Assessment at NCMC is guided by clearly stated, externally validated processes and outcomes that flow from and support all the college’s operations, both academic and non-academic. The college must address the unique needs of its students, employees, and constituents in addition to observing the expectations of the Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE), the Higher Learning Commission and other accrediting bodies, and relevant federal agencies.
Teaching, learning, and workforce development are dynamic processes depending heavily on human inputs, and higher education is a complex environment with many internal and external obligations. In this context, two critical components of quality are a culture of continuous improvement, and a focus on transparency and accountability. Thus, North Central Missouri College concurs with the purposes of assessment as outlined by the Missouri Department of Higher Education: assessment is intended to document and improve student learning and the effectiveness of the institution and its programs. It is a continuous process, embedded in the culture of the college and provides a framework for improvement and accountability.
It is the responsibility of the college to ensure that its graduates meet appropriate standards of performance. NCMC collects data on student learning using multiple modes of assessment including quantitative and qualitative, direct and indirect measures. The college also collects data on institutional effectiveness including persistence, retention, completion, transfer, and job placement. Longitudinal reports based on both types of data provide valuable information used to make positive changes. NCMC’s “Culture of Evidence” (Dwyer et al, 2006) assures that graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge to be productive members of the workforce and to continue their learning, whether informally or through transfer to a four-year institution.