New accreditation standards were adopted in 2002 that make student learning and student learning outcomes a major part of the accreditation process. In addition, we believe that this process will both document the good work we already do and help us to improve student learning.
From the ACCJC 2002 Standards:
Standard I B. Improving Institutional Effectiveness
The institution demonstrates a conscious effort to produce and support student learning, measures that learning, assesses how well learning is occurring and makes changes to improve student learning. The institution also organizes its key processes and allocates it resources to effectively support student learning. The institution demonstrates its effectiveness by providing 1) evidence of the achievement of student learning outcomes and 2) evidence of institution and program performance. The institution uses ongoing and systematic evaluation and planning to refine its key processes and improve student learning. See additional details in the Standards.
Standard II. Student Learning Programs and Services
The institution offers high-quality instructional programs, student support services, and library and learning support services that facilitate and demonstrate the achievement of stated student learning outcomes. See additional details in the Standards.
These standards are based on the idea that "covering" material in class does not guarantee that students have learned it. The process is intended to establish clear and transparent expectations for students and accountability for faculty. Success in this context is defined by students leaving a course or program with integrated, higher learning skills that they can demonstrate. For more information on the background of SLOs in the accreditation standards, see the December 2007 SLO Newsletter.
History of SLOs at LAVC
In Spring 2004, the first Valley College SLO Committee was formed. Workshops were held through Opening Day, speakers, and the STARS program. The SLO Committee developed college-wide SLOs and a few subjects developed course outcomes. Our progress on SLOs was, however, modest.
In June 2007 we learned that the ACCJC had reaffirmed our accreditation with the requirement that the college complete two Progress Reports to address certain recommendations, two of which involve SLOs. The District recommendation is about involving SLOs in faculty evaluations. At the campus level, we need to address the recommendation to "accelerate the continued development and assessment of student learning outcomes at the course, program, certificate and degree levels to ensure continuous improvement." A progress report on our resolution of this is due by October 15, 2008.
SLO Representatives and Coordinators
SLOs begin at the discipline level with discipline faculty. Each discipline has been asked to designate a Subject SLO Representative to be the point person for organizing the SLO process in that subject. In addition, a faculty cluster area representative for the major academic areas on campus will serve on the SLO Steering Committee.
The SLO Campus Coordinator is responsible for overseeing all SLO-related activities on campus, including chairing SLO committees, coordinating SLO activities, and representing the SLO committees on important shared governance committees. The SLO Coordinator is responsible for conducting ongoing trainings at various levels (e.g., committee, discipline, individual) regarding the creation of and assessment of SLOs, working with the STARS steering committee and Professional Development to coordinate training efforts. The SLO coordinator is also responsible for representing the campus at the District and State level in regards to SLO matters. This includes aiding the campus Accreditation Liaison Officer in preparing annual SLO reports and assisting with the self-study as needed in the accreditation cycle. The Campus Coordinator is Rebecca Stein.
Student Services, Administrative Services, and the President's Office each also have an SLO coordinator. These coordinators assist these areas in developing SLOs and review SLO submissions before presenting them to the SLO Steering Committee. The Student Services Coordinator is Walter Jones, the Administrative Services Coordinator is Brick Durley, and the President's Office Coordinator is Cherine Trombley.
SLO Steering Committee
The SLO Steering Committee helps oversee and coordinate SLO efforts at the campus level. The committee meets the third Wednesday of the month at 1 pm in the Faculty Lounge. The committee is responsible for:
- Assessing training and organizational needs related to SLOs
- Organizing training efforts
- Reviewing, revising and assessing Campus-Wide SLOs
- Mission and Vision Statement review/revision
- Showcasing SLO efforts and promoting the campus-wide understanding and integration of SLOs
Members of the Committee:
- Campus Coordinator - Rebecca Stein
- Professional Development - Deborah Kaye
- Student Services Coordinator - David Green
- Administrative Services Coordinator - Raul Gonzalez
- President's Office Coordinator - Michelle Fowles
- Curriculum Dean - Carole Yee
- Counselor - Bruce Thomas
- AFT faculty representative - Rafael Arias
- Classified representative - vacant
- Academic Area Representatives
o Cluster 1 - Ron Reis
o Cluster 2 - Glenn Carlos
o Cluster 3 - vacant
o Cluster 4 - Tiffany Lanoix
o Cluster 5 - Scott Weigand
Resource members: Chair of Curriculum Committee (Sheri Berger), IPC Chair (Sally Raskoff)
Cluster 1 Business, Child Development, CAOT, Emergency Services, Journalism Nursing, Physical Education, Respiratory Therapy, Technology
Representative: Ron Reis
Cluster 2 Art, Media Arts, Music, Theater Arts
Representative: Glenn Carlos
Cluster 3 Biological Science, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Mathematics, Physics
Cluster 4 Anthropology, Economics, History, Law, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology
Representative: Tiffany Lanoix
Cluster 5 African American Studies, Chicano Studies, English, Foreign Languages, Humanities, Jewish Studies, Philosophy, Speech
Representative: Scott Weigand
SLO Curriculum Subcommittee
In addition, there is an SLO Subcommittee of Valley College Curriculum Committee. This subcommittee reviews SLO academic submissions and makes recommendations to the VCCC. The chair of the subcommittee is the SLO Campus Coordinator (Rebecca Stein), and membership includes the curriculum dean (Carole Yee), and one additional faculty member (Sheri Berger).