Assessment History and Highlights of Accomplishments

The following is a brief historical summary of the major assessment activities conducted at Sinclair Community College from 1986 to 1997.

1986-87: Learning outcomes development.
* Discussion of guarantee policies from other institutions.

1987-88: Instructional Council discusses accountability, state initiatives, and national assessment issues.
* Discussion of guaranteeing learning outcomes at Sinclair.
* Discussion of the need for the development of assessment of learning outcomes at SCC.

1988-89: Formation of the Committee on the Assessment of Student Learning and Development.
* Discussion and formation of Committee's mission and objectives.
* Consultants: Dr. Theodore Marchese and Dr. Patricia Hutchings visit campus for two days.
* Committee established priorities for 1989-90.

1989-90: Survey of full-time faculty perceptions of assessment issues.
* Input/discussion/review of proposed entry-level and learning outcomes assessment policies.
* Adoption (by Academic Council and the Board of Trustees) of a mandatory entry-level assessment policy of student's basic skills.
* Adoption (by Academic Council and the Board of Trustees) of an assessment policy of students' skills in their major and general education skills.
* Consultant: Dr. Peter T. Ewell visits the campus for one day.
* Foundation Assessment Projects: $6,000 (five departments/projects).

1990-91: Implementation of the mandatory entry-level assessment policy of student's basic skills.
* Initial development/modification of assessment methods to measure student performance in learning outcomes.
* Consultant: Dr. James 0. Nichols visits the campus for one day.
* Foundation Assessment Projects: $9,000 (six departments/projects).
* Needs assessment survey of departmental resources for the development/modification of appropriate assessment methods to measure student achievement in learning outcomes.

1991-92: Beacon College Project is approved.
* Assessment Projects: $25,000 (eighteen departments/projects).
* Presentation to the Board of Trustees on topic of assessment.
* Assessment consultants, Dr. Trudy Banta and Dr. Peg Leahy, conduct workshops and provide individual follow-up with departments. Written test construction, capstone course development, performance based testing, internships, portfolio approach, general education skills, and assessment of students in AA and AS degrees.
* Development of "The Sinclair Model" (The NCA Plan) and submission to the North Central Accreditation Association.
* Development and adoption of learning outcomes reporting format.
* Adoption of the Sinclair Graduate Guarantee in March, 1992.

1992-93: Assessment methods in each academic department in place or near final development.
* Initial results of tracking study of entering students' basic skills and retention available.
* Conclusion of Beacon College Project with published guide.
* National Conference on Assessment hosted at SCC through Beacon College Project.
* Implementation of the Sinclair "Quality of Graduate Guarantee" policy.
* Assessment Projects: $20,000 - 16 departments/projects.
* Assessment of Student Academic Achievement Model (NCA Plan) approved by the North Central Accreditation Association.
* Adoption of preliminary plan to assess students' acquisition of general education knowledge/skills.
* Creation of the General Education Outcomes/Core Curriculum Sub-Committee.
* Creation of the Impact Sub-Committee.

1993-94: Assessment Awards presented to 120 faculty and staff in recognition of dedicated service to the Assessment initiative over the past five years.
* Assessment methods in place in all academic departments; new courses and/or methodologies piloted for final development.
* Tracking Sub-Committee jointly established a research agenda with Institutional Planning and Research to prepare studies in  four areas.
* Tracking Study Major Results:  "Right-to-Know" Cohort analysis indicated a graduation rate of 14.5% which is in-line with similar institutions' results. Initial results of studying developmental education students' subsequent academic success and retention at the college showed positive results; further analysis is forthcoming.
* A team of Sinclair assessment experts present a session on community college assessment at the annual Assessment Conference hosted by Trudy Banta at IUPUI.
* Assessment Projects: $20,000 - 14 departments/projects.
* Distribution of over 50 copies of the Sinclair Model to other institutions: the NCA approved plan for the Assessment of Student Academic Achievement.
* Pilot projects of the General Education Assessment Plan begin: computer-adaptive testing in written communication and computational skills; infusion of "across-the-core" outcomes in general education courses.
* Creation of the Science Assessment and Placement Sub-Committee.
* Assessment Coordinator becomes a member of the Student Services Assessment Committee.
* Assessment Coordinator has article titled "Institutionalizing Assessment" published in Assessment Update.
* Student Services established departmental outcomes for measuring institutional effectiveness.
* A Computer Testing Center opened in October, 1993 and placement testing is now completed by students using the COMPASS software package.
* The Impact Sub-Committee develops the "windmill" model of assessment indicators based on the four-stage PDSA Shewhart Cycle to document use of assessment results for improvement.
* Assessment Coordinator invited to deliver keynote address for an assessment in-service day at Joliet Junior College.
* Sinclair Assessment expert team invited to work with faculty at Cuyahoga Community College.
* Two Sinclair teams attended the second annual AAHE Assessment/CQI Conference to present the General Education Assessment  Package and the Sinclair Impact Model.
* A Sinclair faculty team presented the General Education Assessment Package at the annual League for Innovation Leadership 2000 Conference.
* A multi-media version of the Sinclair Model was developed and used for presentations on campus as well as outside where technical support was available.

1994-95: Assessment Coordinator invited to keynote Fall Conference activities highlighting Assessment at Lake Land College in Illinois. Director of Institutional Planning & Research keynotes on same day at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin.
* General Education Committee received $20,000 Academic Challenge Grant to sponsor a General Education Day in December, and  work with faculty to teach an across-the-core general education curriculum.
* The Sinclair Guarantee is linked to the Assessment initiative.
* A cross-divisional group of faculty developed a writing checklist to be used college-wide for assessing writing skills in all classes.
* The Communication Arts Department faculty developed an oral communications checklist to be used college-wide for assessing oral communications skills in all classes.
* Sinclair hosted and co-sponsored an Assessment Conference with SOCHE in April, 1995. Sinclair faculty and staff presented workshops to educators and administrators throughout the region on a variety of topics including our NCA-approved Assessment Plan, General Education, Program Outcomes Learning,and Tracking.
* The first annual Impact Report to document college-wide use of assessment results for improvement purposes was prepared and presented May, 1995.
* Sinclair was selected and featured in the "Campus Profiles" section of the May-June, 1995 issue of Assessment Update.
* The Assessment Chair and staff from Institutional Planning and Research presented the process used to compile the Impact Report at the annual AAHE Assessment and Quality Conference, June, 1995.
* The Assessment Chair and the Director of Adult Re-entry presented the Student Services Assessment Plan at the annual Summer Institute on Institutional Effectiveness, June, 1995.
* The Assessment Chair and three other committee members serve on a Quality Council Sub-Committee that develop the six Core Indicators of Institutional Effectiveness.
* The Assessment Chair and Dean's representative are invited to keynote the Fall Conference activities at Parkland College (IL) by  sharing our expertise on Assessment.
* Student Services, under the direction of the Student Services Assessment Committee, begins using a point-of-service survey (gap analysis) to assess student/customer satisfaction.

1995-96: The second annual General Education Day was held December, 1995, for faculty and staff exchange of ideas on general education curriculum, outcomes and assessment methods.
* The second annual Impact Report is compiled using a focus group analysis process to streamline the feedback collection. All nine assessment indicators of success are examined and condensed into a college-wide report documenting how Sinclair uses assessment results to make improvements.
* A departmental interview process is developed to prepare a college-wide Program Learning Outcomes Report. The report includes validation of Curriculum, updated Learning Outcomes, formative and summative assessment methods, results, analysis,  and action. A survey of General Education assessment is also included.

1996-97: The Assessment Committee joins the college in preparing the NCA Self-Study by providing support and leadership to analyze and document all areas falling under NCA Criterion III, "The institution is accomplishing its educational and other purposes."
* The third annual General Education Day is held December, 1996. Faculty and staff participants focus on assessing thinking skills and values.