The IDEA Student Ratings System originated at Kansas State University during the 1968-69 school year. Its emphasis was unique, as it provided constructive feedback aimed at improving the quality of instruction and student learning.
During the next seven years, the system was perfected and refined to assist in the improvement of instruction at Kansas State University. With help from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, The IDEA Center was established in 1975 and the IDEA Student Ratings system was made available to other colleges and universities. Since that time, other systems have been added to assist institutions in the assessment and improvement of administrator performance. IDEA Feedback for Department Chairs, IDEA Feedback for Deans, and IDEA Feedback for Administrators serve to provide information to assist higher education leaders to become more effective.
In 2001, The IDEA Center received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to more effectively pursue its mission, serving hundreds of institutions of higher education. The Board of Directors comprises national leaders in teaching, learning, evaluation, and higher education leadership and representatives from Kansas State University.