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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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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Standard 7 Most Cited by MSCHE in 2013 Self Study Outcomes

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 States in its request for follow-up reports in 3-year moving averages. On a yearly basis, Standard 7 surpassed Standard 14 for the first time based on the information released following the June 27 meeting of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). With an additional institution’s results yet to be...

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OECD Releases Annual “Education At A Glance” Report

On June 25, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its annual report, Education at a Glance 2013. This report discusses the state of education in 37 OECD member and partner countries. This report provides information that includes data on finances, enrollment, and graduation rates.

Major findings related to U.S. Higher Education are as follows:

  • Approximately 42% of American adults aged 25 to 64 have a tertiary degree. That ranks fifth highest in the...
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NBER Working Paper Analyzes Academic Performance and College Dropout

Federal and state policy makers have been devoting considerable attention to student success in recent years. Dissatisfaction with student success has helped fuel what broadly can be termed an “accountability” movement. Accreditors have also been paying attention to student success. Over the past five years, more than one-fourth of requests for follow-up related to Standard 8 (Student Admissions and Retention) from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) have concerned the...

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Lumina Foundation’s Progress Report on Higher Education Provides Insights

When it comes to integrated planning, budgeting, and assessment processes—the kind of linkage Middle States seeks under Standards 2 and 7, strategic plans are viewed not as static documents, but dynamic and continually evolving ones. For such documents to be dynamic, institutions of higher education need to continually scan the environment, review and test scenarios and contingencies, and make adjustments to strategies, resource allocation, or even strategic goals/objectives, as necessary or...

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The Periodic Review Report: Standard 7

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s (MSCHE’s) Standard 7 declares:

The institution has developed and implemented an assessment process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in achieving its mission and goals and its compliance with accreditation standards.

Standard 7 is an “all-encompassing” standard. It covers all aspects of a college’s or university’s operations and activities, including academic, administrative, and community services. Evaluating an institution’s success in...

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A Gift of Lehman's Emphasis on Liberal Arts

With Thursday’s commencement now another milestone in Lehman College’s lengthening history, not to mention in the lives of all its graduates, it is a good time to reflect on the common experience for all those graduates. No matter the path that brought them to Lehman College, nor their field of study, they all share a rich exposure to the Liberal Arts.

Liberal Arts teaches students to address challenges and opportunities from many different perspectives. It helps them raise the questions that...

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A Day of Remembrance

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan issued an order that May 30th be “designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion [U.S. Civil War], and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials...

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Focusing the Periodic Review Report Effort

Although the Periodic Review Report (PRR) must fully address all of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s (MSCHE) Standards and other requirements, every standard and requirement need not be given equal time and effort. In general, greater attention should be devoted to matters important to the institution's success, strategic direction, and areas of risk, with lesser time devoted to less weighty matters.

A focused approach can be guided by among the following questions:

  • What does...
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Periodic Review Report Outcomes: Most-Cited Standards and Elements

On April 29, I wrote about Periodic Review Report (PRR) outcomes during the last five years. Briefly, Middle States Standards 2, 3, 7, 8, 12, and 14 have been cited most frequently in requests for follow-up reports. Furthermore, the standards should not be viewed in isolation, as there is overlap among them.

During my review of the requests for follow-up reports, I categorized elements related to each standard. There is a degree of subjectivity involved. In my grouping, 89 elements were cited...

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An End of Semester Note to my Students

At the end of each semester, I provide my students with a closing note about the course. That note seeks to place the course, its content, and its requirements into a larger context. I do so, because I believe it is helpful for students to have one last opportunity to understand why they took the course and perhaps better identify what they gained from the course. Such understanding can perhaps reinforce learning for the long-term.

Below is the note to my spring 2013 students:

With the semester...

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Periodic Review Report Outcomes: 2008-2012

On June 1, 2014, Lehman College will submit its Periodic Review Report (PRR) to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). As the College prepares to launch its effort to devise the PRR, it makes sense to highlight the major outcomes following the submission of an institution’s PRR.

Briefly, MSCHE has established the following goals for the PRR:

It has also set forth the following objectives:

During the past 5 years, MSCHE requested follow-up reports (monitoring reports or...

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Communicating Writing Expectations with Students

In setting major course requirements, I believe it is important to communicate the basis and context of the assignments to my students. Sometimes, the communication has to be repeated as deadlines approach. That proved to be the case with respect to the 20-page research paper I assigned my students.

On the first day of class, I explained that one of my course’s objectives set forth on the syllabus is that students would be able to write in a reasonably clear and concise fashion. The...

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ANNY Annual Conference Provides Insights for Lehman’s 2014 Periodic Review

During April 8-10, 2013, the Assessment Network of New York(ANNY) held its first annual conference hosted by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. ANNY is a professional network established to assist New York State’s colleges and universities in their efforts to assess student learning and institutional effectiveness. Colleges and universities outside of New York State can participate and have participated in ANNY events. Lehman College’s Assessment Coordinator, Raymond Galinski, played...

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Student Use of the Library: Spring 2013 Survey

Last fall, I conducted a survey to learn about how my students were using the library. I wanted to compare the outcomes with those of a national survey. This semester, I repeated the survey in search of persistent themes.

The major findings from my survey included:

  • 86% 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).
  • 86% of students who used the library during the current semester visited the library on at...
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Cyprus Offers a Lesson in Economic Risk

Among the principles taught in courses ranging from economics to finance is that of diversification. In general, diversification can reduce risk exposure for firms and individuals. In substance, concentration and narrow focus can amplify risk. The very recent headline-garnering financial system crisis in Cyprus offered a cautionary tale of the dangers associated with a lack of diversification.

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) staff report from its 2011 Article IV Consultation with...

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The Mid-Term Exam: Gaining Insight into Student Effort

Each semester, my mid-term exam contains a single survey question. The survey question has asked about student use of the BlackBoard, student confidence, student awareness of some relevant economic development, among other content. A major purpose of the question is to gain insight into student effort.

No potential credit is listed for the survey question. No penalties are indicated for a lack of response. The question is not even mentioned when the exams are handed out. As a consequence,...

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QE as a Macroeconomic Tool

Since late 2008, the Federal Reserve has engaged in a range of extraordinary monetary policy measures aimed at bolstering the economy. Among the tools deployed is what has been termed “quantitative easing” or “QE.” Briefly, QE entails the Fed’s purchasing longer-term securities, as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke recently told the Congress, “to support economic growth by putting downward pressure on longer-term interest rates.” At present, the Federal Reserve is purchasing $40 billion in...

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Spring in the Bronx: The New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show

In what has become an annual ritual to mark the start of the spring season in the Bronx, the New York Botanical Garden has opened its 11th annual orchid show. This year, the orchid show runs from March 2 through April 22.

Typically, the Orchid Show features thousands of orchids. The orchids vary in sizes, shapes, and colors. Among the orchids in the show are small reed orchids, giant pansy orchids, and exotic slipper orchids.

The 2013 show was designed by Francisca Coelho. Ms. Coelho graduated...

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Research Paper Outlines: Background and Findings

Each semester, I assign a research paper worth 20% of the course grade. The paper should contain 15-20 double-spaced pages, along with endnotes documenting sources of information. Its writing should conform to the Modern Language Association (MLA) style.

This semester’s paper asked students to select a target company, research that company, identify a position or type of position within the organization of interest to the student, and to lay out a case why the company should hire the student.  

Thi...

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