The Consortium Assessment Leadership Institute (CALI) provides faculty and administrators with knowledge and guidance to create effective assessment plans. Assessment is a critical component of education, but many have difficulty with the formal process. CALI was designed to break down the pieces of the assessment life-cycle and provide training and exercises for each component.
For effective assessment, faculty need to understand how to assess and how to use the results. Many faculty are not sure of how to define their assessment criteria and provide their measured results. Faculty often view the student learning outcome assessments as evaluation of their work as opposed to an opportunity for improvement. Once they have results, they may not be sure how to use these results to make changes in their classrooms. Training is needed for both new and experienced instructors so that they can create valid outcomes, provide pertinent results, and utilize the data to improve student learning.
In 2009 and 2013, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) administered a survey to understand why colleges were doing assessment. In both years, the top four reasons1 were:
Additionally, community colleges had high responses for state mandates and external funding. All of these reasons reflect that assessment is critical for community colleges in North Texas.
If a community college is to survive, assessment must be done. The accrediting body for colleges in Texas, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), requires assessment as part of the accreditation process. Without accreditation, a college would not be able to get federal funding, and most likely their enrollment would be reduced. Additionally, the State of Texas requires colleges to report on student success and completion. State funding is determined based on these reporting results. Community colleges are dependent on this support and strive to improve these numbers. CALI is a resource to train faculty and make them assessment experts in their departments or colleges. CALI not only provides knowledge, but also increases engagement in assessment.
The Consortium Assessment Leadership Institute
1 George D. Kuh, et al, “Knowing What Students Know and Can Do: The Current State of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment in U.S. Colleges and Universities”