The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) will present Portland State with the 2010 CHEA award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes. Shawn Smallman, vice provost for instruction and dean of undergraduate studies, will accept the award on behalf of PSU at the CHEA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25′-28.
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) will present Portland State with the 2010 CHEA award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes. Shawn Smallman, vice provost for instruction and dean of undergraduate studies, will accept the award on behalf of PSU at the CHEA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25′-28.’
CHEA is a national, nongovernmental organization comprised of 3,000 higher education institutions.’ It promotes self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation.
According to CHEA President Judith Eaton, the award acknowledges higher education institutions for outstanding practices in developing and applying evidence of student learning outcomes as part of the ongoing accountability, evaluation and improvement of college and university programs of study.
‘One of the issues taking place in higher education is a focus on student learning outcomes. We consider what core skills we want students to know,’ Smallman said. He also explained that student learning outcomes shift emphasis away from traditional letter grades, placing significance on the knowledge and skills they take away from their experience within an educational program.
‘It’s not about the grade,’ Smallman said.
The award application was prepared by Honors Program professor Dr. Hillary Jenks and Capstone coordinator Dr. Seanna Kerrigan. Jenks and Kerrigan utilized both programs to assess student learning outcomes and as examples of student achievement.
The submitted application, which required analysis and evidence of student outcomes at PSU read, ‘These programs clearly articulate expected student outcomes, implement exemplary institutional practices to assess student outcomes by analyzing representative student work, disseminate critical findings, and use the data to improve student learning.’
Eaton commended Portland State for its continuous efforts to improve the quality of the university’s courses and to advance student achievements.
‘I hope the award helps students recognize the quality of education at PSU. And it really speaks for the faculty,’ Smallman said.
Capella University, St. Olaf College, and the University of Arkansas at Ft. Smith will also receive the 2010 CHEA award later this month.