At Citrus College, faculty, staff, administrators, and students all share in the student learning outcomes and assessment process. The focus on learning outcomes pervades campus culture as evidenced by adoption of core competencies, institutional outcomes, and learning-focused outcomes at the levels of institutional support, general education, degrees/certificates, instructional programs, student services, and courses.
Since instruction and student services are at the heart of the educational experience, faculty, through the curriculum process, take the lead in developing outcomes and assessment at course and program levels. Recommendations generated from assessment analysis are integrated into institutional planning through the processes of program review.
In terms of Student Leaning Outcomes and Assessment, the College has met proficiency as documented in the Citrus College Status Report on Student Learning Outcomes Implementation (October 2012), and is currently working at the highest level for Student Learning Outcomes: Sustainable Continuous Quality Improvement (SCQI). The College has a process for outcome assessment at all levels, and program review is the vehicle for linking assessment results to changes in practice and resource requests. Dialogue about student learning occurs at all levels of planning and resource allocation. The College evaluates SLOA processes via the Institutional Effectiveness Committee and through oversight provided by "Hot Shots" and the Program Review Committee. The College continually evaluates and fine-tunes organizational structures to support student learning.
Citrus College Philosophy Statement on Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment
Citrus College affirms its mission to foster a diverse educational community and cultural learning environment that supports student success in pursuit of academic excellence, economic opportunity, and personal achievement. One means of measuring student success is through the use of learning outcomes and assessment. Commitment to learning outcomes and assessment provides crucial underpinning to the mission of Citrus College. It requires that faculty and, indeed, the institution anticipate the impact of educational experiences on students, make critical choices in instruction and services in support of such impact, then assess the effectiveness of these choices and reconsider them based on outcome data.
Citrus College values the accreditation process as a “uniquely American quality assurance process through which institutions collectively set standards for good practice and conduct peer-based evaluations of institutions on a regular basis,” which includes the unifying component of student learning outcomes and assessment in accreditation standards set by the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges (Western Association of Schools and Colleges). We promote assessment and assessment documentation that is practical and equitable for all faculty members.
Citrus College has demonstrated its commitment to the importance of learning outcomes and the assessment process through its adoption of educational core competencies and assessment of students’ ability to apply knowledge in the areas of communication; computation; creative, critical, and analytical thinking; community/global consciousness and responsibility; technology/information competency; as well as discipline/subject area specific content material.
Assessment at Citrus College targets improving student learning through appropriate outcome measures and holds as its standard the American Association of Higher Education’s (AAHE) “Nine Principles of Good Assessment” (see attached). Our student learning outcomes and assessment practices also draw from theories in the areas of adult learning, assessment, and research. Outcomes assessment not only monitors what and how well students learn, but it also measures the success of the institution in providing effective learning opportunities. Therefore, the ongoing process of student outcomes assessment leads to improved courses, services, and programs and serves as evidence for institutional planning, resource allocation, and staff and faculty development.
While commitment to learning outcomes and assessment demonstrates an institutional value, primarily, this is a faculty-led curriculum matter. It is the role of the Academic Senate, based on the tenets of academic freedom, to oversee curricular content and standards in the development of outcomes, planning and implementation of the assessment process, and use of assessment results to help shape decisions within academic programs and respective disciplines.
The on-going process of learning outcomes and assessment serves to improve institutional effectiveness. Citrus College will base outcomes and assessment on valid, reliable, and relevant assessment procedures generated through multiple measures to collect both qualitative and quantitative information in its efforts to improve courses, services, programs, and institutional mission. Resulting data will provide evidence for curriculum reform, planning, resource allocation, organizational leadership, strategic planning, and staff and student development. The results of learning outcomes and assessment are not a means to evaluate faculty; faculty evaluation is addressed in the Citrus College Faculty Association contract.