MCC Daily Tribune Archive

Learning Abstract - Why Not Assess and Document All Learning?

Learning Abstract - Why Not Assess and Document All Learning? by William J. Flynn

As we look forward to the second Learning Summit, to be held in Baltimore in the summer of 2004, it may be an appropriate time to look back at some of the movements and events that have shaped the community college agenda in recent years. The conference’s focus on assessment is relevant and timely, given the direction taken by regional accreditation agencies in recent years. But perhaps in emphasizing assessment as a means of measuring and enhancing learning, we are overlooking another crucial dimension of the academic experience: how we ultimately document learning for the learner and how the learner can use that documentation to enter into and advance through the world of work.

With the implementation of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in 1998,
America’s community colleges, long providers of transfer degrees and
occupational education for the emerging workforce, now had a new challenge. To be active players in WIA and participants in the local one-stop centers, colleges now faced significant competition, including the corporate sector, and would be viewed and judged by different standards than the accustomed accreditation visit every 10 years.

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Dr. Susan Salvador
Office for Student Services