Assessment is a process of collecting, organizing, and interpreting information to aid in improving programs, activities, and decision making. At Central Arizona College, assessment involves measuring student learning outcomes at the institutional, program, and course levels. The major themes of CAC’s assessment plan include process simplicity, a focus on student learning, and shared responsibility. CAC conducts assessment of both academic programs and co-curricular programs and activities in which learning that supports academic study and career development occurs.
The College supports student success and academic achievement by providing a high quality education that integrates continuous improvement strategies in teaching and learning. CAC’s graduates possess academic knowledge, skills, and attitudes of an educated citizen, including competency in the College’s four Common Student Learning Outcomes:
Cultural and Civic Engagement- Participate in diverse environments while demonstrating global citizenship and social consciousness.
Integrative Knowledge – Identify, comprehend, apply and synthesize facts, concepts, theories and practices across broad and specialized knowledge areas.
Personal and Professional Skills – Demonstrate skills which enhance personal and professional development.
Reasoning Skills – Inquire and analyze to solve problems, draw conclusions or create innovative ideas.
CAC’s Common Student Learning Outcomes (CSLOs) are assessed at the institutional, program, and course levels. The CSLOs and the related assessment apply to every CAC certificate and degree program. Each faculty member must align his or her courses’ learning outcomes with the appropriate CSLOs and show this alignment in the course syllabus.
Academic Program Review
Annual academic assessment provides data that supports CAC’s academic program review process, which evaluates each certificate and degree program once every five years. Each review evaluates the program’s effectiveness, viability, strengths and weaknesses, and its alignment with community needs and the college’s mission and vision. The review also identifies whether the program requires additional resources, such as instructors, technology, facilities space, and funding.