Institution-Wide General Education Assessment


Institution-Wide Assessment of Central’s General Education Learning Objectives/Outcomes Central’s General Education Learning Objectives/Outcomes articulate what students should know and be able to do upon graduation. Students forge their educational path through a series of discipline-based courses in designated Study and Skill Areas. Importantly, the General Education Learning Objectives/Outcomes are not unique to schools, disciplines, or individual departments. Central’s assessment of General Education Learning Objectives/Outcomes is modeled after the Multi-State Collaborative (MSC) initiative. In Spring 2014, the opportunity to participate in the Multi-State Collaborative emerged. As part of this national assessment initiative, coordinated and developed by the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) and the American Association for College & Universities (AAC&U), Central began a new assessment chapter on campus, unanimously approved by Faculty Senate on November 2017.

Two guiding principles for our Institution-wide assessment model are: (1) to work with faculty designed, course-embedded assignments and (2) to use assignments that are important to the student (i.e., graded). Currently, select AAC&U VALUE rubrics linked to Central’s GenEd Outcomes are used, providing us with valid and reliable instruments. First, the rubrics articulate fundamental criteria/dimensions for measuring Learning Outcomes, thus providing Central with performance descriptors to effectively measure our students’ level of attainment of key learning criteria/dimensions. Second, the rubrics are nationally tested, thus allowing us to gauge our data against national scoring norms while meeting the validity and reliability standards that we expect. Third, VALUE rubrics provide us with a means for assessing competencies delivered in our GenEd courses, regardless of course discipline. A key feature of the VALUE rubrics is that they are not discipline specific and therefore can be effectively used to measure a learning outcome regardless of subject. Fourth, this model offers a sustainable assessment model in that it has broadened participation across disciplines while reducing individual faculty burden. Since 2014, the implementation of this institution-wide assessment model has allowed Central to nationally place our students’ learning within a basic framework of expectations and to share results with the Central community using a common dialog and understanding of student success. A report on our Institution-wide General Education Assessment efforts is available here.