MCC Chosen to Join the Multistate Collaborative to Measure College Student Learning

 Manchester, Connecticut - (January 21, 2014)… Manchester Community College is one of six colleges and universities in Connecticut, and nearly 50 nationwide, to join the Multistate Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment. Higher education leaders and faculty from nine states are working together to evaluate authentic student work in ways that allow measurement of student achievement. This work will also allow colleges to assess their own effectiveness in promoting student success.

Dr. Sandra Palmer, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs, stated, “This is a wonderful opportunity for MCC to be part of the nationwide Multi-State Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment.  We, like all colleges, want to ensure our students are successful.  By participating in this assessment initiative, we will be able to measure student achievement at the college with other colleges across the county.  Through these efforts, MCC will be able to focus on the quality of student learning, hence student success.”

The purpose of the Multistate Collaborative is to improve the quality of student learning by developing a different approach to measure learning among public colleges and universities. Existing assessment methods often rely upon grades, standardized testing and student surveys, which are inadequate to accurately gauge and compare important information about what students know, understand and how they apply knowledge. The nine states that have formed the Multistate Collaborative will design and pilot test an assessment program that builds on assessment linked to instruction, actual curricula and real student work. By doing so, the Multistate Collaborative will be able to effectively balance the improvement of the teaching and learning process in the classroom and demonstrate public accountability for higher education outcomes.

In the Spring 2014 semester, MCC faculty will begin to design assignments that can be assessed using a common assessment tool and work with other colleges and universities across the state and the nation to plan to collect student work for the assessment phase. In the Fall 2014 semester, actual student work will be collected and submitted to the Multistate Collaborative database for assessment.

The work of the Multistate Collaborative to Advance Learning Outcomes Assessment supports formative, improvement-oriented assessment at the campus level while also allowing state systems to gain valuable feedback about their students. Results can be compared to the results for similar institutions across the country in effect establishing nationwide benchmarks for student learning at the community college and university levels. The work of the Multistate Collaborative is based on the conviction that by working together and by focusing attention on the quality of student learning, campuses and states can bring about much needed change in higher education.

This work is supported, in part, with funding from a grant to the Association of American Colleges and Universities from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With a subgrant to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, faculty at colleges in the Multistate Collaborative will gather student work for assessment drawing on resources from the AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative.

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The college offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. The main, park-like campus, which is easily accessible from I-84, is also the home of Great Path Academy, a middle college high school, serving grades 9-12. The college’s second location, the Manchester Community College Arts and Education Center, opened in downtown Manchester in 2012. MCC takes pride in the quality of programs and the many ways it has helped students, families, businesses and community grow over the past five decades. Fifty Years Together. For Learning. For Life.  

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News Item Posted On: January 21, 2014
For Additional Information Contact: Bonnie Willgoos at 860-512-2928