Biography

I am the Coordinator for Institutional Effectiveness at the Office of Assessment and Planning. The Office of Assessment and Planning is dedicated to promoting continual improvement at Lehman College to enhance its operations, strengthen student outcomes, and to meet its accreditation requirements. I am also an adjunct faculty member in the Economics and Business Department. My courses have ranged from microeconomics to strategic management.

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Student Use of the Library: Fall 2013 Survey

Each semester, I conduct survey to learn about how my students are using the library. The highlights from the fall 2012 and spring 2013 surveys were posted on my blog.

The major findings from my survey included:

  • 89% of students who used the library said that they would be “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to use the library again (83% in fall 2012 and 86% in spring 2013).
  • 68% of students who used the library during the current semester visited the library on at least a monthly basis (83%...
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National Labor College’s Challenges Bring Focus onto MSCHE Standards 2 and 3

On November 14, 2013, Inside Higher Ed reported that National Labor College had planned to close on account of chronic financial challenges. Its financial challenges resulted from a combination of factors including an ambitious campus renovation initiative that added to the College’s debt burden, subsequent inability to sell the campus as it converted to a strictly online model, and dependence on one or two sources for a disproportionate share of its funding. At the time of its announced...

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Will Periodic Review Report Outcomes Show a Greater Emphasis on Standard 7?

Later this month, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) will make its findings related to Periodic Review Reports public. A key question will concern whether MSCHE will continue to increase its emphasis on Standard 7 (Institutional Assessment), as has been the case with the Self-Study reports.

Briefly, since 2010, Standard 7 (Institutional Assessment) has been closing the gap with Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning) for the Standard most frequently cited for Middle...

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Students Attend Library Information Literacy Session

Last spring, I conducted a survey to learn about how my students were using the library. Among other things, the survey revealed that students were not using the Library’s business-related resources to the extent that they could. That issue also arose in my earlier survey.

During the fall 2012, 50% of students visiting the library reported having used the LexisNexis Academic database and 33% said that they had used the Business Source Complete database. None had used the Business Insightsdatabase....

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The Mid-Term as a Diagnostic Tool

As the calendar heads toward the end of October, most or all Mid-Terms have been completed and graded. In my classes, the Mid-Term serves four purposes: (1) it is a diagnostic tool for assessing student learning progress to date—and to ensure that it is largely a diagnostic tool, it counts for only 20%- 25% of my course grade; (2) the outcomes are useful in refining student preparation strategies; (3) the results make it possible to refine teaching emphasis for the remainder of the semester;...

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Risk- and Needs-Based Assessment

Last Wednesday, I made a presentation at the “Enhancing Excellence in Assessment: Institutional Effectiveness and Learning Analytics” conference held at Stony Brook University.  At that conference, my presentation noted that institutional assessment needs are shaped by the combination of the characteristics of the Higher Education environment, the Accreditation environment (in part a reflection of the Higher Education environment), and institutional strengths, weaknesses, and needs. All of...

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Facilitating Lasting Learning

My BBA 407 (Strategic Management) course is sort of a capstone course for final year business students. The class provides a framework to students to facilitate thought about corporate strategy development and implementation. That framework works best when students can readily draw upon principles and concepts that they learned in earlier classes ranging from financial statement literacy to the role of supply-and-demand in clearing markets.

However, each semester, a subset of students lacks...

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Feedback on Student Outlines

Each semester, my course includes a writing component. That component is aimed at bolstering students’ research, analytical, and communications skills. It accounts for 20% of the course grade.

The details of the writing assignment are provided in the course syllabus, which is provided to students at the beginning of the semester. The writing assignment is comprised of an outline and the paper.

The purpose of the outline is to determine whether each student is on track with respect to his or her...

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Petraeus Protests Stir Academic Freedom Debate, Provide Teaching Opportunity

The start of General David Petraeus’ teaching assignment at CUNY's Macaulay Honors College has been marked by protests. During the protests, the retired General and former CIA Director has been pelted by charges that he is a “war criminal,” among others.

Following the initial protests, Macaulay Honors College Dean Ann Kirschner explained, "Our university is a place where complex issues and points of view across the political and cultural spectrum are considered and debated in the hope that we...

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Admissions Directors Survey Downplays Importance of College Navigator and Scorecard

In a speech at the State University of New York in Buffalo, President Obama pledged to link financial aid to college performance. One of the major elements of the President’s conceptual approach involved a new ratings system to evaluate college performance. The ratings system would include such measures as how many students graduate on a timely basis, how well graduates do in the workforce, the average debt burden for graduates, among others. Financial aid would eventually be tied to...

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Study Indicates College Quality Matters for Graduation Rates

On September 12, the CUNY Office of Policy Research’s Higher Education Policy Seminar Series featured Harvard University Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Joshua Goodman. He is co-author with Sarah Cohodes, a doctoral student at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, of a study that revealed that college quality is an important factor when it comes to timely college completion.

The study focused on Massachusetts, where an Adams Scholarship was made available to qualifying high school...

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Seeking Early Warning of Students Potentially At Risk of Difficulty

In my blog entry of March 18, 2013, I noted that each semester I include a survey question on my mid-term exam. The purpose of the question is to gain insight into student initiative and effort.

In that blog entry, I provided data from my spring 2013 mid-term. I concluded that the survey question appeared to provide a potentially good proxy for student effort. Moreover, the consistency of the outcomes across classes indicated that the approach could be used to identify and target students at...

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President Aims to Link Financial Aid to College Performance

In a speech at the State University of New York in Buffalo, President Obama pledged to link financial aid to college performance. In that address, he declared that the nation is in the midst of “a crisis in terms of college affordability and student debt.” He pointed out that the average graduate who borrows to fund his or her college education owes more than $26,000 upon graduation.

No specific proposal was introduced. Nevertheless, the President outlined a conceptual approach that will...

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2013-14 Academic Year Message: Reject Temptations to Postpone Your Studies

The sun is rising on a new academic year. Fall classes will commence on August 28. With that, the Lehman College campus will again come to life in a way that is only possible when it is bustling with academic and student life activities.

As is an annual ritual of fall, a new cohort of students will be entering the campus. At the same time, those from earlier cohorts will be returning.

Unfortunately, some from earlier cohorts will not be returning, even as they have not yet earned their degree....

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Institutional Effectiveness Assessment Annual Report

Last November, I provided the first of what will be annual reports documenting institutional effectiveness assessment at Lehman College. With the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) placing growing emphasis on Standard 7 (institutional assessment), it makes sense to document institutional assessment activities in a single document. The 2012-13 annual report will again be available in November.

The report noted that assessment is not an end in itself. Rather, it is a...

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Disclosure of Learning Outcomes in Course Syllabi

When it comes to providing students with reliable information and satisfying accreditation requirements, course syllabi are among the most versatile documents. For example, course syllabi can provide evidence that an institution is in compliance with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s Standards 6 (integrity), 7 (institutional assessment), 11 (educational offerings), 12 (general education), 13 (related educational activities), and 14 (assessment of student learning).

Course...

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President Obama Signals Higher Education Initiatives, Highlights Early College Effort

As part of a national speaking tour focused on Middle Class jobs, President Obama told audiences that he would be unveiling higher education-related initiatives over the coming months. At the same time, he singled out early college initiatives as the kind of innovation that could be effective in improving college graduation rates and reducing student costs.

At Knox College on July 24, the President pledgedthat “in the coming months, I will lay out an aggressive strategy to shake up the system,...

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Finding Publicly Available High-Level Data for Higher Education

Publicly-available data on higher education can be useful throughout a college or university. For example, such data can better inform strategic planning (providing insight into the context in which a college or university operates and allow schools to more effectively link programs/student learning goals with employment market developments), enhance the activities of Career Services offices (comparing industry employment trends with projections in the Occupational Outlook Handbook and better...

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The Periodic Review Report: Standard 2

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s (MSCHE’s) Standard 2 declares:

The institution conducts ongoing planning and resource allocation based on its mission and goals, develops objectives to achieve them, and utilizes the results of its assessment activities for institutional renewal. Implementation and subsequent evaluation of the success of the strategic plan and resource allocation support the development and change necessary to improve and to maintain institutional quality.

Standard...

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Quebec City: An Introduction to French Culture

CUNY’s latest International Education Report showed participation in study abroad programs during the 2010-11 academic year averaged 1.5% of fall 2010 Baccalaureate enrollment. Hunter College (2.9%), Baruch College (1.6%), and Brooklyn College (1.5%) led the way. At Lehman College, student participation in study abroad programs amounted to 0.4% of Baccalaureate enrollment.

Study abroad and foreign travel provide students with strong learning opportunities. In a contemporary world in which...

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