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ERIC Number: ED260758
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
What Do Our Students Know?
Cohen, Arthur M.
Recent research studies have focused on various ways of addressing the question of how much students learn in community colleges, focusing on factors such as transfer rates, job placement rates, and alumni satisfaction. Few studies, however, have attempted to directly confront the question of student learning, and few measures and tests are adequate to assess what knowledge is being gained by student cohorts. A study conducted by the Center for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC) attempted to demonstrate that a measure of what community college students know can be obtained. The Center developed the General Academic Assessment (GAA) instrument to measure student knowledge in general education and the liberal arts. The GAA was administered to 8,026 students in 23 two-year colleges, and additional information was obtained on students' age, aspirations, reasons for attending college, number of courses taken in disciplinary areas, total units completed, and self-assessment of knowledge. Study findings included the following: (1) student knowledge was related both to age and number of courses completed in a particular area; (2) age relationships showed up primarily in English usage, social sciences, and humanities, with older students having higher scores; (3) age-related differences did not occur in mathematics or science; (4) a direct relationship existed between the number of units completed and GAA scores; (5) highest scores were made by students attending college for personal interest; and (6) students' self-assessment of their knowledge showed high correlations with their GAA scores. The study confirmed the usefulness of the GAA. (LAL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A