Pace publishes case study of ways to evaluate university-level learning

Pace president Caputo urges federal commission on future of higher education
to support assessment techniques but avoid standardized measures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts
Christopher T. Cory, Pace University, 212-346-1117, cell 917-608-8164, ccory@pace.edu
Frank Lentini, M Booth & Associates, 212-481-7000 ext 601, frankl@mbooth.com

CASE STUDY OF NEW WAYS TO JUDGE COLLEGES
ISSUED BY PACE UNIVERSITY AS NATIONAL DEBATE HEATS UP

Pace president Caputo urges federal commission on future of higher education
to support assessment techniques but avoid standardized measures

New York, NY, (August 8, 2006) – The standardized “high-stakes testing” approach mandated for public schools by the federal No Child Left Behind legislation is not the way to improve U.S. colleges and universities.

However, the nation’s campuses can and should use emerging new assessment techniques to measure how effectively they promote learning, and to get better at it.

Those are among the conclusions of “A Blueprint for Campus Accountability: Lessons from the Pace University Experience,” a new case study of the increasing trend toward using assessment to hold colleges accountable for what they do and help prospective students and parents judge them.

The 32-page report on assessment on its campuses is being issued by Pace University, a private, 14,000-student, multicampus metropolitan institution that typifies many aspects of US higher education.

The Pace report is being sent to legislators and policymakers, specifically including the Commission on the Future of Higher Education set up last year by U.S. Education Commissioner Margaret Spellings. The commission is scheduled to make recommendations at the end of this summer and has made no secret of its “sympathy for measuring higher education,” says Pace President David A. Caputo.

The report draws together detailed examples of how assessment can work in the real world, describing several dozen kinds of self-assessments that Pace has adopted in the last half-decade to improve its teaching and learning. It is available online at www.pace.edu/assessment.

“What really pays off.” “Commonly-used measures of colleges and universities are not the best ones,” said Caputo. “Assessment at Pace tries to gauge actual learning rather than counting imprecise proxies like books in the library or the size of the endowment. We no longer need to rely on those inputs, and the proof is in the new measures that show what really pays off in student success. We’re not afraid to try out these new techniques, and think US higher education needs to push the boundaries on this. We want to deliver for our students, and we’re starting to have the tools to show it.”

Any approach leading to “uniform national testing” would be “neither practical nor desirable” for colleges and universities, Caputo writes in his introduction to the report.

On the other hand Caputo favors more use of self-assessment methods that individual campuses can select and use to gauge for themselves the results of their widely-differing approaches. Highly-diverse philosophies and methods are the hallmark of the rich “mosaic” of American higher education, he writes.

A political scientist trained at Yale, Caputo points out Pace’s early use of new methods that are quite different from those “at the heart of rankings like those of US News & World Report magazine.”

The report spotlights some of them, in particular the NSSE or National Survey of Student Engagement, and the CLA, or Collegiate Learning Assessment, an assessment of multidisciplinary abilities like critical thinking.

The report describes how Pace also has been in the forefront of using non-quantitative techniques for encouraging faculty members to assemble and analyze “portfolios” of their teaching materials and results. And the document narrates some of the techniques the University adopted to encourage faculty and staff members to be more assessment-conscious.

“The best lesson from our self-assessment efforts has been that self-assessment is not a vehicle for keeping score, but for getting better,” Caputo writes.

Federal incentives, state administration. Based on the experience at Pace, Caputo urges Federal policies that would insist that colleges and universities have ongoing self-assessment processes. He also favors federal financial “incentives” for developing evaluation tools. “To encourage local variations and experiments,” he says, “federal funds should be administered by the states.”

Celebrating its centennial in 2006, Pace University is known for an outcome-oriented environment that prepares students to succeed in a wide-range of professions. Pace has facilities in downtown and midtown New York City and in Westchester County at Pleasantville, Briarcliff, and White Plains (a graduate center and law school). A private metropolitan university, Pace enrolls approximately 14,000 students in undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Ivan G. Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, Law School, Lienhard School of Nursing, Lubin School of Business, and School of Education. www.pace.edu.

Pace President to appear on National TV

Financial pressures on higher education will be the topic nationwide on C-SPAN Friday morning when President David A. Caputo joins the chancellor of the University of Denver, Daniel L. Richie, and the president of George Mason University, Alan G. Merten.

Contact:
Christopher T. Cory, Director of Public Information, Pace University
212-346-1117; cell 917-608-8164; ccory@pace.edu

For immediate release

PACE PRESIDENT TO APPEAR ON NATIONAL TV
TO DISCUSS EDUCATION COSTS AND FINANCING

David A. Caputo to join C-SPAN network program
Friday from 8-10 AM Eastern
with heads of University of Denver, George Mason University

New York, August 21 — Financial pressures on higher education will be the topic nationwide on C-SPAN Friday morning when President David A. Caputo joins the chancellor of the University of Denver, Daniel L. Richie, and the president of George Mason University, Alan G. Merten.

In a live discussion anchored by Brian Lamb on the cable network’s regular “Washington Journal” program, the three also will comment on the news of the day and viewer call-in questions. C-SPAN is available on all cable outlets in the New York metropolitan region.

Dr. Caputo will participate from C-SPAN’s new Manhattan studio, which is located at Pace’s Midtown Campus.

Pace is a comprehensive, independent university committed to opportunity, teaching and learning, civic involvement and measurable outcomes. It has campuses in New York City and Pleasantville, Briarcliff and White Plains, N.Y., and a Hudson Valley Center at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, N.Y. More than 14,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, Lienhard School of Nursing and Pace Law School. Www.pace.edu.

Pace University to Confer More than 3400 Degrees at Commencement Ceremonies

Pace University will confer more than 3,400 degrees on May 19, 20 and 23 during four separate commencement ceremonies in White Plains and New York City. In addition to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, the University will award honorary degrees to Nikki Giovanni, Morton Bahr, Peter J. Denning, Eugene F. Hovanec, and Mary Jo White.

Pace University to Confer More than 3,400 Degrees to the Class of 2002 During Commencement Ceremonies, May 19, 20 and 23

Nikki Giovanni, Morton Bahr, Peter J. Denning, Eugene F. Hovanec,
and Mary Jo White to Receive Honorary Degrees

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Pace University will confer more than 3,400 degrees on May 19, 20 and 23 during four separate commencement ceremonies in White Plains and New York City. In addition to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, the University will award honorary degrees to Nikki Giovanni, Morton Bahr, Peter J. Denning, Eugene F. Hovanec, and Mary Jo White.
Pace Law School’s commencement exercises begin at 10 a.m., Sunday, May 19, on the Chapel Green in White Plains. Mary Jo White, U. S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws.

Exercises for all other Westchester students will be held on Monday, May 20 at the Westchester County Center. The undergraduate ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m., with graduate exercises following at 5:30 p.m. Author and poet, Nikki Giovanni will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Morton Bahr, head of the Communications Workers of America, will be awarded a Doctor of Commercial Science and Peter J. Denning, professor of computer science and chair of the Technology Council at George Mason University, will receive a Doctor of Science.
New York City commencement is scheduled for 4 p.m., Thursday, May 23 at Radio City Music Hall. Eugene F. Hovanec, vice president of finance and chief financial officer at Vitesse, will receive an honorary Doctor of Commercial Science.

For more information on the Pace University 2002 Commencement ceremonies, please visit Pace.edu.

Pace is a comprehensive, independent University with campuses in New York City and Westchester County, and a Hudson Valley Center located at Stewart Airport in New Windsor. Nearly 13,500 students are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, Lienhard School of Nursing and Pace Law School. (www.pace.edu)

Pace University to Host Launch of Compact Promoting Active Citizenship in Higher Education

National and state leaders from the National Corporation of Service and other government programs will join a group of college and university presidents, staff and students from across New York State, at Pace University to officially launch the New York Campus Compact. Thus New York joins with nearly 30 other states in participating in Campus Compact, a nationwide organization that advocates civic involvement as an integral part of higher education.

National and state leaders from the National Corporation of Service and other government programs will join a group of college and university presidents, staff and students from across New York State, at Pace University to officially launch the New York Campus Compact. Thus New York joins with nearly 30 other states in participating in Campus Compact, a nationwide organization that advocates civic involvement as an integral part of higher education.

Each year students at Campus Compact-member campuses spend more than 22 million hours participating in activities, which integrate service with academic study, a concept known as “service learning.” The projects include tutoring children, working with the homeless and hungry, cleaning up the environment and work on a range of other social and civic needs of communities.

“It is fitting that the Founding Ceremony for the New York Campus Compact be held at Pace,” said David A. Caputo, president of Pace University. “Not only has Pace been an active member of Campus Compact, but the concepts of civic competency and engagement have always been a part of Pace’s education. We provide our students with relevant work experience before they graduate through internships, cooperative education models or other arrangements, so that they leave here willing and able to become active participants in society.”

Campus Compact gathers leaders from various sectors – education, government, business and community — to discuss critical issues and trends of mutual concern. These assemblies create opportunities for renewed civic and community life, improved education, economic opportunities and expanded democratic participation, through the involvement of higher education’s intellectual and material resources.

Elizabeth L. Hollander, executive director of Campus Compact and other leaders from around the nation will discuss their individual projects, as well as highlight the role that the New York Campus Compact will play in providing statewide leadership in advocating, supporting, and increasing student involvement in academic and co-curricular based service.

The Founding Ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 16, 2001 in the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza in Manhattan.

Pace University Creates Online ListServ for Home Schooled Students

Pace University’s Center for Urban Education recently launched a ListServ aimed at helping home schooled teens and their parents negotiate what may seem like a maze of college admissions processes. Parents, students and school administrators can join the list by sending an email to scallaway@pace.edu.

Contact: Mary E. Horgan
(914) 923-2798
mhorgan@pace.edu

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, April 20, 2001– Pace University’s Center for Urban Education recently launched a ListServ aimed at helping home schooled teens and their parents negotiate what may seem like a maze of college admissions processes. Parents, students and school administrators can join the list by sending an email to scallaway@pace.edu

“The average high school sophomore or junior can rely on a school’s guidance office for information on college admissions requirements,” said Sean Callaway, Director of College Placement at the Center for Urban Education, part of the Pace School of Education, “but there are few reliable resources available for home schooled teens and their parents.”

There are about 1.4 million children in the United States who are home schooled. “The School of Education is interested in the education of all students and their equal access to college,” said Dean Jan McDonald. “We believe that it will provide an important service.”

Callaway, who home schools one of his six children, created the Home School and College Admissions ListServ which is co-sponsored by the School of Education’s Center for Urban Education and by the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling.

“Every family has a different reason for home schooling their children, but getting into college is a whole new ball game,” said Mr. Callaway. “A discussion group like this one might help level the playing field and provide these students with a roadmap to their future.”

The list is designed to offer parents who are home schooling a forum in which to pose questions about college entrance rules, requirements, testing and application processes to admissions professionals, and to afford admissions professionals the opportunity to learn about home schooling. Presently there are 500 subscribers of whom 20-25 percent are from colleges and 1-3 percent are from high schools.

Pace is a comprehensive, independent university with campuses in New York City and Westchester County. Nearly 13,500 students are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, Lubin School of Business, School of Computer Science and Information Systems, School of Education, School of Law, Lienhard School of Nursing and the World Trade Institute.