The SSRC’s Measuring College Learning (MCL) project has concluded its first phase in developing faculty-derived learning outcomes for a diverse set of undergraduate majors. In this essay, Richard Arum and Eleanor Blair discuss the intention and scope of the project, as well as detailing how they arrived at the result of their work, Improving Quality in American Higher Education. Faculty panels convened across six disciplines found, despite their diversity, that learning in majors should cohere principally around concepts and competencies, rather than content knowledge in and of itself.
Eleanor Blair is program assistant for the Education Research Program. Prior to joining the SSRC, Blair worked as an editorial assistant at HarperCollins Publishers in New York and a client advocate at the Community Law Office in Birmingham, Alabama. Most recently, she worked at a progressive elementary school in Brooklyn. Blair graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2012 with a focus in sociology.