Example of Good Assessment Practice: LaGuardia Community College
"Through assessment we challenge ourselves to rethink our ways of teaching, structuring the curriculum, working together, and even knowing itself. It provides a means for self-correcting action and for the continual expansion of our thinking about the idea and purpose of higher education.”
-- Dean Paul Arcario & Professor James Wilson
LaGuardia Community College: Weaving Assessment into the Institutional Fabric
A federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution, LaGuardia Community College serves an overwhelmingly minority and first-generation college student population “from diverse cultures, ages, and educational and economic backgrounds.” Its students come from 160 different countries and speak more than 120 different primary languages. LaGuardia’s commitment to educational excellence has been acknowledged by Excelencia in Education, the Bellwether Award for Exemplary Instructional Programs, and the Community College Excellence Award from the MetLife Foundation. Because of its reputation as a leader in learning outcomes assessment, particularly through the use of electronic portfolios (ePortfolios), LaGuardia was selected by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) as an Example of Best Practice. This report features LaGuardia’s commitment to assessment, the collaboration across units at the college, the ePortfolio as the foundation of the assessment efforts, and the institution’s robust program review system including assessment.
Link to the full report here.
Lessons from LaGuardia Community College
1. Assessment activities may be organized across several campus offices. Having a way for the personnel from those offices to communicate regularly with others through an assessment team builds synergy and commitment.
2. Assess your assessment activities. Do not allow your assessment process to become stagnant. Regularly review your assessment materials. Allow for a broad notion of certain quality indicators so that diverse programs can be represented. Competency in oral communication, for example, may mean something different to liberal arts majors than to healthcare majors.
3. Campus leaders will foster a culture of assessment at their institution by basing their campus decisions on assessment data and by giving educational and financial support to campus assessment activities.
4. Embed assessment into other campus review systems so that assessment activities are done regularly and revisited during the next cycle.
5. Increase faculty interest and involvement in assessment by having learning opportunities in the form of seminars and by allowing units to speak about their assessment experiences during faculty meetings that cross disciplines and programs.
LaGuardia Community College