2014 Jan Highlights

Once a month, we highlight departments, programs, and committees from across the college that have great things happening motivated by a desire to improve student learning.

January 2014

yahooSLO sign

"The common rubric was an overall success and will be applied to other institutional level assessments in the future."  Andrea Niosi, SLO Committee member & Librarian

Impact of GEO C Assessment

The assessment of General Education (GE) Area C outcomes was the first institutional-level assessment to take place since the College made a commitment to the outcomes and assessment model for course and program evaluation and improvement. The implications of the findings go beyond the GE Area C Natural Sciences courses.

The assessment process followed by the GE Area C workgroup served as a model for future institutional GEO and ILO assessments.  The process involved developing a common rubric that the many disciplines involved in the institutional-level assessment could adapt to the course level.  The rubric has three levels of achievement: proficiency; developing; and no evidence.  Each participating instructor developed criteria for how students meet each level  of achievement for their course assessment(s).  Instructors at the course level conducted SLO assessments then converted their findings to the common rubric. The common rubric was an overall success and will be applied to other institutional level assessments in the future. The GE outcome assessment of Area C resulted in the following overall results: 64.6% proficiency, 25.6% developing and 10.8% showing no evidence.  Assessment results, analysis and dialogue led to outcome revision. 

Additionally, the workgroup reviewed the pass and withdrawal rates for GE Area C classes. The overall pass rate for GE Area C students is 60.8% and the overall withdrawal percentage is 17.4. Not surprisingly, the assessment data and the pass/withdraw rates were similar and provided validity to the assessment practices being employed at CCSF.

The workgroup decided to investigate why the proficiency and pass rates were low.  They reviewed Math and English placement tests and correlated them with the pass rate for GE Area C.  The number of students passing a class (a grade of C or higher) correlated with higher level Math and English levels. For example, "students enrolled or placed into lower level math (which correlates to pre-algebra and earlier) had only a 24.8% pass rate, compared to a 48% pass rate for upper level (algebra 1 or 2 or geometry), and a 68.7% pass rate for collegiate level (beyond algebra 2).  Lower math placement also shows a strong correlation with higher withdrawals.  The workgroup findings suggested that English and Math placement tests are an important indicator of student success and more emphasis and dialogue between teachers, counselors and students needs to take place so that students have the right prerequisites to achieve at proficiency levels.

At the end of the report the committee provided additional recommendations for the College community, natural science departments, and course instructors with the ultimate goal of increasing student proficiency levels. 

Next steps

At the Jan 9th FLEX day program entitled College-Wide Dialogue Continued, faculty, department chairs, and counselors discussed how to move these recommendations forward.  The workgroup and SLO coordinators are asking more members of the college community to read the full report, identify decision makers that may implement the recommendations, and talk with decision makers and colleagues about the path forward.

Please direct any feedback to the report to SLO Coordinator and SLO Committee Chair Kristina Whalen (kwhalen@ccsf.edu).