Project SLOPE - Student Learning: Objectives, Persistence, and Engagement

Community College of Aurora Institutional Outcomes – 4 Cs

All students at CCA are expected to develop competence in our institutional outcomes, the 4 Cs, in addition to competence in occupational and discipline knowledge. The 4 Cs are: Career & Transfer Readiness, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Cultural Competence. These skills are the foundation of students' education at the Community College of Aurora. Students develop competence in one or more of these skills in all of their experiences at CCA, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Career & Transfer Readiness
Career and transfer readiness is the ability to adapt, commit to lifelong learning, and demonstrate knowledge and skills applicable in a global economy for successful transition into the workplace or continued coursework.

Students will be able to:

  • Choose a pathway or goal to prepare for a career or college transfer
  • Use digital tools to locate, access, and apply information to solve problems
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their chosen pathway
  • Articulate their experiences, strengths, and areas for growth in relation to a chosen career
  • Exhibit skills necessary to contribute to safe, equitable, and productive spaces at work or school

Communication is the ability to effectively express, impart, or exchange feelings, thoughts, opinions, and information both orally and in writing.

Students will be able to:

  • Speak or write clearly and effectively in a variety of contexts and formats
  • Present and advance evidence in support of a position
  • Collaborate to develop and complete projects
  • Create a final product meeting the needs of a specific purpose and an intended audience

Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the ability to analyze and evaluate information, evidence, arguments, and theories from multiple perspectives for use in the development of an opinion or conclusion.

Students will be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate key questions or issues
  • Collect, analyze, and critically evaluate data and evidence
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of possible solutions from multiple perspectives
  • Synthesize and use evidence and context to present a position

Cultural Competence
Cultural competence is the ability to demonstrate awareness and integration of an intentional valuing of cultural differences and experiences in our decisions and interactions with all.

Students will be able to:

  • Evaluate how privilege or marginalization informs their own social and cultural group identities
  • Compare their own attitudes, beliefs, and potential biases to those of other cultures and communities
  • Consider multiple perspectives when interacting with individuals and groups of different backgrounds
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and respect when engaging with their communities

Project SLOPE

Project SLOPE - Student Learning: Objectives, Persistence, and Engagement is a project begun in Fall 2017 that seeks to build an integrated college-wide assessment system focused on student learning inside and outside the classroom.  Through collaboration across the college, the project will research, analyze, and develop methods toward integrating assessment into a unified system.

The four-year plan of the project includes revitalizing our institutional outcomes, improving methods for data collection and analysis, and designing program outcome assessments.  

Phase 1: Academic Year 2017-18 (Completed)

The first step of the project was to create a cross-college Task Force to guide the project launch. Five Sub-committees within the Task Force worked on specific tasks related to revitalizing our institutional outcomes.  Two committees implemented focus groups to gain insight about outcomes from external stakeholders such as industry and transfer institutions and internal stakeholders such as faculty, staff, and students.  Another committee analyzed current data collection processes to make recommendations for a consistent approach across the college.  Two additional committees identified assessment training needs and improved communication about assessment and the work of the Task Force. At the conclusion of Phase 1, it was determined that the academic affairs assessment committee would be expanded to become an institutional assessment committee and would assume leadership of Phase 2.

Phase 2: Academic Year 2018-19 (Completed)

During year two of the project, the former academic affairs Assessment Committee transitioned to become an institutional Assessment Committee and began leading the work. Five sub-committees focused on specific areas and tasks including assessment modeling, performance indicators, data collection, curriculum mapping, and communications. A review of program assessment models was performed and the data collected informed a series of non-negotiables to be included in CCA’s model as it is designed. Performance indicators were identified for both divisions of the college and mapped to division goals. Recommendations were made for standardizing assessment data collection and starting a repository of collected data. Co-curricular areas to assess were identified, and a curriculum mapping template was created. An institutional approach to communicating the 4 Cs was proposed, and all artifacts of the former Lifelong Skills have been removed.  Phase 3 will begin in the fall of 2019 with an emphasis on collecting baseline program data and determining course-level outcomes. 

Phase 3: Academic Year 2019-20

Baseline program data will be collected and course level outcomes will be determined. 

Phase 4: Academic Year 2020-2021

All steps will be merged together for full implementation.

Committee Reports

Phase 1: Final Reports, June 2018

Phase 2: Final Reports, June 2019


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