Assessing General Education Programs

Front Cover
Wiley, Mar 3, 2006 - Education - 280 pages
General education is the core of the undergraduate experience. Itprovides a lasting foundation for students’ future academic,civil, cultural, economic, and social lives. Additionally, as partof most general education curricula, general education as well asfirst-year experience programs are becoming virtually universal incolleges and universities; first-year seminars often are integratedinto general education programs to promote student retention,engagement, and success. The assessment of these institution-wideefforts is particularly challenging, but many campuses have madesubstantial progress from which we can learn.

In this book, the author draws on her experience with over sixtycolleges, universities, and college systems to

  • Establish a broad context for general education and first-yearexperience programs and assessment, and summarize relevant ideasfrom professional organizations
  • Advise how to develop mission, goal, and outcomestatements
  • Explain how to align curricula and pedagogy with learningoutcomes, develop alignment questions to be used in assessmentprojects, and describe how campuses can use course certification topromote alignment
  • Describe approaches for assessment planning, criteria forselecting strategies, and ethical issues to be considered
  • Provide examples of direct and indirect assessmentstrategies
  • Discuss the infrastructure for general education assessment andoffer advice for effective collaboration among faculty andstaff

Written for college and university administrators, assessmentofficers, faculty, and staff who support general education andfirst-year experience programs, this book is a hands-on guide fordeveloping, aligning, and assessing general education programs inmeaningful, manageable, and sustainable ways. The author presents avariety of approaches and dozens of examples to help readersunderstand what other campuses are doing and develop a repertoireof their own methods so they can make informed decisions abouttheir programs.

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General Education has many names - it may be called Gen Ed, Core, Liberal Arts Education, etc., but the goal behind the name is to ensure all students have a breadth of knowledge across disciplnes as ... Read full review


General Education Mission Goals and Outcomes
Alignment of General Education Programs
The Assessment Plan

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About the author (2006)

MARY J. ALLEN is professor emeritus of psychology, California State University-Bakersfield, and former director of the California State University Institute for Teaching and learning. She served as department chair and founded the faculty development center and assessment center at California State University-Bakersfield, and supported faculty development and assessment efforts for the California State University System. She holds a master’s degree in statistics and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California-Berkeley. In the last decade she has offered assessment workshops and support to more than 60 colleges, universities, and college district, and has led invited workshops at a variety of conferences, including presentation for the American Association for Higher Education, the Association of American colleges and Universities, and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

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