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.
December 2014/January 2015
Reflections on GE Area A & E Assessments
General Education Assessments for GE Area A (Communication) and GE Area E (Humanities) were completed during the Fall 2014 semester. Faculty members teaching in Mathematics, Business, Foreign Language, Interdisciplinary Studies, Speech Communication, Humanities, Architecture and Social Sciences all made significant contributions to coordinating data collection, refining outcomes (if deemed necessary) analyzing the results, facilitating college-wide dialogue and writing the final report.
In GE Area A, faculty did not refine existing outcomes but dialogue with college committees and the accreditation visiting team spurred a recommendation that all GE Areas be analyzed by a separate work group so an outcome clearly and directly related to analytical reasoning appears in our General Education Outcomes. GE Area E work group members did substantially refine the GE Outcomes for Humanities, incorporating much feedback from a college-wide survey. These outcomes were passed by the Academic Senate in December. The new outcomes are for GE Area E are:
- Exhibit an understanding of the ways in which people in diverse cultures and eras have produced culturally significant works
- Communicate effectively the meaning and intentions of creative expression
- Use analytical techniques to assess the value of human creations in meaningful ways.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the human condition through language, reasoning, or artistic creation
Participation and assessment results between Area A and Area E differed. In GE Area A over 4,000 students were assessed with an overall proficiency percentage of 66%. 24% were still developing skills in the outcomes and 10% showed no evidence of achieving the outcomes. Proficiency scores for the three individual outcomes were calculated with a high of 78% Proficiency for “critically evaluate communication…” to a low of 61% for “demonstrating clear and precise expression.” In Area E, proficiency scores were quite high for the 2,300 assessed, with an overall proficiency score of 83%. The highest achieving outcome related to students’ demonstrated understanding of the ways various cultures have created art and the lowest achieving outcome (81% proficiency—still high!)) related a student’s ability to demonstrate an aesthetic understanding.
As with all institutional level assessment summaries, achievement data was compared to outcome data. In GE Area E the pass rates for courses was very similar to the proficiency rate. In GE Area A, the pass rate and proficiency rate were less similar. Achievement data in GE Area A and E Spring 2014 courses was disaggregated by age, gender, and ethnicity. The most glaring achievement gap was found among African American students in both GE Area A and E. For this reason, GE Area E recommends that City College of San Francisco’s executive leadership as well as Equity Coordinators and members of the Bridge to Success Action Teams deeply and meaningfully participate in city-wide coordinated conversations on the persistent achievement gap among populations of color, particularly men of color. As most know, goals have been crafted in the Educational Master Plan and Student Equity Plan to address these findings.
In both GE Area A and E a student success in mathematics was the highest predictor of success in General Education courses. This makes three GE Areas (C, A, & E) assessed and skills in mathematics were highly correlated with success in general education. English was also a predictor of success in Area E but less so in Area A. Both summary reports crafted recommendations related to these findings.