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Career and Technical Programs


What is the focus of program assessment?
Program assessment measures success in student learning and is about giving faculty the information needed to improve student learning.

How often do I need to complete a program assessment?
Once the 5-column model is complete for your program, it should be reviewed annually and updated to reflect the current year's analysis. In the fall, columns 1-3 should be submitted and in the spring, columns 4 and 5 should be submitted.

Why does GCC need program assessment?
Program assessments need to be completed, reviewed/revised annually, and kept on record to continue our compliance with the Higher Learning Commission requirements for accreditation.

Program assessments answer the question of whether the program offers the material expected to be mastered by any student finishing the program and whether the student did indeed master this body of knowledge.

While program assessments are separate from course level assessments, the results of program assessments can be linked to both college-wide and course level assessment requirements.

Will the results of program assessments be used for individual performance evaluations or tenure considerations?
No. Program assessment is just that, an assessment of a program. It is not criteria for performance evaluations and is not considered for tenure decisions.

Program assessments are not tied to individuals to where the individual is personally responsible for the failure or success of a program but success of the students in mastering the competencies.

Academic freedom is still maintained so instructors can continue with what they are currently doing for the programs.

Why is it necessary for faculty to prepare program assessments?
Faculty is in the best position to raise and respond to the significant strategic and operational questions raised by the review of the program.

Faculty is also in the best position to use the results to improve the overall program if necessary.

If I am responsible for completing an assessment for a program in my department, what should be considered and / or reviewed?
- Curriculum of the program
- Program competencies
- Instruction in the program
- Student advising
- Faculty participation in research and scholarship activity
- Cooperation with other academic programs on campus

What type of assessment method should be used?
- Click on the Methods link for a detailed description of assessment methods.

What should be measured?
- Direct measurements that relate to the program competencies
- Measurements that are reliable and can be replicated
- Measurements that provide meaningful data
- Measurements which are administratively and logistically supportable
- Measurements which integrate with course and college-wide measures

What are the steps in the Assessment Cycle?
1. State the desired outcomes
2. Identify criteria for success
3. Collect data appropriate to the criteria
4. Analyze data and compare to outcomes
5. Make changes necessary at any point in the process to improve results
6. Repeat assessment cycle

How do I begin?
1. Start with the intended outcomes (program competencies)
2. Think carefully about the kind and amount of data you want to collect (make sure you collect only the data you will use)
3. Use multiple measures if possible, but make sure they are direct and measurable.

For example:

- Does your program contain a requirement to pass a certification exam and do you have access to the results of these exams? If you do, that is a perfect example of a direct measure.

- Does your program have a capstone class? If so, is there a proficiency or exit exam required?

- Do you require final exams for the core courses in your program? If you do and they are standard, this too can be used as a direct measure.

Direct measures versus indirect measures
1. Direct measures are those which can be measured objectively and the results can be collected and maintained consistently throughout the discipline. In addition, the results can be reviewed and linked to the curriculum competencies to improve student learning.

a. Examples:
- 75% of students will pass the state certification exam administered in the capstone course of the program
- 90% of students will pass portfolio assessment upon exit from the program (i.e. exit exam).
- Students receive 80% proficiency on skills test administered to all students in the program

2. Indirect measures are those which cannot be consistently collected and maintained or they are difficult to obtain, such as some surveys if not implemented correctly, which are subjective and have outside environmental influence.

a. Examples:
- 50% of survey respondents will report employment in the field
- Based on a survey, 75% of the students will report satisfaction with the education received through the program.

3. Other "mis-measures": not actual measures

a. Examples:
- 34% of the students in this program will be accepted at ASU

What do the columns in the five-column model represent?
- Column one=
relationship to Institutional Level (Mission)

- Column two= Program Intended Educational Outcomes:

  • Are the statements of intended outcomes clear and concise containing measurable concepts?
  • Are the statements all formulated in terms of what the program completers as a group will be able to think, know or do?

    - Column three= Assessment Method and Criteria for Success:

  • Do the means of assessment referenced measure the accomplishment of the intended outcomes described?
  • Do the means of assessment seem feasible and appropriate given the time and resources available?
  • Is at least one measure a direct measure?
  • Are multiple means of assessment utilized?
  • Is the criterion for program success established for each means of assessment?

    - Column four= Summary of Data Collected:

  • Are sufficient data provided in the summary of assessment results to convince the reader that the assessment described actually took place?
  • Are the assessment results analyzed in such a way as to focus on the accomplishment of the intended outcomes cited?

    - Column five= Use of Results

  • Is there evidence of broad scale faculty involvement in determination of the use of results for program improvement?
  • Does the use of results flow from and relate to the intended outcomes and assessment results?

    Which form do I use?
    GCC uses the 5-column model for it's Program Assessment form. Click on Program Assessment form and select your respective program to complete the column(s).

    Are there examples I can review?
    Yes. Archives are available for you to review.

    What happens to my 5-column model once it is complete?
    All models are kept in the program coordinator's office and can be reviewed electronically or you may review the printed document at any time.

  • In this site:

    Occupational Programs
    (623) 845-3876

    We welcome feedback.

    Content revised 1/3/08