Outcomes/measures tracked and tools utilized.
The College has actively engaged faculty in assessment activities in both the general education curriculum and program level assessments. During the 2015–2016 academic year, the Assessment Council adopted a revised reporting mechanism to better aggregate data for reporting on programs outside of the general education curriculum. Many of the College’s career and technical programs and non-general education courses are at various stages of maturity in assessment activities.
Overall level of deployment of assessment processes within the institution
Career and technical programs and non-general education programs that reported assessment results in the 2015–2016 academic year included Administration of Justice, Business Administration, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Dental Hygiene, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Technology, Practical Nursing, Music, Honors, Gaming, Cosmetology, and Interior Design. Additionally, programs that were not ready to file a full Progress Report provided updates on assessment activities as part of the comprehensive and annual program review.
Students in career and technical fields were assessed on five of the eight student learning outcomes: SLO1) access and evaluate information from credible sources; SLO2) collaborate respectfully with others; SLO3) communicate effectively through the clear and accurate use of language; SLO6) comprehend, analyze, and synthesize written, visual, and aural material; and SLO7) select and apply appropriate problem-solving techniques. Assessment tools in these areas are predominantly a variety of rubrics, embedded test questions, and pre/posttests.
In addition to direct assessment activities, indirect assessment includes administering the Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) to students during the spring semester on an annual basis. During the Spring 2016 semester, the SSI was administered to a stratified random sample of JCCC classes; a representative sample of students were also invited to complete the SSI online. In total, 1,325 surveys were completed. The national group contains 185,252 records from 217 two-year institutions and includes surveys completed from Fall 2013 to Spring 2016. The College has used this instrument for improvement and assessment since 2003.
Completer surveys are annually conducted by the Office of Institutional Research. The population for the most current survey included 3,123 former students who completed a degree or certificate during the 2014–2015 academic year. Of those awarded, 59% were associate degrees and 41% were certificates. Of those contacted, 1,767 former students either returned a questionnaire or completed a telephone interview, yielding an adjusted response rate of 62%.
In addition to the Completer surveys, Employer Questionnaires were distributed asking employers to evaluate program completers. The most recent survey results are from March and April 2016. There were 583 respondents who indicated they are working in jobs related to their program and provided employer contact information. Employers evaluated completers and indicated their assessments of completers’ overall career preparation.
Summary results of assessments
Below, in Figure 1.3, are the results from the career and technical programs assessment for the 2015–2016 academic year. Students in career and technical programs were more likely to be assessed in a culminating or capstone experience. This partly accounts for the higher levels of mastery; however, several of the assessment instruments are new and will need to be refined to better reflect student learning in the programs. Several more departments in the Technology Division have adopted new assessment models and have participated in focused assessment training. Additional data on the career and technical education programs will be available over the next several academic cycles.
Different indicators from the Ruffalo Noel Levitz SSI data serve as indirect assessments that monitor program outcomes. The SSI data is used throughout different divisions of the College depending on the focus of the questions. Figure 1.4 measures how well the College met the expectations of students, overall satisfaction of students, and student willingness to enroll at the College again.
In addition to measuring current student satisfaction levels, the College surveys program completers. The completer responses in Figure 1.5 below on the question of students obtaining "Primary Educational Objective" show high levels of attainment of objectives among completers.
Comparison of results with internal targets and external benchmarks
Internal targets were established for assessment activities that address both direct and indirect assessments in the general education curriculum and the career and technical programs. These targets are discussed in the results section 1R1. As charted in the results above in Figure 1.5 for the SSI survey, the College continues to meet its external benchmark of performing at or above the 50th percentile compared to the national community college data. In addition, the College continues to have positive results with completers attaining educational objectives.
Interpretation of assessment results and insights gained
After the successful implementation of the general education assessment plan, the Office of Outcomes Assessment and the College-wide Assessment Council are focused on engaging more of the career and technical programs in more effective assessments of program outcomes. Several departments have become more actively engaged in the healthcare, technology and business divisions where many of these programs are housed. As faculty become more adept at developing assessment instruments and data trends become available, the programs should be able to focus on curriculum changes that are based on student learning outcomes. The AQIP project on Institutional Learning Outcomes should also help with the maturation of this process.
The Ruffalo Noel Levitz data has continued an overall positive trend, albeit as an indirect assessment of outcomes. The primary focus of this assessment tool is overall satisfaction. Gains in the 2015 cycle can be seen in the improvement processes aimed at better meeting student needs within the Bursar's office. The College will be conducting the CCSSE survey in Spring 2018 (completed on a three-year cycle) to compare benchmark data to national trends.
The follow-up completer and employer surveys have yielded positive results. Overall, 50% of all respondents indicated that they were employed in a related field, while 14% are not in the labor force, and 6% are currently looking for work. For CTE graduates, 62% indicated they were employed in a related field.