SACS Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1
Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1: The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses the extent to which it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in the following area: (126.96.36.199) educational programs, to include student learning outcomes.
Judgment of Compliance
The faculty have defined general education and program level outcomes for student learning, and these are available on both the University’s SACS website and academic department websites. Discipline faculty have worked in teams to develop appropriate learning outcomes along with curricula designed to develop the knowledge and skills specified by the faculty. These outcomes are assessed regularly using multiple measures (e.g. senior surveys, exit interviews, standardized instruments, and faculty-developed assessments). Finally, the faculty use assessment results to improve programs and modify curricula.
The University-wide learning outcomes are Communication and Critical Thinking. These outcomes are assessed via standardized methods including the Educational Testing Service’s Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP) and the Regents Test (a test of Writing and Reading Proficiency required by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia) as well as a variety of assessments conducted within the major programs (see documentation provided below). Communication and Critical Thinking are conceptualized as “universal” learning outcomes which are assessed as they are manifested within a discipline context; therefore, both of these learning outcomes are represented within each set of major level learning outcomes. For example, Critical Thinking in majors such as Biology and Psychology include learning outcomes focused on scientific reasoning ; the Critical Thinking outcome for History is demonstrated by performing historical research using primary and secondary sources in libraries, archives, and other repositories of historical records. Similarly, the Communication-related outcomes in the various majors focus on the application of writing and speaking to discipline-appropriate contexts (e.g. APA Style in Psychology and Scientific Writing in Biology). This approach is intended to help students see that sound critical thinking and effective communication share common elements across all disciplines and majors, and are not viewed as isolated from the contexts in which the thinking and communicating occur.
The faculty are responsible for the development of all learning outcomes and have worked in teams to develop sets of outcomes that reflect the unique character of their disciplines. These outcomes are published on each program website, the SACS website linked off of the Provost’s website, and on syllabi for each course within the programs. As documented by the assessment plans and reports provided below, the outcomes are assessed within the courses as well as via methods developed and/or selected by the faculty. In most cases, a combination of internal and external measures is used to assess student learning and program quality. As the assessment reports indicate, curricula are evaluated routinely based upon these data and improvements are made when a need is indicated. Furthermore, these data must be used in preparing the rationale that is required on all New Course Proposals and the memoranda prepared for major curriculum revisions (links to these forms are provided). The New Course Proposals and any significant curriculum revisions are reviewed thoroughly and must be approved by the Curriculum and Policy Council prior to implementation. This process ensures that assessment data are used effectively to provide evidence for any such changes.
The process by which learning outcomes are developed, student learning is assessed, and data are used for improvement is coordinated by the Director of Instructional Development with data collection assistance from the Director of Institutional Research along with the cooperative efforts of the various Deans and Department Chairs. Clayton State University is fortunate to have a culture of academic excellence and intra-institutional cooperation that makes such efforts truly collaborative.
Supporting Documentation and Links
Program Assessment Plans and Reports
- Bachelor of Business Administration
- Master of Business Administration
- Dental Hygiene
- Health Care Management
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Master of Science in Nursing
- Teacher Education
- Administrative Management
- Communication and Media Studies
- Computer Science
- Criminal Justice
- Health and Fitness Management
- Information Technology
- Information Technology (WebBSIT online)
- Integrative Studies
- Legal Studies
- Liberal Studies
- Master of Health Administration
- Political Science
- Psychology and Human Services
- Technology Management