Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
In the spring of 2006, the Division of Student Services began to establish and implement a comprehensive timeline and framework for the establishment of student learning outcomes (SLOs) within every department and program. When fully implemented, this framework will systematically utilize our SLOs in guiding, assessing, and improving all student services departments and programs.
The first planning retreat with program leaders occurred in January 2006; Julie Slark, RSCCD Assistant Vice Chancellor for Educational Services facilitated the day long retreat and provided an SLO primer as well as several small group discussions. On April 9, 2006 the all student services staff meeting was dedicated to “Starting the Student Learning Outcome Dialogue” facilitated by John Hernandez, SCC Vice President for Student Services and Julie Slark, RSCCD Assistant Vice Chancellor for Educational Services. This seminar allowed for an in-depth SLO presentation and small group activities with student services faculty and staff and provided an overview of how this process would unfold.
On June 7, 2006 student services registered for an audio conference on “Getting Started with Assessment in Student Affairs” and was attended by approximately 15 program leaders and staff. This audio conference provided critical assessment information to get program leaders thinking about identifying appropriate methodologies when conducting assessments.
On July 17, 2006 student services program leaders once more held a one-day planning retreat to finalize our student learning outcomes implementation framework. The following outcomes were achieved from this retreat:
· Organizational framework-flow chart to provide a visual of the Student Services SLO process
· Timeframe and timelines
· SLO Mapping Grid that matches departmental SLOs with the college’s learning outcomes
· First draft of an Annual SLO Report Template that will in time be submitted on a yearly basis.
The timeframe and timelines were useful in operationalizing the SLO framework. The following timelines were developed and consequently were completed or are in progress:
- December 2006: each Student Services Department would identify 1-2 SLOs
- January 2007: Staff Development on Assessment Methods
- End of February 2007: Develop assessment plan for SLOs
- Completion of the Method-To-Timeline Assessment Matrix which outlines each department’s SLO(s), Method of Assessment, and Proposed timeframe
- 2007-08 academic year: implement SLO assessment
- June 2008: submit SLO status report for 2007-08
On January 19, 2007 an in-service training was presented on “Completing our SLO Framework through Assessment” facilitated by Dr. Marilee J. Bresciani, Associate Professor of Postsecondary Educational Leadership at San Diego State University. Dr. Bresciani’s research focuses on the evaluation of student learning and development. This seminar provided program faculty and staff an opportunity to receive additional training on outcomes based assessment and provided the necessary “next steps” for finalizing assessment methodologies in each department and program.
To date all student services programs have defined expected student learning outcomes for their areas; identified appropriate assessment methodologies for their expected student learning outcome; and have completed five full cycles of assessing student learning outcomes (refer to 2007-08, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2012-2013 SLO Reports). Note: Formal SLO assessment did not occur in 2011-2012; given that Triennial Program Reviews were submitted that year.
In an effort for continuous quality improvement of our learning outcome framework, SS program leaders have participated in a series of retreats and meetings specific to SLOs and in conjunction with the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness produced the document: "Statement on Standards of Assessment Practice for Student Services Programs" (spring 2012) which affirms that assessment of student services at Santiago Canyon College meets each of the following criteria:
1) identification of at least one student learning outcome for each program,
2) use of direct and indirect assessment methods,
3) current and specific assessments of record for SLOs on file,
4) a regular, explicitly stated cycle of assessment for all programs on file,
5) reports of assessment results and action plans on file.
The five criteria stated above represent the threshold for assessment practice in student services for the institution. They enable the institution to describe a common core of learning to external stakeholders and agencies. The college invites and encourages faculty and staff to engage in outcomes assessment practices that go beyond the threshold established by the criteria.
In order to expand on the quality work undertaken to date in SLO assessment, the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness along with the Vice President of Student Services planned and facilitated an SLO retreat (summer 2013) for all student services program leaders in order to continue the dialogue on the development of Service Area Outcomes (SAOs); to develop multi-year SLOs and SAOs; and to begin mapping all outcomes assessments either to the institutional learning goals or the college's goals as outlined in the current Educational Master Plan. Beginning in 2013-14 all student services units will develop at a minimum one Service Area Outcome and will begin the process of developing a multi-year approach in outcome assessment identification that includes mapping of their program/student outcomes with institutional outcomes/goals. A template was developed to document each area's SLO/SAO.
Implementation of assessment plans and SLO measurement will continue on an-going basis; this systematic assessment cycle ensures that we (1) implement our identified learning outcomes and identify methods to gather data, (2) interpret the results or evidence of our assessment and (3) that program goals, activities, and outcomes will be evaluated on an on-going basis to ensure that decisions for program improvement, planning, budgeting, etc. be shaped by the results of our assessment.
For additional information, please contact Dr. John Hernandez, Vice President of Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or (714) 628-4886.