Guidance and Admissions Assembly Meeting Focuses on Data, and Redesigned Assessments
Guidance and Admissions Assembly Meeting Focuses on Data, and Redesigned AssessmentsAbby Hexter, Assistant Director, Member Communications, The College Board
Members of the Guidance and Admissions Assembly met Monday afternoon to approve motions, and address new business.
In addition to the past chair, current chair, and chair-elect of the Assembly, participants heard from College Board President David Coleman and Vice President of Data Science, Jeff Olson. Olson presented the data team’s work to understand College Board data, and how it can be made available to members to improve their daily work.
This new focus on the use of College Board data is intended to “provide much better usability and insights for schools and institutions, and become a smarter organization ourselves,” said Olson. The interconnection between students and colleges particularly resonated with this group.
Ronne, Philip, and Barbara talked with All Access immediately after the meeting to discuss current and future priorities.
CB All Access: How does the material presented during today’s meeting play into the priorities of the guidance and admissions communities?
Philip Ballinger: One of our biggest priorities is reviewing and discussing College Board initiatives so that they can be well supported. This is built into the work of GAAC and the assembly.
The second thing is data. Jeff’s presentation makes it clear that we have access to a lot more data. Now, we must think about how we can use this data to assist and support students. That’s the primary focus—for example, there are a lot of PSAT takers who seem to disappear when it comes to their transition to college. We have to ask ourselves, what can we do to ameliorate that?
Another consideration is the appropriate use of this data. We have to think about where data might be a disservice to students, or used in an exclusionary way. Unfortunately, this data can be used in an irresponsible way by an institution. These considerations become more important as more data becomes readily available.
Another priority for the Assembly is the redesigned assessments. We have all of these new examinations, and a new academic program in AP Capstone, and we need to continue to discuss and understand these things as they continue to develop and affect our students and our work.
And, there is our perennial topic of membership engagement. When we say we want to better engage members, we don’t mean that they simply feel connected to the work of the College Board, but that they’re fully participating in the work in some fashion. We want to be bold by what we mean by membership.
Barbara Gill: The folks who are already involved with the College Board feel very engaged; it’s the folks who are not yet engaged in a meaningful way—in a Council, a committee, or another group—that we need to focus on.
Extending engagement beyond initial participation is important too. Once members are done serving on these councils and committees, we need to continue to engage with them. The Oak Circle [a group of former trustees who are part of a new program to continue their involvement in the College Board] is a great example, but we also need to do something with the national councils and the committees.
The assembly should work to find ways to extend our reach more broadly and more deeply across the membership, and really find ways to connect. The membership surveys find that those who are most involved with CB are the ones that appreciate the work the most.
Ronne Patrick Turner: As chair elect, I will be serving as GAAC chair during the time when the redesigned assessments will be delivered, and getting member feedback about the implementation of the redesign is really important. There will be a lot of things that we need to talk about and think about once the exam is implemented. There will be many opportunities for feedback and adjustment.
Times when we as members have the opportunity to get together and share and communicate—such as Forum—are really important to the value of membership, and we want to find ways to expand that engagement.