Coker Selected for National Higher Ed Assessment Project

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Feb. 28, 2012 – Coker College has been selected to participate in the Council of Independent College’s (CIC) Engaging Evidence Consortium, made possible by a grant from the Teagle Foundation.

“This project stands to substantially improve the quality of our students’ learning and, accordingly, to strengthen our educational programs,” said Coker College President Robert Wyatt.

“Beyond that, however, we are especially pleased about the leadership opportunity implicit in the project.  At a workshop this summer in Washington, D.C., members of the Engaging Evidence Consortium will be invited to present and discuss their experiences so that best practices can be implemented nationally,” Wyatt said.

Forty colleges and universities were selected for the project. Institutions were chosen on the merits of their project proposals and, according to CIC, reflect the diversity of independent higher education. To be eligible, applicants must have demonstrated a commitment to and experience with collecting, analyzing and using assessment of student learning results to improve student learning outcomes.

“Although we are enormously proud of Coker’s Round Table Learning – the nationally recognized teaching style and outcome-based assessments employed since 1985 and affectionately abbreviated “RT” on license plates of proud alumni – we are keenly interested in uncovering new opportunities to increase student learning,” said Coker College Provost Tracy Parkinson.

“In this particular project, we will assess the information literacy skills of both traditional and nontraditional students and then use the data to tailor our information literacy educational plan to better serve our students,” explained Parkinson.

Coker’s project proposal was a collaborative effort of Coker faculty members Alexa Bartel, Todd Rix and Megan Johnson and assessment staff members Katie Flaherty and Tasha Stryker.

Teams from Consortium institutions will participate in a two-and-a-half-day workshop, August 5–7, in which leading national experts will make presentations on relevant assessment topics and campus leaders will share information about their projects and discuss ideas for applying the lessons more broadly.

The 16-month project at Coker will be completed in August 2013.

CIC is the major national service organization for all small and mid-sized, independent, liberal arts colleges and universities in the U.S. CIC focuses on providing services to campus leaders through seminars, workshops and programs that assist institutions in improving educational offerings, administrative and financial performance and institutional visibility.

Since it was established in 1944, the Teagle Foundation (New York City) has devoted much of its efforts to issues of national educational policy including college access, quality and affordability.

For more information about the Engaging Evidence Consortium, contact CIC Senior Advisor Mary Ann Coughlin at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  For more information about Coker College, visit


PHOTO:  At the center of Coker’s campus is Davidson Hall (1910), home to the College’s signature Round Table classrooms and faculty offices.




Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.


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