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Assessing at the Program / Student Services Level

All academic programs and student service areas at Skyline College have established Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs). PSLOs are statements (typically four or fewer) that summarize the essential skills, knowledge and attitudes that a student gains after completing the program.

Assessing instructional PSLOs is done by aligning and applying course level assessment data to the PSLOs. Faculty are able to generate reports on TracDat that show relevant course level assessment results “rolling up” to each of the PSLOs. For this “rolling up” to happen, faculty and staff need to have “mapped” (a.k.a. aligned) course level SLOs to PSLOs on TracDat. This mapping identifies which course level SLOs are central for students to achieve the PSLOs. These reports can be used to identify patterns and draw conclusions regarding the central question asked by program level assessment: How well are students achieving PSLOs and how does the program curriculum contribute to student success at the program level? After faculty analyze and discuss the report, important findings and insights are recorded on TracDat, thus completing the PSLO assessment cycle.

Programs also have the option of conducting other types of program level assessment in addition to the rolling up process. For example, some programs may wish to administer an exit survey or facilitate a focus group with graduates or certificate recipients; evaluate a culminating experience such as a capstone project, performance, or portfolio; tabulate the percentage of students who pass their boards/ industry certifications, etc.

Similarly, student services have established PSLOs. PSLOs are statements (typically four or fewer) that summarize the essential skills, knowledge and attitudes that a student gains after utilizing the service. Faculty and staff can draw from existing data, surveys, focus groups, and student work to assess the PSLOs; they may opt to draw from a sample of student work since the student population is more amorphous than a given class. And to keep a historical reference of student progress, they also will record their insights in TracDat.



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