Overview of the Wabash Study 2010 at Beloit College
Beloit College's participation in the Wabash Study 2010 is grounded in our broader campus goals. We have chosen the Liberal Arts in Practice as our area of focus, a reference not to a single curricular requirement or program, but rather to a broader concept embedded in our College Mission Statement and realized in efforts across campus that attempt to forge connections between what is learned in the classroom and what is experienced outside of it.
Our goals include analyzing student engagement with the concept of Liberal Arts in Practice on multiple levels, starting with the extent to which students participate in activities and structures that purposefully emphasize synthesis and transfer, examining writing and other student work for direct evidence of understanding and skill in these areas, and gathering qualitative and quantitative indirect evidence regarding campus beliefs about the Liberal Arts in Practice concept including its definition and importance.
While gathering and analyzing data that will inform our efforts is already an important part of our current campus practice, the Wabash Study's central goal is to facilitate the communication and intentional use of this data in a sustainable and adaptable way.
As such, we will also work to:
- Get information into the hands of practitioners
- Model a deliberative process for using evidence
- Facilitate linkages between the curriculum (students/faculty), the Beloit Initiatives (staff), and the Liberal Arts in Practice concept; reinforcing the idea that everyone is responsible for the experiences of our students
- Demonstrate that we are (and are a part of) an interdependent community of practice; the Wabash process should help us to see how this is so and what we have to gain
Our strategy to accomplish these goals (elaborated in detail in our Campus Plan) is to:
- Engage constituencies broadly
- Develop an institutional assessment portfolio
- Write an institutional change narrative
- Implement change to improve practice
- Assess and improve changes to ensure sustainability
The Beloit College Wabash Study 2010 Campus Plan (Draft, 10.01.2010)