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                              Winter Institute, January 8, 1998

                                    19th Annual Institute

                                     Thursday, January 8

    WEATHER REPORT: CLOUDY AND  58 DEGREES TODAY IN SCOTTSDALE!
                                                Oh! Oh!

     General Session I

     Presenter:  David Gerkin, "Program Evaluation in the LAC at Paradise
                                            Valley Community College"

     David indicated that his presentation would consist of answering
questions:

        Why evaluate my program? What are the benefits?
         Who should evaluate my program?
         What data should I gather?
         How should I gather the data?  What methods or instruments should I
use?
         When should I gather the data?  Annual, end of term, midterm,
ongoing?
         How should I compile the data I have gathered?

      While responding to these questions, he discussed usage of statistics,
the difference between and uses of formal and informal evaluation, student
evaluations of tutoring, evaluations of staff, tutor training program
evaluation, staff evaluation of LAC-Retreat, the program effectiveness report,
and the list of improvements needed.

     He explained that his data management system was made more effective
because he was able to link with the campus Student Information System in
order to instantly obtain vital data concerning any student enrolled.   This
accommodation eliminated the time-consuming activity of having a student fill
out lengthy forms while duplicating information already available on the SIS.
It also saved time otherwise spent in the labor-intensive process of inputing
the data on the LAC computer.

     It was noted that without an SIS accommodation or one similar to it,
other LACs could not expect to replicate this system.

Responses:  Gene Kerstiens centered his remarks around the problem of
developing data that one's superior would accept as evidence that the program
was either effective or in need of serious repair, the problem being that many
administrators are vague about this matter -- until the annual report is
already published.  Guillermo Uribe noted that it is important to (1) gather
all data that could possibly relate to the LAC's mission & goals, and (2) to
organize (format) same so that it could be quickly and efficiently analyzed to
be applied upon an administrator's request or demand.

General Session II

Presenter:  Guillermo Uribe, "Student Assessment and Program Evaluation in
                                            the ULC at the University of
Arizona"

     He prefaced his remarks with the statement that decisions should be based
upon evidence that  focuses on program effectiveness especially because LACs
are under particularly sharp scrutiny.  In order to cope with these
conditions, assessment should comprise careful planning, monitoring, and
studying of impact.
These involve the use of a variety of assessment methods, getting staff
involved with the process, consulting target populations to gain
collaboration, collecting accurate data, and producing (publicizing) timely
results that address critical issues and decisions.

     Monitoring these activities involves dealing with the forces of
inevitable change like dealing with state mandates and budget cuts.

      Typical  factors involved in measuring the effectiveness of a program
are persistence (the length of time a strategy or program should be studied),
performance (how well do students perform (GPA or class standing), and cost
benefit (cost-effectivenss or value-added effect).

     He emphasized that taking advantage of the campus data repository
information warehouse (like David Gerkin's Student Information System) saves
paper work, helps sort and categorize data, and serves as a filter while
choosing control groups.

Responses:  David Gerkin emphasized that a variety of methods and instruments
utilized to achieve assessment works synergistically to complement & enrich
the results of data analysis.  Georgine Materniak indicated that the quality
and accuracy of data is so important that the entire LAC staff must be
enlisted  to preserve its integrity.

Talk with you tomorrow, hopefully with a better weather report.

Gene Kerstiens
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