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ERIC Number: ED505583
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
Measuring Learning Outcomes in Higher Education. ETS R&D Connections. Number 10
Liu, Ou Lydia
Educational Testing Service
As college tuitions and fees continue to grow, students, parents and public policymakers are interested in understanding how public universities operate and whether their investments are well-utilized. Accountability in public higher education has come into focus following the attention accountability has received in K-12 education. Against this backdrop, the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) was developed in 2007 by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). As of April 2009, 321 institutions from all 50 U.S. states have signed up for the VSA program, which evaluates core educational outcomes in public colleges and universities. The VSA uses the term value-added to refer to the learning progress college and university students make from freshman to senior year, measured by looking at the difference between freshmen and senior performance on one of three standardized tests. Because a good education has become a pathway to opportunities and success, all stakeholders, including students, parents, faculty members, institutional administrators, testing organizations, and public policymakers, deserve to know whether institutions have done their best to maximize student learning and have effectively utilized public resources. These stakeholders need to reach a scientific common ground as to how institutions should be evaluated and what constituencies should be involved. This common understanding is crucial to the fruitfulness of programs such as the VSA that aim to evaluate institutional effectiveness. (Contains 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service