ERIC Number: ED327232
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Jan
Measuring Continuing Education Outcomes: Accountability and Noncredit Postsecondary Programs.
McConochie, Daniel D.; Clagett, Craig A.
Growing institutional concern for excellence coupled with legislative mandates calling for accountability have prompted many colleges to emphasize student outcomes when evaluating and designing courses and programs. A careful review of the accountability literature, however, suggests that continuing education courses and students, in spite of their increasing numbers, have been largely ignored. Collecting student outcomes data for non-credit courses can help an institution: (1) improve an area of college operations that has been expanding significantly in recent years; (2) establish or enhance routine data collection concerning continuing education; (3) document the contribution of continuing education to economic development; (4) enhance the public image of continuing education; (5) respond fully to accountability mandates; and (6) preserve tax-revenue support for continuing education. Among the obstacles to assessing student outcomes in continuing education courses are that such courses may not be integrated into the college's routine research function, or that program administrators may be used to considerable autonomy and therefore resist outside efforts at assessment or change. Indicators which can be used to measure learning outcomes include student attendance and course completion rates, subsequent student employment, student and employer satisfaction, and student pursuit of further education. Information systems containing data on course content, student evaluation of courses, follow-up surveys, and employment records can serve as useful assessment tools. A literature review and a 19-item bibliography are included. (GFW)
Descriptors: Accountability, College Outcomes Assessment, Community Colleges, Continuing Education, Data Collection, Educational Assessment, Evaluation Criteria, Noncredit Courses, Outcomes of Education, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Research Needs, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Maryland State Board for Community Colleges, Annapolis.; Prince George's Community Coll., Largo, MD. Office of Institutional Research and Analysis.