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Community College of Rhode Island

Contact Information

Ruth Sullivan
Learning Resources
Tel: 401-825-2488

Jeanne Mullaney
Assessment Coordinator
Tel: 401-333-7222

For further information about this project contact the persons listed above.

About the Wabash Study 2010

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CCRI has the distinction of being the only community college among the thirty colleges and universities selected to join the Wasbash Study 2010.  The study will last three years, ending in the fall of 2013 .  The goal is for institutions to use evidence to identify an area of student learning or experience that they wish to improve, and then to create, implement, and assess changes designed to improve those areas. The study is designed to create a deliberative process for using evidence that an institution can build on for improvements in student learning. This includes building institutional capacity and infrastructure that can support successful assessment efforts after the study is completed. While each institution will focus on improving areas that are relevant to that institution, faculty, staff, and administrators from these institutions will collaborate during the course of the study as a community of practice, sharing information, approaches, problem-solving strategies, and lessons learned.

The Wabash Study is a three-year project designed to assess the following:

1. Evaluate the results of quantitative and qualitative assessment evidence;

2. Use that evidence to identify specific institutional, course, and program elements they would like to strengthen;

3. Develop, implement, and assess responses that are designed to strengthen these institutional elements.

Inputs – the attitudes and values that students bring into college

Experiences – the experiences that impact students once they are in college

Outcomes – the impact that college has on student ability and knowledge

Each Wabash Study institution will build an Assessment Portfolio that consolidates an institution's evidence about inputs, experiences, and outcomes. This portfolio will form a "knowledge base" from which institutions will work during the course of the study. Although the specific forms of evidence in each institution's portfolio will vary, institutions are required to include evidence on the qualities, values, and skills that students bring to colleges, measures of what they experience in and out of the classroom during college, and measures of student learning. In addition, can include any other program, department, or institutional assessment evidence they deem important in their Wabash Study Assessment Portfolios.

Having good assessment evidence is only a first step toward making sense of and using that evidence to inform changes that improve student learning. The new version of the Wabash Study is designed to shift the emphasis from gathering evidence to working through a structured "change curriculum" that is designed to help campus constituencies.

Although the Wabash Study includes tests and surveys that will help an institution meet accountability standards, the study focuses on the formative use of evidence to promote institutional changes. We will accomplish this through a series of structured site visits, meetings, and workshops that we developed in the first iteration of the Wabash Study. These activities are staffed by the Director and Associate Director of the Center of Inquiry and Teagle Assessment Scholars. Teagle Scholars include faculty and administrators from institutions across the country with expertise in assessment and institutional improvement.

Copyright © 2009, by the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College . All rights reserved.

410 West Wabash Avenue • Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933

Last Updated: 3/14/18