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TitleMuch, Nancy; Mentkowski, Marcia Performance in Personal and Professional Roles. Final College ...
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ED 239 563

AUTHOR
TITLE

INSTITUTION
SPOOFS AGENCY
PUB DATE\L_
,GRANT
.IOTE
--4)UB TYPE

DQCUMENT RESUME

Much, Nancy; Mentkowski, Marcia

HE 01.6 987

Student Perspectives on Liberal Learning at, Alverno
College-71Justifying Learning as Relevant to
Performance in Personal and Professional Roles. Final
Report, Research Report Number Seven.
Alverno Coll., Milwaukee, Wis.
National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
82
NIE-G-77-0058
89p.; For related documents, see HE 016 980-990.
Reparts Research/Technical (143)
Tests/Evaluation Instruments (.160),

EDRS PRICE / MF°1/PC04 Plus Postage.
DESCRIPTORS College Curriculum; Competence; *Competency Based

Education;' *Education Work Relationship; Higher
Education; Individual'Development; *Liberal Arts;
*Outcomes of Education; Relevance (Etication);
*Student Attitudes; tudent Development; *Student
Evaluation.

IDENTIFIERS *Alverno College WI

ABSTRACT ,
Student 'persPctives on learning was investigated at

Alverno Colle9a/. Attention was di-rected to how students understand
aand justify lelrning outcomes, and haw they undertand liberal

learning as relevant to performance in perso 1 and professional
'roles. The competency-based curriculum at Alv rno College defines
com tencies as developmental, generic, and h listic. Interviews with
13 raditional-age students at the end ofAheir junior year were
suppoted by 100 interviews with 37 women students interviewed at the
end 6f each college year. Two patterns consistent with curricular'
emphasis and studdnt orientation appeared: students expressed a
career-centered rationale for college education and they emphasized
the value of learning how to perform. This link between learning and
,performing allows for the transfer of learning to multiple situations
andecontexts, and .establishes students' confidence in their abilities
to perform after college. Information is provided on student
egpstructions of cpmpetence; understanding competence as categories,

and processes; understanding competence as theory of action;
and undeistanding competences as theory for-performing in relation to
context. Interview'questions are appended. (SW)

a

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* Reproductions supplied by EDRS are the best that can be made

from the original document:
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STUDENT PERSPECTIVES ON LIBtRAI, LEARNING
AT ALVERNO COLLEGE:

JUSTIFYING LEARNING AS RELEVANT TO
PERFORMANCE IN PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ROLES

4
;14

Nancy Much Marcia Mentkowsl

Office of Research & Evaluation ,
ALVERNO COLLEGE

FINAL REPORT TO THE . NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION:
RESEARCH REPORT NUMBER SEVEN

tg

I

U.S:DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION

EIVJC OtiAL RESOURCES INFORMATION

"4) CENTER (ERIC)

s document has been reprodliced as
reAived horn. the person or organization
originating I;
Minor changes have been made to improve

reproduaikm 6uality

Points of view or opinions stated in this docu
rnent do not necessarily represent official NIE

position or policy

41.

Funded by a grant from the National Institute of Education:
Careering After Collette: Establishing the Validity of Abilities
Learned in College for Later Success
(NIEG-77-0059)

Principal Investigators:
Marcia Mentkowski
Austin Doherty
Alverno College
3401 South 39th Street,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215

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These trAitional aged students have probably not yet developed

precise conceptions of the mchre subtle demands of professional roles

known LO experienced practitioners, and are not far enough along in

their field experiences to envision highly situated professional_

applications ol the competences. Students become aware, however, that

noising or Leaching or any other profession involves situations in which

our must solve problems, interact with other persons, and make value

_holcus :-,LuieliLs will hdv of the more typical situations in

tutee pLelessiont, but these ate 1K,L Che same as the images of an extensive

0I plk,te:,n1,11dl pett,imonces held by an experienced

pi,u.titionui. the letevonce stru,Lures toi these two groups are most

likely difierent.

Je can not assume that a student's perception of the competences as

relevant [0 her profession is based upon a very precise understanding of

what_ the non-technical cOntext for her profession actually is. Some

students, particularly Nursing students, comment that they learn

v pc, t tic d 011:, 01 C 111 mipe t (.;-; Ilypothet C.1 I (7 :1

,11,1 c x c- (. c c- l,lt cd hy 1,1, 11 t Y. ,H0 t of W110111 Hcrl or

,n I I, II t. nIthlit opulent of t ona le of re evance

ler the competences. but these are but one part ()I the story. We would

I i I.e t o [now what I i rr,l hand expel i eures I lident have t it accown I or

itI t Lir 4'01111)4-t 114'4.!", wi 1will C01111111111 I. 10 0114.'

piote:,sio.i_l

ddequuey in liitute

II 111 iT; out h 1.1culty e'...pelietice with non 11;441i1 i,m..41 Lcd
.1 44414.111 .,,,H4 .4 I 4. I I, 4.1 4, !,4.4 .11 (.1 .

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Understanding Competence as Categories
and Rules, Skills and Processes

We can not assume that an entirely sophisticated understanding of

the competences at this point underlies student's perception of usefulness.

The minimal level of understanding necessary for validation at the

beginning competence levels requires-'that a student understand the

-

competences as steps for making reiaVtonships and rules for performance.

The competences are meant to be more than this, and a few students in

the third interview did give convincing evidence that their understanding

utansceuds categories and rules.° "Competence talk" in the interviews

describes students experiencing the competences as applying categories

and rules, and following steps; or else they speak of competences in

general terms so it is difficult to tell what they mean.
6

of typical "compgence talk" follow.

Some examples

From the standpoitit of Alverno, what do you think the ideal Alverno
giaduate should be like!

Well, I'm sure they want you do he educated in your field. ... and ...
they feel that you should he ready to deal with anything which comes up
and you should be able to get along with people iti talking to them.
like in 'our Communication!-; know how to talk 'to a person and
how to understand them_ like in our Social Interaction, we Should
know how to paraphraiie ... whit a pet son aying. SometIrks when A
person i talking you may think you know what they are saying- but maybe
you have a different interpretation. ... So it teaches you to get4an
understanding, and they should get an understanding ,of people. So
I think t hey re get I lug you you can deal with t Ith people
calpie people have all k in&; oI dii I cyclit i 111(1 character

ic;, 111( 1 1 11 1 111( they try to prepare you to deal with h cAch one of
them. ... try to ... get An understanding And know how to communicate
with people... (Beatrice, 'Nursing, 1979, pp.B-9).

While the inteiviewei prooed loi exanwIt.!:, not All titileitt oh!:civA

I (111! wet e 1,11)11CII . of ty,1111111 4
I t!;', C(111C1'1,1 11.11 ('() Ill I i I

in Also, however, he evidence Iof

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21. How doesithe student
define what has been fair and unfair treatment

by th'e college with respect to her own experiences?

22. What rights does the student
believe accompany her role as a student?

4,

23. How does the studeht
perceive her capacity to influence her learning

environment?

24. What kinds of satisfactions
does'!the student obtain from her

participation in the educational system?

I

25. How does.the student describe her development?' ,

2. t kinds of experiences does the student
describe as influential?

I27.
new awarenesses or insights does the student

attribute to her

ege experience?

28. How has the student related her. education
to'her work experience?

,29. How' does thc student
escribe the relation of her education to her

personal .rife?
.4

10. What arethe.:stbdent's goals
and expectations after collqge?

31. What are thestudent's
questions and concerns about the future?

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4.

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3401 South 39th Street / Milwaukee, WI 53215

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