Elements of Educational Quality at Kalamazoo College
While acknowledging that the outcome of educating a whole person, like the image emerging from pieces of a mosaic, is greater than the sum its parts and therefore difficult to describe in general for all students, highlighting elements of what contributes to the educational quality of an institution can provide insights into actuators of educational outcomes. And, assessing the educational quality of an institution can lead to well informed planning and action that serve to improve the education provided. We have adapted Peter Ewell's approach to assessing educational quality, described in Making the Grade, by asking the following questions:
- To what degree do our students attain intended learning outcomes?
- What are patterns and trends in student retention, participation, and graduation?
- What are perceptions of and opinions about the College's learning environments?
- Does the College have an appropriate "mix" of academic majors and programs?
As noted by Ewell, these questions point to elements of educational quality. Answers to these questions, obtained through multifarious avenues of inquiry described under Assessment Plans, are helping Kalamazoo College maintain and improve its educational programs.
Above all else, students attend college to become better educated. Student learning outcomes are, therefore, of paramount importance. We list them on Learning Outcomes, in the context of the College's mission and K-Plan