campus partner(s)

Belmont University and Wagner College






Outcomes and Assessment

award date


project director

Jennifer Wells

Belmont University

Grant Summary

$25,000 over 12 months. Belmont University and Wagner College seek to assess liberal education outcomes that are achieved through the experiential education requirements embedded in each institution's general education core. The collaborative defines experiential education as education in settings outside the classroom that are integral to achieving course learning goals. Examples include field observation and field studies, community-based research, service learning, practica and internships, and public presentations of research projects. The institutions posit that experiential learning is a point at which critical thinking, communication skills, ethical reflection, and subject area knowledge can take deep root in students' habits of thinking and action because it facilitates connections among subject, social context, and ethical reflection. With some common assessment measures already in place, the collaborative seeks to enrich their assessment strategy in this area. They will establish criteria for assessing the value added by experiential learning in their general education programs; explore ways in which the nationally recognized assessment instruments that they already use in other contexts-the National Survey of Student Assessment (NSSE), the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), and others-might be of use for assessing experiential education; identify direct and indirect measures that provide evidence of student learning which can be widely used on each campus; share data; and discuss best practices. Both institutions will meet and present the project for discussion at the Association of New American Colleges (ANAC) Summer Institute in June 2008.