January 2009, Volume 13, Number 1


MDC assessment process reaps further national praise

Third in a series

Ongoing development of assessment outcomes enables the College to practice the most advanced student learning methods.

Recently, the MDC Learning Outcomes Assessment Team was one of a privileged few college teams selected to participate in a specialized assessment workshop with others at the prestigious 2008 Assessment Institute in Indianapolis.

Hosted by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the institute is the nation’s oldest and largest event focused exclusively on outcomes assessment in higher education.

For the past two years, there has been growing interest by other colleges and universities in MDC’s collegewide assessment process. Like MDC, these institutions are engaged in discovering how to effectively assess student learning outcomes to improve teaching and learning.

MDC has made significant strides in this area, and the Assessment Institute provided an opportunity for the College’s assessment team to receive additional feedback from national experts.

Douglas Eder, a nationally known assessment expert previously from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, expressed his high regard for MDC’s work. “Miami Dade College is the largest and most complex learning institution in the country,” he said “You have an integrated view of the human learning family. I stand in awe of that.”

Five faculty from MDC’s assessment team attended the pre-workshop and institute and came back with some exciting recommendations they can share with other assessment team members who play a key role in meeting the College’s institutional and strategic objectives.

MDC attendees included Dr. John Frederick of the English and communications department at Wolfson Campus; Dr. David McGuirk of the English department at Kendall Campus; Dr. Lauren Gach of the School of Education at Kendall Campus; Dr. Miriam Abety of the social sciences department at InterAmerican Campus; and Dr. Sandy Schultz of the biology, health and wellness department at North Campus.

The team was mentored by Amy Driscoll, associate senior scholar with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Dr. Mary Allen, the former director of the California State University Institute for Teaching and Learning.

“This was exactly what we were looking for,” McGuirk said. “Our team consulted with them on ways we could improve our assessment process at MDC.”

After the Institute, Frederick received kudos on behalf of MDC for its assessment standards.

“What you are doing at Miami Dade College is very admirable… [and] unique,” Driscoll said.

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
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