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Assessment at ICC

Independence Community College (ICC) is committed to transforming the lives of its students. In order to meet this commitment, ICC’s student learning outcomes assessment process is focused primarily on the direct measurement of students’ learning. Data are collected from students in their courses and then aggregated to assess learning outcomes for courses, programs/certificates, and student core competencies (general education learning outcomes). Academic Achievement at ICC is defined as successfully completing courses (i.e., completing a course with a passing grade) and obtaining the knowledge and skills necessary to begin subsequent course(s) successfully. Although secondary measures, like the completion of a degree, will also be examined, the primary focus of the assessment process is the value added to the life of a student through the completion of each individual course. Academic achievement relies upon each course providing a rich learning environment that affords students the opportunity to master student learning outcomes (SLOs)—which include course outcomes, program/certificate outcomes, and student core competencies—and adequately prepares students for subsequent course(s).

Faculty collects data on student performance for the primary purpose of improving student success. The collection of data at the course level allows ICC to determine the academic achievement of a student/cohort and student progress. SLO data are never used to evaluate faculty.

Learning Outcomes Assessment is the systematic examination of student learning during a degree program. Its primary goal is the continued improvement of academic quality for the institution. Effective learning outcomes assessment answers three questions:

  • What knowledge, skills, and attitudes will successful students have acquired upon graduation?
  • How well do students perform relative to these learning outcomes?
  • How can programs improve to provide a stronger academic experience to students?

The ICC student learning outcomes assessment process focuses on continually improving courses to produce a range of data that can be used to analyze three distinct, yet connected, sets of learning outcomes: course outcomes, program/certificate outcomes, and general education outcomes.

From Faculty Handbook for Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes Assessment is a deliberate, systematic, and collaborative process driven by the College's commitment to improve student learning. It is a purposeful course of action that defines student accomplishments in terms of expected learning outcomes and core competencies. Actual student achievement is measured using established internal standards and external benchmarks. Faculty members develop direct and indirect measures to determine if these outcomes are being achieved. They use tests, research papers, projects, presentations, or standardized examinations to discover how well students who have passed a course actually achieved the expected learning goals. The outcomes assessment process is learning-centered and accumulates data from numerous sources to determine what students know, what skills they possess, how they conceptualize, and how they will continue to learn. The overall goal of assessment is to create a quality learning environment under ideal conditions through the use of best practices that inspire creativity, innovation, and critical thinking.

Institutional Outcomes Assessment 

General Education Outcomes Assessment 

Program Outcomes Assessment 

Course-level Outcomes Assessment 

Faculty Assessment Team

The Faculty Assessment Team is at the top of the organizational structure for Academic Assessment. The Academic Assessment Handbook and all decisions about learning outcomes assessment are created and/or recommended by the Faculty Assessment Team. Recommendations from the Faculty Assessment Team are brought to the Outcomes Assessment Committee and Academic Council for review and feedback. The Faculty Assessment Team will seek final approval of any and all changes from all full-time Faculty.

The Faculty Assessment Team is composed of all full-time faculty members. The team members are responsible for guiding the assessment process and ensuring that assessment practices are conducted with fidelity. The chairs of the Faculty Assessment Team are elected and lead the meetings and training of Faculty in Tk20.

The Faculty

Ultimately, assessment is the responsibility of the faculty. All teaching faculty at ICC are committed to the college’s assessment processes and any assessments conducted in their courses. This means, first and foremost, that the course content of each course must be guided by the course outcomes. Second, faculty are responsible for ensuring that common assessments are appropriately embedded into courses and appropriately graded as a regular component of the course. Finally, faculty whose courses are being assessed are responsible for entering the assessment data or forwarding their assessment data to the appropriate person so that it can be appropriately recorded and analyzed.

Outcomes Assessment Committee

Mission: Provide recommendations and implementation that move the College toward a comprehensive outcomes assessment culture.

Duties: Provide educational programs to the campus regarding outcomes assessment theory and practice. Adopt at least one annual assessment project or component of a multi-year project, and coordinate that project to completion. Recommend College policy regarding implementation of outcomes assessment.

AY 2016 Membership:

Deborah A. Phelps, Chair - Director of Institutional Research

Tamara Kessler, Vice Chair - Professor of Business and Computer Technology

Josh Gross, Secretary - Associate Professor of Math

Members-at-Large: Melissa Ashford, Associate Professor of Business and Communication Technology; Kari Barrera, English Specialist, Student Support Services; Patty DeGeorge, Director of Culinary Arts; Brett Gilcrist, Associate Professor of Psychology; Archana Lal, PhD, Professor of Biology; Janelle Null, Professor of Art; Lynn Reddy, Administrative Assistant, Student Support Services; Michelle Rutherford, Professor of Music; Laura Schaid, Instructional Coordinator; Ben Seel, Professor of Political Science; Kara Wheeler, Chief Academic Officer



Assessment Management

Tk20 Campus Wide

All data from assessments are centralized in the enterprise assessment software, Tk20. Assessments are entered directly into Tk20 (e.g., rubric data) and summary analysis reports are available to all full-time Faculty members, CAO, and IR Director as soon as the data is entered. Anyone may request assessment data and summary reports from the IR Director.

Cycle of Assessment

A three-year cycle of assessment was set for every program and certificate on campus. This three-year cycle defines all courses that will be assessed each semester. At the end of three years, each program/certificate will have a complete picture of students’ performance on every program/certificate learning outcome. Using the three-year cycle to identify upcoming courses, departments are always working on the next semester’s assessments.

Academic Calendar

Each semester ICC will follow a set calendar for assessment:

  • Due to the importance of Assessment, one day of In-service at the beginning of each semester will be dedicated to duties and training.
  • Semester assessment data is due the final day of the semester along with grades.
  • Concurrent data is turned in when they submit their grades, if their semester is different than an ICC semester.
  • Review will be done during the In-service Assessment duties and training days.


On the Assessment duties and training days, departments engage in two separate activities as part of the assessment plan:

  1. the “cycle of assessment,” through which each department is reviewing the assessment materials (assignment(s) and answer keys/rubrics) for the previous-semester to determine whether changes need to be made
  2. the “cycle of continuous improvement,” which involves the department identifying ways to improve student performance in courses that have already been assessed, implementing changes in courses, and reassessing the courses. These two cyclical series of events are further explained below.

Cycle of Continuous Improvement

The following are the series of steps taken after a course is assessed:

  • Review data: Every semester, departments need to engage in a regular review of data collected from the previous semester(s).
  • Identify areas of concerns: The goal is to identify the areas in which students’ performance is in the most need of intervention.
  • Respond to concerns: Based on the identified “areas of concerns,” each department is responsible for identifying means to improve student performance in the course(s). Examples of responses include but are not limited to changes in classroom activities leading up to this assessment, adjustments to the assignment or rubric itself, or other classroom interventions aimed at improving student performance.
  • Assess responses: improvements to the course will be implemented and assessed the semester after the changes are implemented.

As the individuals in the classroom directly interacting with students, faculty are the best resource for ensuring that the assessment process is accurately measuring our students’ abilities.

It is the responsibility of all faculty to engage in the assessment process and provide input on any issues or concerns about the common assessments or the assessment process. Faculty are responsible for working on the creation of assessments and on the responses.

Common Embedded Assessments

Departments have identified the courses that best offer students the opportunity to demonstrate specific program outcomes, and these courses will contain common embedded assessments. These assessments are a permanent part of the course and are conducted in every section, every semester. The assessment(s) are created by the faculty of the department and are recognized by the department as the best demonstration of the student’s attainment of the course learning outcomes. On a regular schedule, assessment data will be recorded using Tk20. Assessment data is important and should be entered into the system accurately and on time.

From Faculty Handbook for Student Learning Outcomes Assessment


Institutional Research Reports