ERIC Number: ED305847
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Unique Opportunities and Vexing Challenges of Undergraduate Program Assessment in Professional Fields.
Dinham, Sarah M.; Evans, Linda M.
The complexities of assessing undergraduate program quality and outcomes in professional schools are reviewed, and the use of comprehensive assessment models is advocated. Two assessment models are described, that of the National Center for Research to Improve Postsecondary Teaching and Learning (NCRIPTAL) and that model developed by Conrad, et al. (1987). Existing assessment strategies in six professional schools at a major research university are examined in light of the Conrad model. The schools were found to meet the demands of the model in terms of collecting information about students, the campus environment and student outcomes, but the university was found wanting in the uses to which the assessment is put and in the lack of focus on the institutional environment's effects on student learning and development. The accreditation process at the six schools is examined in its potential effects of strengthening programs, long-range planning and enhanced teaching and learning. The self-study aspect of accreditation is considered helpful in developing and coordinating assessment and in yielding information useful for assessment. Recommendations for improvements in assessing undergraduate professional education include: assessing general education ("breadth of knowledge"); the articulation of general abilities and characteristics common to most professional fields; further research; and more comprehensive assessment. Contains 17 references. (KM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).