Over the past several years, MCC has developed a nationally recognized, comprehensive program to assess student learning outcomes. The program is overseen by the Faculty Senate Student Outcomes Committee, a standing committee of the Faculty Senate, in collaboration with the Dean of Instruction. Through student outcomes assessment, we measure and document the degree to which students attain specific learning outcomes valued and defined by faculty. MCC's program includes three primary assessment areas - general education, career and technical education, and developmental education.
Why do we have an assessment program?
Assessment allows us to document the impact the MCC college experience has on student learning, and to use the results to improve programs. At MCC, assessment is a catalyst for faculty to reflect upon how and what we teach and to have dialogue about learning across disciplines. The initial impetus for the program was to respond to new requirements from the North Central Association Higher Learning Commission, MCC's regional accrediting agency. But as the assessment program has evolved, it has become one of the cornerstones of the academic program.
Who is assessed?
For general education, the performance of a sample of students who are just beginning their general education is compared to that of a sample who have completed at least 30 hours of general education. For career and technical programs, students completing specific programs of study leading to AAS degrees or certificates are assessed. These students participate in workplace skills assessments and also may be assessed on program-specific outcomes at the end of their programs as part of the program review process. Developmental education students in English, mathematics, and reading are assessed when they complete the final course in a developmental sequence (i.e., below 100-level courses). Assessments are conducted annually during a spring Assessment Week.
How can faculty get involved?
The student outcomes assessment program is faculty-owned and faculty-driven. There are a variety of ways for faculty members to be involved. They can join the Student Outcomes Committee (SOC), the Program Review Sub-committee of the SOC, or a faculty cluster working on a particular outcome area such as diversity or information literacy. Faculty members can also volunteer a class period for assessment during the spring Assessment Week, or assist with scoring the student assessments after the data are collected each spring. All faculty members should become familiar with the assessment results, talk with colleagues about them, and determine what implications results have for their own discipline and instruction.
What are the student learning outcomes for general education?
Write a clear, well-organized paper using documentation and quantitative tools when appropriate.
Construct and deliver a clear, well-organized, verbal presentation.
Identify and extract relevant data from given mathematical situations.
Select known models or develop appropriate models that organize the data into tables or spreadsheets, graphical representations, symbolic/ equation format.
Obtain correct mathematical results and state those results with the qualifiers.
Use the results.
Problem Solving/Critical Thinking
Identify a problem or argument.
Isolate facts related to the problem.
Differentiate facts from opinions or emotional responses.
Ascertain the author's conclusion.
Generate multiple solutions to the problem.
Use evidence or sound reasoning to justify a position.
Scientific Inquiry - Demonstrate scientific inquiry skills related to
Hypothesis: Distinguish between possible and improbable or impossible reasons for a problem.
Prediction: Distinguish between predictions that are logical or not logical based upon a problem presented.
Assumption: Recognize justifiable and necessary assumptions based on information presented.
Interpretation: Weigh evidence and decide if generalizations or conclusions based upon given data are warranted.
Evaluation: Distinguish between probable and improbable causes, possible and impossible reasons, and effective and ineffective action based on information presented.
Arts and Humanities
Demonstrate knowledge of human creations.
Demonstrate an awareness that different contexts and/or world views produce different human creations.
Demonstrate an understanding and awareness of the impact that a piece (artifact) has on the relationship and perspective of the audience.
Demonstrate an ability to evaluate human creations.
Given a problem, define specific information needed to solve the problem or answer the question.
Locate appropriate and relevant information to match informational needs.
Identify and use appropriate print and/or electronic information sources.
Evaluate information for currency, relevancy, and reliability.
Use information effectively.
Identify and explain diverse cultural customs, beliefs, traditions, and lifestyles.
Identify and explain major cultural, historical and geographical issues that shape our perceptions.
Identify and explain social forces that can effect cultural change.
Identify biases, assumptions, and prejudices in multicultural interactions.
Identify ideologies, practices, and contributions that persons of diverse backgrounds bring to our multicultural world.
What are the student learning outcomes for the workplace?
Ethics: The ability to commit to standards of personal and professional integrity, honesty and fairness.
Interpersonal Skills: The ability to utilize oral, written and listening skills to effectively interact with others.
Critical Thinking: The ability to analyze and evaluate information and utilize a variety of resources in making decisions or solving problems.
Organization: The ability to prioritize, meet deadlines and complete assignments in a timely manner; adapt to a constantly changing workload and environment; and identify realistic goals and inventions for short and long term planning.
Teamwork: The ability to collaborate with others toward the accomplishment of common goals.
Technology Literacy: The ability to use technology and understand its value and purpose in the workplace.
Personal and Professional Responsibilities: The ability to assess the range of one's abilities, accept responsibility for setting realistic goals, and implement a plan for personal and professional well-being.
What are the student learning outcomes for developmental education?
Read written and graphically-presented information and draw correct and/or reasonable inferences and conclusions from the information.
Recognize how basic principles from one discipline generalize to other disciplines.
Given written and graphically-presented information, create a thesis and support it with evidence from the information.
Given a mathematical problem, demonstrate critical thinking skills by:
interpreting the problem
determining the correct mathematical operations for the problem