Workshop Overview

This ACM workshop focuses on building a professional network to share best practices for assessing liberal learning in small colleges. Friday evening we'll get acquainted and set goals. Saturday morning we'll explore how to develop, manage, and sustain effective assessment of general education. Saturday afternoon we'll look at how to support and coordinate assessment of department/program majors. For each topic, we'll use several short "seed" presentations from different colleges to kick off discussion of common concerns, and we'll add our discussion notes to the project website. Sunday morning, we'll lay the groundwork for continued collaboration, including expanding the project website to be an ongoing tool for collaborating and sharing resources and assembling a team to focus on disseminating findings through professional presentation or publication.

Workshop Goals

Our goals are:

  1. to identify and share effective practices for coordinating and conducting assessment and promoting use of assessment findings in the small liberal arts college setting;
  2. to establish a professional network within the ACM for ongoing discussion and sharing of assessment materials and effective practices; and
  3. to explore ways to disseminate findings to other liberal arts institutions through professional presentation and publication.


    The workshop begins on Friday, October 19, at 8:00 p.m. with a welcome reception (dinner not included), and ends on Sunday, October 21 at 1:00 p.m. (after lunch is served at noon).


    • Before the workshop - each college has already completed a short survey about assessment; participants should identify best practices to share and concerns or questions to discuss with colleagues.
    • During the workshop - participants should contribute to structured small group discussions on issues related to assessment (with notes recorded on the SERC website); some participants will give brief presentations to seed the discussions or will summarize findings after the discussions.
    • After the workshop - participants are invited to contribute questions, tips, and materials through the project website, which will be developed as an ongoing resource for ACM faculty; some participants may wish to contribute to work on professional articles or presentations related to assessment of liberal learning.


    The FaCE grant will pay for two participants per college. Covered costs include lodging (two per room), meals provided during the workshop (Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Sunday breakfast and lunch), and transportation to/from Björklunden (one car per college at $0.50/mile, plus roundtrip airfare for Colorado College up to $500 per person). Other meals and incidental expenses are not included.

    Application and Selection Criteria

    Each college will select up to two participants for the workshop. These should be faculty members or administrators with responsibility for planning, managing, or conducting assessment (e.g., an associate dean with assessment responsibility, an assessment coordinator, the chair of the assessment committee, an assessment project leader, etc.).


    The workshop will be held at Björklunden vid Sjön, Lawrence University's retreat center on the shore of Lake Michigan in Door County, Wisconsin (between Jacksonport and Baileys Harbor, about 1.5 hours northeast of Green Bay). Door County is a popular tourist destination, especially in the fall when the leaves are turning. The Björklunden lodge has meeting rooms, a great room for meals and socializing, hostel-style lodging (two to six per room), wireless internet, music practice rooms, outdoor decks, and trails in the surrounding forest and along the lake. Information and driving directions can be found at

    For More Information

    Contact the workshop leader, Bob Williams of Lawrence University (, 920-993-6276 office, 920-243-8118 cell).