Task: As stated in the HLC action letter, Highlands must provide evidence that the institution has ameliorated the findings of non-compliance identified in this action that resulted in the imposition of Probation, Core Component 4.B:
- a formally approved assessment plan for informal (not embedded into degree programs) co-curricular programs/experiences that the University claims contribute to student learning outcomes; and
- the plan must include clearly stated goals, evidence-based methodology for assessment, a regular assessment schedule, a report template that includes “closing the loop” and dissemination of assessment information to key stakeholders, and incorporation of co-curricular program assessment into the officially approved University assessment handbook;
More information was provided in the HLC action letter:
The University is out of compliance with Criterion Four, Core Component 4.B, “the institution demonstrates a commitment to educational achievement and improvement through ongoing assessment of student learning,” for the following reasons:
- The University has not demonstrated a commitment to assessment of student learning as required by this Core Component because:
- the University has yet to fully implement its assessment of student learning processes and demonstrates a lack of attentiveness to institutional progress in assessment;
- the University has no assessment of student learning outcomes for co-curricular experiences, except for those embedded in academic degree programs;
- assessment of student learning outcomes has been a longstanding challenge for the University that it has not resolved, having been identified as a challenge in the 2000 Comprehensive Report, an area of focus in the 2004 Focused Visit, and an area needing continuing attention in the 2009 Comprehensive Report;
- Both the IAC Hearing Committee and the visiting team concurred that the first step in addressing these issues is to assess the institution’s attrition, which still remains to be identified as a core problem with satisfactory solutions attempted or accomplished; and
- While the University in its August 2016 response described its work in this area, there remains some residual confusion between assessment of student learning and program review, with the most recent response focusing on program review rather than assessment of student learning, and there does not appear to have been a thorough assessment of the University’s attrition.
Resolution: Highlands needs to accomplish the following things to resolve Probation Area:
- Create a co-curricular program assessment plan that includes clearly stated goals, evidence-based methodology for assessment, a regular assessment schedule, and a report template that “closes the loop.”
- Formally approval of the plan into the Assessment Handbook by Faculty Senate, General Faculty, Administration, and Board of Regents.
- Dissemination of the Assessment Handbook to “key stakeholders,” i.e. the co-curricular groups who would need to do assessments.
- Co-curricular groups gather data and complete their assessments according to the schedule passed in the Assessment Handbook.
- Co-curricular assessment reports are reviewed and feedback provided to “close the loop.”
Student Learning / Academic Outcomes Assessment Resolution:
- Increase compliance of the number of programs finishing their assessment of student learning outcomes (Outcomes Assessment).
- Tie Outcomes Assessment to the Strategic Planning and Budgeting Process.
- Regularly monitor and report on the progress of Outcomes Assessment Process.
Assessment of Attrition Resolution:
- Retention issues are addressed in Action Plan 4.C.
Background: With regard to the Assessment of Co-Curricular Activities, this is a relatively new requirement of the HLC. Highlands has a number of activities we identify as “co-curricular,” meaning that they help our students improve their learning outcomes (which we call the 4 student traits here at Highlands). While many of these programs have done regular self-assessments and reports, such as ARMAS or the library, there has not been one standard assessment process that all programs must follow, and there was no regularly centralized review of these programs.
|✓||Form Co-Curricular Group to Draft Co-Curricular Assessment Process (CCAP) for Inclusion in Assessment Manual||Spring 2016||Provost/VPAA||Spring 2016 HLC Site Visit Response|
|✓||Formal Charge from Faculty Senate for Co-Curricular Group to Work with Student Affairs Committee and Outcomes Assessment Committee to Finalize CCAP||Fall 2016||Faculty Senate||September 14, 2016 Faculty Senate Minutes|
|✓||Research and Drafting of CCAP by Co-Curricular Group||October 2016||Co-Curricular Group||E-mail 10-13-16|
|✓||Input on CCAP from Student Affairs Committee, Outcomes Assessment Committee, Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and Impacted Co-Curricular groups||November 1-November 18, 2016||Co-Curricular Group||E-mail 11-9-16, call for CCOA feedback|
|✓||Approval of CCAP by Faculty Senate||November 30, 2016||Faculty Senate||Faculty Senate Minutes|
|✓||Approval of Staff Senate||TBD||General Faculty||Staff Senate Minutes|
|✓||Approval of CCAP by Administration||December 2, 2016||Dean of Students||BOR Minutes|
|✓||Approval of CCAP by Board of Regents||December 2, 2016||Board of Regents||BOR Minutes|
|✓||CCAP Distributed to All Co-Curricular Programs||January 2017||Faculty Senate, Dean of Students||E-mails|
|✓||Forum Held with Co-Curricular Programs||January 2017||Dean of Students, OIER Director, Assessment Committee Chair, Faculty Senate Chair||E-mails|
|✓||Co-Curricular Programs Draft Assessment Plans Using CCAP Guidelines||February 2017||Co-Curricular Program Directors||CCOA Plans: Academic Support, Career Support|
|✓||Co-Curricular Programs Gather Data||February-May||Co-Curricular Program Directors||CCOA Reports: Academic Support, Career Support|
|✓||Co-Curricular Programs Complete Assessment Reports||June 2017||Co-Curricular Program Directors||CCOA Reports: Academic Support, Career Support|
|✓||Review of Co-Curricular Reports by Administration, Outcomes Assessment Committee, and other Co-Curricular Groups||June-August 2017||Co-Curricular Committee||E-mails|
|✓||Co-Curricular Programs Assessments Uploaded to Website||Fall 2017||OIER Director||CCOA Reports: Academic Support, Career Support|
|✓||Co-Curricular Programs Revise Assessment Plan for 2017-2018, if needed||September 2017||OIER Director||CCOA Reports: Academic Support, Career Support|
|✓||Co-Curricular Programs Make Changes to Their Programs and Assessment Plans Based on Feedback||Fall 2017||Co-Curricular Program Directors||CCOA Plans: Academic Support, Career Support|
|Co-Curricular Programs Collect Data for 2017-2018||Fall 2017-Spring 208||Co-Curricular Program Directors|
|✓||Increase Compliance of Departments with Outcomes Assessment||Fall 2016||Faculty Senate Chair, OIER Director, Assessment Committee Chair||Completion of OA Reports: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Social Work|
|✓||Additional resources offered to departments to complete Outcomes Assessments by March 1, 2017||Fall 2016||Assessment Committee Chair, CTE Director||Completion of OA Reports: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Social Work|
|✓||Lists of OA Completion Created and Distributed to Campus||November 2016||Faculty Senate Chair, OIER Director, Assessment Committee Chair||Completion of OA Reports: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Social Work|
|✓||Outcomes Assessment Reports Uploaded to Website||September 2017||OIER Director||Completion of OA Reports: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Social Work|