Fellowship Allows Students to Inform Change in Higher Education Published: November 17, 2014 By: Melissa Hellmann Graduate Student Assessment Fellows engage in activities during training. (From left to right) Shelly Steward, Diah Wihardini and Sarah Tischhauser. This fall, the Center for Teaching and Learning launched the Graduate Student Assessment Fellows Program for graduate students to help faculty collect and analyze data that could inform curriculum development. The program offers the Fellows a behind-the-scenes view of assessment practices in higher education, and a stipend of $2,500 per semester. The following graduate students in the 2014-2015 cohort learn tools and methods for assessment and partake in one program-level assessment project that allows them to evaluate student learning outcomes in undergraduate and graduate programs. Diah Wihardini, a 4th year Ph.D. student in the Quantitative Methods and Evaluation program in the Graduate School of Education Alani Hicks-Bartlett, a 9th year Ph.D. student in the joint Romance Literature and Languages and Medieval Studies programs Gema Cardona, 2nd year Ph.D. student in the Social and Cultural Studies program in the Graduate School of Education Sarah Tischhauser, 3rd year Ph.D. student in Chemistry Sean Tanner, 6th year Ph.D. student in Public Policy Tiffany Chang, 1st year M.P.H. student in the Health Policy and Management program in the School of Public Health Kirsten Hextrum, 5th year Ph.D. student in the Social and Cultural Studies program in the Graduate School of Education Shelley Steward, 4th year Ph.D. student in Sociology The Fellows are assigned to a project that aligns with their strengths. Diah Wihardini says that the program reflects her research interests in assessment development. She is assisting the Statistics Department in its Academic Program Review to evaluate students’ expectations and recommend curriculum adjustments. “This program provides a valuable learning experience and effective playground for the graduate students to implement their knowledge and capacities to real practices,” Wihardini says. Students in the program hope to pursue careers in higher education and view the fellowship as an opportunity to learn assessment skills for their future professions. Alani Hicks-Bartlett decided to apply to the fellowship because of her interdisciplinary background. “I thought that it would be a great way to look at learning outcomes, what that means and how that affects the students in the classrooms and makes their education more impactful,” Hicks-Bartlett says. She is currently working with the Department of Demography to create a graduate program alumni survey. If you’re interested in data analysis and being involved in improving university programs, the Graduate Student Assessment Fellows Program may be for you. To learn more about the program, visit the Center for Teaching and Learning website.