image of wilson complex basketball courtbackground image of pine treependant background imageheader image of librarypurple background imageimage of stair wellimage of student union builingimage of gutterImage of ceilingImage of ceiling of the wilson complex buildingimage of wall in Tech buildingimage of swimming poolimage of ceilingimage of window at Studnet union buildingWall imageImage of window at science buildingImage of window at science buildingImage of stairs in science buildingImage of interior of science buildingImage of science buildingImage of science buildingImage of library buildingImage of buildingbackground image of ceiling

Probation Area 4.B: Assessment: Student Learning Outcomes and Co-Curricular

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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:

Co-Curricular Resolution:

  1. 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.”
  2. Formally approval of the plan into the Assessment Handbook by Faculty Senate, General Faculty, Administration, and Board of Regents.
  3. Dissemination of the Assessment Handbook to “key stakeholders,” i.e. the co-curricular groups who would need to do assessments.
  4. Co-curricular groups gather data and complete their assessments according to the schedule passed in the Assessment Handbook.
  5. Co-curricular assessment reports are reviewed and feedback provided to “close the loop.”

Student Learning / Academic Outcomes Assessment Resolution:

  1. Increase compliance of the number of programs finishing their assessment of student learning outcomes (Outcomes Assessment).
  2. Tie Outcomes Assessment to the Strategic Planning and Budgeting Process.
  3. Regularly monitor and report on the progress of Outcomes Assessment Process.

Assessment of Attrition Resolution:

  1. 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.

  Milestone Completion Responsibility Evidence
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