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3.3.1 The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in each of the following areas: (Institutional Effectiveness)
220.127.116.11 educational programs, to include student learning outcomes
✔ Compliance Partial
Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) is in compliance with this comprehensive standard. FTCC is committed to using meaningful assessment (based on identification of student learning outcomes) as a tool in making the decisions that enhance student learning. The College provides both the means and the structure to support this commitment. A newly acquired assessment management system, WEAVEonline®, is the means by which all educational programs (referred to as “academic units” for assessment purposes) participate in an annual, systematic process of analysis and self-reflection. The process results in an assessment plan that includes a unit mission statement, student learning outcomes, methodologies for measuring outcomes, specific achievement targets, findings, and the implications of the findings on the future direction of the unit.
Additionally, each educational program undergoes an Annual Program Review process to ensure that the program remains relevant, current, and continues to show quality enhancements based on internal and external assessments. The assessment results, along with the managerial reports, become the catalyst for inclusion of the objectives and activities in the Strategic Plan.
FTCC strives for continual quality improvement though systematic integration of institution-wide assessment into the annual strategic planning process, including assessment of all educational units on all campuses. This commitment to assessment ensures that FTCC effectively fulfills its mission and is responsive to both the immediate and long-term needs of its students, regardless of the method of instructional delivery.
Service-support units have also adopted the culture of assessment and ensure that major student service support areas prepare and implement assessment plans designed to promote a more effective and efficient learning environment.
Fayetteville Technical Community College has developed comprehensive processes for identifying expected outcomes within its educational programs. Expected student learning outcomes include the skills, knowledge, behaviors and/or attitudes that graduates of the program are expected to demonstrate upon completion of their programs of study. FTCC also identifies procedures and/or methods for determining the extent to which the intended/learning outcomes are achieved.
An educational program is considered an academic unit for assessment purposes. Each academic unit identifies an assessment coordinator to gather input from other members of the unit to formulate outcomes, measures, and achievement targets for each yearly assessment plan within the program coordinators' areas. To provide the structure to ensure that all academic units are actively and constructively engaged in assessment, FTCC uses a team of Ambassadors of Assessment (AOA Team) to provide guidance and assistance to the units when formulating and implementing assessment plans. Each Ambassador acts as a liaison between a unit’s assessment coordinator and the co-chairs of the AOA Team. The AOA co-chairs work in tandem with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment to ensure all academic units build viable assessment plans that lead to findings for program improvements.
The major steps used in developing FTCC Academic Program Assessment Plans are summarized below:
Representatives from each academic program meet to jointly identify expected student learning outcomes for the academic programs within that planning unit.
Student Learning Outcomes
are correlated with FTCC Core Competencies, Institutional Priorities, Accreditation Agency Standards, and/or Strategic Plan objectives, as appropriate.
A method for measuring
each student learning outcome is established in terms of:
a. What will be measured?
Why it will be measured?
How the measurement will occur (rubric or metric used)?
When the measurement will occur?
Who will do the measuring?
, surveys, or other measuring instruments are developed within the academic planning unit to ensure that adequate data collection of real results occurs annually and that those measurements are directly related to the student's learning outcome.
After full implementation of the assessment plan, an achievement target
is established for each measure for purposes of comparing what was originally planned with the final results.
The methodologies prescribed within the assessment plan are implemented within the academic units.
are reported in May/June of each assessment cycle, and discussions within the academic planning unit occur around the findings for continuous quality improvement.
An action plan
is formulated based on findings indicating that the outcome was partially met or not met. Discussions may result in a determination that the outcome and/or its measurement must be modified or re-evaluated and/or carried forward to the following academic year for further analysis. Planning Units are also required to show within the Strategic Plan what additional budgeting resources are necessary and to ensure continuous quality improvements within programs/service units, based on action planning results. This ensures budget analysis data is included in the process on an annual basis and that limited budgetary resources are wisely spent on areas that will promote the greatest positive impact in student learning outcomes.
Prior to beginning a new annual assessment plan, the assessment results for the current cycle are analyzed
against the following criteria:
- What were the strengths of the overall assessment process?
- What were the weaknesses of the overall assessment process?
- What was learned as a result of the overall assessment process?
- How will the learning outcome impact the direction and emphasis of the academic or support unit in the short and long term?
Based on the action plan(s) and internal analysis, a new assessment plan is formulated for the next assessment cycle, including development of projected budgets for success. These budget requirements are incorporated within the Strategic Plan of the College.
The process is continuously repeated during subsequent cycles.
FTCC’s acquisition of the WEAVEonline® Assessment Management System demonstrates the College’s commitment to assessment and quality improvement. All of FTCC’s educational program assessment plans (and service-support assessment plans) are currently available within WEAVEonline®. FTCC has a strong culture of assessment. This is evidenced by the implementation and use of assessment plans at all levels of the College including the President’s Office. The assessments are updated at the end of each assessment cycle (July 1 through June 30). Findings are evaluated, action plans are developed, and results are used to impact future activities. In turn, the College’s Strategic Plan is updated to reflect the assessment results.
In addition to assessment planning, FTCC has a very thorough Academic Program Review Process that is an integral part of the College’s overall assessment process. Each year, all academic programs participate in an in-depth academic program review to ensure that the program remains relevant and current and continues to show quality enhancements based on internal assessments. The criteria for this program review includes (but is not limited to) a review of the program’s purpose, staffing, facilities, enrollment history, graduation rates, graduate employment data, advisory committee input, student learning outcomes for the most current three years, and annually reported opinions from currently enrolled students and graduating students. Much of the information relevant to the review process is determined by feedback from the following surveys:
To strengthen the link between Annual Program Reviews, Advisory Committee recommendations, and the assessment process, the Annual Program Review document and the minutes of the Advisory Committee meetings are incorporated into each academic unit's WEAVEonline® assessment plan. This facilitates ease of reference when faculty committees are formulating outcomes, measures, and achievement targets while also providing an impetus for ongoing program improvements. The emphasis on outcome-based assessment planning tied directly to a viable Annual Program Review process provides strong evidence that FTCC strives for continual improvement within its educational programs.
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