OPRA is often involved in the college’s assessment efforts because of its familiarity with quantitative analyses and with available institutional information resources. In fact, OPRA provides access to essential information to evaluate, assess, and improve mission fulfillment; instructional and student learning support programs; administrative programs and services; and teaching and learning methods and strategies.
For information about the college’s assessment of mission fulfillment, please see the college’s annual performance reports.
At Edmonds College, assessment is conducted at various levels, allowing the college to evaluate the quality of its educational programs and administrative functions and to use the assessment results to continually improve. These assessments are included in the college’s integrated planning process, known as the SIMPLE Plan, which is the operational planning tool for divisions of the college.
Assessment of Teaching and Learning
The college has been tracking the results of projects that assess the effectiveness of teaching and learning since the mid-1990's. More formally, the college has defined both direct and indirect assessment aspects for all points in a student’s educational pathway.
This “entry to exit assessment” includes:
- Initial course placement;
- Prior Learning Assessment (or PLA);
- Assessment of Course-level learning objectives (CLOs), which are included as part of each course’s description in the academic catalog;
- Assessment of Program-level (i.e., degree and certificate) learning outcomes (PLOs), which are included as part of each program’s description in the academic catalog;
- Exit level assessments at the course level (via the faculty/student evaluations) and upon graduation (via the Graduation Application and Transcript Evaluation System, or GATE); and
- Assessments of student engagement and experiences, as measured via the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (or CCSSE) and other, home-grown surveys)
For more details of the direct and indirect assessments, please see the college's Teaching and Learning Assessment Plan, which is adjusted, as necessary, to reflect the changing and evolving roles of assessment at Edmonds College.
Closing the Assessment Loop
Edmonds College views assessment as an ongoing, iterative process, where assessment results are used to modify programs, as necessary, and to promote continuous quality improvement of the services the college offers to students. This work is documented in program reviews, which are completed by academic programs and instructional support program/services.
As required by the college’s accrediting body (the NWCCU), these program reviews regularly and systematically evaluate student achievement of all program-level learning outcomes (PLOs).
Assessment at Edmonds College is supported by data and information that is generated by the college’s Office of Planning, Research, and Assessment (or OPRA).
For more information regarding the research and information that OPRA provides, please visit the OPRA Research site.