Outcomes & Assessment Cycle

What are outcomes?

Outcomes are written statements or goals that provide focus for measuring and improving student and institutional success. They provide a means to assess institutional effectiveness and continuous cycles of improvement. Administrative Outcomes (AOs) measure administrative success in programs and departments serving students. Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) measure essential student learning.

San Diego City College has been using Taskstream for reporting SLOs and AOs since 2009. It is likely that your department colleagues created the SLOs/AOs in Taskstream for existing courses and programs. You will create the student learning outcomes for new courses or programs based on course/program outlines and learning objectives in in CurricUNET. There are several options for reviewing your course or program SLOs/AOs: 1) log in to Taskstream, 2) consult with your Department Chairperson or department’s SLO/AO Liaison Committee member, or 3) contact a member of the SLO Team for assistance.


The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ASC WASC) website says it best in their introduction and overview, “In their broadest senses, neither student learning outcomes nor the concept of assessment are new ideas for college faculty. Effective teachers have long determined in advance what specific skills or knowledge they want their students to obtain from their courses and have designed their instruction and evaluation to meet and measure these outcomes."

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) state the expected knowledge, skills, attitudes, competencies, and habits of mind that students are expected to acquire at an institution of higher education. ~ National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment. http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/

All course Student Learning Outcomes should be included in each course syllabus.

Why are outcomes important?

Outcomes provide an opportunity for each of us to focus on better serving our students through incremental change.

The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ASC WASC) first established accreditation criteria for colleges and universities in 2002. Today’s criteria cover a wide range of areas including governance, leadership, and environment and reporting student progress. http://www.acswasc.org/about_criteria.htm#CDEB

Institutional effectiveness and continued accreditation also serve as strong drivers for developing, implementing and measuring outcomes and continuous improvement, which are components of integrated planning.

Creating New Course Level Outcomes and Program Outcomes

Course student learning outcomes are developed using the official course outlines student learning objectives found in CurricUNET: http://www.curricunet.com/SDCCD. Program outcomes are developed by considering the intended outcome and incremental changes for improvement.

Program Level Outcomes

San Diego City College program level student learning outcomes are assessed in individual courses that have been mapped to program level outcomes to demonstrate program achievement. Program Level Outcomes are published in the City College Catalog .

Integrated Planning and Institutional Effectiveness

Taskstream is used as a repository for annual departmental Program Review. Departments use this tool to document growth and change, share data, and provide feedback and insight. Program Review contributes to Master Planning. This step-by-step integrated planning process is a component of San Diego City College’s planning.

Outcome Mapping demonstrates the way courses, programs and institutional level outcomes support the mission and Institutional Competencies/Outcomes of San Diego City College.

Institutional STUDENT LEARNING Outcomes

Communication/Interpersonal Skills
Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of settings using oral and written communication modalities.
Critical Thinking
Students will be able to apply critical thinking skills in order to analyze data, text and issues.
Students will be able to apply mathematical concepts to perform computations and analyze and interpret data.
Cultural Sensitivity/Global Awareness
Students will be able to successfully interact with individuals representing a wide range of backgrounds, analyze varying cultural beliefs and behaviors, and identify social, political and economic issues relevant to the local community, the state, the nation, and the world.
Information Management/ Information Literacy
Students will be able to obtain data from various sources, as well as organize, process and analyze data for relevancy.
Personal Responsibility
Students will be able to demonstrate self-awareness and navigate effectively between one’s own value system, professional obligations and responsibilities as a member of society.
Civic and Environmental Responsibility
Students will be able to relate the natural environment to human health and happiness and evaluate the effect of human activity on the welfare of the global environment.

The Assessment Cycle – Continuous Improvement

Gathering evidence of academic and institutional accomplishments and the knowledge, skills and competencies students gain as a result of their college experience – is a continuous process. It occurs at various levels and across many dimensions throughout the college. The findings enable our institution to make improvements, assess the impact of changes in academic programs, and provide evidence of learning outcomes to those to whom they are accountable.
Course Student Learning Outcomes are assessed each year and reported in Taskstream.
Program Outcomes are assessed through the Program Review process. Program Outcomes may be program-level Student Learning Outcomes or Administrative Outcomes as appropriate to the purpose and mission of the program or unit. Program Review is undergoing changes beginning in Fall 2017, and will be on a three-year rotation starting in Fall 2019.
Development of a new college-wide model for assessment of Institutional Student Learning Outcomes is underway and a pilot will be implemented during Spring 2018.