campus partner(s)

Kalamazoo College

Colorado College

and Earlham College






Outcomes and Assessment

award date


project director

Paul Sotherland

Kalamazoo College

Grant Summary

$300,000 over 48 months. The collaborative will carry out a project combining quantitative and qualitative means of gathering data and stories that will provide the evidence for the assertions about student outcomes and help to improve and sustain an interrogative approach to shaping the curricula through which students become educated. The collaborative will collectively administer the Cooperative Institutional Research Project (CIRP) Survey, the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) instrument, as well as hold student focus groups and annual summer data sharing conversations to assess the value added by these institutions to their students' intellectual and personal growth. Advantages of this particular collaborative lie in a combination of similar educational programs, distinctive approaches to carrying out those programs, and congenial relationships among members of the core working group. Each of the colleges has a strong independent streak: Colorado's adventurous spirit and unique learning opportunities of the Block Plan; Earlham's Quaker traditions, which guide the institution and uphold the pursuit of truth; and Kalamazoo's K-Plan, through which more than 80% of students study abroad and all students complete a senior individualized project. Students at all three institutions become educated in deep and broad liberal arts curricula, are encouraged to study abroad and engage with their local community and, through those experiences, develop a lifelong love of learning, intercultural understanding, and social responsibility. Their distinct academic calendars, unique histories and organizational sagas, and different types of students of similar abilities will allow for interesting and helpful inter-institutional comparisons that will help each of the institutions to apply best practices.