Dr. David B. Porter

Professor of Psychology & General Studies

Contact Information

Frost Building, 208
CPO 1995
Email: porterd@berea.edu
Phone: 859-985-3414

Fall 2017

Office Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 3:00 – 4:00 pm
By appointment

Dave Porter

Class Schedule

  • GST 235 B (Tue/Thur: 1:00 pm – 2:50 pm)
  • PSY 208  (Mon/Wed: 4:00 pm – 5:50 pm)
  • PSY 386 (Tue: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
  • GST 235 A (Tue/Thur: 10:00 am – 11:50 am)


  • B.S., United States Air Force Academy, 1971
  • M.S., University of California at Los Angeles, 1973
  • D.Phil., Oxford University, 1986

Honors and Awards

  • Berea College, Outstanding Labor Supervisor of the Year (2008)
  • Berea College, Paul C. Hager Excellence in Advising Award (2007)
  • Three USAF Commendation Medals
  • Two Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medals
  • Department of Defense – Legion of Merit
  • Five Sikorksy “Winged S” Lifesaving Rescue Awards
  • USAF Academy Delegate to American Association of Higher Education’s Forum on Exemplary Teaching (1990)
  • Military Airlift Command Nominee–Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award (1983)
  • Runner up–USAFA Outstanding Junior Officer of the Year (1980)
  • Company Grade Officer of the Quarter (6594th Test Group) (1978)
  • Distinguished Graduate, USAF Academy (1971)
  • National Honor Society; Life Member California Scholastic Society; Danforth Award for Leadership; Bank of America Award for Outstanding Student in Liberal Arts (1967)

Special Interests

Leadership in Learning Organizations; Creativity and Critical Thinking; Educational Outcomes Assessment; Lumosity (Brain Training Games).


  • 2003-2005 Appalachian College Association – Teaching & Learning Institute, Presenter, Program Committee Chair and Steering Committee; Montreat College, NC
  • 2002 Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accreditation Site Visit, California State University, Long Beach (team chair)
  • 2001-2005 Appalachian College Association, Dean’s Council
  • 2001 NCA Accreditation Site Visit, New Mexico Military Institute, NM.
  • 2000 Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accreditation Site Visit, California State University, Fullerton (team chair)
  • 2000 IRB Visit Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis (UUPP)
  • 2000 NCA, Mission Project Focus Group Retreat, participant
  • 1999 North Central Association (NCA), Accreditation Site Visit, Kemper Military School and Junior College, Booneville, MO
  • 1998-2012 Assessment Council, Liberal Arts Council, and Initial Accreditation Committee, Western Governors University
  • 1998-2001 Consultant-Advisor, Institutional Review Board (IRB) Member, Urban University Portfolio Project, Co-sponsored by American Association of Higher Education and Pew Charitable Trusts
  • 1994-1995 Chair, USAFA Faculty Educational Outcomes Assessment Working Group
  • 1989- Charter, Emeritus Member, Association for Psychological Science

Papers and Publications

  • Porter, D. (2012). Assessment as a subversive activity. Journal of Academic Freedom (on-line journal of the American Association of University Professors). http://www.academicfreedomjournal.org/index.html  pp 1-28.
  • Messer, W. & Porter, D, (2009). The Capstone Research Course: A Case Study in the Evolution of Educational Efficacy. In Best Practices for Beginnings and Endings in the Psychology Major. (Hill, Dunn, Biens, & McCarthy, Eds.)  Oxford University Press.
  • Porter, D. (2008). Senior Research: Scholarship – discovered, integrated, applied, and taught. In It Works for Me as a Scholar-Teacher. (H. Blythe & C. Sweet, Eds). Stillwater, OK. New Forums Press. (pp. 112-114).
  • Porter, D; Rodgers, M. & McCoy, K. (2008). Using the Scholarship of Discovery to Enhance Classroom Teaching and Student Learning. In It Works for Me as a Scholar-Teacher. (H. Blythe & C. Sweet, Eds). Stillwater, OK. New Forums Press. (pp. 94-96).
  • Porter, D.; Bagnoli, J.; Blythe, J.B.; Hudson, D.; & Sergel, D. (2007). Organizing Student Services for Learning. In Fostering Student Success in the Campus Community. (G. Kramer, Ed.) San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. pp 262-301.
  • Porter, D. & Angelo, T. (2001). Learning Organizations as a model for successful self-studies. , Chicago, IL: North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.
  • Porter, D.B. (1998).  Educational outcomes assessment: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Adult Assessment Forum; Journal of Quality Management in Adult Centered Education, 8(2). 11-14.
  • Porter, D.B. (1998). The integrality of assessment. Indicators of Success in Postsecondary SMET Education:  Shapes of the Future; Synthesis and  Proceedings of the Third Annual NISE Forum. (S.B. Millar, Ed.)  University of Wisconsin-Madison: National Institute for Science Education. 95-100. Reprinted (1999). Assessment and Accountability Forum 9(3). 16-18.
  • Darley, J. & Porter, D.B. (1997). Learner centered education. Chapter in Education in the Information Age. (Eds Pletsch, C. & Stiles, R.J.) USAF Academy Publication..
  • Porter, D.B. & Eisenhut, S.M. (1996).  An integrated approach to educational outcomes assessment. Journal of Adult Assessment, Volume VI, Number 2, (Summer, 1996). Reprinted (1998)  The Best of Adult Assessment Forum  1991-1997. Phoenix, AZ: The Phoenix Institute.
  • Porter, D.B. (1995). Computer games: paradigms of opportunity. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers 27(2). 229-234.
  • Brickell, J.L.; Porter, D.B.; Reynolds, M.F.; & Cosgrove, R.D. (1993). Assigning students to groups for engineering design projects. Continuing Education (the Journal of the American Society of Engineering Education).
  • Porter, D.B. (1993, Winter). Teaching portfolios and total quality. USAFA Educator. 1, 5.
  • Porter, D.B. (1993). Total quality education: implications and opportunities. Journal of College Reading and Learning 26(1), 16-27.
  • Porter, D.B. (1991).A perspective on college learning. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 24(1), 1-15.
  • Porter, D.B. (1991). Computer games and cognitive processes: two tasks, two modes, too much?  British Journal of Psychology, 82. 343-357.
  • Porter, D.B.; Bird, M.; & Wunder, A. (1991). Competition, cooperation, satisfaction, and the performance of complex tasks among Air Force cadets. Current Psychology Research and Reviews, 9(4), 347-354.
  • Porter, D.B. (1989). Educating from a group perspective; what, why, and how. (Invited address). Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 33rd Annual Meeting. Santa Monica, CA:  HFS, 507-512.
  • Porter, D.B. (1988). Course critiques: what students can tell us about educational efficacy. Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 32nd Annual Meeting. Santa Monica, CA: HFS, 473-477.
  • Porter, D.B. (1987). Classroom teaching, implicit learning, and the deleterious effects of inappropriate explication. Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 31st Annual Meeting.  Santa Monica, CA: HFS, 289-292.

Selected Presentations

  • Carter, K., Dean, S., Frost, V., Gordienko, A. & Porter, D. (2012). From Anecdote to Assessment : the robust beauty of using multiple regression and path analysis to explore academic performance at a small liberal arts college. Presented at the Association for Psychological Science 24th Annual Convention, Chicago, IL. (May 24).
  • Porter, D. (2010). Embedding Assessment to Enhance Learning: A Tale of Three Courses. (Poster) Best Practices in the Teaching of Psychology VIII : Assessment. Atlanta, GA Oct 8.
  • Porter, D. (2010). Course Embedded Learning; the costs and consequences of employing powerful pedagogies. Tri-State Teaching of Psychology Conference, Prestonsburg, KY, (Sep 25).
  • Porter, D. & Rodgers, M. (2009). Less is More: Using Cognitive Dissonance Theory to Teach Controversial Topics. Best Practices VII: Teaching Controversial Topics. Atlanta, GA Oct 16.
  • Porter, D., Hilgers, T., Regan, A., McGregor, W. & Ewell, P. (2009). Challenges to Re-envisioning Liberal Arts through a Competency Based Model. Presented at American Association of Colleges and Universities Annual Conference, Seattle, WA (Jan 22).
  • Porter, D., McCoy, K., Rodgers, M., Bashkov, B. & Sutton A. (2008). Where have all the students gone? Exploring the causes and consequences of students’ first year academic experiences at Berea College. Center for Assessment and Research Studies (CARS) Talk, James Madison University, VA, (July 24). An abbreviated version of this presentation was also given at the Berea College Teaching and Learning Luncheon, May 7, 2009.
  • Porter, D., McCoy, K. & Rodgers, M. (2008). Berea College’s ACES Initiative. Presentation at Consortium for Innovative Environments and Learning’s (CIEL) Festival of Learning at Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA, April 10.
  • Porter, D.B. (2007). An Introductory Behavioral Sciences Course; Can broader bases support better programs? Best Practices VI : Beginnings and Endings.  Atlanta, GA, Oct 13.
  • Porter, D. B. (2004) The Science of Learning and its Applications to Classroom Teaching.  Appalachian College Association. (2004). Montreat, NC (June).
  • Porter, D. B. & Sergel, D. G. (2003).  Course embedded Assessment.  Appalachian College Association Teaching & Learning Institute. Montreat, NC (June). Encore Presentation, ACA Summit. Johnson City, TN. (November).
  • Porter, D.B. (2003). A Perspective on College Learning. Faculty Development Workshop, Eastern Kentucky University. November.
  • Porter, D.B. (2002). Assessment, Accreditation, and Accountability; the fundamentals. Consortium for Assessment and Planning Support Annual Meeting. California State University, Fullerton. 7 March.
  • Porter, D. & Angelo, T. (2000). Learning Organizations and their Implications for Higher Education: from Classroom to Boardroom. Workshop presented at IUPUI Assessment Institute, Indianapolis IN. 4 November.


Dave Porter retired from the Air Force to come to Berea as Academic Vice President and Provost in the summer of 2001. He was born in Berea, Kentucky and spent his first three years there while his father completed his bachelor’s degree at Berea College in 1952. In his role as Academic Vice President, Dave was responsible for the Academic Division, which includes faculty and other academic programs, systems, and services designed to help the College accomplish its distinctive mission of educating and inspiring service-oriented leaders for Appalachia and beyond. During his four years as provost, the college’s retention rate rose above 80% and its graduation rate rose above 60% for only the 4th time in the College’s 150 year history and has maintained this level for the past several years. After a sabbatical in 2005-6, Dave joined the Psychology Department as a full time faculty member.

Dave’s time in the military was spent as a rescue helicopter pilot, aircraft maintenance officer, and at the Air Force Academy where he served as Permanent Professor and Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. His interest and involvement with education and, later, accreditation began with his interest in faculty development and the implementation of progressive, student-centered pedagogies such as collaborative and experiential learning. He was instrumental in the Air Force Academy’s incorporation of total quality principles and outcomes assessment into their educational programs.
Dave has served as a consultant examiner for the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges where he has led teams conducting site visits at two California State University campuses using an “academic audit” model. He was an Institutional Review Board member for the Urban University Portfolio Project, (a joint AAHE and Pew Project that explored the possibility of campus websites providing public evidence concerning institutional capacity and educational effectiveness). He has served on the Assessment Council, General Education Committee, and Accreditation Committee of Western Governors University and is a charter member of the Consortium for Assessment and Planning Support (CAPS) as well as the Association for Psychological Science.

Dave holds a doctorate in experimental cognitive psychology from Oxford University, a master’s degree in industrial relations from the University of California at Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree in engineering management from the Air Force Academy. Dave has published over 30 journal articles and provided numerous presentations and workshops on cognitive science, leadership, faculty development, educational assessment and institutional accreditation. He currently teaches general studies in composition and critical thinking and an introduction to the behavioral sciences. He also teaches psychology courses in senior research, industrial/organizational psychology and cross-cultural psychology.