Student success is the primary measure of institutional effectiveness at Foothill College. The faculty, staff, and administrators measure success by how well students do in achieving their learning outcomes, and by their continued success at transfer universities, in the workplace, and as citizens.
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) in themselves are familiar to us as educators. They are the verb-begun statements, often based on Bloom’s taxonomy, that define the specific knowledge, skills and abilities that we expect our students to master in our classes. SLOs measure student success by course completion, grades, program persistence, degrees and certificates, and transfer rate, as well as by societal, technical, and workforce preparation. Foothill College has defined four core competencies (4-Cs) in addition to the competencies defined by specific disciplines as SLOs expected of every graduate leaving Foothill.
What is different here is that SLOs are just the first step in a recursive process of research, review, and re-thinking. In other words, where once we just defined our outcomes, we now describe our students’ mastery of these outcomes, and also develop methods of re-teaching as needed. This is the cycle of assessment and inquiry that you have been hearing about so much.
Length of SLO Assessment Cycle
The academic senate adopted a resolution to allow each division to adopt its own SLO Assessment Cycle timing. To this point, as a campus we have all been on the same (minimum) cycle of assessing and reflecting on at least one SLO every year for every course taught. Going forward, however, each division may agree to adopt a different cycle if desired, provided that each SLO for each course is assessed and reflected upon at least every three (3) years. This three-year time span is intended to ensure that divisions will have a minimum of one full set of SLO Assessment Cycle data for every course by the time their comprehensive program review is due.
Divisional curriculum representatives are asked to lead faculty discussions to determine the SLO Assessment Cycle timing that will make the most sense for their division. The Office of Instruction will assume divisions will continue with the current (default) cycle unless they hear from the division curriculum committee representatives that they have decided to adopt something different. See SLO Update (12-04-14)
Calendars and Planning
Faculty & Staff Toolbox
Course-Level Student Learning Outcomes
Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes
Institutional Level and General Education Student Learning Outcomes
Service Area Student Learning Outcomes
Administrative Unit Level Student Learning Outcomes