ERIC Number: ED279376
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Scope and Focus of Evaluation in Community Colleges.
Belcher, Marcia J.
There are a variety of ways in which the two-year or community college can be distinguished from other institutions of higher education. These differences affect the ways in which evaluation is implemented at the two-year college. One difference relates to the mission of the community college. The community college's open-door policy changes the focus of evaluation from student selection to student placement, while the college's orientation toward community needs underscores the importance of needs assessment, and its curricular comprehensiveness mandates that outcomes measures reflect the multiple goals of students. The two-year college environment also has some unique characteristics; e.g., community college students differ from four-year college students in terms of their characteristics, objectives, and attendance patterns; community college faculty are more often hired on a part-time basis; the college's emphasis is on teaching rather than research; and faculty and administrators comprise a less sophisticated audience for evaluation reports. These differences have several implications for evaluation: (1) nontraditional student attendance patterns call for new models of retention and attrition and different research methodologies; (2) faculty members are less willing to become involved in evaluation projects; and (3) there is a strong need for straightforward communication of research results. The Office of Institutional Research at Miami-Dade Community College, for example, has evolved considerably over the past few years in response to the unique mission and changing environment of the institution. (EJV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented as part of a panel discussion on Evaluation in Postsecondary Institutions at the Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association (Kansas City, KS, October 29-November 1, 1986).