ABOUT

Voorhees Group LLC generates innovation and strategy, policy analysis and research, organizational development, and professional growth opportunities  for higher education. Led by Rick Voorhees, the group’s effectiveness is complimented by a highly experienced and versitile team.
From July, 2024, our group’s practice is restricted to selected institutions and organizations that demonstrate a commitment to data literacy and use of information in meaningful ways to increase student success.

 CORE COMPETENCIES

Innovation and Strategy

Aligning Total Institutions with Learners
Coaching Student Success Initiatives
Competency-based Learning Models
Creating Information Cultures
Developing Organizational Learning
Designing eLearning Programs
Embedding Strategic Goals in Planning and Budgeting
21st Century Institutional Practices
Facilitating Data-Driven Strategic Plans
Linking Regional Accreditation with CQI
Projecting Enrollments and Scenario Development
Strategies for Workforce Alignment
Transforming Research into Practice

Policy Analysis and Research

Action Research and Evaluation
Development of Research-Based Tools
Program and Systems Evaluation
Qualitative and Quantitative Research and Analysis
State Policy Opportunity Analysis
Survey and Focus Group Research

Organizational Development

Assessing Information Use and Culture
Coaching Accreditation Processes
Coaching Institutional Effectiveness Efforts
Developing Competency-Based Curriculum
Evaluating Programs and Projects
Faculty Inquiry Strategies
Grant Writing
Incubating Learning Outcomes Strategy
Review of Administrative Units and Operations
Scaffolding for Organizational Learning

Professional Development

Board Training
Community-Building Engagement Strategies
Cultural Competency Training
Faculty Inquiry and Research Development
Identifying Strategies through Group Conversations
Keynote Speeches


Richard A. Voorhees, Ph.D.

The Group’s founding principal and senior scholar, Rick Voorhees, draws on a lengthy career built on creating and using data. His consulting career is built on his adminstrative appointments spanning academic, student services, and institutional research units at tribal colleges, suburban community colleges, inner-city colleges, rural comprehensive universities, major research universities, governing boards, and at the national policy level. Collectively, they account for his hard-headed thinking about how to bring about organizational change through resource development and harvesting data to make decisions. Recognized as a resource for organizations facing challenges in the areas of student outcomes specification and measurement, student retention programming, strategic planning for student success, e-learning implementation and evaluation, and practical approaches to the assessment of learning, he is in frequent demand as a consultant and speaker.

In his role as a published scholar, he was the first author to use linear structural modeling to study student persistence. His paper “Financial Aid and New Freshman Persistence: An Exploratory Model,” was recognized as the best paper presented at the annual Forum for the Association for Institutional Research.  His publication, “Toward Building Models of Community College Persistence: A Logit Analysis” in the 1980s is considered by some as a touchstone in the student retention literature. Rick was recognized by the National Council on Research and Planning with its prestigious Practitioner Award in 1998. In 2019 he was chosen to receive the Sidney Suslow Scholar Award for distinguished contributions to higher education research.  Balancing theory with practice and pursuing a passion for harvesting actionable data, Rick also served as president for the Association for Institutional Research, a 4,000 member international professional association promoting use of information for policy development and management in higher education.

Dr. Voorhees also pursued a leadership role in the newly resurgent competency-based education movement. He crafted the influential sourcebook, Measuring What Matters: Competency-Based Learning Models in Higher Education, a work that has helped reshape discussions about teaching and learning and intends to serve as a toolkit with actionable steps for faculty and administrators interested in creating learning models to respond directly to student centric learning paradigms.  Understanding that many organizations and institutions think they are engaging in competency-based learning for the benefit of students but that actual practice often falls short, his co-authored chapter (with Dr. Alice Bedard-Voorhees) was showcased in highly regarded Green Book of Instructional Design, “Principles for Competency-based Learning” aimed at developing institutional blueprints for implementing successful CBE practice and to self-assess the soundness of current and future organizational learning systems.

Dr. Voorhees has been invited to work in various capacities with the U.S. Department of Education, the National Center for Educational Statistics, Educational Testing Service, the American Association of Community Colleges, the Australian University Quality Agency, the Association of Community College Trustees, the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, the American Indian College Fund, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the Lumina Foundation for Education, National Governors Association, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the State Higher Education Executive Officers, the University International Quality Assurance Board in Dubai, and the American Council on Education. He currently serves as Professor of Practice and Major Professor (dissertation chair) for Kansas State University’s doctoral program in Community College Leadership.

Voorhees Group LLC draws upon other experts in higher education as client needs warrant, each of whom share a commitment to excellence, quality work products, and insight that can lead to action.


The Team of Registered Consultants

The generative work that Voorhees Group LLC has brought to bear in a wide range of settings is possible in no small measure to our registered consultants.
 
 
Russ Adkins is past Vice President for Instruction at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has been responsible for developing successful on-line learning degree programs, scaling these programs to meet student needs, developing and assessing institutional effectiveness measures for online learning, and for assessing student learning outcomes. Serving as Broward’s interim chief academic officer, he designed and implemented Broward’s general education outcomes and assessment processes. He led Broward College through a successful SACS substantive change request to offer degrees fully on-line. Russ helps colleges launch online learning and related instructional technology endeavors and with issues associated with distance education and accreditation.
 
Alice Bedard-Voorhees specializes in design and delivery of e-learning learning for nonacademic and academic workplaces, faculty development, and assessment techniques for distance delivery. Her experience includes engineering statewide common course numbering and competency-based learning systems, corporate training, and creation of modularized curriculum for workforce development.  Dr. Bedard-Voorhees was selected as the first K. Patricia Cross Papers Fellowship by the League for Innovation in the Community College.  Alice is the principal for The Constant Learning Organization LLC.
 
Trudy Bers is past Executive Director of Research, Curriculum and Planning at Oakton Community College, IL.  She specializes in student learning outcomes assessment, program review/evaluation, strategic planning and student success initiatives.  An experienced institutional researcher and consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission, she facilitates meaningful discussions leading to action across multiple groups by focusing on the stories behind numbers.  As a scholar-practitioner, Trudy has published widely and was also recognized with the Sidney Suslow Scholar award for distinguished contributions to higher education research. She also coaches for the Achieving the Dream initiative and the Institute for Evidence-Based Change Caring Campus program
 
Tom Gonzales is President Emeritus of Front Range Community College where he led its expansion from a single college to a multi-campus college.  Dr. Gonzales is also past Chancellor of the the Seattle Community College District and past president of Linn-Benton Community College.  Tom brings more than forty years of front-line experience in community colleges and was one of the original coaches in the national Achieving the Dream initiative.
 
John A. Muffo specializes in assessment, including the evaluation of academic programs and learning systems. He has been active in promoting professional development among international higher organizations for several decades and is a frequent contributor to the literature of institutional research. His career includes service at the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Cleveland State University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. John also has been a reviewer for the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools on Institutional Effectiveness. He is retired from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) after 20 years of service, the last 15 as Director of the Academic Assessment Program.
 
Theresa Rosner-Salazar is owner of Rosner-Salazar & Associates and co-founder of Research Evaluation Associates for Latinos (REAL) located in Denver. She is a psychologist and evaluator engaged in evaluation consulting, program development, mental health consultation, and diversity training for organizations serving multicultural populations. She has served as an evaluator, technical assistance provider for K-12, non-profit organizations, higher education, and community colleges in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and California. Dr. Rosner-Salazar teaches masters and doctoral level courses in program development and evaluation at University of Denver and Regis University. She also is also the recipient of the Marcia Guttentag Award from the American Evaluation Association.
 
Dawn Geronimo Terkla specializes in the creation of digital dashboards for colleges and universities to monitor critical processes and performance measures. Dawn also is a recognized authority in intra-institutional data sharing and has chaired several national higher education task forces. She is past chair of the executive committee for the National Postsecondary Cooperative. As of January 1, 2024, Dr. Terkla will assume the title of Associate Provost Emerita for Institutional Research, Assessment, and Evaluation at Tufts University.
 
Robert Toutkoushian is an economist. He performs studies of faculty compensation including comparisons by gender, race/ethnicity, and experience, and peer institution comparisons. Rob also works with institutions and organizations to identify factors underlying student enrollment decisions including models of the interrelationships among enrollments, finances, and other objectives, and to identify the costs and benefits of various institutional and system strategies. Rob is professor of higher education at the University of Georgia as well as past editor-in-chief of New Directions for Institutional Research and Research in Higher Education.  Dr. Toutkoushian is past president of the Association for Institutional Research.
 
John Wittstruck has extensive experience in leading statewide initiatives in planning, research, policy analysis and development. He has been engaged in institutional mission review and differentiation, performance measures and accountability, student financial assistance, and proprietary school certification. John’s expertise also includes community colleges, postsecondary technical education, and research as well as information technology data processing and computer support. Dr. Wittstruck has served the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education in a variety of roles including that of Deputy Commissioner.
 
Deying Zhou brings expertise in database management and statistical analysis to the Group. She has been instrumental in analyzing databases on the state, national, and local levels. Ms. Zhou also has several decades of direct experience in the field of institutional research.

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