Concurrent Session Descriptions

2018 MSCHE Annual Conference

THURSDAY, November 29, 2018 | 10:15 am – 11:00 am

Assessing the Unicorn: The Challenge of Assessment in Nontraditional Institutions
Virginia – Lobby Level

Interdisciplinary graduate programs differ from undergraduate programs and professional graduate programs, with specific skillsets. It is more challenging to measure students’ achievement against outcomes where there are no hard and fast skills and where student outcomes are based on the ability to develop and express new ideas and understand application of complex analytical concepts. Non-traditional institutions preparing for Self-Study and reaffirmation of accreditation need to be aware of their unique qualities and how they conform with standards and criteria for accreditation. Careful assessment of how standards are met, based on institutional mission, need to be well explained and documented in the Self-Study and evidence.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess students for critical thinking, in-depth analysis, and creativity in graduate education
  • Develop measures of student learning: standardization of rubrics and grading
  • Integrate learning outcomes at the institution, degree, and course levels.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Ellen Rosenthal, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, National Intelligence University; Robert Smith, Associate Vice President, Office of Research, National Intelligence University; and Susan Studds, Provost and Executive Vice President, National Intelligence University


Assessment of General Education Through Portfolio Reflection on Essential Questions
Maryland – Lobby Level

As a result of its recent general education (core) curriculum revision, Ursinus College is creating a holistic assessment protocol in which students will reflect on the four guiding questions of an Ursinus education: What should matter to me? How should we live together? How can we understand the world? What will I do? In eschewing distribution requirements, knowledge outcomes, and even competencies, Ursinus has moved toward student reflection on essential questions as the guiding principles of its core. To facilitate recursive, repeated student reflection, the college has created an electronic portfolio system that begins at new student orientation and is sustained by required core curriculum elements through graduation. These portfolios will also enable faculty to assess the ways students demonstrate skillful, substantive, and personal reflection on answers to the core questions; the extent to which students develop different or more nuanced reflections over their time; and the identification of high impact experiences.

Learning Objectives:

  • To think differently about ways to approach general education curriculum design that puts students’ own questions at the forefront of the curriculum;
  • Explore the use of e-portfolios as a means to allow a flexible, personalized, yet organized approach to student learning assessment;
  • Develop new ideas for framing core curricula in holistic ways and for thinking more meaningfully about institutional learning outcomes outside of the prevailing paradigm of discrete rubrics for each item or course.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Stephanie Mackler, Assistant Dean and Associate Professor for Education, Ursinus College; Nathan Rein, Assistant Dean, and Co-Director of the Institute for Student Success, Ursinus College; and Mark Schneider, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dean, Ursinus College


Building an Institutional Effectiveness Plan on the Fast Track
Marriott Ballroom 2-3 – Lobby Level

The University of Baltimore (UB) is a public institution and part of the University System of Maryland. In 2007, the university was placed on monitoring status and the 2012 Periodic Review Team requested a progress report. In both cases, the areas for improvement cited were related to planning and assessment (at all levels). In 2014 as we approached the 10- year Self-Study, it became apparent that a number of actions were needed to achieve full reaccreditation. In the spring of 2017, the university successfully completed its MSCHE Self-Study with multiple commendations—but not without a significant amount of work. This session will outline the three-year process that the led to a successful reaffirmation of accreditation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop a process for assessing the current status of assessment and institutional effectiveness on campus;
  • Identity priorities and steps in building an institutional effectiveness plan;
  • Develop campus-wide buy-in and accountability.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Catherine Finneran Andersen, Vice Provost, University of Baltimore; and Darlene Brannigan Smith, Executive Vice President and Provost, University of Baltimore


Responding to Accreditation Challenges through Governance Change
Washington- Exhibition Level

The report of the MSCHE Visiting Team in April 2016 left NassaCommunity College with a major challenge—the institution failed to comply with seven of 14 accreditation standards. The seven deficient standards of accreditation fell into three categories: Leadership/ Governance/Integrity; Planning and Resource Allocation; and Assessment. The initial Team’s observation, endorsed pointedly by the next Visiting Team, was that the college “must create a system of shared governance in which each major constituency carries out its role…consistent with the principles of shared governance.” This presentation will offer suggestions, guidance, and encouragement to institutions responding to accreditation challenges. Specifically, it will address changes in shared governance with respect to the Board of Trustees, the role of the President in strategic planning, Senate by-laws, and the expanded role of faculty in academic and institutional assessment.

Learning Objectives:

  • List three strategies to address accreditation challenges;
  • Explain the roles of the President, Vice Presidents, and faculty in strategic planning;
  • Describe the importance of the concept of shared governance for faculty and administrators at colleges and universities.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Valerie Collins, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs, NassaCommunity College; W. Hubert Keen, President, Nassa Community College; and Pat Lupino, Chairperson of the Marketing Department, NassaCommunity College


A Small Community College’s “Holistic” Approach to a Mission, Vision, Values Review Process
Delaware – Lobby Level

Garrett College has taken a holistic approach to review the college’s mission, vision, and values, and the relationship to the institutional goals and strategic plan. President Richard Midcap made it an institutional priority to invite every employee to participate in the review process via an “All College Forum.” The process proved to be extremely valuable for each employee, for the betterment of the college and its students, and their self- awareness of the importance of their contributions to assure the success of the College and students. The process enabled the employees to understand the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s Self-Study process, as well as accreditation, assessment, and  the interrelationship of all of the processes across the college—from the budget to the academic plan to the enrollment management plan—and how they contribute to the overall institutional effectiveness plan.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how employees’ contribution to the process is valued and open collaboration is key to the success of the review process;
  • Learn how to empower the employees to reflect on how the institution and the students have changed or evolved over the last several years since their original employment, and how the mission, vision, and values still pertain to the overall college and student climate.
  • Gain insight into how to increase moral and motivate employees via their involvement, and the success achieved by the institution and college in adhering to the mission, vision, and values that employees were involved in reviewing.

Audience: Beginning

Presenters: Richard Midcap, President, Garrett College; and Kelli Sisler, Institutional Research and Effectiveness Coordinator, Garrett College

THURSDAY, November 29, 2018 | 11:15 am – Noon

Addressing Standards II and VII through a Policy Advisory Council
Virginia – Lobby Level

Periodically, it is necessary for an institution to review its policies and procedures to determine whether an individual policy or procedure is still necessary; if updates or other changes to a policy and/or procedure are needed; and if there are gaps indicating where new policies and/ or procedures should be developed. Bergen Community College created a Policy Advisory Council (PAC) to address these needs and support the college governance structure. The PAC is charged with ensuring that all board policies are current and compliant with all statutory requirements and law; assisting executive team members in the development of new policies; confirming that new policy proposals follow an established approval process and; reviewing existing policies on a three-year cycle. In this session, attendees will learn about Bergen’s model and how the PAC helps strengthen the institution to meet Standards II and VII.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the structure of a Policy Advisory Council;
  • Understand how to implement a Policy Advisory Council or similar body at a participant’s institution;
  • Articulate the benefits and challenges of a Policy Advisory Council.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Gail Fernandez, Interim Dean of Assessment, Bergen Community College; and Michael Redmond, President, Bergen Community College


Aligning Post-Graduation Outcomes: The Trifecta Approach
Maryland – Lobby Level

Demonstrating outcomes for college graduates is more important than ever. Where do an institution’s graduates get jobs? How much money do they make? Where do they go to graduate school? These are all questions asked by prospective students, parents, legislatures, and the federal government. Accordingly, career placement data is one of the specific examples of optional uploads to demonstrate student achievement via the MSCHA Annual Institutional Update (AIU). This session will highlight strategies being employed to gather career placement data and meet the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) guidelines, including NACE’s recommended approach to obtain increased knowledge rates leading to a career outcomes rate. Practical examples to improve the collection of post-graduation outcomes data will be provided, including how to use these data in multiple ways for multiple audiences. This topic is applicable to all institutional types.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand strategies being employed to gather career placement data and meet the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) guidelines;
  • Review practical examples to improve the collection of post-graduation outcomes data, including how to use these data in multiple ways for multiple audiences;
  • Discover information about NACE’s national initiative to collect, analyze, report, and benchmark college graduate outcomes, as well as NACE’s advocacy role in key legislative issues such as the Federal Government’s College Scorecard employment metric https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education/college-score-

Audience: Beginning

Presenter: Heather Kelly, Director of Institutional Research, University of Delaware


Developing and Implementing an Assessment Plan for Administrative Offices
Marriott Ballroom 2-3 – Lobby Level

Participants will leave the session with an understanding of how to develop and implement an assessment plan for administrative offices. Attention will be given on how to help administrative offices develop a mission statement, goals, outcomes, and assessment plans/ cycles, as well as reporting out data and closing the loop. This will help participants address periodic assessment in the MSCHE Standards I, II, IV, VI, and VII. The Washington & Jefferson assessment model on assessment for administrative offices focuses on education, training, and continuous feedback to staff on the assessment process. Strategies on how to work with and educate staff will be discussed, and the process for feedback given to staff will also be shared.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how the college mapped out an assessment plan for administrative offices;
  • Gain insight into how one might create an educational plan to educate staff on assessment;
  • Understand the value of administrative assessment.

Audience: Beginning

Presenter: Lindsey R. Guinn, Director of Assessment and Institutional Research, Washington & Jefferson College


Listening Tours and Briefing Sessions: Building Engagement in the Self-Study Process
Delaware – Lobby Level

Montgomery College created a series of listening tours and briefing sessions, particularly leveraging the criteria and philosophies of Standards I and VII, to not only determine specific initiatives and examples that could be used in developing those standards, but to invite participation in the Self-Study process and to set up momentum for conversations that can be carried forward following the Self-Study process. When returning to campus, participants will have direct strategies for designing input and engagement sessions, strategies for encouraging participation in the sessions and in the process as a whole, and strategies for marketing those sessions. In addition, participants will have concrete examples of how one might leverage the structures and individuals of Standard VII on Governance, Leadership, and Administration; and to develop and encourage a participant’s campus to support a cohesive overarching theme for Self-Studies that connects directly with the institution’s Standard I on Mission and Vision.

Learning Objectives:

  • Determine the distinct audiences and purposes for different types of sessions;
  • Balance providing information with active participation, tying everything to mission and vision;
  • Develop strategies for scheduling and publicizing sessions, including leveraging governance.

Audience: Beginning

Presenters: Eric Benjamin, Interim Collegewide Dean of Education and Social Sciences, Montgomery College; Melissa Gregory, Associate Senior Vice President for Student Affairs, Montgomery College; and Tammy Peery, Professor, Montgomery College.


Session Cancelled: Using Curriculum Mapping to Facilitate the Design and Delivery of Student Learning. If you were planning to attend this concurrent session, please choose one of the other presentations during this time instead.

THURSDAY, November 29, 2018 | 1:30 pm – 2:15 pm

Building Faculty Support for General Education Assessment: An Organic Approach
Virginia – Lobby Level

This presentation offers valuable perspectives on some of the most challenging issues related to student learning assessment: the structure of general education assessment and the development of an organic and sustainable assessment practice. The session will focus on fostering faculty acceptance of general education assessment by embedding assessment responsibilities within the faculty governance structure itself. This approach affirms faculty expertise, emphasizes team building, favors the use of local instruments, and frames faculty development as an ongoing process. The faculty-driven nature of this model has ensured more investment in the assessment process while also deepening faculty appreciation of its value. Now, after a successful MSCHE visit and two years of implementation, Stevenson University has begun to reflect on the model and will utilize this session to share the lessons learned during the creation of this process.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to create an assessment structure that is supported by both faculty and the governance body;
  • Identify ways of utilizing the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment in the design process and for data analysis;
  • Provide techniques for distributing the assessment results to ensure faculty buy-in.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Aaron Chandler, Associate Professor of English, Stevenson University; and Natasha Miller, Director of Assessment, Stevenson University


Creating and Sustaining Non-Academic Assessment from Scratch
Washington- Exhibition Level

Formalized assessment planning in non-academic units that drive continuous improvement, institutional planning, and decision-making is slowly evolving at most institutions, but it is necessary to evidence data in support of MSCHE Standards IV and VI. The presenters will share a comprehensive approach used at SUNY Buffalo State to create and sustain assessment plans for 68 non-academic units in one semester. This session outlines a universally applicable professional development approach used to define and determine which units to assess; identify who from the units is responsible for assessment; determine assessment milestones and deliverables; develop and implement training for 68 units in one semester; collect data from units and link it to strategic planning; and share data and best practices across units. Intertwined within these six steps, this presentation offers attendees specific scenarios and challenges encountered, along with effective strategies to overcome institutional inertia to create non-academic assessments.

Learning Objectives:

  • Outline strategies that support and mitigate challenges that impede upon cultivating a culture of non-academic assessment;
  • Identify professional development approaches that could be applied to attendees’ institutions to train non-academic leaders to create quality assessment plans;
  • Describe post-training follow-up strategies to ensure progress and continued engagement in assessment for non-academic unit leaders.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Tiffany Fuzak, Research Analyst, Buffalo State The State University of New York (SUNY); and Jonathan Hulbert, Director of Leadership and Organizational Development, Buffalo State The State University of New York (SUNY), and Alumni Board President, Hilbert College


Session Cancelled: Here 2 There: A Model for Underrepresented First Generation Students If you were planning to attend this concurrent session, please choose one of the other presentations during this time instead.


Integrated Assessment: Connecting Course and Program Assessments
Marriott Ballroom 2-3 – Lobby Level

The assessment of student learning is primarily connected with a course or courses that students take. Student learning data from these courses are generally used to report on program quality. However, often times, course learning outcomes are not properly aligned with the program’s learning outcomes and the program’s outcomes are not aligned with institutional student learning outcomes. As a result, the assessment data at the course-level cannot be used to report on the institution’s educational effectiveness. In this session, the presenter will demonstrate how to align course-level student learning outcomes assessment with programmatic and institution-wide assessments. The presenter will show the audience how assessment data at the course level can inform institution-wide assessment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify course-embedded key assessments;
  • Align course-level student learning outcomes assessment with programmatic assessment;
  • Align programmatic assessment with the institution’s educational effectiveness assessment.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenter: José G. Ricardo-Osorio, Chair of the Department of Global Languages and Cultures, Shippensburg University


Organizational Change and Academic Integrity: A Model for Institutional Transformation
Maryland – Lobby Level

University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is undertaking a comprehensive initiative to establish a shared, transformative vision for academic integrity that transcends views of integrity as the absence of misconduct and infuses an emphasis on integrity across the curriculum. This initiative has purposefully integrated collaboration with the University System of Maryland’s (USM) Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, the USM Board of Regents, the USM Council of University System Faculty, and the International Center for Academic Integrity. Leveraging this diverse network, UMUC is grappling inclusively with how higher education infuses integrity across the curriculum while also responding aggressively to threats from the new cheating economy—especially contract cheating and unauthorized distribution of institutions’ intellectual property online. The panel will present three different perspectives on UMUC’s approach: UMUC’s collaborative-design and systems-thinking approach to integrity; the centrality of executive-level sponsorship and buy-in for institutional transformation; and the strategic role of university-system engagement.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe an organizational-change approach to academic integrity;
  • Demonstrate the value of collaborative models to transform institutional culture;
  • Identify best practices for reframing what it means to “do” academic integrity.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: MJ Bishop, Director, Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, University System of Maryland; Douglas Harrison, Associate Dean, The Graduate School, University of Maryland University College; and, Deputy Chief Academic Officer, University of Maryland University College

THURSDAY, November 29, 2018 | 2:30 pm – 3:15 pm

Assessing the Intangibles: Why…and How
Washington- Exhibition Level

Measuring the intangibles can be a challenge for those of whose primary job revolves around assessment, particularly in conversations with resistant colleagues who hold fast to the belief that only the most basic, mundane student accomplishments can be assessed. Those colleagues may likely indicate, “…but what we do can’t be assessed.” This interactive session will provide examples of intangibles that propose assessment challenges and review strategies to assess the challenges. The presenter will provide examples at the program and course level but will also encourage audience contributions. Attendees will leave the session with tools to use in working with colleagues who feel that the true value of their programs can’t be easily measured.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe “Intangibles” in higher education assessment;
  • Discuss the importance of assessing the ‘Intangibles’ in higher education;
  • Apply the assessment methods discussed.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenter: Jo-Ellen Asbury, Associate Provost for Institutional Planning and Assessment, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York


Collaborating for Successful Accreditation— Branch Campuses & Additional Locations
Maryland – Lobby Level

In its recent Self-Study using the new seven standards, Carnegie Mellon University had the added challenge of incorporating two other campuses and 14 additional locations. CMcreated a strong model for engaging colleagues in the self-study process, assembling a robust set of documentation roadmap materials, preparing self-study reports for each location, and conducting productive visit experiences. Attendees will learn from CMU’s approach to get ideas on effectively organizing multiple-location reviews, demonstrating how the institution’s mission is carried out in different cultural contexts, and encouraging each location to constructively participate in conveying its own distinctive character.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop a practical approach to balancing central process with local expertise and practices;
  • Build knowledge and confidence among colleagues at other locations;
  • Apply “lessons” from remote visits to the main campus peer team visit.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenter: Lisa Krieg, Associate Vice President and Director of Enrollment Services, Carnegie Melon University


Ensuring Academic Integrity of Dual Enrollment Through NACEP’s National Standards
Virginia – Lobby Level

As the sole national program accreditor for concurrent enrollment partnerships, the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships’ (NACEP) standards ensure that college courses offered in high schools are as rigorous as courses offered on the sponsoring college campus. Developed and refined over many years, NACEP’s standards serve as a model for statewide quality standards in 20 states, with 10 of these states providing incentives for colleges to obtain NACEP accreditation. Concerns about concurrent and dual enrollment course quality often follow periods of growth and expansion. Two leading NACEP-accredited programs—Syracuse University Project Advance and Penn College NOW—will share best practices and examine mechanisms for how a wide range of institutions can meet high standards through greater institutional accountability. Presenters will also discuss NACEP’s recent efforts to develop standards and accreditation processes for additional models of dual enrollment, including those taught by regular college faculty and team-taught models.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand best practices in concurrent enrollment course oversight;
  • Learn strategies that can promote stronger partnerships between high schools and colleges;
  • Examine tools for pursuing national accreditation to distinguish institutions’ concurrent /dual enrollment partnerships.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Adam Lowe, Executive Director, National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships; Christina Parish, Director of Syracuse University Project Advance; and Paul Watson, II, Dean of Academic Success, Pennsylvania College of Technology


Road Map 2.0: A Renewal of Strategic Planning Process
Marriott Ballroom 2-3 – Lobby Level

The conditions, environment, and assumptions of a strategic plan, as originally established, doesn’t remain constant. Even for those with the best-laid plans, real life will intervene. How does one make sure that the outcomes of the strategic plan are going in the right direction? Binghamton University has done so by implementing the road map renewal process. The renewal process followed the previously established innovative strategic planning process that was open, transparent, and inclusive; and to augment the budget process that ensures allocation of resources to the newly developed university and divisional initiatives. In this session, the presenters will describe the renewal process as well as the process how five university initiatives and 10 divisional initiatives were chosen to further the mission, vision, and goals of the university. The audience will also learn how the determination and allocation of resource requirements were established for successful implementation. Initial outcomes reveal important lessons.

Learning Objectives:

  • Design and implement strategic plan models that respond to unique institutional characteristics and environment;
  • Identify and allocate resources effectively to execute strategic, priority-based initiatives;
  • Understand the strengths/challenges of practical, high-level problem-solving strategies.

Audience: Advanced

Presenters: Nasrin Fatima, Associate Provost for Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Planning, Binghamton University; Donald G. Nieman, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Binghamton University; and Harvey G. Stenger, President, Binghamton University


A Rust-Belt Community College’s Renaissance
Delaware – Lobby Level

This presentation describes how in response to a wake-up call from MSCHE, one previously-complacent community college came together to remove the rust from old assessment practices and build a new vision of a shared culture based on values. Success included development of a faculty and administrative cross-collaborative assessment team, buy-in from the entire college community, targeted professional development, norms messaging, as well as revision of existing assessment processes. Structural changes included a common hour, a $50,000 Continuous Quality Improvement Fund for student learning innovations, a new technology solution, and paid faculty positions to directly support assessment activities. The pivot point came from the creation of the first faculty- led “All Assessment Day,” where a mindset of grudges and passivity shifted to intentional collaboration. The assessment team’s initiatives will be discussed. Ultimately, the success of this initiative can be gauged by the removal of the MSCHE Warning in one year.

Learning Objectives:

  • Receive strategies that can be utilized to begin dialogues about transforming their campus cultures;
  • Gain insight on improving the effectiveness of collaborations on assessment and institutional effectiveness;
  • Learn how a frameshift in thinking and messaging can shake the rust off in an organization.

Audience: Beginning

Presenters: Caroline Evans, Professor, Community College of Allegheny County; Kevin Smay, Assistant Vice President for Strategic Planning and Institutional Research, Community College of Allegheny County; and Kalina White, Professor, Community College of Allegheny County

THURSDAY, November 29, 2018 | 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm

Institutionalizing Information Literacy: Implementing A Comprehensive Information Literacy Program
Maryland – Lobby Level

In this presentation, two directors from Goldey-Beacom College will share their experiences collaborating across departments (institutional research and training, and the library and learning center) to build their internationally award-winning information literacy assessment (ILA) program. This program was originally designed to directly address the Association of Colleges and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) information literacy standards and was recently updated to address the revised standards now reflected in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Successful efforts to deploy this program institution-wide to increase and assess the information literacy skills of three distinct student populations—first-year undergraduates, fourth-year undergraduates, and incoming graduate students—will be discussed. Lessons learned about collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data learned from this program will be shared, including how this data has been incorporated into various institutional and MSCHE reports.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to implement an institution-wide information literacy program;
  • Be able to articulate the benefits of implementing an institution-wide information literacy program;
  • Leave this presentation with a concrete plan for developing an ILA program at their institution.

Audience: Beginning

Presenters: Monica D.T. Rysavy, Director of Institutional Research and Training, Goldey-Beacom College; and Russell Michalak, Director of the Library & Learning Center, Goldey-Beacom College


Navigating the Governance Process to Forward Assessment Efforts
Washington- Exhibition Level

Messiah College used the governance process to distribute the leadership and responsibility of assessment efforts across multiple campus offices and roles. Rather than a top-down approach mandating change, distributed leadership deputizes people at all levels of the organization to be change agents (Gronn, 2002; Spillane, 2006). The result is an ongoing conversation about learning that spans departments and divisions, facilitating a deeper understanding of how campus areas contribute to the institutional mission. These conversations communicated assessment expectations and formalized the timeline into our academic calendar. Using this process, Messiah accomplished revision of its institutional and general education learning objectives; inclusion of the assessment committee review for all curricular proposals; inclusion of assessment activities as a criteria in the tenure/promotion process, and revision of school dean responsibilities to include the assessment of student learning. The result was embedding assessment as a formal responsibility for multiple roles while integrating assessment into the governance process ensures sustained assessment efforts.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the positive ways in which the governance process can formalize and communicate assessment processes, and the potential negative consequences;
  • Prioritize current assessment needs at institutions and develop a strategy for using the governance process to meet those needs;
  • Apply a distributed leadership model and communication theory to support and promote assessment institutional efforts.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Susan Donat, Director of Curriculum/Assistant Director of Assessment, Messiah College; and Kate Oswald Wilkins, Director of Academic Assessment, Messiah College


The Self-Study in Action—Communication Strategies for Multi-Campus Institutions
Virginia – Lobby Level

This presentation will focus on strategies colleges and universities with multiple locations can utilize to cut through the complexities of their geographic distances and maximize stakeholder input and awareness of the Self-Study Process using the seven Standards for Accreditation. In a crowded communications landscape, colleges and universities with multiple campus locations face the additional challenge of engaging stakeholders at a distance. This presentation will provide a foundation for bridging the divide and maximizing stakeholder engagement at all levels of the organization. The presenters will provide a roadmap that institutions can use to inform and engage stakeholders through diverse methods. Emphasis will be placed on engaging faculty, students, staff, administrators, Board of Trustee members, and diverse stakeholders across geographic regions in a dialogue that brings the Self-Study Process and the seven Standards to life. Unique strategies and activities that foster collaboration at all levels of the institution will be illustrated.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain awareness for the importance of communications planning in an effective Self- Study;
  • Learn strategies for communicating with and engaging diverse stakeholders in the Self-Study;
  • Be able to share and replicate presented strategies and activities at their own institutions.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Marianne Vakalis, Dean of Strategic Initiatives, and Accreditation Liaison Officer, Berkeley College; and Angela Harrington, Vice President of Communications and External Relations, Berkeley College


Strategic Design: Redesigning the Strategic Planning Process in Higher Education
Marriott Ballroom 2-3 – Lobby Level

Well-designed and implemented strategic plans provide the foundation for campus-wide discussions about critical institutional issues. However, many strategic plans mirror one another and communicate seemingly interchangeable wordsmithed mission and vision statements that represent what institutions of higher education already do (or should be doing) to fulfill basic responsibilities. Critics of planning in higher education suggest that many strategic plans are simply expanded vision statements that lack concrete objectives, time frames for their achievement, any indication of tactics, and who will be held accountable for achieving the desired outcomes. In order to implement Centenary University’s strategic plan, leadership has adopted elements of human-centered design thinking and an outcomes- based mindset. Session attendees will receive Centenary University’s approved strategic plan and a template to help attendees adapt the approach to their respective institutions and approach to tracking progress. Suggested readings and links to resources on design thinking and outcomes-based planning will be provided.

Learning Objectives:

  • Compare and contrast traditional strategic planning processes with the presented approach;
  • Apply a framework and related techniques for effecting change at institutions of higher education;
  • Evaluate the benefits and potential pitfalls to applying the presented approach at one’s own institution.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: David Haney, President, Centenary University; and Jeremy Ashton Houska, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment, Centenary University

FRIDAY, November 30, 2018 | 10:15 am – 11:00 am

Developing Winning Teams: Assessing Student Learning in Intercollegiate Athletics
Delaware – Lobby Level

Currently, over 400,000 U.S. college students participate in intercollegiate athletics at approximately 1,000 institutions. In Division III schools, an average of 26 percent of undergraduates are student-athletes, and budgets allocated to these athletic programs range from $3 million to $6 million. A common belief is that participation in intercollegiate athletics develops teamwork, leadership skills, and sportsmanship. However, little evidence exists substantiating these claims, and recent scandals associated with intercollegiate athletics suggest this may not be the case at all. The sizeable percentage of student-athletes at most institutions, the substantial resources dedicated to these programs, and the public’s call for greater accountability make it critical for colleges to articulate and assess learning goals for student-athletes that are congruent with sportsmanship, teamwork, and leadership. This presentation describes how the athletic program at Utica College, a Division III institution, engages in systematic assessment of student learning and program effectiveness, and uses this evidence to improve the program’s operation. Presenters will describe how to get coaches involved in assessing student-athletes beyond skills and abilities related to their sport.

Learning Objectives:

  • Articulate the importance of assessing student-learning in intercollegiate athletic programs;
  • Identify multiple methods for assessing sportsmanship, teamwork, and leadership;
  • Analyze the implications of the assessment findings for improved services.
  • Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Ann E. Damiano, Dean of Academic Assessment, Utica College; and David Fontaine, Director of Physical Education and Athletics, Utica College


Post-Hurricane Maria—Lessons Learned— Preparation, Response, & Recovery
Virginia – Lobby Level

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category 4 hurricane struck Puerto Rico wreaking unprecedented catastrophic damage throughout the entire island including to its electrical power grid, infrastructure, and telecommunications systems. This presentation will address Standard VI—Institutional Planning and Resource Allocation and the ways in which National University College (NUC) attended its students financial, physical and emotional needs will be discussed especially with regard to academic rigor and quality, administrative operations, services and support for the students as well as the community surrounding the campuses.

Learning Objectives:

  • Present challenges and the institution’s response with regard to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria;
  • Share the strategies that NUC made to ensure the rapid recovery of the institution;
  • Impart the lessons and strategies implemented to deal with a crisis situation of great magnitude.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Lydia Collazo, Vice President of Faculty Training and Assessment, National University College; and Carmen Z. Claudio, Past President and Current Board of Trustees Member, National University College


Tracking Institutional Priorities: Development and Implementation of a “Quasi” Dashboard
Marriott Ballroom 2-3 – Lobby Level

This presentation will describe the development and implementation of a report that is used to track an institution’s progress on its strategic priorities in a clear, focused, and systematic way. The resulting report, labeled here as a “quasi” dashboard, contains information on the institution’s priorities, associated benchmarks, timeline, responsibility, outcomes metrics, progress, and plan for improvement. It is provided in a graphical display that can be relatively easily digested by a wide range of constituents. This presentation will cover the process used to convert strategic plan goals into measurable outcomes; a demonstration of the “quasi” dashboard and how it was developed; and the way that the dashboard has been implemented to communicate, assess progress, and plan for improvement as the college works toward its institutional priorities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Demonstrate the ability to convert strategic plan goals into measurable outcomes;
  • Understand how to present information in a format that is understandable by a wide audience;
  • Demonstrate the ability to use standardly-defined and benchmark-referenced institutional outcomes systematically to improve institutional effectiveness.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Richard T. Linn, Senior Vice President and Accreditation Liaison Officer, Trocaire College; with non-presenting co-authors David Holfoth, Research Associate, Trocaire College, and Julie Cioccio, Graphic Designer, Trocaire College


Using a Data Warehouse to Inform Institutional Assessment
Washington- Exhibition Level

Frostburg State University built a data warehouse to extend and increase the analytical capabilities across campus to ensure that decision making and resource allocation are well informed by data. In presenting how a variety of units across campus (e.g., admissions, financial aid, and academic departments) make use of data to inform practice within their units, the presenters will provide examples of how data is transformed in the data warehouse and translated into use to inform decision making. Specific examples include: analysis and visualization of the elements of the admissions funnel that have helped to inform recruitment strategies in the fall 2018 admissions cycle; efforts to better understand past institutional aid packaging practice as evidence of the need to adjust and inform current financial aid strategies; and the development of a robust toolkit designed for academic department chairs to help them effectively manage their departments.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how the institution utilized dashboards to inform institutional assessment;
  • Understand how admissions/enrollment management conveys to revenue generation;
  • Examine the limitations of the use of retrospective (even if current, daily) data in an increasingly entropic higher education marketplace.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Sara-Beth Bittinger, Director of Assessment and Institutional Research, Frostburg State University; and Denise Murphy, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Budget, Frostburg State University


Who’s First Gen? How Dickinson Approached Answers and Used Results
Maryland – Lobby Level

Recently, first-generation college students have grabbed headlines in local and national media outlets, including The New York Times and NPR. Despite national attention and the interest of higher education institutions and organizations such as MSCHE in tracking first- generation student experiences and outcomes, defining first-generation status remains an imprecise enterprise. At Dickinson College, a private liberal-arts college in Pennsylvania, understanding first-generation student experiences provided necessary traction for creating data-informed processes for classifying and identifying first-generation students. This presentation will share how Dickinson defined first-generation student status, weighed data sources for detecting these students, and is using data to dispel myths and provide early support to first-year students and their families.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the complexities involved in defining and tracking first-generation college students;
  • Compare data sources used in determining first-generation student status;
  • Identify ways that first-generation student information can be used to support students, improve advising and more.

Audience: Beginning

Presenter: Bethany Parliament-Chevalier, Institutional Research Senior Data Analyst, Dickinson College

FRIDAY, November 30, 2018 | 11:15 am – Noon

Cómo Realizar en Forma Exitosa el Proceso de Cambio Sustancial de MSCHE
Delaware – Lobby Level

La Comisión recibe innumerables solicitudes de Cambios Sustanciales cada año, las cuales han aumentado en cantidad y complejidad. Esta presentación tiene como objetivo guiar a los asistentes en el proceso de Cambio Sustancial y los requisitos básicos que la propuesta de cambio debe contener. Se proveerán consejos sobre cómo navegar con éxito el proceso y hacer que el mismo sea significativo para la calidad y efectividad de la institución.

Objetivos de Aprendizaje:

  • Familiarizarse con las expectativas de la MSCHE sobre el contenido y calidad de las propuestas.
  • Aprender qué se necesita hacer para tener éxito en una propuesta de cambio sustancial. Familiarizase con las diferentes partes del proceso de aprobación de cambio sustancial, desde la propuesta y la revisión de los pares evaluadores, a la revisión del comité y la
  • visita de seguimiento (en los casos que sea necesaria).

Audiencia: Intermedia (presented in Spanish)

Presentadoras: Hilda Colón Plumey e Idna M. Corbett, Vice Presidentes de Middle States Commission on Higher Education


How to Successfully Navigate the Substantive Change Process
Maryland – Lobby Level

The Commission receives numerous Substantive Change requests each year, and they have been growing in complexity. The presenters will brief attendees on the Commission’s Substantive Change process and the basic requirements of Substantive Change proposals. They will also address ways to succeed with the process and to make the process more meaningful for overall institutional quality.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand MSCHE expectations for Substantive Change proposals;
  • Learn tips about how to succeed with the Substantive Change process;
  • Become acquainted with the Substantive Change process from submission to peer reviewer to Commission subcommittee to Commission visits (if required).

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Robert Cuzzolino, Vice President for Graduate Programs and Planning, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; Ellie Fogarty, Vice President, Middle States Commission on Higher Education; Carmella Morrison, Director for Substantive Change, Middle States Commission on Higher Education; Christina Sax, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Maryland University of Integrative Health; Tracy Schoolcraft-Eichelberger, Associate Provost, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; Donald Simon, Assistant Vice President for Governmental Affairs, Monroe College; and Angela Suchanic, Assistant Vice President and Associate Professor, Wilmington University.


MSCHE Expectations for Institutional Governance, Leadership, and Administration
Marriott Ballroom 2-3 – Lobby Level

Standard VII in Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation addresses expectations for an institution’s governance, leadership, and administration, an important topic in a time of institutional change and organizational innovation. As more institutions share governing responsibilities with related entities and/or are subject to greater scrutiny by governmental bodies that provide funding, it is crucial that Commission expectations regarding governance be understood, including the role of various institutional constituencies in institutional governance, Commission requirements regarding governing boards, and the importance of clear and useful policies related to institutional governance. This session will “unpack” Standard VII and providing examples of effective evidence and analysis of institutional governance.

Learning Objectives:

  • Be able to interpret and address Standard VII, Institutional Governance, Leadership, and Administration;
  • Understand MSCHE governance expectations including for governing boards;
  • Know how to develop or enhance policies governance policies that outline the roles, responsibilities, and accountability for decision making of each constituency.

Audience: All levels


Navigating Follow-Up Reports and Visits
Virginia – Lobby Level

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education may request follow-up reports and visits as part of a Commission action to ensure an institution’s continued compliance with accreditation standards and requirements of affiliation. This session will help institutions understand the guidelines for preparing and submitting follow-up reports and will explain the transition to newer follow-up processes such as reports in conjunction with the Annual Institutional Update and Focused Reports. The session will also review the guidelines for the continued use of Monitoring Reports and Supplemental Information Reports.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the concerns that trigger follow-up reports and visits;
  • Understand the newer follow-up reporting formats and submission guidelines;
  • Develop a clear understanding of Commission expectations for follow-up reporting;
  • Understand how the Commission reviews and makes decisions about the quality of follow-up reports.

Audience: All levels

Presenters: Christy Faison and Stephen Pugliese, Vice Presidents, Middle States Commission on Higher Education; and Erin Mattson, Senior Director for Accreditation Services, Middle States Commission on Higher Education


Streamlining the Collection, Sharing, and Analysis of Data
Washington- Exhibition Level

In this presentation, the presenters will outline a process developed at Marymount Manhattan College for consistent data collection and sharing that allows for better understanding and use of assessment data across all institutional divisions. The presentation will provide an overview of how data collection teams can be organized at other institutions following our model of strategic planning implementation (SPIN) teams and institutional effectiveness teams. Data from those teams is collected using free or low-cost cloud-based survey tools; survey results are then readily transformed into easily read reports. The presenters will facilitate a discussion about how a better coordinated data collection process makes it not only easier to collect data, but to share it across campus divisions so that all can use it effectively for planning and budgeting purposes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to organize groups across campus to implement strategic planning and data collection;
  • Discover how to collect data from those groups using free or low-cost cloud-based surveys;
  • Understand how to create effective community reports that make it easier to act on data for planning and planning and budgeting purposes.

Audience: Intermediate

Presenters: Sharon M. Meagher, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, Marymount Manhattan College; Cheryl Goldstein, Director of Institutional Research and Planning, Marymount Manhattan College; and Cecilia Feilla, Professor of English and Director of Assessment, Marymount Manhattan College