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Dr. Trudy
Bers

Data Coach

Dr. Trudy Bers is president of The Bers Group, an educational consulting organization. She was formerly the executive director of research, curriculum, and planning at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois, and has coached more than 20 ATD Network colleges; is a mentor for the Higher Learning Commission Student Success Academy; and is a faculty member in the University of Maryland Global Campus doctor of management in community college leadership program.

Dr. Bers’s research interests include the community college, the assessment of student learning outcomes, and the effective presentation and use of data. She has been president of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, the National Community College Council for Research and Planning, the Illinois Association for Institutional Research, and is former chair of the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative Executive Committee. She has published more than fifty articles in professional journals, edited or co-edited four issues of New Directions for Community Colleges, co-authored two AIR online professional development courses, and made more than fifty presentations at professional conferences.

Education
Ph.D. (Political Science) | University of Illinois-Urbana

M.B.A. | Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University

A.M. (Public Law and Government) | Columbia University

B.A. (Political Science) | University of Illinois-Urbana

Past Experience
Executive Director of Research, Curriculum and Planning, Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, Illinois

President, Association for Institutional Research (AIR)

President, Council for the Study of Community Colleges

Peer reviewer and Academy mentor, Higher Learning Commission

Chair, National Postsecondary Education Cooperative Executive Committee

How has education changed your life/your family?
As an undergraduate, I immersed myself in academic and non-academic aspects of college. As I completed my doctorate, I joined the full-time faculty launching a new community college. We created policies and practices as construction workers literally erected walls to transform a factory into classrooms. Our innovative (at that time) approaches – using multiple pedagogies, engaging students in classroom discussions, no failing grades (yes!) – moved my thinking about college beyond traditional ideas. Education has given me a robust career, connections with colleagues across the country, and a sense that the new year always begins with the fall semester – never mind January 1.

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