ERIC Number: ED307939
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Why and How of Mandated Assessment in New Jersey.
Wagner, Mary Lou
Three aspects of institutional assessment are considered in this paper: the historical development of the postsecondary assessment movement; New Jersey's mandated College Outcomes Evaluation Program (COEP); and the response of the state's community colleges to the program. The first section traces the emergence of concern among national policy makers about the quality of undergraduate education and examines state-level responses to these concerns. The next sections review the positions put forth by those who oppose and support assessment. Educators' concerns about threats to academic freedom, the expenditure of state funds for questionable returns, and the misuse of effectiveness measures are noted, as well as opposing views of the movement as a very positive trend. Three major types of assessment programs are described: (1) those focusing on program improvement; (2) those ensuring that all graduates possess basic academic competencies; and (3) those intended to assist in budget decisions and accountability. Next, the COEP is explained. After providing background information, the paper enumerates COEP's major intended provisions, including a common statewide assessment of general intellectual skills; institutional assessment of general education outcomes; faculty assessment of students' learning; and an assessment of students' personal development and satisfaction. Final sections summarize interviews with three COEP administrators concerning funding, barriers to COEP implementation, perceived benefits, and the use of results; and with three community college COEP directors, regarding the value of COEP, and their concerns about funding, the use of outcomes, and the extent of state involvement. (ALB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Princeton Univ., NJ. Mid-Career Fellowship Program.