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Assessment

STUDENT LEARNING ASSESSMENT

Effective assessment of student learning is a matter of commitment, not a matter of compliance. To that end, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is dedicated to establishing a culture of assessment embedded in every aspect of the educational process. Assessing, understanding, and improving student learning is an ongoing, institution-wide process that involves all stakeholders, both internal and external. The Academic Assessment Subcommittee (AAS) is responsible for facilitating the assessment of general education, program, and course-level outcome attainment.

General Education Competencies

The faculty of Southern dedicate themselves to preparing College’s graduates for life and work in the twenty-first century. Southern is commitment to providing each graduate with the skills and knowledge necessary for professional and personal success. The purpose of general education at Southern is to produce generally educated students who contribute to their communities and country. A generally educated student is a life-long learner with a common academic canon of knowledge, concepts and attitudes.

Southern is committed to providing general education to help students develop the qualities and skills associated with college-educated adults. Southern’s general education promotes the development of independent, critical, and conceptual thinking skills and those skills necessary for effective communication. Southern’s general education provides students with an integrated view of knowledge and prepares them for their role as productive and responsible members of society.

Southern is committed to providing a general education program that is designed to help students develop qualities and skills associated with college educated adults. Students who have completed the general education requirements of an associate degree will have improved competencies in the following:

Critical Thinking is the ability to identify and interpret relevant information in order to formulate an opinion or conclusion.

Communication is utilizing verbal and written language to discuss and comprehend information, incorporating a variety of technologies, such as texts, data, and images.

Quantitative Literacy and Fluency is the demonstration and communication of computational methods and mathematical reasoning in a variety of formats (using words, tables, graphs, mathematical equations, etc. as appropriate).

Intercultural Competence is the ability to communicate in appropriate ways with those who are culturally diverse.

General Education competencies are assessed wherever or however learning occurs, utilizing rubrics. Simply put, a rubric is a scoring tool that identifies specific expectations for a task or assignment. Rubrics divide the task into its component parts and provide a detailed description of what constitutes an acceptable or unacceptable level of performance for each of those parts (Stevens and Levi, 2005). The General Education Competency rubrics utilized by the College are:

Program Outcomes

Degree and certificate programs of study have identified program-specific outcomes. These program outcomes reflect those competencies that students will possess and demonstrate upon graduation. The program outcomes reflect those areas of knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions valued by workplace employers and other stakeholders. Degree programs measure both General Education competency and program-specific outcomes attainment, while certificate programs predominately measure program-specific outcomes attainment.

Degree and certificate programs of study program-specific outcomes.

Course Outcomes

All courses offered at Southern identify those specific outcomes that drive the content and learning activities within the course. Specifically, the Course Outcome Matrix (syllabus part 2 of 3) identifies the course outcomes and shows how these outcomes are linked to the associated program outcomes and general education competencies.

Assessment, Analysis, and Improvement of Student Learning

Documentation of the activities involved in the assessment, analysis, and improvement of student learning at the general education, program, and course-levels at Southern are documented in the following:

Student Learning Assessment Guide for Faculty

Assessment of student learning is an ongoing process and required of all full and part-time faculty. Those stakeholders involved in the plan-do-study-adjust cycle of student assessment must remain current with the latest research and information as it relates to student academic achievement. In an effort to keep those interested parties up-to-date as to the current requirements of assessment at the College, Southern maintains the following:

Student Retention, Persistence, And Completion

Although efforts to improve student persistence, retention, and completion are the responsibility of all faculty and staff at Southern, Student Services is charged with the development and implementation of a formal Strategic Enrollment Management Plan (SEMP). The purpose of the SEMP is to document the systematic and comprehensive approach to improving, among other things, student retention, persistence, and completion. The SEMP is available upon request for examination from the Student Services Office.