Ivy Tech, IUPUI among sixteen schools chosen for Quality Collaboratives Project

Indianapolis—Ivy Tech Community College and IUPUI announced today that they have been chosen to participate in a new project sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).  This initiative, The Quality Collaboratives (QC) initiative, supported with funding from the Lumina Foundation, is designed to advance systemic change in eight higher education state systems.

Ivy Tech and IUPUI were two of sixteen institutions chosen to participate in the project.  The initiative will test ways to assure that students can demonstrate achievement of essential competencies across all areas and levels of learning, regardless of where they begin or end their educational journeys.  This project is part of Lumina Foundation’s beta testing of the value of a shared Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP).

In addition to Ivy Tech and IUPUI, 14 other colleges and universities from around the country will participate in the project.

“This is a great honor for the faculty and staff at Ivy Tech,” said Dr. Kaye Walter, Chancellor at the Central Indiana region of Ivy Tech.  “Being selected to participate in Quality Collaboratives is recognition of the strategies we have been employing to ensure that our students are acquiring the knowledge and skills required to be successful once they leave Ivy Tech, whether that be transitioning into employment or transferring their credits to a four-year university.”

Quality Collaboratives is a three-year project that is part of AAC&U’s ongoing Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative. It is engaging teams of educational, assessment, and policy leaders in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin, and Virginia.  These states were chosen to participate because many of these institutions have already been working extensively within the LEAP network of projects, states, and institutions on issues of learning outcomes, curriculum change, high-impact practices, and assessment.  The colleges and universities will build on these prior efforts to clarify, map, assess, and improve the achievement of learning outcomes essential for success in life, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century.

“IUPUI has long been involved in the national movement to improve the assessment and documentation of student learning—from the establishment of the award-winning Principles of Undergraduate Learning, which guide our general education curriculum, to the development of electronic portfolios, which track outcomes throughout the student’s academic journey,” said IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz. “Being part of Quality Collaboratives will enable us to strengthen our partnership with Ivy Tech on moving students more effectively through the higher education system to degree completion and on to successful employment and citizenship.”

The project is built on a consensus framework of learning outcomes that charts levels of competence which every college student should achieve and integrate in four areas: broad and specialized knowledge, intellectual skills, applied learning, and civic learning.

“Faculty members and academic leaders at these institutions understand that our students’ hopes for their futures depend specifically on the breadth and quality of their learning in college,” said Terrel Rhodes, AAC&U Vice President and Quality Collaboratives Project Director. “These campus leaders will be working to build institutional capacity to assess the competence of students across the complex set of learning outcomes students need to be successful as citizens and employees. Moving the quality of the degree to the center of higher education’s efforts to facilitate transfer student retention and graduation is central to this work.”

Using this framework, institutions participating in the project will test a family of assessment approaches that assess learning demonstrated in samples of students’ actual work.  This family of approaches will help campuses develop educational practices that: help students achieve essential outcomes at appropriately high Levels; document students’ attainment of outcomes; and facilitate students’ transfer of courses and competencies from two-year institutions to four-year institutions on their way to completing college degrees.

Based on the outcomes of the pilot work of these participating institutions, the QC initiative will result in: a set of new national reporting templates and strategies for assessing student competence on essential learning outcomes for use in student transfer recommended practices, models, and demonstration sites for institutionally fostering faculty leadership; And recommended practices, policies, and examples for incorporating evidence of students’ demonstrated competence on a range of learning outcomes within transfer policies and priorities.

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

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