Office of Educational Assessment

Cathy Beyer

Senior Research Scientist


Telephone: (206) 616-6901


View CV

Catharine Hoffman Beyer is a Research Scientist Senior in the Office of Educational Assessment.  She received her M.A. in English from the University of Michigan in 1970. For 20 years she taught English and writing at the high school, community college, university, and graduate-school levels in Michigan, Oregon, and Washington, as well as writing courses linked with courses across the curriculum in the University of Washington’s Interdisciplinary Writing Program (IWP). She received the English department’s distinguished teaching award for that work in 1997. While working in the IWP, Ms. Beyer co-directed a series of three writing assessment studies for the University of Washington. She took two years away from work at the UW to serve as associate dean for assessment and institutional effectiveness at a local community college.

Returning to the UW in 1999, Ms. Beyer joined the Office of Educational Assessment to design, conduct, and assist faculty, staff, and departments with work focused on assessment of student learning. As part of that work, Ms. Beyer directed the UW Study of Undergraduate Learning (UW SOUL), which used mixed methods to track the learning of 304 undergraduates for four years. Results of that study were published in 2007 by Jossey-Bass in a book entitled Inside the Undergraduate Experience. Ms. Beyer also worked with colleagues on the UW Growth in Faculty Teaching Study (UW GIFTS), an interview study on how and why faculty make changes in their teaching when there is no external pressure to do so. Results of that study were published in 2013 by SUNY Press in a book entitled Inside the Undergraduate Teaching Experience.  Currently, Ms. Beyer is analyzing results from the UW Academic Challenge and Engagement Study (UW ACES), a “citizen science” project in which 66 UW advisers from 32 academic departments interviewed seniors about their most challenging learning experiences in the major. In addition to these projects, Ms. Beyer has participated in research projects on retention of underrepresented minority students, on the research undergraduates do as a normal part of their academic majors, and on a wide range of academic and co-curricular programs offered at the UW.

Ms. Beyer’s poetry has appeared in a number of literary magazines, as well as on Seattle city buses. She has two perfect daughters, a beloved son-in-law, a dear granddaughter, and she is married to a handsome guy.