Mass. Board of Higher Education Meeting | December 8, 2009 Final Report from the Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Nancy HoffmanBoard Member and Advisory Group ChairVice President, High School Through College, Jobs for the Future
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Charge to Committee • Recommend how 21st century skills such as global awareness, critical thinking, and ethical leadership can be more fully integrated in college student learning
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education The Committee • 14 key state leaders, various sectors • Came together as employers and citizens, not content experts • Met 4 times, 2-hour meetings, homework in between and extensive reading • Lively debate about workplace skills • All agreed that disciplinary content is foundation for all college-level learning
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Context for Recommendations • Majority of jobs in high-growth sectors require college degrees • In MA especially, people needed who can “think for a living” • Public (68% of students) and private (32% of students) need to be educated to highest levels • Hope to start a state-wide dialogue on outcomes needed
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Outcomes Assessment in Higher Education • Some state-wide efforts (Texas, Missouri) • Many campus efforts since required by accreditors, including in MA • Growing national attention • Spellings Report (2006) • National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment • Voluntary System of Accountability (APLU & AASCU) • LEAP (AAC&U) • Bologna Process
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Outcome Categories • College-Level Fundamentals • Integrative Thinking • Civic, Organizational & Career Competencies • Of greatest importance: • excellent written and oral communication • ethical behavior • effective performance in teams
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education College-Level Fundamentals • Represents the array of broad knowledge areas about which students should have significant comprehension and facility • Written and Oral Communication • Quantitative Skills • Technological/Information Science Facility • Breadth of Knowledge About the Physical and Natural Worlds • Breadth of Knowledge About Human Cultures • Knowledge in Depth/Interdisciplinary Knowledge "College-level fundamentals continue to be critical to success, but the Group's aspiration is that college graduates also be good citizens and productive members of the Commonwealth's workforce. How to achieve these learning outcomes will be the real challenge.”– Hemmie Chang
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Integrative Thinking • Centers on the methodologies from various disciplines to solve complex, real-world problems and to create new solutions. Such skills allow graduates to be successful in an ever-changing world. • Critical Thinking and Informed Decision-Making • Creativity and Innovation • Problem Solving • Systems Thinking “Systems thinking is a way to see and understand the world holistically by focusing more on optimizing how the parts of a system work together than by optimizing how the parts work separately. Analyzing and improving only the parts of the system taken separately can have unintended consequences which suboptimize the performance of the system as a whole, whether it is a business, health care or government organization. For the same reason, the solution to many complex problems today require the integration of disciplines, not the application of disciplines separately.” – Ray Stata
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Civic, Organizational and Career Competencies “We have found that being well-educated in the classic sense of book learning is not enough for the workplace. At first we looked to hire people fresh out of the best colleges who had the best grades. Then we learned that we needed more than academic skills – judgment, teamwork, leadership skills, perseverance, accountability, creativity. These skills were important indicators of success in the workplace and as a colleague.” – Linda Mason • Encompass a range of personal, interpersonal, and group behaviors that are required to be an effective and successful citizen and worker in any organizational and/or career setting. • Relevance of Education/Lifelong Learning • Civic and Social Responsibility • Personal Responsibility • Workplace Skills • Teamwork/Collaboration
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Vision for Recommendations • Commonwealth should have a shared set of learning outcomes for graduates of all the state’s higher education institutions. • Higher education institutions must appropriately take leadership in achieving these outcomes in collaboration with multiple stakeholders.
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Recommendations (1–2) • To achieve this vision, the Advisory Group makes the following recommendations to the Commissioner of the Department of Higher Education and requests that he provide a progress report to the Advisory Group members in one year: • Massachusetts public institutions of higher education should pursue a thorough analysis comparing their respective institutional student learning outcomesto those contained in this report. • The Department of Higher Education and the public institutions of higher education should engage in discussion to adopt a shared student learning outcomes framework across the Commonwealth.
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Recommendations (3–6) • The Department of Higher Education and the public institutions of higher education should engage in discussion on the achievement of and accountability for a shared student learning outcomes framework across the Commonwealth. • The Department of Higher Education should support the plans of public higher education institutionsto work toward meeting the outcomes. • The Departments of Early Education and Care, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Higher Education should engage in K-16 learning outcomes alignment activities. • The Department of Higher Education and the public institutions of higher education should consider participation in the American Association of Colleges & Universities’ Liberal Education and America's Promise initiative.
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Recommendations (7–10) • The Department of Higher Education and the public institutions of higher education should consider participation in national or international initiatives that will benchmark Massachusetts’ achievement levels against other states and countries. • The Department of Higher Education and the public institutions of higher education should have an ongoing relationship with the employer community to better understand and respond to prospective employee perspectives and needs. • Business, non-profit, and community leaders should provide institutions of higher education with guidance, resources, and opportunities for students to engage in activities, internships, and programs that promote the learning outcomes outlined in this report. • This report should be shared with the independent institutions of higher education in Massachusetts.
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Other comments from committee • Economic analysis, educational research and common sense all make identifying what learners in the Commonwealth must know and be able to do to compete and succeed globally an important task. The work positions the Commonwealth as a leader among peers as so many other states struggle with the same issues. — Nicholas Donohue • The compelling thing about the process was the urgency that each of the advisory group members brought to the work. Each cared deeply about maintaining the Commonwealth’s competitive edge in the global economy, creating a framework for excellence and accountability, and ensuring that all students would benefit from high expectations. — Casey Recupero
Commissioner’s Advisory Group on Undergraduate Education Advisory Group Members • Nancy Hoffman, ChairVice President, Jobs for the FutureMember, Board of Higher Education • Ahmed AbdelalProvost, University of Massachusetts Lowell • David AngelProvost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Clark University • Hemmie Chang, EsquirePartner, Corporate, Life Sciences, Ropes & Gray, LLP • Gerald ChertavianChief Executive Officer and Founder, Year Up • Designee: Casey RecuperoExecutive Director, Boston, Year Up • Nicholas DonohuePresident and Chief Executive Officer, Nellie Mae • Senator Anthony GalluccioSenate Chair, Joint Committee on Higher Education • Mary GrantPresident, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts • Reverend Gregory GrooverPastor, Charles Street AME ChurchChairman, Boston School Committee • Jessie KleinAssociate Dean, Math and Science, Middlesex Community College • Paul LevyPresident and Chief Executive Officer, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center • Linda MasonChairman and Founder, Bright Horizons Family Solutions • Ray StataCo-Founder and Chairman of the Board, Analog Devices • Representative David TorrisiHouse Chair, Joint Committee on Higher Education