Lewis & Clark College
1. What is the status of Quantitative Reasoning programming on your campus?
At present, Lewis & Clark College includes a required course in quantitative reasoning as one of its general education requirements. Students not majoring in science or math select from a quantitative methods/statistics courses in the social sciences, three perspectives courses in mathematics, and logic. Students majoring in math or science automatically meet this requirement, but are encouraged to take a course from the aforementioned list. Results of our senior survey, conducted annually over the last ten years, reveal that roughly half of our graduates report enhancement of quantitative reasoning skills during their undergraduate experience.
2. What are the key learning goals that shape your current programming or that you hope to achieve?
The Lewis & Clark College Catalog states a goal of each student achieving familiarity with the quantitative, qualitative, philosophical, social, and aesthetic dimensions of work in the natural and social sciences. Specific quantitative reasoning goals differ course by course. Ongoing discussions of general education indicate a desire among faculty to emphasize problem solving skills.
3. Do you have QR assessment instruments in place? If so; please describe:
As stated in Question 1 above, an annual senior survey is conducted in which students report their level of skill enhancement in 25 areas including quantitative reasoning, computational skills, and understanding of the scientific method. Lewis & Clark has administered the CLA (Collegiate Learning Assessment) exam twice. The CLA exam, which is a constructed response exam, focuses on analytical skills along with writing. In 2009, Lewis & Clark began assessing a sample of general education courses including quantitative reasoning courses. In 2010, three courses that focus on quantitative reasoning were assessed. In future years, it is anticipated that additional quantitative reasoning courses will be assessed.
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?
At this time, Lewis & Clark is considering implementation of a required first year quantitative reasoning course. It is hoped that a pilot course can be tested as early as Fall 2011. The College is presently preparing a grant application seeking funds to support this endeavor. The College faces several challenges such as staffing and classroom needs. Discussions of this course are part of the overall evaluation and likely revision of the College's general education program.
5. Considering your campus culture; what opportunities or assets will be available to support your QR initiatives?
Presently, as part of a four school consortium, Lewis & Clark is preparing a grant proposal to seek funds for improving quantitative reasoning. As the College revises its overall general education program, the opportunity exists to consider initiatives to improve quantitative reasoning. Several faculty in mathematics and computer science along with faculty in the social sciences are supportive of pursuing ways to improve quantitative reasoning.