Role of Accreditation
Student Learning Outcomes assessment informs LBCC faculty, administrators, and staff of student learning and guides improvements to courses, programs, and students’ general educations. It is also a requirement of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) and informs other outside agencies, such as the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.
ACCJC has a number of Accreditation Standards related to SLOs that the College must adhere to, such as:
II.A.1 - All instructional programs,
regardless of location or means of delivery, including distance
education and correspondence education, are offered in fields
of study consistent with the institution’s mission, are
appropriate to higher education, and culminate in student
attainment of identified student learning outcomes, and
achievement of degrees, certificates, employment, or transfer
to other higher education programs.
II.A.3 - The institution identifies and
regularly assesses learning outcomes for courses, programs,
certificates and degrees using established institutional
procedures. The institution has officially approved and current
course outlines that include student learning outcomes. In
every class section students receive a course syllabus that
includes learning outcomes from the institution’s officially
approved course outline.
- II.A.13 - All degree programs include focused study in at least one area of inquiry or in an established interdisciplinary core. The identification of specialized courses in an area of inquiry or interdisciplinary core is based upon student learning outcomes and competencies, and include mastery, at the appropriate degree level, of key theories and practices within the field of study.
The primary purpose of an ACCJC accredited institution is to foster learning in students. According to the 2020 Guide to Institutional Self-Evaluation, Improvement, and Peer Review, “accreditation is the proven method for assuring the public that a college or university meets established standards of quality and that it grants degrees, certificates, and/or credits that students and the community can trust.” An effective institution ensures that its resources and processes support student learning, continuously assesses that learning is taking place, and pursues institutional excellence and improvement. Effectiveness is measured by the extent to which institutions maintain an ongoing, self-reflective dialogue about quality and improvements.
Long Beach City College is accredited by ACCJC, and as such, adheres to the ACCJC Accreditation Standards and Commission Policies. To support faculty in efforts toward continuous quality improvement that ensures student learning, the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes (ASLO) Subcommittee has established cycles of assessment for course, program, and institutional learning outcomes. Outcomes assessment is also integrated into the College’s annual program planning/review process and hiring priorities process. Outcomes assessment supports the college in achieving the goals of the 2016-2022 Strategic Plan, in alignment with the College’s Mission and Values.
Revised Standards & Disaggregation
ACCJC’s were revised and adopted in June 2014. Unlike the previous standards, the new standards require colleges to not only assess Student Learning Outcomes but also to disaggregate this data. Specifically, Standards I.B.5 and I.B.6 discuss the requirement to disaggregate Student Learning Outcomes data:
- I.B.5 - The institution assesses the accomplishment of its mission through program review and evaluation of goals and objectives, student learning outcomes, and student achievement. Quantitative and qualitative data are disaggregated for analysis by program type and mode of delivery.
- I.B.6 – The institution disaggregates and analyzes learning outcomes and achievement for subpopulations of students. When the institution identifies performance gaps, it implements strategies, which may include allocation or reallocation of human, fiscal and other resources, to mitigate those gaps and evaluates the efficacy of those strategies.
Data & Disaggregation
To streamline the data collection process, and simultaneously meet the disaggregation standards set forth by ACCJC, the ASLO Subcommittee is encouraging departments to host their SLO assessments on Canvas, the College’s learning management system.
When students log into Canvas with their Viking ID and password, they click into the appropriate assessment shell to complete the assessment. It appears on their Canvas dashboard as a unique SLO Assessment course. Since students log in and complete the assessment with their unique ID numbers, utilizing the Canvas also provides the opportunity to disaggregate SLO data.
The Office of Institutional Effectiveness creates Tableau Dashboards that display the disaggregated SLO assessment data for each SLO that is assessed in Canvas. These dashboards are updated with the most recent SLO assessment data at the end of the fall and spring semesters for use by faculty in analyzing and acting on SLO data.