April 18, 2007

 

 

MEMORANDUM

 

TO:                   Educational Policy and University Standards Committee (EPUS)  

                        Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs                   

 

FROM:              Student Achievement Assessment Committee (SAAC)

 

RE:                   2007 General Education Assessment Measurement Update (Core Goals)

 

 

In February, each of the four undergraduate colleges received a copy of the 2007 General Education Assessment Report.  This report contains the most recent figures regarding how UCCS students, in each of the undergraduate colleges, are meeting or not meeting UCCS general education goals. 

 

The report includes a visual representation of general education goals and “Areas of Concern” and “Areas for Immediate Attention” for each of the colleges (pgs 6-10).  The term “Area of Concern” is used when most recent data only is below campus or national benchmark standards.   The term “Area of Immediate Attention” is used when the most recent data and contiguous data are below campus or national benchmark standards.  Each college was asked to review the entire report and respond to several prompts from the Student Achievement Assessment Committee (SAAC) by March 23, 2007 (see attached memo and college responses).  At a minimum, colleges were to include a description of actions proposed or underway to address each assessment item under the “Area for Immediate Attention” category and provide an update on improvements implemented since the 2005 General Education Assessment Measurement Update report.

 

Overall, the responses SAAC received from the colleges:

Ø      Addressed the currently identified “Areas for Immediate Attention” in general terms

Ø      Provided little concrete information about what has taken place in the colleges as follow-up to their responses to the 2005 report

Ø      Given the lack of reported follow-up to the 2005 report, raised concerns about the proposed responses to the 2007 report

 

From EPUS/Faculty Assembly the SAAC would like to request:

Ø      Continued support and reinforcement of SAAC and the assessment process.

Ø      Endorsement of the concept that each college should continue to discuss the information presented in the report (especially the “Areas for Immediate Attention”), work on potential and implemented solutions, and be poised to respond when the next update of this document is presented (or sooner).

Ø      Support in arranging a process for interpreting goals to potentially include sustainability, information literacy and other areas of campus interest that arguably fit within the existing goals.

Ø      The authority and/or approval to revise and update the general education assessment process during AY 2007-2008.  Independent of any updating of the interpretation of goals, objectives need to be updated (revise outdated wording regarding five-year mark, etc.) and measurements may need refining. 

 

From each college SAAC requests:

Ø      Renewed commitment to the general education assessment process.

Ø      The identification and/or creation of an internal mechanism and/or designated faculty committee to review and respond to SAAC assessment data in a timely and complete fashion.

Ø      Thoughtful implementation of courses and requirements that would provide students the opportunity to gain the competencies needed to meet the general education goals.

 

In direct response to:

 

     Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Science:

Ø      SAAC appreciates the timeline of actions to effect change in the native students’ Academic Profile (now MAPP) scores.  SAAC is eager to see the resulting plan in June as outlined in the timeline.

Ø      The upgraded technology/learning labs and perhaps the CommuniCoach software in use by Kluge, Glick and Crouch are expected to increase student perception of development in computing and information technology. 

 

     College of Letters, Arts, & Sciences:

Ø      SAAC appreciates the initial response to this report and acknowledges that the constituent abilities demonstrated by LAS students are indeed reassuring.

Ø      An increase of 11% in LAS students’ responses regarding their personal code of values and ethics is encouraging

Ø      Performing class presentations may increase students’ ability to work effectively with others, as might encouraging group projects, group presentations, service learning opportunities, and other in and out-of-class activities.  As is stated, the ideas latent in the faculty will provide an abundance of other such activities and ideas. 

Ø      The college describes a process that includes bringing the matter to the college chairs and directors.  Please provide a follow-up on the results of these consultations outlining how the college plans to address the areas identified as “Immediate Attention” no later than November 15, 2007. 

 

     College of Business

Ø      SAAC appreciates the college’s evident detailed evaluation of the current report.  This suggests the college takes the results very seriously.

Ø      The college’s response suggests that a thorough briefing on the methodology used would be helpful.  There is little doubt that there are legitimate questions about methodology that can be asked, many of which can probably be answered to everyone’s satisfaction, but that succinct reporting of such complicated material is a challenge.  SAAC will be pleased to work with the college on making sure that the results, however they may be interpreted, are clear to the college.

Ø      The lack of reference to the college’s very thorough response to the 2005 report is puzzling.  Many of the proposed changes discussed in that document could have an effect on the current results, but may not have had time to have an impact.  At the very least, it would be helpful to understand what changes the college has already made in the interim.  Please provide a follow-up outlining what has transpired in the college since the last report no later than November 15, 2007.

Ø      Reaching a common understanding on methodology and previous efforts will probably yield somewhat different responses to the current report.  Please re-visit the college’s response after those two steps have been taken.

 

     College of Engineering and Applied Science:

Ø      The college believes that its students have met most of the goals that are flagged as “Areas of Concern” or “Areas of Immediate Attention” by the 2007 General Education Assessment Report and plans to present evidence of this nature in fall 2007.  SAAC welcomes the identification of other methods of assessment, especially those with national comparative data.  Please plan to submit this evidence no later than November 15, 2007.

Ø      The planned mapping of ABET outcomes to the UCCS General Education Goals is a valid and useful method of ensuring competencies for both assessments.  SAAC expects that the UCCS General Education Goals will encompass the majority, if not all, of the ABET (A-K) requirements.  

Ø      The college has not provided information regarding progress on 2005 plans, but will do so in fall.  SAAC requests this evaluation be completed by November 15, 2007. 

Ø      SAAC concurs with the idea that inclusion of courses that include topics in diversity, oral communication, and global awareness would be likely to result in improvement in some areas identified as weaknesses.