History and Overview of SLOA
History of SLOA Committee
Abridged from TMCC's General Education Handbook (2006)
The Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment Committee (SLOA) was formed to finalize the work initiated by the Institutional Assessment Committee (1999 to 2004). It originally had twenty-three members representing all the instructional divisions and departments at Truckee Meadows Community College. Following proper consultation with governance, in 2004, SLOA and the General Education Subcommittee merged to make the evaluation and review of General Education a comprehensive and coherent process; the committee began the work of constructing learning abilities and designing an assessment process. At the April 2006 SLOA meeting, a decision was made to split the committee into two. As the original SLOA committee had completed the difficult work of constructing learning abilities, and assessment of reporting structure, and assessment report guidelines, committee member felt that the large version of SLOA had accomplished its primary goals and that a smaller body could oversee implementation of assessment procedures. One committee continued to be named SLOA, and the revived General Education Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment Sub-Committee composed of members from the Faculty Senate Academic Standards and Curriculum Committees temporarily served as the institution-wide body for General Education assessment issues for fall 2006; in fall 2006 Faculty Senate created a new general education committee.
The Faculty Senate General Education committee was in place from 2006-2010, when the Faculty Senate reorganized its committee structure and folded both the Academic Standards and General Education committees into the Curriculum, Assessment, and Programs committee.
- SLOA Coordinator
- One teaching faculty representative from each school
- At-large members from the faculty
- One representative from Institutional Research
- One representative from Student Services
- One academic dean
- One representative from the Faculty Senate Curriculum, Assessment, and Programs committee
- Serve as the representative institution-wide body for course, discipline, and program level student learning outcomes and assessment issues.
- Provide policy guidance on course, discipline, and program level student learning outcomes and assessment issues. In doing so, this committee should:
- develop and maintain expertise in outcomes assessment
- research best practices
- evaluate the progress of course, discipline, and program level assessment processes
- promote assessment awareness and participation
- recommend appropriate modifications or changes to course, discipline, and program level assessment processes
SLOA Reporting Structure
SLOA will continue to report to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services who is charged with staffing the committee; significant policy proposals will continue to go through the appropriate current governance structures.
Overview of SLOA Committee Activities
The first coordinated, large-scale effort to institutionalize course-level assessment occurred in spring 2005, when all departments were required to meet during Professional Development week and develop course learning outcomes for courses that fulfilled general education requirements.
Between 2005 and the spring of 2010, faculty continued to revise existing student learning outcomes and establish student learning outcomes for courses, degrees, emphases, and certificates. TMCC established a number of assessment policies and procedures, including annual Program, Discipline, and Course Assessment Reports (PDCARs) and periodic Program and Discipline Review (PDR) reports. From fall 2010 to fall 2011, the PDCAR and PUR processes were revised to the Course Assessment Report (CAR) and Program/Unit Review (PUR) processes.
SLOA functioned as a college resource during this period, providing support and guidance to faculty, departments, and divisions. In 2009-2010, the committee worked on non-general education courses that had not undergone review for years. The committee met with faculty, reviewed student learning outcomes and measures, and facilitated the approval of the courses. The SLOA committee also instituted Assessment Day during Professional Development days at the beginning of each semester and held professional workshops during the semesters.
In response to the recommendations from the October 2010 Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities visit, TMCC established the spring 2011 semester as a benchmark semester for assessment. The SLOA committee facilitated and participated in the following activities:
- developed and published outcomes and measures for TMCC's four degrees: the Associate of Arts degree, the Associate of Science degree, the Associate of Applied Science degree, and the Associate of General Studies degree.
- developed and published learning outcomes for all TMCC degrees, emphases, and certificates.
- refined the relationships between course, certificate, emphasis, and degree assessment with annual and periodic assessment; solidified the connection between assessment of offerings and planning and evaluation processes.
- created an assessment process for TMCC's general education program (pilot assessment project scheduled for spring 2012).
In refining the relationships between course, certificate, emphasis, and degree assessment in relation to annual and periodic assessment, two major changes were implemented:
- The annual Program, Discipline, and Course Assessment Report (PDCAR) was revised to an annual Course Assessment Report (CAR). Annual course assessment, based on established departmental assessment cycles, will be reflected on the CAR template. Program and discipline assessment is folded into the periodic Program/Unit Review (PUR), which was revised to reflect an emphasis on integrated planning. Additional data will be provided in the PUR, including assessment and budget data, to facilitate analysis.