MCC hosts fourth annual RCCA conference

MCC will host the fourth annual Regional Community College Assessment Conference at the Penn Valley campus.  Staff, faculty and administrators from 22 colleges across the Midwest are meeting today in Kansas City to talk about ways to improve the capture of student data as a means to improving student learning.

Representatives from colleges in Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska will be in attendance to share best practices and to connect colleagues from like colleges with one another.  As colleges are ranked on student outcomes such as grades and job placement, the ultimate goal of this conference is to identify ways to improve student performance in the classroom.

Break-out sessions will cover broad topics such as assessment methods and the role of student services, as well as improvement strategies for specific subjects, such as science and history.

“This conference is important because it provides an opportunity for regional college personnel to discuss best practices in determining what students know and can do when they complete college courses,” said Kristy Bishop, Ph.D., director of research and institutional assessment at MCC.  “Assessment allows faculty and administrators to make changes in the classroom to improve student learning.”

Many colleges, including MCC, are looking at becoming knowledge-driven rather than data-driven, Bishop said. The latter has long been the case because of limited data capture capability but MCC and other colleges are now developing processes to gather additional data on individual students and in aggregate in order to better gauge the effectiveness of classroom teaching.

The day includes a keynote speech from Cliff Adelman, Ph.D., senior associate with the Institute for Higher Education Policy.  In addition to being a specialist in international issues in education, Dr. Adelman is one of the originators of the Degree Qualifications Profile and a novelist.