Carteret Community College Title III Grant

April 24, 2009

Closing the Loop: Creating a Culture of Outcomes Assessment at a Community College

Filed under: T3 Presentations — Donald Staub @ 1:00 am


Click here to download a pdf of the ppt:ncsu-4_09

Abstract for this conference session:

Carteret Community College has developed and implemented an across-the-board assessment process.  All instructional programs and administrative/service units identify and assess, and use the results of, relevant outcomes. This session will describe the process of moving the college from an outputs-based to an outcomes-based assessment model.  The discussion will center on two primary activities: 1) Effectively developing and implementing a cross-campus process; and 2) Ensuring that faculty and staff move from a belief that “I’m being told to do this” to one of “I understand the value of this.”

Session Goals:
The primary goal of this session is for participants to discuss the development and implementation of an outcomes assessment plan at a community college. The two primary outcomes of the session are: 1) Effective development and implementation of a process; 2) Increasing faculty/staff buy-in.

Participants will learn about the identification and assessment of outcomes – program outcomes, administrative outcomes, institutional level learning outcomes, and program level learning outcomes. Participants will also learn about the development and implementation of outcomes-based Instructional Program Reviews and Administrative Unit Reviews.  Participants will also discuss the implementation of this process – working with faculty and staff on collecting data, analyzing the data, and utilizing the results for improvements in instruction and effective delivery of services.  A critical piece of this discussion will be the development of a common language and a common set of documents.

Faculty/staff buy-in is an essential indicator of successful implementation of this process. Participants in this session will learn about the methods employed by this community college to move the campus dialogue from confusion, frustration, and reticence to understanding, acceptance, and continuous improvement.

Session Content:

Carteret Community College has been working diligently for the last 2+ years on the development and implementation of an Outcomes Assessment program.  This is partly because of an impending accreditation reaffirmation report and a subsequent visit. But, mostly because it’s the right thing to do: We (like many other community colleges) struggle with retention issues, and improved instruction and services may lead to lower attrition rates.  However, the only way to improve instruction and services is to know where you’re starting from and what needs to be improved, along with a continuous cycle of assessment, analysis, and use of results to ensure that you’re moving forward.  Thus, the outcomes assessment program.

There is no doubt that a critical piece of this initiative has been funding through Title III.  This has allowed our cash-strapped school to bring in experts to provide professional development specifically for outcomes assessment, to release full-time faculty in order to attend professional development, to provide stipends to part-time faculty to ensure that they too are receiving professional development, and to send faculty and staff to relevant, off-campus professional development opportunities.

This is where we have come in the last two years:

  • Institutional Level Learning Outcomes (ILLOs…aka, Gen Ed outcomes) identified and assessed at the college;


Click here to download this file: illo-matrix-07-08 If you would like to learn a little about the process of actually selecting our 7 ILLOs, CLICK HERE.

  • All 34 instructional programs have identified program level learning outcomes (PLLOs) and are assessing them, analyzing the results, and making use of the results to improve instruction;

aqua-07-08Click here to download this sample PLLO from 2007-2008: aqu-07-08

  • All 34 instructional programs are on a 4-phase program review cycle; i.e. each program undergoes an intensive program review process every four years (in Fall ’09, we will begin Phase III);

ipr-manualClick here to download a copy of the Instructional Program Review Manual: ipr-manual You can also take a look at sample completed (Phase I) program reviews by CLICKING HERE.

  • As the instructional programs undergo the review process, they also identify and assess Program and Administrative outcomes, analyze the results, and make use of the results;
  • All administrative units at the college have identified administrative outcomes and are assessing them, analyzing the results, and making use of the results to improve the services being provided;


Click here to download this sample Administrative Outcome: academic-support-07-08

  • All administrative units are on a 3-phase administrative unit review cycle.


Click here to download a copy of the Administrative Unit Review Manual: admin-unit-review-manual

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