How a College Took Assessment to Heart

An accreditor's warning forced Lebanon Valley to take a hard look at the cost of its quest for survival

How a College Took Assessment to Heart 2

Photographs by Matt Roth for The Chronicle

"Every year we should talk about what's working and what isn't," says Lewis Thayne, who became Lebanon Valley's president soon after the accreditor's warning arrived. "That's the whole point."

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close How a College Took Assessment to Heart 2

Photographs by Matt Roth for The Chronicle

"Every year we should talk about what's working and what isn't," says Lewis Thayne, who became Lebanon Valley's president soon after the accreditor's warning arrived. "That's the whole point."

Lewis E. Thayne, president of Lebanon Valley College, strolls through the gymnasium here with a look of marvel. Opened a decade ago, the 1,650-seat facility is a testament to what Lebanon Valley has done well: luring students in south-central Pennsylvania to a small liberal-arts college with upgraded buildings and other enticements like generous merit-based scholarships.

"For a school our size and for our endowment, I've never seen anything quite this