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Kalamazoo College

Assessment Resources

framework diagram Kalamazoo College employs a variety of resources when assessing its educational quality.  Combining information generated at the College with information from nationally-normed instruments can provide an incredibly rich narrative about what students accomplish, how they accomplish it, and what they think of the learning environment in which those accomplishments occurred.

Resources such as course enrollment data, numbers of graduating majors, and grade distribution by academic division are available to help Kalamazoo College colleagues prepare annual Educational Quality Assessment Reports.

The following links to internal resources are all
password protected.

Externally available resources are also used to assess educational quality.  Providing brief descriptions of those resources will, we hope, enhance their use.

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) provides insights into the amount of time and effort students allocate to educationally meaningful activities that have been shown to be linked to student learning. NSSE also yields student perspectives on how well their institution fosters student engagement in those activities. Kalamazoo College administers the NSSE to first-year students and seniors periodically.

The Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) measures abilities of students to think critically, reason analytically, solve problems, and write effectively. Kalamazoo College has administered this direct measure of students’ abilities periodically since the fall of 2005, when first-year students took the CLA as part of a cross-sectional study, in which their scores were compared with scores of seniors in the spring of 2006, and as part of a longitudinal study, in which their first-year scores would be compared with their own scores as seniors in spring 2009.

The Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) administers several Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) surveys -- The Freshman Survey (CIRP-TFS), Your First College Year (CIRP-YFCY), and College Senior Survey (CIRP-CSS) – that generate useful data, both snapshots of cohorts at a particular time and longitudinal views, on cognitive and affective growth of students during college as reported by those students. Kalamazoo College has administered the YFCY and CSS surveys periodically over the last decade and has administered the TFS periodically since the 1970s.

The Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts collaborates with faculty and staff at colleges and universities to build and strengthen the capacity of assessment programs to gather and use evidence to improve student learning. Through various projects funded by the Teagle Foundation, including the Teagle Assessment Scholars Program, Kalamazoo College has worked with colleagues at the Center of Inquiry since 2006.

The National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) functions to discover and disseminate ways that academic programs and institutions can productively use assessment data internally to inform and strengthen undergraduate education, and externally to communicate with policy makers, families, and other stakeholders.

College Navigator, provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, is a handy resource for finding reliable information on many college and universities.

Many publications provide very useful insights into assessment practices and how they can be employed to improve student learning and overall educational quality. Some can be found at the following links: