2014 Oct 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.

October 2014

In October...

Art Department's Design Courses

Art Design student during critique

The design program in the Art Department offers several sections of Basic Design (Art 125A), including one hybrid section, as well as an Advanced (3D) Design (Art 125B) and a Color (Art 126) class. Basic Design, along with Basic Drawing (Art 130A) is a prerequisite for all other art classes and is a required class for the art major and for transfer to art programs at four-year colleges. While the majority of our students are those who are interested in pursuing a degree in fine arts, our design classes attract students from various disciplines and need to address both fine art and general education requirements.

In our design program, we have done a general assessment of all our SLOs through exams, exit surveys and specific capstone projects. During the last five years, we started a new series of assessments that were coordinated to measure the student learning outcomes in all sections using the same assessment tools. In a field that draws its strength from diversity and creative thinking, this very focused effort to measure student outcomes using the same tools fueled a good debate on what is most important in course content, vocabulary selection in the articulation of abstract design ideas, and effective methods of assessment.  Rigorous discussions among faculty helped the formulation of a series of exit surveys, which we started administering in all sections of Basic Design during the 2010-11 academic year. Initially, we discussed the results from our surveys among ourselves, evaluating how well our students were retaining the academic content of our design classes and their ability to define visual concepts through linguistic expression. In the color class, we also administered a general student backgrounds and interests survey to better assess the fine art and general education needs of the diverse student body that the class serves. The surveys were useful in providing us with general feedback and for creating a platform for the instructors to share their teaching methodologies. However, our teaching in studio art is project based and evaluation of student portfolios guides our assessments. Soon our discussions centered on the creation of effective rubrics, which could be applied to different projects with shared goals. Design faculty then started a group effort to create and edit rubrics to measure student learning outcomes, as evidenced by the student projects completed. We evaluated student proficiencies based on our students’ abilities to solve the specific design problems given. All instructors used the same rubrics, but applied them to their own projects targeting the same SLOs. We worked with the same goals, but paid particular attention to maintaining and incorporating the creativity and individual strengths of each instructor. The discussions that led to the creation of the rubrics, as well as our meetings to discuss the results after, facilitated a process of examining our course SLOs and teaching strategies, sharing effective methods with one another. We also collected resulting data on student proficiencies in the form of quantifiable data and examined them through Excel worksheets and data charts so we could efficiently compare our results from one semester to the next and in relation to the different course SLOs. With the development of college-wide SLO reporting process, accessible to the public, we had the opportunity to share our outcomes with a larger community as well as our colleagues in different disciplines.

The new Moodle upgrade (our college’s online teaching delivery system) further facilitated the use of scoring rubrics in all evaluations in the sections that use Insight, with the new advanced electronic grading tools. The new rubric tool on Insight helped display grading/evaluation criteria to students with better efficiency and transparency. As the design area coordinator, I attended many workshops, meetings and training opportunities to learn new skills and strategies and shared them with my colleagues at every opportunity.

All our design course outlines were updated recently with feedback from our assessment process and feedback from our college’s general education mapping process. Our Basic Design course outline, along with the distance education addendum for the hybrid section, was updated twice during the last three years. We put effort into staying well informed of the SLO work done in other departments and at other colleges and the new state guidelines, and prepared a resource list for students and faculty. Both our Basic Design (Art 125A) and Color (Art 126) courses have been approved by the current C-ID system for California Community Colleges, and will articulate to majors at CSU campuses that have approved articulation with the same C-ID designation and transfer for credit to University of California and California State University. Additionally, ART 125A: Basic Design is approved for CSU GE Area C1 and meets the requirements for Art and related majors at many CSUs as well as UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara. ART 126 also meets the major requirement at a couple of CSUs.  Along with the creation and approval of an AA-T degree in Studio Arts at CCSF in January 2014, our Design classes continue to prepare our students well for more advanced work in the field of art and design and with excellent efficiency when transferring to four-year colleges.

We are proud of the SLO work we conducted in the design area and continue to update our courses with feedback from the process, but what encourages us most are the individual success stories of our students. Students who successfully transfer to four-year colleges, who receive generous scholarships, who land the job of their dreams, and in some instances, who move on from homelessness to being accepted to University of California, give us our proudest moments.

Mission Center Assessment

Mission Center entrance


Putting the 2014 student survey assessment results in the context of the latest enrollment reports, in which the Mission Center headcount is second only to Ocean, it is clear that Mission is a very popular choice for students---99% would recommend!--- and is meeting its overall SLO. The strong enrollment data (11,000+ headcount) that Mission is generating at such a challenging time for the College provides corroboration that students are overall extremely satisfied with Mission Center. Mission is also contributing in a very positive way as a bright spot in helping to stabilize overall CCSF enrollment. 

The survey provides evidence that outreach efforts for CCSF, including Mission Center, have been working. Not unexpectedly, as has been historically the case, the largest number of students say they heard about Mission through friends or family, by word of mouth. Satisfied former or current students often refer others, or someone hears one of our messages and passes it on. However, the second most frequent way that students found out about us was via the Schedule of Classes (hardcopy/online/direct mail/teacher’s announcement). The next most common ways were radio or TV, flyers, and community based organizations to which CCSF has outreached. Finally, there were other ways such through Mission’s neighborhood presence, email alerts, self-referrals, or referrals by job coaches.

Mission has done a full analysis of the survey results including a content analysis of student comments in both Spanish and English. A deeper analysis is being done in two areas that merit extra focus. Although 99% are satisfied with Mission Center overall, questions about specifics got a somewhat lower response. Our criterion for fully satisfying our AUOs is that at least a 90% approval rating is expected; our performance target is to get an “A.”

See the conclusion of this report regarding implementation efforts.

Mission AUL 1. The Mission Center welcomes students with a clean, comfortable, friendly, and secure environment in order to support student learning and success.

The extraordinarily high level of student satisfaction with Mission Center shows us we are already doing a lot of things right from the student point of view. An amazing 99% of 373 respondents “would recommend CCSF Mission Center to a friend or relative.” Asked for suggestions, dozens replied that everything was fine or great and that they had no suggestions for improvement. Said one, “Es perfecto.” Another, who had some suggestions, finished by saying: “Overall, I’m very satisfied.” Some very positive comments were made about “good classes,” the “beautiful” campus, and “cozy” environment.

The strong enrollment data Mission is generating at such a challenging time for the College provides corroboration that students are overall extremely satisfied with Mission Center. Mission is also contributing in a very positive way as a bright spot in helping to stabilize overall CCSF enrollment. 

Mission Center now much better meets its objective for cleanliness; there were not many complaints regarding that in this year’s student survey. Night students expressed some concern about walking to the BART station in the evening but were satisfied that it was a secure environment otherwise. “Comfortable, welcoming, friendly” are customer service criteria that continue to deserve attention. See details below.

Mission AUL 2. The Mission Center offers programs and services to students supporting their educational goals.

Mission has an excellent balance of credit and noncredit now. Student services have not in all cases caught up to that shift. A higher level of counseling support at Mission, with more students able to see counselors for academic, personal and financial aid counseling, will be needed to ensure the highest levels of success for both credit and noncredit students. Students, especially in credit, are asking for library and technology access to be strengthened. Specific criticisms or suggestions in the student survey data related more to support services and library and less to academic programs (where they did not criticize the classes but wanted more of them). Several expressed that they wanted more library hours, more access to computers and wifi.

Only 30% of respondents had seen a counselor at the campus. Of those who used Financial Aid, 2/3 of the students were satisfied with Financial Aid services onsite and about a third (36 individuals) found them lacking. 70% said they had an Education Plan, but since most of the students had not seen a counselor at Mission, it could be that they saw one at Ocean or elsewhere. (However, it is unlikely that respondents are all interpreting “education plan” in the specific way that was meant, since many noncredit students have not received any matriculation services.  (The language of the survey should be clarified. It is likely most students would have some personal plan, at least very generally, for their own education, and the phrase could have been interpreted that way both by noncredit and some credit students. There are 48 comments in that section relating to education plans that are still being analyzed in depth for information about how we can track this service better. )

One noncredit student pointed out that the opportunities were very good at the campus, but the problem was that classmates often would have to drop out because they were working. Unfortunately, we cannot easily get feedback from students who are no longer with us. But DSS and Banner data tell us that it would be helpful to our students if we could devise additional strategies to ensure their retention at Mission. Our noncredit students are younger than the district average for noncredit. They tend to be challenged by combining work, school and family responsibilities. Supporting their retention will help the students meet their goals and will help us turn headcount efficiently into FTES funding.

  Mission AUL 3. The Mission Center has a One Stop Office that provides students with reliable and factual information in a timely manner.

About 85% of students who answered that they had used the One Stop Office in Room 110 said they felt “comfortable and accepted.” Only 78% of all respondents thought that services there did not need to be improved, which does not meet our criterion for an acceptable level of satisfaction. Although a majority are satisfied, there were a large number of comments (63) regarding whether the services in that office needed to be improved and those comments are being reviewed in depth with staff to identify any changes that should be made.

(The Survey instrument needs to be clarified to identify better which office is being referred to. Since almost half of students said they had not used the “One Stop Office in Room 110” but only a third of the respondents were taking credit classes and might not have started in Room 110. Therefore, it appears that many students did not understand that the Admissions and Enrollment Office on the first floor was being referred to. The Single Stop Office, also on the first floor, has outside funding and a different function, but a similar name as the One Stop Office. )

Closing the Loop

A list of “actionable items” has been compiled using student suggestions from the survey. Even while we are still determining how many of the suggestions we can implement and what feedback calls for changes, Mission has started action on some of the items already in order to close the loop.

·         The popularity of sections held evenings and weekends has led to a shift of sections to accommodate the times of peak demand.

·         There has been some increase in open lab access but we plan to expand that further to meet the needs of students working on degrees and certificates as well as all students.

·         Coverage in counseling and A&E has been enhanced somewhat by adjusting work schedules to better cover the growing demand for evening services.

·         This semester has seen an intense focus on the improvement of customer service skills, which is already improving our level of welcome and quality service.

·         We have also increased outreach activities to the community via very successful efforts at Carnaval and Cinco de Mayo events in the Mission District as well as via support for the citywide, volunteer Enrollment Campaign operating out of this center.