3-19: Learning Assessment – Policy

Policy Overview

In keeping with its mission, Santa Fe Community College (SFCC or College) is committed to excellence in education, curriculum, programs, and services offered by the college. This policy establishes the guidelines for implementing a learning assessment program and cycle to support excellence in education and enable accreditation of its programs. This is in accordance with the requirements of the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) Criteria for Accreditation.

Scope and Applicability

This policy applies to all academic and co-curricular programs at SFCC.
Policy Statement

A. In line with SFCC’s dedication to quality processes, and for accreditation purposes, SFCC routinely engages in the assessment of course-level, program-level, and college-level learning outcomes. Measurable learning assessment, which occurs in both academic and co-curricular domains, is accomplished through the implementation of a learning assessment cycle that is meaningful and sustainable. The learning assessment cycle is based on the principles of continuous quality improvement.
B. The primary function of the Learning Assessment Committee (LAC) is to support learning assessment activities at SFCC and to provide oversight of learning assessment processes for all academic programs in keeping with learning assessment practices required by the HLC through the Criteria for Accreditation. The LAC will coordinate with the Office of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness (OPIE) and the vice presidents to meet the requirement s for learning assessment.
C. Learning assessment at SFCC is a shared responsibility among faculty, academic leaders, staff, administrators, and students.

1. OPIE is responsible for oversight of institution-level learning assessment.
2. The appropriate vice presidents, deans, directors, chairs, and leads are responsible for the assessment of course-level outcomes, program-level outcomes, and the assessment of the Common Student Learning Outcomes (CSLOs).

Definitions

1. Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes refers to the systematic process of assessment of learning outcomes and data collection related to student learning in order to inform decisions about the improvement of teaching and learning. Assessment of student learning outcomes occurs at all levels of students’ experiences at SFCC.
2. Co-Curricular Learning Assessment is the formal assessment of the CSLOs within departments that provide students with learning opportunities that fall outside of academic courses and programs such as student development and student government activities.
3. Common Student Learning Outcomes (CSLOs) are learning outcomes statements that summarize what all SFCC students will be able to do upon graduation. These outcomes are common to all students and function as college-level learning outcomes. The CSLOs are as follows:

a. Effective Communication: Students will communicate qualitative and quantitative ideas and information appropriately and effectively using a variety of methods.
b. Active Learning and Thinking: Students will demonstrate a creative, engaged, and critical approach to their thinking and learning.
c. Sustainable Living: Students will be able to articulate practical solutions to social, environmental, and economic issues.
d. Cultural Perspectives: Students will be able to demonstrate an awareness of different cultural perspectives and respect for diversity.

4. Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) are statements that describe significant and essential learning, and identify what students have achieved and can reliably demonstrate upon completing a degree or certificate program of study. They encompass the essential and enduring knowledge, skills, and abilities that constitute the integrated learning needed by the graduate of a program.

Policy Process
A. The LAC is a standing committee that provides guidance, assistance, and expertise to ensure that student learning and development outcomes are articulated, measured, and improved.

a. The LAC shall be composed of representatives from each academic school, a representative from the Faculty and Staff Senates, and representatives from other areas where assessment is conducted.
b. The LAC shall establish learning assessment processes at SFCC.

B. Learning assessment data will be gathered by academic and co-curricular programs/departments responsible for specific courses, programs, and areas.
C. Learning assessment data collected will be analyzed and used as feedback to assist with improving teaching and learning at SFCC.
D. Learning assessment data shall be reported regularly to the LAC.
E. Learning assessment results shall be reported annually to the Governing Board.
Statement of Accountability/Responsibility

The President, through the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, OPIE and the Division of Student Success is responsible for ensuring learning assessment procedures and policies. The Office of Academic and Student Affairs, OPIE, and the Division of Student Success shall work with departments and offices to comply with this policy and develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention, and remediation.

Authority

Higher Learning Commission: Criteria for Accreditation and Core Components

POLICY APPROVAL:
SFCC Governing Board approved: 3/23/16