Special General Education Considerations for California Community Colleges

The ACCJC-WASC Accreditation standards clearly define the General Education minimum areas for assessment.

" The institution requires of all academic and vocational degree programs a component of general education based on a carefully considered philosophy that is clearly stated in its catalog. The institution, relying on the expertise of its faculty, determines the appropriateness of each course for inclusion in the general education curriculum by examining the stated learning outcomes for the course.

General education has comprehensive learning outcomes for the students who complete it, including the following:  

a. An understanding of the basic content and methodology of the major areas of knowledge: areas include the humanities and fine arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences.

b. A capability to be a productive individual and life long learner: skills include oral and written communication, information competency, computer literacy, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis/logical thinking, and the ability to acquire knowledge through a variety of means.

c. A recognition of what it means to be an ethical human being and effective citizen: qualities include an appreciation of ethical principles; civility and interpersonal skills; respect for cultural diversity; historical and aesthetic sensitivity; and the willingness to assume civic, political, and social responsibilities locally, nationally, and globally." (ACCJC-WASC Standard II: Student Learning Programs and Services A.3. a-c)

Please go to the ACCJC-WASC website for language in context of the standard.

Quoted from the ACCJC-WASC Accreditation Website at http://www.accjc.org

What evidence is necessary for accreditation?

Basic accreditation questions concerning General Education are excerpted from the ACCJC-WASC Guide to Evaluating Institutions Using the 2002 Standards at http://www.accjc.org

bullet

What evidence is found in the catalogue of a faculty-developed rationale for general education that serves as the basis for inclusion of courses in general education?

bullet

How are student learning outcomes used to analyze courses for inclusion as general education?

bullet

How is the rationale for general education communicated to all stakeholders?

bullet

How is the general education philosophy reflected in the degree requirements?

bullet

How are the basic content and methodology of traditional areas of knowledge in general education determined?

bullet

What process is used to ensure that general education courses include this content and methodology ?

bullet

Do general education courses demonstrate student achievement of comprehensive student learning outcomes?

bullet

Do student learning outcomes for general education courses require students to understand the basic content and methodology in the major areas of knowledge?

bullet

Is there a consistent process for assuring that the content and methodology are included in course outlines?

bullet

How well are students able to apply their understanding to subsequent coursework, employment, or other endeavors?

bullet

What standards have been developed to determine if general education students have attained these goals?

bullet

What criteria does the college use to assure that the required skill level meets collegiate standards?

bullet

Is there a consistent process for assuring that expected skill levels are included in course outlines?

bullet

What measures of student skill are employed?

bullet

Is the college satisfied that these measures are effective? How well are students achieving these outcomes?

bullet

How well are students able to apply these skills to subsequent coursework, employment, or other endeavors?

bulletHow are student learning outcomes developed to address concerns about ethics and effective citizenship?
bullet

How is it determined where to include student learning leading to development of these qualities?

Return to Implementation Options

Janet Fulks
Assessing Student Learning in Community Colleges (2004), Bakersfield College
jfulks@bakersfieldcollege.edu    
07/22/2004