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Using Research-Based Self-Assessment to Foster a Community College Culture of Inquiry

Patricia Crisler, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Public community colleges in the United States are facing increasing pressure to improve student persistence, goal completion, and graduation rates. As they seek to boost student outcomes, colleges are also increasingly being encouraged to build cultures of inquiry using collaborative, data-informed decision-making processes. To do so, many colleges have adopted whole college reform measures prescribed by national movements. But for those seeking to build homegrown approaches instead, it may be challenging to sort through the vast array of best practices, high impact practices from national research, and internal recommendations, to find a good place to start. This dissertation in practice developed a research-based self-assessment tool to aid a large midwestern community college in assessing its current state compared to the necessary conditions for a culture of inquiry. Using a U.S. Department of Education Title III grant development process as the vehicle, the project used improvement science-based techniques to engage multidisciplinary college groups in developing a five-year plan aimed at strengthening the college’s systems for applied research and collaborative continuous improvement, using reflective self-assessment as a starting point.

Subject Area

Educational administration|Community college education

Recommended Citation

Crisler, Patricia, "Using Research-Based Self-Assessment to Foster a Community College Culture of Inquiry" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI29999842.