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Fall 2002

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Assessment director hired

Raymond Rodrigues has joined Skidmore as director of assessment. He is charged with helping faculty and staff in all disciplines to evaluate student learning and growth in rigorous, systematic, integrated ways.
     His three-year position is funded by a $280,000 grant from the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation. The grant also supports faculty workshops and visits by experts, to further develop Skidmore’s assessment programs.
     Keys to the process are to define the goals for learning—which skills and knowledge should students gain from each major, minor, or sequence of courses?—and to test whether students in fact achieve them. (“It’s ideal,” Rodrigues says, “to build assessment into a program by using a regular capstone project or final paper.”) By collating a range of results over time, “faculty can begin to see if one course duplicates the content of another, or if seniors forget something they learned as freshmen—information they can use to improve the curriculum and help students learn more effectively.”
     A specialist in English education, Rodrigues has been associate provost at Colorado State University and provost at the University of Texas in Brownsville; most recently he oversaw assessment for the entire nine-campus UT system. —SR


© 2002 Skidmore College