Course – Assessment of student learning related to the course’s learning outcomes, which constitute what students should be able to do based on instruction and curriculum.
Program – Assessment of student learning related to an academic or student development program’s learning outcomes or core functions.
General Education – The General Education program consists of the courses that constitute the General Education Core Curriculum, the basis for the college’s undergraduate degrees. The courses develop the far-reaching skills found in courses across multiple academic disciplines.
From 2009-2011, a team of college administrators and faculty developed a plan to assess the general education learning outcomes that are found in the courses throughout the General Education Core Curriculum. This plan served as one of the college’s 2009-13 AQIP Action Projects for reaccreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The college developed the general education assessment plan over the course of two years. Teams of faculty and administrators reviewed assessment plans at similar institutions, participated in a rubric development process with three neighboring community colleges, and formed a semi-permanent work group to oversee the plan and promote other assessment initiatives at the college.
The plan was launched in the spring of 2012, which served as a period of pilot data collection for four of the college’s eleven general education outcomes. The ultimate goal is to assess all eleven of the general education outcomes. So far, assessment devices have been developed and piloted for eight of the general education learning outcomes. The remaining devices are in development and will be launched in 2015-16.
The results will inform future data collection procedures and processes for improvements to curriculum and instruction. Once the project is complete, assessment of general education will continue as one of the college’s major areas of academic assessment.
General Education Learning Outcomes
- Communicating – Read and listen with comprehension. Write and speak efficiently in standard English.
- Reasoning Ability – Identify and solve problems.
- Information Literacy – Locate, evaluate and use information effectively.
- Quantitative Analysis – Analyze, interpret and apply numerical, graphical, and statistical data and concepts.
- Scientific and Technological Awareness – Apply the scientific method of inquiry.
- Technological Competency – Use computer information systems and other technology efficiently.
- Social Sciences Perspective – Apply basic principles of social and behavioral sciences influencing individuals and groups.
- Literary and Artistic Insight – Appreciate the nature of literary, philosophical and artistic expression and how particular works have contributed to the ideas and culture of the past and present.
- Valuing Diversity – Value diversity’s influences on experiences, values, and thoughts of individuals and cultures.
- Global Awareness – Recognize major institutions, persons, ideologies, and events have shaped the nature and cultures of the world.
- Social Responsibility and Sustainability – Work effectively with others. Recognize one’s ethical, legal, social, and sustainable responsibilities.