Student Learning Outcomes

General Education Program Implemented Fall 2008

Performance of students on the Rising Junior Examination prompted the former Provost/Vice- President of Academic Affairs to initiate a review of the General Education program. In 2006, a faculty task force was convened to review the General Education program. The task force was given the following assignments:

  • Review and evaluation of the extant goals of the General Education program.
  • Review and evaluation of the courses and content of the General Education program.
  • Review and evaluation of the current method of assessment.
  • Review and evaluation of the management of the General Education program.
  • Development of a set of goals of the General Education program.
  • Development of the curriculum to be used in the General Education program.
  • Development of the expected learning outcomes.
  • Development of an assessment system for evaluating the General Education program.
  • Development of a management system for the General Education program.

The Task Force reviewed Rising Junior Examination data and deliberated on the learning outcomes the Grambling State University General Education program should support. The Task Force worked for approximately ten months. At the completion of the work of the General Education Task Force, the General Education curriculum was revised. Four goals and twenty-two learning outcomes were identified and adopted.

General Education Program Goals

  • Provide students with a foundation for learning and for intellectual growth in an academic discipline;
  • Prepare students for successful lives in an increasingly technical, dynamic, and complex society;
  • Raise the intellectual aims and aspirations of students; and
  • Develop in students high ethical standards and a responsibility for the quality of life on earth.

General Education Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Knowledge of the American economic, social and political systems
  2. Knowledge of financial institutions and systems
  3. Communicate effectively in oral and written English
  4. Read, comprehend, analyze, and evaluate complex information
  5. Learn independently
  6. Knowledge of the history of Grambling State University
  7. Knowledge of the importance of giving
  8. Knowledge of healthful living
  9. Evidence of integrity and ethical behavior in academic work and in extracurricular activities
  10. Preparation for citizenship in a democratic society
  11. Reason abstractly and think critically
  12. Use elementary mathematics effectively
  13. Effectively use information and communication technology
  14. Knowledge of the contributions of African Americans in science and mathematics
  15. Knowledge of the biological and physical sciences
  16. Knowledge of major advances in science and technology
  17. Knowledge of world history
  18. Recognize and appreciate cultural diversity
  19. To be literate in a second language
  20. Knowledge of major events, personalities, and issues in African American history
  21. Knowledge of revolutionary movements to overthrow systems of injustice and human oppression
  22. Knowledge of the nature and value of the fine and performing arts

The learning outcomes are aligned with specific courses.

Assessment of Learning Outcomes

The new General Education requirement received Board approval during the spring 2008 semester. The program was implemented during the fall 2008 semester. To provide continuous oversight of the General Education Program, a General Education Committee was established at the beginning of the fall 2009 semester. During this same time, in an effort to provide oversight to the General Education program, it was administratively housed in the College of Arts & Sciences. The associate dean of this college works closely with the General Education Committee to make sure this program is evaluated and evaluation results are used to make program improvements. The chair of the General Education Committee reports directly to the associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. This Committee met twice during the fall 2009 semester. The Committee discussed strategies that should be implemented to assess the General Education program.

Because Grambling State University’s General Education program must be aligned with the eleven general education learning outcomes identified by the Louisiana Board of Regents, during the fall 2009 semester the Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences completed a curriculum map that highlights the alignment. The map also aligns the University’s General Education courses with specific learning outcomes, which is beneficial to course planning and identifying the potential for embedded assessment assignments.

In an effort to ensure each of the twenty-two learning outcomes is evaluated, a 5-year assessment cycle plan was adopted by the General Education Committee. This plan identifies how each learning outcome will be assessed as well as the individuals responsible for collecting and reviewing assessment data. Direct and indirect assessments are identified for use. Program faculty will use assessment results to determine if students are meeting learning outcomes that have been identified for specific courses. This information will be shared with the General Education Committee. This Committee will ensure assessment data are used to make program improvement. At the end of the 5-year cycle, recommendations will be made regarding the effectiveness of the General Education Program and how it supports the mission of the institution.

The assessment cycle begins this academic year (2009-10) with the assessment of five learning outcomes. These outcomes are listed below. Content faculty in English, mathematics, chemistry, biological sciences, and First Year Experience will work with the General Education Committee to evaluate these outcomes. The performance of students on embedded assignments in a specific class is currently being reviewed as well as overall course performance. Prior to the beginning of the fall 2010 semester, the assessment will be complete and the results used 1) to make changes to the courses aligned with these five learning outcomes and 2) to implement improved assessment tools in an effort to enhance student achievement.

  • Knowledge of the contributions of African Americans in science and mathematics
  • Effectively use of information and communication technology
  • Use elementary mathematics effectively
  • Reason abstractly and think critically
  • Knowledge of the biological and physical science

Degree Program Outcomes and Assessment

Content area faculty have identified student learning outcomes for each degree program offered at Grambling State University. Each program has a faculty member who serves as a program coordinator. This coordinator takes the lead in making sure program faculty assess student learning outcomes. Faculty evaluate the extent to which learning outcomes are being met and use results to make program improvement.

Those programs that are accredited by national accrediting agencies complete a program review that is aligned with the accreditation cycle, which ranges from every 4 to 6 years. Grambling State University has forty-four programs that are accredited. Those programs that are not accredited, many of which do not have accrediting bodies, review specific learning outcomes annually as a part of the planning and assessment process at the University. At the beginning of each fall semester, learning outcomes that will be evaluated during that academic year are identified, along with the assessment methods. At the end of the academic year, the assessment data that were collected are reviewed and reflected upon, and, where appropriate, courses and curriculum improvements are implemented.

This section of the narrative focuses on the assessment of student learning outcomes for three degree programs, two with national accreditation recognition (Drafting Design Technology, Nursing) and one without mandatory accreditation (Art).

Example: Drafting Design Technology (B.S. degree)

The Drafting Design Technology (DET) program faculty have identified student learning outcomes. Graduates of the Drafting Design Technology Program will demonstrate

  • an ability to apply the knowledge, techniques, skills, and modern tools in drafting design technology practice;
  • an ability to apply current knowledge and adapt to emerging applications of mathematics, science, and engineering technology;
  • an ability to conduct, analyze, and interpret experiments, and apply experimental results to improve processes
  • an ability to apply creativity in the design of systems, components, or processes appropriate to program educational objectives;
  • an ability to function effectively on teams;
  • an ability to identify, analyze and solve technical problems;
  • an ability to communicate effectively;
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in lifelong learning;
  • an ability to understand professional, ethical, and social responsibilities;
  • a respect for diversity and a knowledge of contemporary professional, societal, and global issues; and
  • a commitment to quality, timeliness, and continuous improvement.

The Drafting Design Technology program has an assessment plan that regularly evaluates student learning outcomes. The assessment tools used include direct and indirect measures. These include student surveys, alumni surveys, employer surveys, Industrial Advisory Board feedback, course performance, and a capstone senior research project.

Outcomes Diagram

The data collected are analyzed on an annual basis and used by the program coordinator and faculty to make program improvements.

Drafting Design Technology Program Outcome Assessment
Assessment Tools Assessment Administered Data Evaluated
Student Survey Once a Year End of Spring Semester
Alumni Survey Once a Year and Continuously Through the Year End of Spring Semester
Employer Survey Once a Year End of Spring Semester
Industrial Advisory Board Every Spring Semester End of Spring Semester
Senior Research Projects Every Semester Every Semester
Course Performance Every Semester Every Semester
Senior Exit Survey Every Semester Every Semester

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