Back See this section in context: Criterion 4 Core Component 4B
4B.2: Relationship of Strategic Directions to General Education
The Strategic Directions (Appendix) establish the clear principle for Sauk to pursue quality improvement. The first Strategic Goal specifically links this mandate for continuous quality improvement to Sauk's educational Mission: "The College will . . . improve the quality of programs and services." This Strategic Goal‘s first objective is particularly pertinent to Sauk's commitment to improving the quality of its general education component: “Identify and implement quality improvements in instructional courses and programs (especially those resulting from program review and assessment activities).”
Sauk’s planning system ensures that the tie between this objective and both the general education competencies and the GECC are regularly and systematically maintained and improved:
- Assessment: The Assessment Plan, implemented in 2005, establishes a dependable system of general education assessment activities that coordinate with the planning cycle (Appendix):
- GECC areas conduct annual projects, with the expectation that all objectives will be covered in the five-year program review cycle;
- General education competencies are annually assessed and are brought forward for discussion and action on a three-year cycle. At this time, the full-time faculty also confirms the continued relevance of the competency. In 2009, for example, the faculty considered a proposal to eliminate Ethics as a competency; after discussion and reflection, the majority voted to retain it.
- ACT’s CAAP test is given every three years to a sample of graduating students as an external confirmatory assessment of the achievement of selected general education outcomes.
- The annual evaluation of the assessment system conducted by the faculty Core Team and approved by the Assessment of Academic Achievement Committee provides regular opportunity for Sauk's general education program to be kept in line with the Strategic Directions.
- Operational planning: Results of full-faculty and area-level discussions of assessment data from the general education competencies as well as area-level discussion of the GECC areas are related to the appropriate objective whenever the analysis of data results in planned activities placed on the Operational Plan. This flow of data from assessment is identified in the source field on the Operational Plan (Appendix).
- Program review: The five-year program review schedule established by ICCB includes periodic cross-institutional review of the General Education curriculum. A cross-institutional review team reviews and evaluates the effectiveness of the general education curriculum against ICCB expectations and makes recommendations for improvement. In the 2008 Program Review Report to the ICCB, the team reported that based on a review of assessment data and policy documents, it believed the college’s “compliance with IBHE expectations is exemplary, particularly as it pertains to IBHE guidelines for providing and assessing general education courses and outcomes . . . .”