Liberal Arts Research Area Specialist Senior

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

ID: 7065811
Posted: April 17, 2020
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Job Summary
The College and Beyond II (CBII) project aims to gather data which will support investigations into the connections between liberal arts education and life. CBII is led by Professor Paul Courant at the University of Michigan. The project has two parts.

First, we use student records to characterize the 'liberality' of each student’s education along a set of dimensions including intellectual breadth, disciplinary depth, range of experiences, networks of connection, effort, and academic performance. In this way we can say not only whether someone got a liberal arts education, but something about what kind of liberal arts education they received.

Second, we go to these same individuals 15 years later and spend an hour with them finding out about their lives. This is done through an extensive survey administered by the Institute for Social Research.

The task at hand relates to the first part. Over the last few years, the CBII team has developed ways of estimating these traits (breadth, depth, etc.) of each student's experience. We now have initial versions of measures like this and can see that they're reasonable. It is now time to engage a broader community in a process of refinement and validation. This would include engaging with several communities of experts, including academic advisors, liberal arts faculty members, students, and measurement experts, and learning from their responses to the proposed measures. You might think of this as engaging in a series of deep discussions of what liberal arts education is, how we see its presence in the transcript of a student, and to what extent it is possible to collapse an idea as complex as intellectual breadth to a single estimator.

The CBII team seeks to hire a half-time researcher to coordinate and execute some of this validation work. The position is term limited, with funding expected to continue for one year.

Responsibilities*
Join the Mellon College and Beyond II (CBII) team and coordinate research activities aimed at refining and validating a set of measures of the experience of liberal arts education derived from student records.
Engage in surveys and focus groups with several communities of experts, including academic advisors, liberal arts faculty members, students, and possibly measurement experts. Digest and report on their responses to the proposed measures.
Design, execute, summarize, and report on a series of conversations about what liberal arts education is, how we see its presence in the transcript of a student, and to what extent it is possible to collapse an idea as complex as intellectual breadth to a single estimator.
Contribute to the CBII team’s exploration of the literature related to characterizing liberal arts education.
Help plan and lead the joint CBII and College of LSA sponsored Liberal Arts and Life symposium, as well as interact with and learn from the participants.
Participate in study team activities as appropriate, including weekly meetings.
Required Qualifications*
Masters required
4-5 years of related experience
Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with academic advisors, faculty members, students, project administrators, and research staff.
Demonstrated interest in higher education and familiarity with the nature and purpose of liberal arts education
Experience with program design and academic advising in a liberal arts environment



 

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