2013 Oct Highlights

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

October 2013

August SLO department meeting

Tannis Reinhertz -- Department Chair
"Continuous Faculty Contact key to Continuous Quality Improvement"

The Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies (CAHS) Department is committed to a sustainable, collegial process for review and improvement of our teaching methods and curriculum in support of successful student learning outcomes. To that end, each semester the CAHS faculty (full and part-time), organize and attend a department SLO retreat each semester. In addition, faculty meet monthly to discuss department activities including questions / ideas regarding SLO assessment, tools, best practices for communicating/ connecting course and program level SLOs to students and employers. For example, at our recent retreat on 8/13/2013, the question of how our course and program level SLO’s were being communicated to our students was addressed.

These retreats give faculty time to discuss our department’s webpage, our program mapping, our best practices for communicating SLOs in syllabi, use of Insight for assessment, and these retreats generally result in faculty being more engaged and energized by time set aside to talk about teaching in the context of SLOs. As a result, class teacher/student dialog is more framed by common context. Since we are a multi campus department, context and focus is maintained by  department-wide extended staff meeting at the beginning and end of each semester where SLOs are discussed, analyzed, and revised. In addition, the department chair schedules monthly staff meetings at each campus, helping to close the loop of SLO information. Each major area (culinary, food service and hotel management) faculty (both CR and NC) meets at least once a semester to discuss department-wide and area-wide assessments. With common focus, we are able to assess multiple courses in seven different programs this fall!

 Our assessment focus has improved our curriculum. We have implemented many course revisions. One example is CAHS 24. Using student surveys and in-class discussions, we were able to discern that we could improve and better align student expectations and skill building by turning a 3 unit class into 3 one unit classes. These one unit courses drilled down subject matter and allowed students to tailor skills and build a specialized culinary portfolio. A student could choose to a one unit course on Chocolate or Wedding cakes rather than an entire course on cakes and dough.  This is just one example of the way the CAHS is using the assessment process to complete student centered curriculum and program changes. 

GE-Area C results using common rubric

Chantilly Apollon, GE-Area C Workgroup Chair
"This scale gives everyone a common language to communicate how students are doing, but leaves flexibility for instructors."

As part of my participation in developing, assessing, and evaluating student learning outcomes at CCSF, I have two main roles outside of collecting data in my own classroom:

  • organizing the committee tasked with piloting an assessment for General Education Area C:  Natural Sciences and

  • coordinating SLO assessment and reporting for approximately 12-15 sections of a course in my department taught by 8 or more faculty each semester.

As SLO’s have become a more predominant issue at CCSF over the past few years, I found myself faced with a common issue from all sides:  how can we maintain teaching freedom in the classroom while still measuring and assessing common outcomes?  Many instructors that teach the course I coordinate have joined efforts in developing common assessment tools; however, these tools don’t translate to every classroom or teaching style and not all instructors embrace the tools or do so with dragging feet. 

After participating in the GEO committee and discussing a similar issue college-wide, we developed a rubric.  A holistic rubric, to use terminology, that keeps things simple with a 3 level scale for assessing student outcome achievement:  proficient, developing, and no evidence.  As this scale was developed and disseminated, I found it would also be invaluable in my coordination duties.  This scale gives everyone a common language to communicate how students are doing, but leaves flexibility for instructors. Development, delivery, and grading is independent of the common rubric; instructors can translate their teaching tools into this common language as they choose.

This was the first semester that I implemented reporting the course data in this common rubric, and it was a bit of a bumpy road.  However, I feel like having this in place, instructors know what information to report in future semesters and data analysis will go more smoothly.  I think I’ve become a better coordinator and my colleagues and I can engage in meaningful discussion about classrooms and students.

   

CCSF Police Car

Andre Barnes, Chief of Police
"Police department staff received training in July .... now includ[ing] student discipline referrals."

The public safety assessment processes produced changes that reflect the student and staff concerns about crime on our campus and parking at our sites. The department’s plans for improvement produced the following: creation of crime database, improved safety equipment, increased training and staffing, and improved parking permit accessibility.

Annual crime statistics are online on the Police Dept. This database, part of the Annual Security Report (ASR), brings CCSF in compliance with the Federal mandates. This information will be updated at the beginning of October, providing three years of data.  Police department staff received training in July on federal reporting compliance that will now include student discipline referrals.

Following previous semester crime trends and analysis the department has made adjustments in several areas; security equipment has been purchased for problem areas and additional dedicated security staff for the Wellness Center and Library has been approved.

Following an assessment of staffing levels, levels per shift have been expanded to provide approximately 50 additional days of staffing. The Police Department has worked to ensure quality training for its officers. Having completed 75% of our goal for mandatory training for officers, the department has partnered with SFPD training unit to implement ongoing compliance.  It is expected that this compliance will be complete in the next quarter. Both members of the department at the administrative level and line level have completed over 1000 hours of training that relates to providing public safety to the campus community.

Working with the parking committee, assessment of our parking needs continue to occur based on employee and student uses.  Parking information is forwarded to students at the beginning of each semester advising of locations of student lots.  Also, students are encouraged to use public transportation during peak uses. Permit stations are located strategically throughout the parking lots for students and a new system was put in for employees which CCSF staff has administrative access to address any concerns. .

 Next steps.

Beginning Fall 2013 campus community members in specific areas will receive training on the federally mandated Jeanne Clery Act by the police department staff.

  • The Chief of Police in partnership with Student Development acts as a team member of the newly created Crisis Management Team.  The CMT team is designed to address serious public safety concerns on campus that negatively impacts our mission to provide quality education to our students and provide a safe workplace.
  • The Chief of Police is a member of the Districts’ Participatory Governance Committee and will work as a campus leader to address matters of concern in support of the Chancellor.
  • New parking lot signage will be added in near future