- using data collected by researchers who say their information shouldn't be used in that way.

Borrowing From Bologna

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Lumina proposes "qualifications profile" -- modeled on Europe's -- designed to set U.S. standard for what students must know and do to earn associate through master's degrees.

Holding Presidents Accountable for Learning

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Regents of Georgia university system individually asked 35 campus leaders how they planned to improve retention and graduation rates. The meetings were occasionally uncomfortable; the answers sometimes unsatisfactory.

Completion Targets for Cities

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Gates Foundation unveils new plans by four municipalities to push for better graduation rates.

The Graduation Limitation

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Association's report documents flaws in sources of data on college degree completion -- without proposing any solutions, critics say.


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