June 5, 2018 – A group of Newbury faculty and staff traveled to New England College for the 2nd Annual New England Assessment Conference on May 15-16. The conference includes workshops, presentations, speakers and sessions “to develop capacity to assess student learning and success as well as effectiveness of programs and services,” according to the website.
The 2018 keynote speakers were Dr. Tia Brown McNair—Vice President in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, DC; and Dr. Ruth Newberry—Senior Consulting Specialist at Blackboard.
Dr. Laurie Gordy, Dean of Academic Affairs at Newbury, Dr. Mat Konieczka, Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, as well as the other professors from the HU100 first-year liberal arts class (Professor Debbie Mael, Dr. Aaron Tillman, Dr. Brendan O’Malley, and Professor Peter Galeno), attended and presented on the structure and assessment of this Foundations of Liberal Arts class as well as the development of Newbury’s liberal arts core.
Dr. Gordy said one of her favorite parts "was hearing the feedback to our presentation and the ideas others had for developing a definition of the liberal arts. It was a lively brainstorming session in the workshop part of our presentation.”
Dr. Mat Konieczka agreed: “Our presentation sparked some constructive discussion about the role of the liberal arts and assessment with other attendees. There were several participants who had some thoughtful suggestions for us, but they also wanted to bring back some of our ideas to their institutions and we have stayed in contact since the conference.”
These professors described the overall experience as: informative, engaging, collaborative, lively, rewarding and valuable. They enjoyed the opportunity to present together on liberal arts at Newbury as well as attend other sessions.
Professor Debbie Mael, Associate Professor of English and the Humanities, said, “The best part of the conference was planning and presenting together with my colleagues and friends on our HU100 team. Our presentation and workshop flowed well. As I sat back and listened to my colleagues' portion of the presentation, I thought about how fortunate I am to work with committed, smart, and creative faculty.”
The Newbury faculty noted other aspects of the conference as especially informative, including the opening keynote talk by Dr. McNair on becoming a “student-ready” college and a presentation by Rivier University faculty members on their academic symposium.
Dr. Aaron Tillman, Associate Professor of English and Director of the Honors Program, said, “One session that stood out was run by two faculty from Rivier University on the value and assessment of public presentations of student work. We were able to relate a lot of the discussion to Newbury's academic symposium and consider ways that we might expand and assess final student projects.”
In addition to the HU100 team, Dean of Student Affairs, Jennifer Forry, and members of Newbury’s student affairs department (Director of Residence Life, John Mayo; Director of Student Involvement, Katie Collins; Director of Counseling and Health Education, Susan Chamandy) attended the conference.
Dean Forry co-presented on conducting a program review without a budget with Jill Bassett, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Retention at Franklin Pierce University. Dean Forry explained she also enjoyed the opening speaker and attending other sessions with colleagues to learn more about assessment at other institutions.
She said, “Attending the conference with my team was extremely rewarding as it is very rare when we can all be off-campus at the same time. It certainly provided us with many things to consider as we identify best practices when completing student affairs assessment.”
The faculty and staff work hard to continuously enhance the academic and student experience at Newbury and are dedicated to student success and program improvement.
About Newbury: Newbury College is a private, independent college located just minutes from Boston in the Fisher Hill neighborhood of Brookline, Massachusetts. Founded in 1962, Newbury College offers bachelor and associate degree programs in over 20 career-focused majors. Committed to personalized and experience-based teaching, Newbury inspires students to become independent thinkers, valuable collaborators, and global-minded citizens.
Contact: Sarah Johansson, Communications Coordinator
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