Rationale & Philosophy of Assessment
CULTURE OF EVIDENCE (RATIONALE) The college’s “Culture of Evidence” (Dwyer et al, 2006) assures that graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to be productive members of the workforce and/or prepared for transfer to 4-year institutions. NCMC collects student learning assessment data using multiple modes of assessment including quantitative and qualitative, direct and indirect measures. Longitudinal reports provide valuable information used to make positive changes. The use of the Input-Environment-Output (I-E-O) Model makes the college’s assessment plan more cohesive by connecting reports about incoming and outgoing students, as well as the assessment processes in place that measure all student experiences while enrolled in the college. Summative information regarding student learning can best be explored across the Four Dimension of Student Learning: Workforce Readiness, Transfer Readiness, Content Knowledge and Discipline-Specific Knowledge & Skills, and Non-Cognitive or “Soft” Skills.
PHILOSOPHY OF ASSESSMENT Assessment at North Central Missouri College should be guided by clearly stated, externally validated student learning processes and outcomes that flow from and support the college’s entire operational system, both academic and non-academic.
NCMC concurs with the purposes of assessment as outlined by Learning Assessment in Missouri Postsecondary Education (LAMP):
- Improve student learning
- Improve program of instruction
- Improve educational effectiveness of the institution
- Document student learning, program improvement, and educational effectiveness to outside stakeholders (accountability)
Assessment is an opportunity for continuous improvement and accountability that occurs at different levels and in different contexts through a “multidimensional approach that can be used to assess student learning for the purposes of monitoring and improving institutional effectiveness in the teaching and learning domains” (Dwyer et al, 2006).
The college shall assume responsibility for conducting assessment by gathering meaningful information, analyzing and interpreting the collected data, using the information to identify strengths and barriers, thereby making improvements. Assessment should be transformative in nature, viewed as a process not a product. It is the responsibility of NCMC to ensure that its graduates meet appropriate standards of performance; although in joint ventures, this shall be done cooperatively with other institutions. The college has an obligation to disseminate assessment results for accountability and improvement through appropriate channels in a professional and ethical manner.