The purpose of assessment at KVCTC is to engage students and improve student learning. It is a way to document effectiveness. A systematic, ongoing cycle of setting goals, measuring attainment of those goals, and using the results to make informed decisions is used to continually improve student learning. Assessment promotes best practices at all levels of KVCTC by providing the necessary evidence to guide effective decision making in many areas, such as programmatic changes, classroom teaching modifications, policy or procedure revisions, campus climate improvements, and structural reorganizations.
In addition to these internal purposes, assessment at KVCTC is used to respond to external requests for accountability. Assessment findings and use of results are of major importance to the Higher Learning Commission of North Central (HLC/NC), to the West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education System (CTCES), and to external accrediting/certification bodies for many KVCTC academic programs and certifications. KVCTC also wants and needs to assure students, parents, legislators and other stakeholders of the institution’s effectiveness.
At the institutional level, the goal at KVCTC is to bring together academic planning (curriculum and instruction), program review, assessment of student learning (program/major and general education areas) and evaluation of institutional effectiveness into a system that lets the college know how well KVCTC is accomplishing its mission and demonstrates KVCTC’s process for continually improving. The faculty is a vital part of this effort; every faculty member within the organization is involved.
Assessment is also at the heart of institutional strategic planning at KVCTC. Information gleaned from outcomes assessment activities at the course and program levels are used to make decisions, allocate resources, and provide support for achieving the organization’s mission. While strategic planning is used to allocate resources, the allocation of resources support the delivery of KVCTC’s learning activities and support services.
The opportunities and challenges facing KVCTC in fulfilling its mission are also considered at the course and program levels and for general education student learning outcomes. Through a successful program review committee process, the viability of every course and every program is looked at on a regular basis. Through both the general education committee and the student learning outcomes assessment (SLOA) committee, a broad review is conducted of many areas of student performance and satisfaction, pulled from program and course level assessment plans.
At KVCTC, the guiding principle for program and course level assessment insure that individuals involved in delivering learning activities, courses, and programs are:
There are four (4) processes critical to student learning and effective teaching, annual student learning outcomes assessment at the program level, course level assessment on a five (5) year cycle, annual general education student learning outcomes assessment, program review conducted on a five (5) year cycle, and annual faculty performance review. KVCTC systemically links all assessment processes, so that the processes work together in a way that facilitates the improvement of student learning and teaching strategies and clearly documents effectiveness. The following pages detail the student learning outcomes assessment processes (SLOA) for which the student learning outcomes assessment committee has responsibility for maintaining, guiding and supporting.