As affirmed in our Mission Statement, the philosophy of King's College is to offer liberal learning that offers a statement of purpose. As a strategy to improve both the quality and quantity of student learning, in 1985 King's implemented a CORE Curriculum and launched a Comprehensive Assessment Program.
The primary aim of assessment at King's College is to enhance student learning by an improvement-oriented rather than comparison-oriented program. We ask:
- What should students know?
- How well are they learning it?
- How does the Institution know?
In Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education (2002), the Middle States Commission of Higher Education observes that assessment has the student as its primary focus, functions to help students improve their learning, enhances quality, and leads to continuous improvement in academic programs.
As a member of the Middle States Association, King's College recognizes these principles as an integral part of its own framework for assessment. In fact, the framework insists that outcomes assessment take the improvement of teaching and learning as its primary goal. The King's College comprehensive assessment program endeavors to pursue this goal both by heightening student awareness of their intellectual development, and by encouraging faculty to provide more effective instruction to work in an integrated learning experience.
The King's Core Curriculum and Assessment programs are recognized as innovative and revolutionary by leaders in national academic higher education. These programs were pioneered by the late Dr. Donald W. Farmer.
Defining and Assessing Learning: Exploring Competency-Based Initiatives, published by the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative sums up a recent federally-funded, two-year study. The report, based on 8 institutions, examines King's use of Core Curriculum, the Assessment Plan, and Competency-Growth Plans. (The study is available at http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2002159)