March 7, 2012

Center for International Programs Mentors Publish Paper in Prestigious Journal

David Starr-Glass and Tanweer Ali, both mentors with International Programs in Prague, have had a paper published in the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. The paper stems from their experiences with students completing the SUNY Empire State College capstone project and subsequently participating in the Czech State Examination.

In the Prague Unit, students are required to complete a capstone project that generally takes the form of an undergraduate dissertation focusing on the application of theory to a particular topic about which the student is concerned. In the Czech Republic, students also have the opportunity to enter the Czech State Examination process, which consists of a comprehensive oral examination and the defense of the student’s dissertation. While optional and independent from the Empire State College degree, many European students opt to take the examination and earn a second baccalaureate degree that is widely recognized within the European Union. Students opting to take the Czech State Examination often defend the dissertation work that they completed with the college.

In their paper, Starr-Glass and Ali consider the challenges and opportunities presented when a single work product is the subject of two assessment systems that differ significantly in their educational assumptions, objectives and cultures.

The consistently excellent performance of ESC graduates in the Czech State Examination provides a robust and independent confirmation of the excellence, utility and value of their ESC learning experience, the authors say.

(Starr-Glass, D. & Ali, T. (2012). Double standards: When an undergraduate dissertation becomes the object of two different assessment approaches. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 37(2), 179-192.)