CHESTERTOWN—Washington College president Mitchell Reiss has joined 70 other college presidents in a voluntary campaign to assess student learning more effectively and to use the data to improve the quality of teaching over the next two years. As part of the Presidents’ Alliance for Excellence in Student Learning and Accountability, Reiss also has pledged to work cooperatively to share information and strategies not only with other Alliance members but also with the public.
Officially announced November 5, the Presidents’ Alliance is a project of the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability, which was created in 2009 by a consortium of higher-ed groups (the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the American Council on Education, and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation). Funding is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Teagle Foundation.
The executive director of the New Leadership group, former Hamilton College dean David C. Paris, says he hopes the Presidents’ Alliance will be a resource for innovative teaching methods that really work. “The real purpose of the pledges is to deepen an ethic of professional stewardship and self-regulation among college leaders,” he told the Chronicle of Higher Education. “Teaching is an art, not a science. But there is still probably a lot that we can learn from each other.”
“The project calls attention to the myriad ways in which institutions of higher learning already work systematically to measure results, improve teaching, and ultimately benefit student learning,” says President Reiss. “For Washington College, this initiative allows us to promote the good practices we currently engage in and to celebrate the ways in which our faculty are always enriching the work they do for students.”
For more information on the initiative, visit: www.newleadershipalliance.org.