Summary of Responses to Identified HLC Concerns

1. A clear philosophy statement regarding general education as developed and agreed upon by the faculty of the college.
The general education philosophy statement was written after a full faculty discussion session after the first general education data collection cycle. The competencies were streamlined, standards for measurement were agreed upon, and purpose was clarified. The written draft of the statement was presented back to faculty for comments and suggestions. Those were distilled, and the final written draft was adopted by unanimous vote at the Curriculum and Policy Committee.

2. Specific outcome competency expectations for each of the areas of general education identified as necessary by the faculty of the college.
The six competencies, Communications, Research, Technology, Ethics, Problem Solving, and Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning were originally broken down into broad statements of student outcomes. Completion of the first data collection cycle afforded an opportunity to provide specific competency outcomes as a model for continuing assessment. After the first general education aggregation, individual instructors were grouped by the competency which they reported. They were asked to look for commonalities among their expectations and the things they actually valued and measured. From this list of common concerns, each competency's expanded objectives were tied to a measurable student outcome. This became the basis for the checklists which are currently in use by all faculty in their assessment of general education during the 3-year cycle.

3. Quantifiable measures of student attainment of competency for each area of emphasis in general education and strategies, timelines, and individuals responsible for gathering each set of information.
The general education competency checklists allow for individual instructors to design whichever assessment event best fits their instructional style. Instructors are asked to gauge students demonstrated ability in several areas of each competency. Because the checklists use the same criteria from instructor to instructor, the results are easily quantifiable and can be electronically aggregated in order to provide a broad portrait of success for each measure. The assessment plan outlines the cycle of collection and reporting, shows how the data is collected by the general education sub-committee, how it is aggregated and presented to faculty for discussion, and the timeline for incorporating instructional and operational changes related to the discussion.

4. Specific program outcome competency expectations for each separate career program.
The Assessment Folder houses the established list of objectives for each course and program of both career and transfer programs.

5. Evidence of data collected from direct measures of student academic achievement along with any data collected from indirect measures.
The Assessment Folder houses the results of each data collection cycle from each instructor, discipline, area or program. The report forms have a description/discussion section which allows instructors to input qualitative, anecdotal, or indirect measures.

6. Evidence that the assessment process is communicated to students.
Each course syllabus for the College has an assessment statement which gives students an overview of the process and explains their role in the data collection. The student assessment brochure, given to students in orientation and by many instructors on the first day of classes, further details for students the process of becoming active participants in their own learning.

7. A plan to cycle assessment data and information back and to link that information to a plan for improving instructional effectiveness in each area.
The assessment plan outlines the yearly collection, reporting, and discussion cycle in which all faculty participate. The plan provides a narrative and a visual flow of data from all three threads of academic assessment. Data from individual courses is discussed at the discipline level, and plans of action are created and acted upon for the following cycle. Discipline-level data is brought together at the area or program level, and discussion and plans of action are created for these larger units for the following cycle. The general education competency data is collected by individual instructors and aggregated institutionally. This data is returned to faculty by the general education subcommittee at an annual forum where results are discussed, and individual areas can then fill out action plans based on the perceived need for instructional change.

8. A clear plan for connecting the needs as identified through the assessment process to the annual budgeting effort at the college.
The action taken by the strategic planning task force resulted in an integrated model by which assessment results which culminate in budgetary requirements are directed through two places in the system for prioritizing. First, assessment summaries of results are sent to OPIC, the committee charged with prioritizing instructional needs. The yearly report is available in the resource room. Secondly, areas are meeting yearly with their facilitators and deans to complete the operational plans. Plans are aligned to the strategic goals of the College, and budgetary requests are filed from requests by faculty for perceived needs to fulfill their operational plans.

9. A section of the budget specifically devoted to the various aspects and needs in developing and sustaining an effective assessment program.
The budget line has allocated assessment funds into both faculty development and system development. Documents for both are in Appendix S.

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