Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) at College of San Mateo - Assessment Philosophy
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Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Assessment Philosophy

College of San Mateo is committed to the mission of teaching and learning. The Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) Assessment Cycle is a process that requires self-examination and reflection, leading to productive dialogue and curricular improvement. This collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data inform planning, revising, developing and budgeting for curriculum and services.

The development, assessment and analysis of course, certificate, degree and GE SLOs are curricular matters and thus under the jurisdiction of the Academic Senate. While assessment and analysis of results for SLOs in these areas are a responsibility of the faculty, decisions based on analysis of assessment results for college planning are shared amongst all constituencies.  Interpretation and implementation of SLO assessment shall remain within the purview of discipline faculty and the Academic Senate.

The development, assessment and analysis of SLOs for Learning Support Services and Student Support Services are under the jurisdiction of the faculty, staff and administrators of each service area.

"The point of assessment is not to gather data and return ‘results’; it is a process that starts with the questions of decision-makers, that involves them in the gathering and interpreting of data, and that informs and helps guide continuous improvement."

– From the American Association of Higher Education's Assessment Principle #7

– Adopted by College of San Mateo Academic Senate Governing Council on April 23, 2013.

The role of Student Learning Outcomes in assessment

We have many means of measuring the success of our courses, programs and services: student grades most obviously, but also student surveys, as well as rates of student retention, persistence, transfer and certificate completion, and so on.

What can student learning outcomes assessment contribute?

  • A detailed breakdown of student achievement in the skills, knowledge or abilities summed up in the grade;
  • An overview of a coherent, sequential course of study;
  • The opportunity for assessment activities between disciplines, and between classrooms, counselling and learning support centers;
  • A description of student progress that are not used as factors in the grade.