Student Learning and Assessment

The great state of California has some of the best universities and secondary schools on the planet. In fact, it’s selection of community colleges, known as the California Community Colleges Network (or CCC) continues to provide award winning services year after year. While it’s no secret that California (along with many other states) struggles to keep high school students in the classroom and off the streets, the CCC is dedicated to providing affordable quality education to help such student who persevere broaden their horizons for the future.

The CCC is made of of 112 college and services nearly two and a half million students, and it’s significant task to ensure that student learning needs are being met. A variety of different programs and incentives have been utilized in helping teachers and faculty at these community and junior colleges. One such initiative is referred to as the SLO Assessment, or sometimes better known by it’s official name: The Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes. Recently we’ve seen a number of schools struggling to successfully implement the processes required for SLO proficiency. The 2012 deadline set in place by the CCC caused many faculty members to view the SLO requirements as only a number they needed to hit, rather than as a charge to focus on improving the quality of education provided to college students and having proficiency be naturally achieved as a bi-product.

It is not our intention to speak ill of those professors and other staff who may still hold such opinions, but rather to offer a comprehensive understanding of the task at hand. Let it be known that there are many educators and administrators who continue to give their whole heart and soul for the benefit of improving the quality of education being provided to the students of California. Many of them have been very resourceful in their attempts to improve not only test scores, but student learning in general. The level of ingenuity we’ve seen coming from many of these classrooms far exceeds any expectations held by the academic senate prior to the setting forth of the SLO Assessment standard.

Finally, it is the goal and purpose of this site to highlight and reward this extra effort being put in by faculty members. While there are many great awards, including the Promising Outcomes Work and Exemplary Research (P.O.W.E.R) Award and other recognitions given out to exemplary administrators (and various exemplary programs) annually during conferences held throughout the year not many such recognitions are known to the general public. Using this site really as more of a blog, we will highlight individuals in the community who are taking unique approaches to improving the level of education provided by their organization. Some of these individuals may have previously won awards for their collaborative efforts, some may have not, but regardless they are achieving the desired results as witnessed by their student’s comprehensive test scores. Such individuals have not gone through such effort for recognition or congratulation. They go the extra mile because educating is their passion. We, however, feel that it is our duty to make such great acts known.

Improving Student Learning