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Description of Outcomes

Over the course of the current accreditation self-study, the campus hopes to achieve four goals, specifically:

  1. To use internal review processes in which independent study groups composed of faculty, students, and administrators will carefully review three ongoing initiatives designed to improve educational effectiveness in combination with the external, independent evaluation of these initiatives provided by the WASC review team to assess the adequacy of our continual educational improvement efforts;
  2. To reinforce the use of student-learning assessment measures, particularly output measures related to specified learning goals, and ongoing monitoring of retention and successful degree completion in the undergraduate program review process;
  3. To more fully understand how learning occurs at the institutional level by studying the processes of implementing three programs-writing review, language instruction reform, and undergraduate program review-each of which has a long history of conflicting points of view (methods of writing instruction, philosophy of foreign language instruction, undergraduate program review as secondary to graduate or department review) and by emphasizing the importance of post-implementation review;
  4. To establish a committee charged with the task of identifying standards by which student information literacy and critical use of non-print based resources may be evaluated, to consider the committee's recommendations, and to begin implementation of those recommendations.

These four goals will be achieved by a variety of approaches, some of which have already been instituted. For example, the campus has initiated two pilot assessment tools that measure the educational effectiveness of essential skills and knowledge that each undergraduate degree recipient should have. These two tools assess the teaching methods and learning outcomes of student writing skills and foreign language acquisition. The current accreditation re-affirmation process comes at a time when we can couple our ongoing internal evaluation of these pilot assessment tools with the independent, external examination of the WASC review team.

Moreover, significant changes to the established campus undergraduate program review process have been initiated; the new undergraduate review model now more closely parallels the highly successful model used for campus graduate programs. We anticipate that during the course of the accreditation process, departments will incorporate into their own self-studies an intensive evaluation of issues related to student retention, students' advancement within their major, and the degree to which students receive quality, personal academic advising. In addition, the campus will examine how well academic programs meet WASC Standards and Criteria for Review. Further, as part of each review, departments and programs will study how best to establish appropriate measures of student learning.

On a broader level, the campus is working to improve students' critical evaluation skills when they use internet materials. We expect that by the time of the Capacity and Preparatory Review in 2007, a committee will have been established that will propose guidelines for evaluating information literacy skills. By the time of the Educational Effectiveness Review in 2009, a plan will have been implemented to ensure that students understand and comply with national standards for ethical use of internet materials and that they can critically evaluate data quality and validity.