Calgary college performs above average in all key measures
Columbia College today announced the results of an important international study that looked at the degree students are engaged in their education. The Community College Survey of Student Engagement, conducted annually by the University of Texas includes most two year public and private colleges in the United States as well as a number of colleges in Canada. Columbia College performed above average on all five measures of student engagement. In addition, Columbia scored in the top ten per cent of colleges in North America in two critical areas of student engagement; they are academic challenge and active collaborative learning.
“We are immensely proud of these results,” commented Dr. J.T. (Tom) Snell, President, Columbia College. “They provide clear evidence of the quality of our education and the high calibre of our faculty and staff. Being in the top ten percent of colleges in North America in two of the five critical measures is gratifying and we will continue to improve our programs with a goal of achieving the top ten percent in all five measures.” Dr. Snell went on to say, “Our results are clearly above average in North America and we could not be more pleased”
The Community College Survey of Student Engagement is considered to be one of the most comprehensive annual analyses of higher education in North America. The study is recognized by lawmakers across the United States with a growing number of state governments now requiring public and private colleges who receive state funding to participate. Canadian colleges are not required to participate in this survey. However, Humber College (Ontario) conducted a study to assess the validity of the survey. Their results found that this tool is valid in Ontario as well as Canada (Mandarino et al 2010). Their study further indicated that two of the five indicators were the most critical factors related to student success. These were the same two factors that Columbia College received the highest scores (Academic Challenge and Active and Collaborative Learning).
“We encourage all Canadian colleges and universities to participate in this study,” continued Dr. Snell. “By opening each institution to independent scrutiny, we are better able to identify areas needing improvement. This will then lead to increasing the quality of education provided in our post-secondary institutions and as a result, increase the competency of graduates. In addition, these annual results should be made available to the public. This would further improve the student’s ability to make a more informed and objective decision of which institution to apply to.”
Rather than counting the number of recent articles published by faculty members, as some studies do, this study focuses on the quality of education students receive in and outside the classroom. It does this by having students complete an in-depth survey that takes about 45 minutes to complete. It includes critical questions such as how many text books are required to be read, how much homework is assigned, how intellectually challenging are the courses, how rigorous are the examinations, and what relationship do students have with faculty, staff and other students that relates to their education.
The study questioned students in five critical areas related to their higher education. These areas are academic challenge, active and collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, student effort, and support for learners. And Columbia College came through in spades.