New Book Spotlights Best Practices in Assessment, Includes MSCHE Members

Exemplars of Assessment in Higher Education

What are some of the best practices in assessment by higher education institutions? A new book published by the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education (AALHE), Exemplars of Assessment in Higher Education: Diverse Approaches to Addressing Accreditation Standards, spotlights a number of institutions that are doing assessment as models for others, including contributions from Middles States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) members.

Editors Dr. Jane Marie Souza, Associate Provost for Academic Administration/Chief Assessment Officer and Accreditation Liaison Officer at the University of Rochester and former AALHE president, and Dr. Tara Rose, Director of Assessment at Louisiana State University, compiled examples from accreditors across a broad array of topics and institutions. Examples in assessment:

  • In the disciplines
  • Co-curricular, course/program/institutional assessment
  • Equity and inclusion
  • General education
  • Online learning
  • Program review
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning, student learning, or technology

To make for a better read, the editors organized those topics into four chapters:

  • Student learning and assessment
  • Student learning assessment from a disciplinary perspective
  • Faculty engagement and assessment focus
  • Institutional effectiveness and assessment, with a focus on strategic planning

MSCHE President Dr. Heather F. Perfetti, who wrote the foreword, noted that “While assessment may feel to constituents like an activity of accountability simply for accreditors, it is most appropriate to approach assessment as an activity of accountability for students. Assessment results that improve institutional effectiveness, heighten student learning, and better align resources serve to make institutions stronger for the benefit of their students, and those results also serve the institution or program well during the holistic evaluation required through accreditation.”

Dr. Jane Marie Souza (left) with MSCHE President Dr. Heather Perfetti at The Assessment Conversation workshop in Philadelphia March 10, 2020.

Dr. Jane Marie Souza (left) with MSCHE President Dr. Heather Perfetti at The Assessment Conversation workshop in Philadelphia March 10, 2020.

Exemplars of Assessment in Higher Education brings together examples from 24 institutions, including one from Australia.

“Our institution feels so honored to have been included in the Exemplars publication among so many other institutions from within and beyond the MSCHE membership,” said Dr. Carol Traupman-Carr, Vice Provost at Moravian College. “It serves as recognition of our good assessment practices as well as positions us among so many others engaged in best practices in assessment.”

MSCHE member contributors included:

  • Dr. Jeffrey R. Lindauer and Dr. Patricia A. Coward of Canisius College: Chapter 3 Assessment of Student Learning in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences
  • Dr. Carol Traupman-Carr, Dr. Dana S. Dunn, and Dr. Debra Wetcher-Hendricks of Moravian College: Chapter 6 One Institution’s Journey to Annual Program Assessment
  • Dr. David D. Dworak of U.S. Army War College: Chapter 10 Many Birds with One Stone: Developing a Multipurpose Student Assessment System
  • Ms. Leigh M. Onimus, J.D., and Dr. Joyce A. Strawser of Seton Hall University: Chapter 12 Elevating Assessment Processes Through Stakeholder Engagement
  • Ms. Kimberly Krytus, Dr. Sarah Cercone Heavey, and Dr. Gregory G. Homish of University at Buffalo: Chapter 13 Competency-Based Student Assessment in Online and In-Person Master of Public Health Programs
  • Ms. Elisa Hertz of Guttman Community College: Chapter 19 Being Sage About Institutional Effectiveness
  • Dr. Dawn L. Hayward and Dr. Rebecca Gullan of Gwynedd Mercy University; and Dr. Nancy Ritze of CUNY’s Bronx Community College: Chapter 20 “Do We Have It? Do We Do It? Does It Work?”: A Three-Question Framework for Addressing Accreditation Standards and Ensuring Institutional Effectiveness

“For many years, MSCHE and AALHE representatives have collaborated and presented at each other’s conferences and workshops to bring accreditation best practices to the higher education community,” said Dr. Perfetti. “The contributions to Exemplars by myself and others are a natural extension of that longstanding relationship.”

Most recently, Dr. Stephen Pugliese, MSCHE Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, sat on a panel for the 6th annual Conversation with Accreditors session at AALHE 2021 Online Conference in June 2021, and MSCHE is planning a fall 2021 webinar with Dr. Souza and Dr. Rose.

All proceeds from this book will benefit AALHE. To purchase a copy or learn more, visit Stylus Publishing