Return to Infonet 21st Century Learning Outcomes Final Report
By Rosemary Jones

(Excerpts from the June 2003 report, Tracking Student Acquisition of the General Knowledge, Competencies and Skills Required of Cuyahoga Community College Graduates, Summary Report, 2002-2003, prepared by Dr. Curtis L. Gooden, Project Director)

Cuyahoga Community College joined 15 other community colleges and the League for Innovation in the Community College in a 21st Century Learning Outcomes Project. Supported by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the project had the goal of increasing the capacity of community colleges to define and document the acquisition of the critical competencies students need to succeed in the workplace, in transfer education, and in today's society.

The Cuyahoga Community College faculty defined learning outcome assessment as: “Student educational outcomes assessment measures the degree to which students, upon completion of a course of study, have achieved completion or mastery of student matter and /or performance skills.” Nine competencies were identified and through a process of course and program certification, have been incorporated into the new degree requirements that went into effect Fall, 2001 and are listed in the College Catalog.  These general education and life competencies are: Communication, Mathematics, Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Cultural Diversity/Interdependence/Global Awareness, Computer and Information Literacy, Critical Thinking, and Consumer Awareness and Health.

A Learning Outcomes Project Coordinating Committee directed the project.  Team members were:

bulletDr. Carmelita Thomas, Western Campus President and Administrator in Charge
bulletDr. Curtis Gooden, Project Director
bulletMr. Michael Boyko, Assistant Dean, Business & Technology
bulletMr. Lawrence Cole, Campus Director, Technology Learning Center
bulletMs. Paula DuPerow, Librarian
bulletDr. Carol Franklin, Dean, Liberal Arts
bulletMs. Marjorie Heyd, Assistant Professor, Nursing
bulletMr. Mark Jackson, Assistant Professor, Spanish
bulletMs. Rosemary Jones, District Director, Institutional Planning & Evaluation
bulletMs. Lisa Jozwiak, Clinical Coordinator, Physician Assistant Program
bulletDr, Evelyn Love, Professor, Counseling
bulletMr. Craig McAtee, Vice President, WEDD
bulletMr. Peter Ross, Campus Director, Counseling
bulletMs. Brenda Sims, Associate Professor, Office Administration
bulletMr. Rudy Stralka, Instructor, Business Administration

This collegewide and representative committee coordinated the work of several task forces.  Assessments were conducted in computer literacy, critical thinking, cultural diversity, and information literacy.  All of the assessments with the exception of the information literacy assessment were developed by Cuyahoga Community College faculty.

Students were assessed during Spring Semester 2003.  A sample of approximately 500 students was randomly selected for each of the core areas.  Thus, a total of 2,000 surveys were distributed among 119 faculty members across the three campuses. 

The impact of the college experience on four cohorts was determined: 

bulletStudents who had completed 0 to 6 credit hours
bulletStudents who had completed 7 to 30 credits
bulletStudents who had completed 31 to 50 credits
bulletStudents who had completed 51 or more credits

In order to quantify student success on the competencies being measured, the following criteria were used:

bulletStudents scoring 65% or better demonstrated an understanding of the competency
bulletStudents scoring 50% to 64% demonstrated awareness of the competency but did not understand it completely
bulletStudents scoring less than 50% did not meet the goal of the competency.

Summary of Results

Competency 0-6 Credits 7-30 Credits 31-50 Credits 51+ Credits
Computer Literacy 69% 76% 76% 70%
Critical Thinking 41% 40% 41% 37%
Cultural Diversity 47% 62% 70% 70%
Information Literacy 48% 54% 47% 45%

It was assumed that the scores of students who have completed more than 50 credit hours would be similar to the scores of graduates of the college.  Thus on a basis of this study, graduates of the College will demonstrate an understanding of Computer Literacy and Cultural Diversity.  They will not meet the minimum standards set for Critical Thinking and Information Literacy.

Next Steps

Faculty and staff with assistance and support from the administration retain the responsibility for determining the proper response.  They may wish to:

bulletDetermine if the results effectively measure what was intended
bulletRestructure or refine an objective to more accurately reflect the intent of the General Education core competency or skill
bulletMake no changes if the performance is determined to meet expectations
bulletRemove courses from the inventory of core competencies and skills certifications

In addition to the competencies and skills addressed in this process, the areas of communication, mathematics, sciences, arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and consumer awareness and health have yet to be addressed.  It is recommended that a schedule be developed so that documentation of student achievement of each competency and skill will occur on a three year schedule.

Alliance for Teaching and Learning

The College has now hired a Director for Academic Performance Quality Systems, Dr. Vi Rajagopalan, to coordinate a comprehensive and systematic approach to student outcomes assessment including institutionalizing the assessment of the General Education Core Competencies and Skills.  She is the chair for the Alliance for Teaching and Learning which has been established with the charter members serving as the steering committee.  Several have experience with the 21st Century Learning Outcomes Project.  Charter members include:

bulletMichael Boyko – Instructor, Law Enforcement
bulletLindsay English – District Director, Faculty Development (ex officio)
bulletCarol Franklin –Dean, Liberal Arts
bulletRosemary Jones – Exec. Dir., Institutional Planning & Evaluation (ex officio)
bulletLisa Jozwiak – Clinical Coordinator, Surgical PA
bulletKathryn McAtee – Associate Professor, Business Administration
bulletKaren Reed – Dean, Business, Math, & Tech (ex officio)
bulletLouis Rifici – Assistant Professor, Environmental Health & Safety
bulletKimberly Royal – Instructor, Biology
bulletRob Stuart – Director, Institutional Research
bulletBrian Van Pelt – Instructor, Mathematics

Information on the progress of the Alliance will be made available on a regular basis as their work progresses.

For the full report of the 21st century learning Outcomes Committee, please see:  K:\Academic & Student Affairs (ASA)\Institutional Planning & Evaluation\Assessment\21st Cent Lrn Outcomes (Final Report June 2003).doc

For more information, please contact Dr. Vi Rajagopalan at 987-3658.

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