General Education Student Learning Assessment
Lock Haven University's general education program is designed to ensure that students "acquire a broad intellectual context for their major as well as gain a foundation for the complex and multiple roles they will undertake as a citizen of the twenty-first century"
The current general education curriculum was designed by faculty in the late 1990s to address the needs of graduates entering and leaving college at the turn of the 21st century. It was forward looking and assured a high-quality and broad education in the liberal arts and sciences, together with cultivation of important skills including oral and written communication, multicultural awareness, and information literacy. Now that we are well into the second decade of the 21st century, and in the context of rapidly-changing knowledge and global environments, the faculty last year reviewed the general education curriculum and made revisions they judged necessary both to support your success as citizens of this changing world and, additionally, to articulate and document your learning. The revisions anchor the general education curriculum in essential learning outcomes – statements of what students should know and be able to do when they complete the requirement. The faculty voted to approve the revisions in October of 2013 and, since that time, have been making changes in courses in preparation for implementing the new requirements which began in fall 2014. Along with changing to an outcomes-based General Education curriculum came the need for the Outcomes Assessment Committee (OAC) to design and approve learning assessment rubrics and processes closely aligned to the new curriculum. In addition to developing and approving new rubrics for this process, the OAC also developed a sampling strategy designed to balance faculty and departmental work load while still ensuring statistically valid sample sizes. In turn, this sampling strategy is used to guide the yearly GE assessment sampling distributions for use by programs.
Due to the time it takes for designing and approving all new rubrics, a transition year was approved for AY 2014-15 for continuing assessment data collection so that only approved courses within the model would be used for the annual assessment sampling rotation for data collection. A new Four-Year Sampling Rotation was implemented beginning in AY 2015-16 as courses were approved for key General Education student learning outcomes to be assessed. With more courses approved to begin assessing these General Education student learning outcomes in AY 2016-17, a New Four-Year Sampling Rotation was approved by the Outcomes Assessment Committee (OAC) and implemented for AY 2016-17.
Once the OAC receives the GE data from different programs, members of the OAC collate and generate yearly summaries of GE assessment data for each of the areas of GE assessment. This data and yearly summaries are posted to TracDat and this website.
In order to continue to show improvement based on annual learning results, discussions with faculty are being conducted not only in curriculum meetings where all department chairs are represented but in a new discussion forum held during University Days in August and January of each academic year. Click here to see the Processes and Procedures of General Education Learning Outcomes Assessment.
Closing the Loop for Improving General Education Student Learning
Faculty discussions of assessment data that generate curricular recommendations driven by General Education Learning Assessment results should be submitted to OAC and then to the General Education sub-committee of the UCC for consideration and follow-up. A memo can be written by the OAC chairperson to the UCC and General Education sub-committee to express any concerns or recommendations. Once, the UCC decides that the recommended improvements need to be completed by specific academic programs, faculty or other people, then the Academic Affairs Assessment Council (AAAC), which includes the Deans and Provost, will communicate with the involved parties what needs to be completed. After it is completed, the involved parties should communicate with the Special Assistant to the Provost for Assessment and Accreditation the details of the actions so it can be entered by that person into TracDat for General Education actions.
For information regarding the details and process associated with the General Education curriculum revision and transition for students to the new curriculum, see the Provost’s message