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SUNY General Education Assessment Conference

The Marx Hotel, Syracuse, New York
April 27-28, 2005

On April 27-28, almost 200 people - including representatives from all 57 SUNY campuses with general education programs - attended a conference on Strengthened Campus-Based Assessment. This Web site includes a summary of this conference and its activities, as well as links to most of the conference presentations. Interested persons may check specific areas of interest by clicking on the appropriate topics below. Additional questions should be directed to Assistant Provost Patricia Francis, at or (518) 443-5644.

General Information Conference Program (PDF) Presentation Abstracts (PDF)
Presentation Links Keynote Speakers Vendors

General Information
The purpose of this conference was to provide assistance and direction as campuses work to implement the new guidelines for general education assessment developed by the GEAR Group. The conference was sponsored by the GEAR Group, the Office of the Provost, and the SUNY Council on Writing, with the support of the University Faculty Senate and the Faculty Council of Community Colleges.

GEAR Group co-chairs organized and presented sessions on the guidelines themselves, focusing on important questions and concerns that campuses raised in response to the guidelines. In addition, there was particular emphasis on the three options campuses have under the new guidelines in utilizing externally-referenced measures to assess Basic Communication [Written], Critical Thinking [Reasoning], and Mathematics, with sessions that featured topics such as the following:
  • Presentations by nationally-recognized experts on the construction of rubrics and standards for assessing Basic Communication [Written], Critical Thinking [Reasoning], and Mathematics;
  • Presentations by representatives from testing companies that specialize in the development of normed instruments; and,
  • Presentations on the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
Throughout the event, there were formal and informal opportunities for participants to talk about this next phase of the SUNY Assessment Initiative, and to discuss how existing best practices may facilitate a campus' transition to Strengthened Campus-Based Assessment.

Keynote Speakers
Keynote speakers at the conference were Dr. Kathleen Blake Yancey, Pearce Professor of Professional Communication at Clemson University, and Dr. Richard Jardine, Associate Professor and Chair of Mathematics at Keene State College. Dr. Yancey, a nationally-recognized consultant on issues connected to college composition, general education, and assessment, made presentations on rubric construction in assessing writing and critical thinking.

Dr. Jardine has played an instrumental role in the burgeoning field of rubric construction in assessing math at the college level, and since 2004 has been a member of the staff of the Supporting Assessment in Undergraduate Mathematics (SAUM) project, a faculty development effort supported by NSF and the Mathematical Association of America. Dr. Jardine's presentation focused on constructing and using rubrics to assess students' math performance.

The conference program also featured presentations by representatives of companies and organizations that have been extensively involved in educational assessment in colleges and universities. These presentations focused specifically on how these companies' and organizations' products may help campuses in the implementation of Strengthened Campus-Based Assessment. The companies and products to be featured were as follows: