Saint Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick was a bishop, a missionary, and is a patron saint of Ireland. Although little is known about his life, he is believed to have died on the 17th of March around 460 A.D. Irish and Irish descendants all over the world celebrate March 17th as St. Patrick’s Day. According to, “What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.” Many who are not Irish or of Irish descent also enjoy the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day. Just like St. Patrick’s Day festivities can be and are enjoyed by a wide array of people; assessment conferences are not just for assessment professionals. All educators can find topics at the Assessment Matters conference on May 5, 2017 to not only interest the individual but benefit their program. Who couldn’t benefit from a preconference workshop on Thursday, Continue reading Saint Patrick’s Day

Don’t Quote Me!

“To be, or not to be, that is the question,” is an often quoted Shakespearean line. I love a good quote, but am often guilty of not knowing the origin of the quote. So I thought I would research some of my favorite assessment quotes and share them with you; including a few new ones from our keynote speakers for our Assessment Matters Conference on May 5, 2017. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” This quote is often wrongly credited to Albert Einstein; however, the author is unknown. “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin “Ultimately, the most fruitful way to learn if the conclusions that we have drawn from assessment data are correct is to try to change something and see what happens.” Drs. Charles Blaich Continue reading Don’t Quote Me!

Assessment Matters! A Valentine’s Day Poem

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Flowers, candy, and stuffed animals of many varieties will be given to sweethearts and potential sweethearts all over the country. This day the Office of Outcomes Assessment would like to return to the days of yore and present you with a poem to show you we do have a heart and care about you; not just your data. Assessment Cyclical, measurable, innovative Friend of all educators Lover of cumulative data, research questions, and student learning outcomes Feels elation when student learning is improved Feels frustration when others don’t understand me Wants to see educators from all over the mid-west at the May 5th conference Lives at Johnson County Community College Matters How about showing your faculty and staff you care and send/bring them to the Assessment Matters conference on Friday, May 5, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. This assessment bouquet includes keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and a preconference the afternoon before. Topics being Continue reading Assessment Matters! A Valentine’s Day Poem

A New Semester

Christmas is behind us and the buzz in the hallways lets me know that students are back on campus.  I must say I really enjoyed this particular break between semesters.  I got a really cool embroidery machine for Christmas this year from my husband. It is a pretty complicated machine.  I spent a couple of hours just reading through the instructions before I even threaded the machine for the first time.  I have created several pieces during the break.  The first ones are rather rough, mostly because of the machine “operator.”  I didn’t quite know what I was doing but kept working on it.  I have several pieces now that I am going to use as part of a baby quilt I am creating for the first grandbaby of a friend of ours. My efforts got better because using any kind of equipment takes practice.  The same can be said of assessment (you knew somehow I would circle back around Continue reading A New Semester

End of Term

I have a cold.  I realize that news is not exactly earth shattering or unexpected this time of year.  But still, I don’t like having a cold.  You can’t go anywhere without a pocketful of tissues.  When people realize you have a cold they treat you like you are carrying typhoid or the bubonic plague.  Even close friends give you a wide berth as they make sympathetic little comments. Of course this time of year I am use to my faculty colleagues giving me a wide berth in the hallways.  Usually if they see me coming they duck into the nearest open doorway.  I try not to take it personally, I know the behavior is driven by the fact they owe me assessment data at the end of the term.  I send out regular emails this time of year subtly encouraging faculty to turn their assessment data in at the end of the term before they get away from campus Continue reading End of Term

An Accreditation Viewpoint

If you know me very well, then you know that I am an accreditation geek.  What that means in my everyday life is that when I start talking about something in the world of accreditation, people’s eyes glaze over and they look at their watches frequently until I stop.  For me, accreditation work is a wonderful opportunity to see what other colleges and universities are doing at a greater depth and breadth than can be observed looking from the outside. I recently had the opportunity to participate in a site visit (no names here) at a community college in the Higher Learning Commission universe.  I was excited to see some of the wonderful work the faculty were doing in several areas, innovative programming, increases in student success, and probably the most highly engaged faculty and staff I have ever had the opportunity to meet.  But, like all schools, I also observed the areas where the campus was struggling.  In accreditation Continue reading An Accreditation Viewpoint

On the road again…and again…and again

On the road again…I started this blog post with my first trip to Louisville at the end of September.  Since then I have been to California on a site visit and to Indianapolis for the Assessment Institute.  I have two more trips to make before Thanksgiving so I am definitely getting my reward miles in this Fall. There were some great sessions at the 2016 Assessment Institute.  I participated in the poster session and dragged a giant tube with my poster in it on the plane from Kansas City.  The overhead bins are not fond of large cardboard tubes. There are always tough choices to make in determining which sessions to go to, invariably the two sessions that look the best are stacked against each other in the schedule and decisions must be made.  One session that I enjoyed and learned a lot in was a plenary and feature Sylvia M. Jenkins, President of Moraine Valley Community College.  Her story Continue reading On the road again…and again…and again