At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating high-quality assessments based on rigorous research. Institutions of higher education rely on ETS to help them demonstrate student learning outcomes and promote student success and institutional effectiveness. Visit us at www.ets.org/highered
In higher education, two “A” words are bandied about all the time – accessibility and affordability with the ultimate institutional goal of developing successful, well-educated, engaged individuals, who become valuable contributors to their local and global communities. But there is a third “A” word – assessment – that is crucial in achieving student learning and success. ETS headquartered in Princeton, NJ, gets an A plus in providing higher education institutions with the world’s best assessment strategies and tools facilitating the overarching higher education mission.
ETS has a team of education experts, researchers and assessment developers who believe that, through learning, people can improve their situations in life and make incredible contributions to the world. At its core is the belief that by designing assessments with industry-leading insight, rigorous research and an uncompromising commitment to quality, ETS is advancing equity and helping education and workplace communities make informed decisions about people and programs.
Renowned throughout the world for its assessment tools, ETS recently developed a new one – TouchPoint Assessment Portfolio that provides a holistic, rather than piece-meal, assessment strategy. The TouchPoint Assessment Portfolio includes assessments that span the entire student lifecycle, and includes support for measuring student learning and the overall assessment process. Therefore, institutions gain a comprehensive understanding of student learning and success. By analyzing student progress and capturing and utilizing meaningful data, the institution creates a bigger picture and develops a better outlook for institutional effectiveness and student success.
The TouchPoint Assessment Portfolio is a robust combination of resources that can help institutions broaden their view of student learning and student success through comprehensive evaluation and meaningful data capture, providing a roadmap to making measurable improvements in curricular and co-curricular programs, while progressing teaching and learning and ensuring success for institutions as well as students.
With the TouchPoint Assessment Portfolio, institutions gain insight into the knowledge and skills students bring with them and acquire through their higher education journey. From the understanding of the behavioral skills and strategies of incoming students to measuring knowledge gained by graduating students in their major field of study – and the general education skills acquired in between – the TouchPoint Assessment Portfolio is a broad suite of assessments that provide a complete view of student readiness and learning. With actionable and valid data that can be used independently or as a supplement to locally developed assessments, institutions can improve student persistence, enhance curricula, inform continuous improvement efforts and fulfil accreditation requirements.
ETS recognizes that colleges and universities are spending large amounts of time and other resources when collecting assessment data on student learning and student success. Yet, many are ill-prepared to evaluate the quality of the data and to use the data as effectively as possible. In order to make assessment useful, institutions must be able to attend to these areas of their assessment process.
As such, ETS, in collaboration with the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC), offers the ETS Assessment Insights Workshops to help institutions create more effective assessment processes, develop assessment-related competencies in faculty and staff, and implement best practices in assessing student learning outcomes. The workshops support institutions in creating realistic and clear assessment plans, identifying or developing fair, reliable and valid measures of student learning, and ultimately using assessment information in effective and meaningful ways.
ETS has a 70-year legacy and commitment to make fundamental contributions to the progress of educational measurement, and enabling opportunity for all learners. And as a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization, ETS stays true to that heritage of pushing the boundaries of its industry. ETS does this by driving innovation in assessment and by conducting research that helps individuals, educators and government agencies around the world find new ways to advance learning for all.
In 1947, three organizations — the American Council on Education, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the College Entrance Examination Board — contributed testing programs, assets and key employees to form ETS. These founders believed that an independent, nonprofit organization devoted to educational research and assessment could make fundamental contributions to the progress of education by enabling opportunity for all learners, regardless of income or social status.
Walt MacDonald became the sixth President and CEO of ETS on January 1, 2014, 30 years after he joined the company as an assessment specialist with an expertise in science. Over the course of his career, he has led nearly every major program — guiding each to grow and achieve the mission of ETS.
The two individuals whose jobs are specifically dedicated to helping colleges and universities with higher education assessment are Ross Markle and Javarro Russell, both holding titles of senior assessment strategist within the Higher Education Division. Dr. Markle works directly with colleges and universities to promote the effective use of assessments and data in student success efforts, particularly with traditionally underserved populations. His current work focuses on assessing non-cognitive skills to improve student success, training faculty and staff in effective student learning outcomes assessment processes, and measuring institutional outcomes such as civic competency and engagement and intercultural competence and diversity. Dr. Russell assists institutions in identifying solutions to assessing and measuring student learning outcomes on their campuses. With a background in consulting on measurement and assessment design issues in higher education, he specializes in identifying effective ways of reporting assessment results to audiences with varying levels of expertise in assessment and measurement.
All ETS employees, no matter what their individual job title, are committed to the power of learning – the fuel that drives a better world.
(by Pam Hersh, NJASCU director of Communications)
* ETS is the Collegiate Champion Sponsor of the 2017 NJASCU Symposium on Higher Education.