Western Academic Leadership Forum (WALF) | 2011 | Presentations

WALF 2011 Annual Meeting

The Politics of Student Success: Meeting the Challenges – from Readiness to Completion

April 13-15, 2011 • Fort Collins, Colorado

Hosted by Colorado State University


The Politics of Student Success

Governors and legislators have become increasingly critical of the quality of K-12 and higher education. To encourage change they have instigated or supported several new education initiatives. What are their greatest concerns? How are the recently implemented initiatives addressing them? How are educators responding? What else may be on the horizon?


Common Core State Standards: Status and New Assessments

Two national initiatives are striving to close the alignment gap between high school and college by developing and assessing common core standards. Some WICHE states participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). Others participate in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Some states participate in both. What are the similarities and differences in these initiatives? How is higher education involved in the development of their assessments?

Early Assessment and Alignment Programs: Exploring their Validity

In this session we heard about the results of two studies recently conducted by the Educational Policy Improvement Center. The Standards Validity Study was designed to examine entry-level postsecondary courses to determine the degree to which the college- and career-readiness standards represent the knowledge and skills necessary for postsecondary readiness. The Standards-to-Standards Alignment Study was designed to describe the correspondence between the college- and career-readiness standards and six existing sets of standards. In addition, we’ll hear about the California State University system’s Early Assessment Program and Early Start Program and the lessons learned over the last five years.



Complete to Compete and Complete College America

The United States, once the world’s leader in the proportion of students completing college, is now trailing a dozen countries. In today’s knowledge-based economy, this makes our nation increasingly vulnerable to international competition. How do the Complete to Compete and Complete College America initiatives propose to reverse this trend? What are the metrics that will help states measure the effectiveness of their current policies and drive future funding decisions to increase completion rates?

Overview: Performance-Based Funding Programs

Performance-based formulas provide funding for institutions based on their ability to retain and graduate students, rather than funding institutions based on the number of students they enroll. Which institutions are using performance-based formulas? How does this funding strategy affect selective vs. open access institutions? Is grade inflation an issue? What are the lessons learned?


Washington Community Colleges Performance-Incentive Funding Model: Two- and Four-Year Perspectives

The performance-incentive funding strategy used by Washington’s community colleges is very popular with the state’s legislators. How is it working for educators at the two-year schools? What’s on the horizon for the four-year schools?


Advancing the Quality Needle during the Numbers Initiatives

After some opening remarks about the relationship of readiness and completion initiatives to maintaining and advancing the quality of student learning as well as how the Common Core State Standards fit into these efforts, Longanecker will pose several questions for consideration by the attendees. During this open forum, all are invited to share their comments.