In the Spring 2006, San Jose State University was selected to participate in the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts education (WABASH NSLAE). In collaboration with the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts at Wabash College and ACT, the study is a national longitudinal study that was designed to examine the educational progress of SJSU's Fall 2006 freshman students during their collegiate experience (4+ years). Three critical factors (critical thinking, making judgments, and college experiences) are investigated to determine the effects on the outcomes of liberal arts education. Two fundamental goals of the study are: 1) learning which teaching practices, programs, and institutional structures support liberal arts education and 2) developing faculty-friendly and institutionally useful methods of assessing liberal arts education.
The study involves 3 parts:
- Quantitative Evaluation: A series of assessments will be administered to all participating students in three sessions. These are not tests of academic achievement; they include measures of critical thinking, leadership, well-being, attitudes, college experiences, and similar measures. Students may skip any questions that ask information they do not wish to provide. The first session will be in September, 2006. The second will occur in Spring 2007, and the final, in the Spring of 2010.
- In-depth Interview: A sample of all participating students will be invited to an interview during which more detailed descriptions of their college experiences will be gathered. Those participating in the interviews will have the option of declining to answer any questions they choose. Note: Only 50-60 students will be selected for the interview portion of the study.
- Institutional Context: Information will be collected on institutional practices and conditions (Curricula, programs, etc.) via research and interviews.
For more information, please contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Analytics at 408-924-1520 or Institutional-Effectiveness@sjsu.edu.