General Education Outcomes

About the GEOs Assessment Plan

  1. Motivation for our GEO Plan
    1. it’s an expectation for accreditation
    2. it helps us to measure our institutional effectiveness relative to fulfilling Mt. SAC’s stated GE philosophy
    3. GEOs assessment could help us to make course-level improvements and improvements to our GE curriculum that will boost student learning and success
    4. it will help us to meet Academic Senate approved SLO objectives, as well, since our plan involves the adoption of approximately 300 new SLOs at the course level

  2. The relationship between the SLO and GEO process
    1. GEOs are just SLOs that occur on a broader level – within our General Education Areas. GEOs will cross departmental and disciplinary boundaries
    2. We will be using the now familiar SLO model to measure our GEOs at Mt. SAC, with a few minor modifications that will reflect the college level nature of this assessment. One difference is that GEOs assessment will require more coordination and interdisciplinary cooperation than necessary for SLOs
    3. Instead of faculty agreeing on an SLO that will be applied to all sections of one course, we will now need to reach agreement on an SLO for all courses in a required GE area - courses which already share common themes and objectives.

  3. How faculty can help implement the GEO Plan
    1. Our plan involves getting together “workgroups” of faculty from each of the Mt. SAC GE areas to meet and agree on at least one SLO statement that could be adopted by all courses in their GE area. This outcome will then be both a course level SLO and a college level GEO
    2. We are starting with two pilot groups in Fall 2008, GE areas D-1 and E
    3. We are looking for people to represent those courses/disciplines at a workgroup meeting to compose the GEO statement for their area. We also need attendees to come to a shared understanding of what student achievement of the stated learning outcome means. Anyone may attend these meetings, but we really need one representative from each discipline, at a minimum
    4. The GEO committee will be on hand for the workgroup sessions as consultants to offer support, including sample GEOs that other colleges have adopted in the same general education areas, and sample rubrics that detail levels of student competency for a given outcome as a means of determining student learning of that outcome
    5. Our institutional requirement is to assess our GEOs in time for our self-study report, so we need to conduct assessments by the end of the spring 2009 semester
    6. The GEO that is created will be adopted at the course level for every course in the GE area, so it will also count toward our college goal of two SLOs on every course by the end of the academic year.

  4. Why faculty should help implement the GEO Plan
    1. We know that this creates some additional work for disciplines with courses in our GE
    2. Those disciplines do benefit tremendously from having GE courses – in many cases they are our “bread and butter” and keep us all employed. This process allows us to document the value of our courses in the GE curriculum and to the college as a whole
    3. This isn’t optional – it’s something we must do. At some schools, their solution has been to create standardized exams or other tools and come into people’s classrooms to measure student’s knowledge and ability without involvement of faculty in the discipline. We decided this was a bad idea, and that faculty should control the process at Mt. SAC – and maintain control of how students are assessed in our classrooms
    4. To retain that right, we, as faculty, must also accept the responsibility of being involved in this process. The GEO Committee will do everything we can to make it as easy and painless as possible!