Curriculum & Assessment

Curriculum and Assessment Office

The purpose of the Curriculum and Assessment Office, housed in the Vice President of Instruction’s Office, is to manage and assess a dynamic and rigorous curriculum aligned to the standards set forth by SACSCOC and THECB. The office manages academic assessment at the course and program level, as well as the current institutional Quality Enhancement Program (QEP). The mission of this office is to improve student learning experiences, as well as faculty curriculum and assessment resources and processes at TSC.

Academic Assessment

Academic assessment of courses and programs is an important part of continuously improving student learning. At TSC, academic assessment is managed through several processes:

Course-Level Direct Assessment

Summative assessment assignments are offered in every course in the general education core, as well as select program courses. These assignments directly assess student performance in student learning outcomes (SLOs), program student learning outcomes, and general education core competencies.

SLOs are primarily determined by ACGM and WECM; however, some SLOs are faculty developed. In 2018, TSC chose the following general core competencies:

  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Empirical and Quantitative Skills
  • Teamwork
  • Social Responsibility
  • Personal Responsibility

While SLOs are assessed in every course, core competencies are assessed only in courses that are included in the institution’s General Education Core, and each course typically addresses at least four core competencies. Because there are so many courses in the General Education Core, course-level assessment of core competencies is on a three-year cycle. Each year, student performance in general education core competencies are recorded for two to three disciplines.

Calibration of General Education Core Course Artifacts and Assessment Tools

Direct assessment of general education core courses is calibrated each year as well. This process gives programs and departments an opportunity to review and assess summative assessment artifacts from all general education core courses and use the results to offer feedback to departments and programs on how best to calibrate their assessment tools. Because there are so many courses in the General Education Core, calibration occurs every year in each department, focusing on 2-3 course disciplines each year.

Program-Level Direct Assessment

All Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs) are mapped to certain SLOs in each program course. Therefore, direct assessment of PSLOs occurs through the summative assessment assignments offered in select courses in every program.

Annual Learning Assessment Reports

Yearly course- and program-level assessment reports give department chairs and program coordinators/directors an opportunity to review and analyze the data resulting from student performance on summative assessment assignments offered in all general education core courses, as well as select program courses.

Program Review

Program Review requires that each technical and academic transfer program delivers a full review of program performance and resources, every four years. These reviews help TSC prepare for periodic reaffirmation of accreditation and report on the following:

  • Need for and viability of the program
  • Fulfillment of program mission
  • Student enrollment and success
  • Program resources and budget
  • Help prepare TSC for periodic reaffirmation of accreditation.

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)

Every decade, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) requires its members to undergo a process called reaffirmation. As part of the reaffirmation process, SACSCOC requires colleges and universities to have a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The QEP aims to focus on improving student learning and/or student success. According to the Resource Manual for The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement (2018), the QEP is a five-year project that must incorporate the following five components:

  • A topic identified through ongoing, comprehensive planning and evaluation processes
  • Broad-based support of institutional constituencies
  • Focus on improving specific student learning outcomes and/or student success
  • Commitment of resources to initiate, implement, and complete the QEP
  • A strategic plan to assess achievement

What is TSC’s QEP topic?

Learning to Bloom aims to increase student metacognitive awareness through instruction on Bloom’s Taxonomy and by giving students the opportunity to practice Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluating (PME) strategies in their course(s). The expected outcome is to increase students’ metacognitive awareness by 3% in the areas of: Procedural Knowledge, Declarative Knowledge, Conditional Knowledge, Information Management Strategies, Debugging Strategies, Planning, Comprehension, and Monitoring. Institutional data informed the QEP topic identification and selection. The Learning to Bloom outcomes are:

  • Increase student metacognitive awareness by 3%
  • Increase persistence rates from Fall to Spring and Fall to Fall
  • Increase passing rates
  • Increase graduation rates
  • Increase Student Learning Outcome (SLO) proficiency in course signature assignments

 How was Learning to Bloom selected?

Learning to Bloom was cultivated out of TSC’s strategic and operational planning and institutional data. To help narrow down the list of potential topics, a QEP Topic Selection Committee was created to analyze the data and put forth a recommendation to the President’s Executive Cabinet. In addition to considering the data when identifying potential topics, the Topic Selection Committee also received input from various constituents (faculty, students, and administrative leadership). Based on the data and feedback from stakeholders, the QEP Topic Selection Committee recommended the QEP topic “Metacognitive Awareness,” which was approved by the Executive cabinet and later named by the Student Government Association Learning to Bloom.