learning community program assessment, assessment, professional development, institutional change


In spring 2013, the Washington Center administered a national survey to find what campuses assessed when they assessed their learning community programs, how they assessed those outcomes, and what they did with the results. Sixty-six campuses responded to the survey. Most campuses assess at least one measure of student success (pass rates, course completion, GPA) during students' learning community enrollment. Some campuses track student success after their learning community enrollment, and more campuses would like to if they had the means to do so. Nearly all campuses assess student engagement, and the few campuses that do not would like to. About half the campuses responding to the survey assess integrative and interdisciplinary learning. Most campuses associate teaching in learning communities with professional development benefits, and nearly all associate the learning community program with achieving key institutional outcomes. Discussion of these results highlights potential areas for further work in order to strengthen practice across the field of learning community practice.

Emily Lardner is Co-Director for the Washington Center and an adjunct professor in Evening and Weekend Studies at The Evergreen State College.