A comparison of the beliefs of state legislators and community college assessment practitioners toward implementation of mandated student outcomes assessment guidelines in the Commonwealth of Virginia
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Virginia's mandated student outcomes assessment program, as created by Senate Joint Resolution No. 83 in 1986, allowed community colleges in the Commonwealth latitude in developing their own assessment strategies. These strategies have developed slowly and with some inconsistency.
The purpose of this study is to determine the congruency of beliefs about the implementation of Virginia's student outcomes assessment program between purposefully selected members of the Virginia General Assembly and community college assessment practitioners.
Data for this study were derived from the review of public documents, and the execution of a survey instrument, the results of which were used to develop interviews with designated state legislators and community college assessment practitioners. The interviews became the primary data source for the study.
Findings indicate that the legislative participants believe that used by all community colleges across Virginia would be more appropriate than approaches specifically geared to individual institutional missions. Practitioner respondents differ on this issue. The legislators generally believe that the use of a standardized testing approach administered across all community colleges could be beneficial. The practitioners beliefs differ, though not markedly, from the legislative group.
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