Project Summary

In this proposal we begin by reviewing what we learned in the exploratory phase with regard to various aspects of relevant data collection/management infrastructure. This pilot, running for two and a half years, will refine and test a set of measures and methods valid for representing the nature and assessing the value of a liberal arts education. These approaches will be employed in research during the project. We expect them to be utilized more widely in subsequent studies, both of the liberal arts and in assessment of undergraduate education more generally. The pilot will target a small number of institutions (6-8) with considerable depth, and will accomplish four goals:

• Develop and refine a set of measures of the liberal education experience that are validated, transferable across institutions, and scalable.
• Develop, refine, and collect a set of outcome measures that capture the full breadth of long-run impacts a liberal education is believed to provide.
• Provide preliminary evidence on the relationship between measures of liberal education and various outcomes for a set of students with diverse educational experiences albeit representing a limited number of institutions.
• Delineate a clear path for scaling up the project (both measures and outcomes) to a much larger set of institutions and students with additional foundation support.




  • Paul N. Courant

Project Period

2018-12-21 - 2021-06-30