March 23, 2015 Leave a comment
It sure has been a crazy winter here in Harrisonburg. We have had many snow days, as have most of the schools in the area; but that somehow hasn’t stopped us from being productive. It has been a very fruitful winter here in the Center. Here are a few notes to highlight what our faculty and students have been up to.
- We have been honored with hosting multiple groups of scholars from Japan; who have all come to the United States, and to JMU to look for best practices in assessment. Our first visitor, Dr. Satoko Fukahori, from the National Institute for Educational Policy Research of Japan, was able to join us for our Spring Assessment Day, where she witnessed a large part of our assessment model in action! Earlier this month Donna Sundre met with a visiting group from Osaka University. The group was very eager to learn about assessment practices at JMU, particularly regarding General Education. The CARS and University Programs folks worked together to set up a day of meetings that we hope met all of their expectations. They were also excited to enjoy some local “southern” style foods! We are so humbled by the outreach from our colleagues from Japan, and look forward to further expanding the global culture of assessment that already exists today.
- A faculty search is currently underway here in CARS as we look for someone to fill Dr. Keston Fulcher’s position as Keston prepares to move into the Executive Director role effective July 1st. As we mentioned previously, Dr. Donna Sundre will be retiring at the conclusion of the spring semester, as she sees her last two doctoral advisees through their dissertation defenses and graduation. Keston, as you may know, has been our Associate Director for some time, as well as having a dual role like all our faculty split between teaching and assessment. At this time we are looking to fill Keston’s position in regards to the assessment/teaching role, and will select a new Associate Director at a later date. The search has been underway since late fall and we are hopeful to be able to complete the process and hire someone very soon.
- Keston Fulcher, Laura Williams (3rd yr. Doc), and the graduate assistants in the PASS office are gearing up for a new year of APT submissions. This past year brought a new option for a program to select to complete an alternate project in place of their typical APT. Programs would have to meet special criteria to be offered this alternative, such as receiving a score of exemplar for two reporting years in a row. The idea is that the programs will take this alternative year to explore new ideas, or perhaps work on an assessment related project they have been unable to accomplish as a result of having to keep up with the APT reporting cycle. As we go into our second year offering this option, we are pleased to see that programs are taking advantage of this opportunity. We can’t wait to see how these programs will use their time. Additionally, a change to element 6A on the APT will be implemented this year, so Keston and his GA’s have been hard at work preparing for that, meeting with programs to introduce the changes. Stay tuned for more on that in our monthly progress reports!
- CARS has been working hard to prepare for a move out of Anthony-Seeger scheduled for June. For those alumni who are reading, you may be sad to know that when you return to visit, we will no longer be in the same place geographically that you once called home for 2-3 years. As with most changes, we are sad to leave the comfort of our space, but are eager to see what the new building has to offer. We will be moving into the newly named “Lakeview Hall” where we will, in fact, have a view of the lake. A spectacular one at that! This move is an opportunity for the center to get some new furniture and spruce up our space to become a true showpiece of an office. Keston Fulcher, David Yang, Paula Love, and Sharon Sipe have been working with the university’s property coordinators to ensure that the move is as seamless as possible. We will be sure to share an update with pictures and our new address when we get into our new space in June. A perfect time of year to come visit us on the lake and feed the ducks! (Don’t quote me on that, I don’t know if we are allowed to feed them.)
While this isn’t even close to a full list of the things that have been happening here, it’s a little glimpse into what our winter has been like! We are excited that spring has arrived, as we all prepare to head off to Chicago for the AERA/NCME conferences, and the ongoing dissertation and thesis defenses of our soon to be graduates! Keep checking back for announcements as our students finish up their time here at JMU.