Colorado College Context
1. What is the status of Quantitative Reasoning programming on your campus?
Colorado College has approached the initiation of a QR program by establishing a Quantitative Reasoning Center (QRC) within the Colket Learning Commons located in the campus library. The QRC has just finished its fourth year of operations and has evolved from a small science/math tutoring center into a larger academic support center during this time. The QRC has engaged department programs as well as individual faculty demands and expectations, prepared students for the challenges of quantitative content and methods, and addressed the effects of course sequencing on student attitudes and performance. The faculty at CC has seriously discussed implementing a "Q" designation on courses that have substantial quantitative content, but specific guidelines and consequences of this designation are still being worked out.
2. What are the key learning goals that shape your current programming or that you hope to achieve?
One goal has been to help students understand, retain and use quantitative content that is presented on the accelerated "Block Plan" used at CC. A second goal has been to work with underprepared students since no "remedial" courses are offered at CC and these students are forced to seek assistance outside of departments often while enrolled in demanding courses. A third goal is to help students from all disciplines in working with data and generating reports or oral presentations. The fourth goal is to work with faculty to develop positive student experiences in quantitative courses and develop quantitative elements for courses that can present QR in a unique and non-traditional context.
3. Do you have QR assessment instruments in place? If so, please describe:
Colorado College currently has no campus QR assessment instruments in place. Some departments and individual faculty perform some type of assessment but this is not shared with the campus in any organized manner.
4. Considering your campus culture, what challenges or barriers do you anticipate in implementing or extending practices to develop and assess QR programming on your campus?
The two major obstacles at CC are probably communication of initiatives and faculty support of academic initiatives. There are very limited avenues of campus-wide communication at CC and a QR program that would involve all divisions and departments would require complex communication. In most cases change isn't easily accepted at CC, especially if it requires additional work or effort, and therefore the method and avenue of initial communication is extremely important to minimize immediate negative responses. The faculty at CC view academic freedom and complete autonomy of teaching as high priorities and obviously a QR program and assessment could be viewed as a degradation of these priorities. Again, the timing and method of introducing a QR program will be very important in recruiting support from faculty.
5. Considering your campus culture, what opportunities or assets will be available to support your QR initiatives?
Many of the key players that would need to be involved in initiation of a QR program are in place and available such as CC Institutional Research & Planning Office, First Year Experience Program, Quantitative Reasoning Center and Crown Faculty Center. In many respects the Block Plan is an asset that allows Colorado College to implement, evaluate and adjust initiatives up to eight times in an academic year as opposed to only twice with a traditional semester plan. The student body at CC can also be considered an opportunity and asset in that CC students are serious and trusting that programs are for their benefit and it is in their best interest to participate.