In addition to a variety of general outcomes evaluation activities, Academic and Institutional Effectiveness work encompasses four major initiatives:
- Review of academic programs
- Assessment of academic program-level learning outcomes
- Assessment of academic institutional-level learning outcomes
- Incorporation of core academic skills into degree program curricula
- The program review work being done at Northern Essex Community College (NECC) is extensive, involving NECC faculty, administrators, and staff, as well as representatives of area employers and four-year colleges. The reviews follow a posted schedule, and include action plans and associated resource requests, as well as the development of outcomes assessment plans. Each year, at all-college forums, faculty present results of their program reviews.
Program and Institutional-level Learning Outcomes Assessment
- Program-level outcomes assessments are based on the learning outcomes identified in program assessment plans. Each year, program faculty select outcomes and develop methods to evaluate the extent to which students have achieved these outcomes. Faculty present results of these activities at annual assessment summits.
- Institutional-level assessments are focused on learning outcomes derived from the college’s five core academic skills developed in 2009. The first assessment at this level, focusing on communication skills, was piloted in the spring of 2010, with faculty across the college submitting student products for evaluation. Each academic year, one or two additional institutional outcomes are selected for assessment.
- To inform students concerning NECC’s outcomes assessment work, a brief explanation is included in NECC’s outcomes assessment note which faculty are encouraged to include on course syllabi, and is as follows:
NECC’s commitment to student success involves the evaluation of student work at the program, department, and/or campus levels to help ensure that students are achieving the learning outcomes identified by our programs and the college. This process may include the collection of such evidence as student classroom products or classroom-associated reports of student knowledge or skill demonstrations. All collected products will have any identifying information removed before they are reviewed. Results from these reviews are then aggregated to provide an overall view of students’ outcomes achievements. Assessments carried out at the program, department, and/or campus levels will not impact students’ course grades. The process of assigning grades will continue to be the responsibility of the course instructors. Any student who does not wish to have their products collected for program, department, or campus-level assessment can opt out by notifying their instructor.
Core Academic Skills Intensive Courses
- Following the identification of the core academic skills, work began on the initiative to incorporate each of these skills into the curricula of every degree program. This is accomplished through a process in which courses which meet established criteria for one or more core skills are designated as “intensive” in the skill(s).
The major goal of this website is to present and make available information relevant to all of the activities of the Office of Academic and Institutional Effectiveness.