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Definition of Terms

Definition of Terms


Let's face it, we use a lot of jargon in higher education. Some of it is specific to individual campuses, so it's important to have a basic handle on the verbiage.

Core Themes

We are required by our accrediting agency, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), to have a series of defined Core Themes that represent the different mission areas of the college. LCC's Core Themes are: Workforce & Economic Development; Transfer & Academic Preparation; Student Access, Support & Completion; and Institutional Excellence.

Each Core Theme has a corresponding set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). As noted earlier, administration has the primary responsibility for tracking our KPIs, but we do have many faculty participants on our related review teams. Monitoring our KPIs is primarily about compliance.

Global Skills

We use this term to refer to general education outcomes, things that all students should gain while at LCC. The faculty at LCC have adopted four Global Skills: Communication, Critical Thinking, Interpersonal Relations, and Numeracy. Not to be confused with general education requirements for degrees, which pertain to distribution requirements. Faculty have primary responsibility for assessing Global Skills at LCC, which is done through an annual Summer Assessment Institute.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

LCC has a set of Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, that define effectiveness across the institution. We do have defined KPIs for program outcomes as well as Global Skills, in addition to a number of other institutional measurements. Those KPIs reflect the work occurring through the Curriculum and Program Review process and the Summer Assessment Institute, which looks at Global Skills.

Monitoring Reports

LCC reports on its institutional outcomes (KPIs) in a series of Monitoring Reports that get presented to the LCC Board of Trustees each year. The Monitoring Reports are posted on the LCC website.

Monitoring Report Review Teams

Each of the Monitoring Reports has an assigned review team that analyzes data and participates in planning each year. LCC employees receive open invitations in the spring and fall to join a team. All are welcome.

Program

For purposes of Curriculum and Program Review at LCC, a program can either be a specific degree or certificate or an academic discipline. Since we don't have majors per se at LCC, academic transfer faculty are advised to select an important foundation course or series of courses to address through the review process. In disciplines where sequential courses are involved (such as math, English and the sciences), the sequences should be assessed.

Academic transfer faculty who are unsure about what to assess should consult with their dean, Instructional Assessment Committee representative, or department chair.

Rubric

A guide listing specific criteria for grading or scoring academic papers, projects, or tests.

Student Learning Outcomes

The knowledge, skills and/or abilities that a student should achieve within a defined educational experience, such as a course or program.

 


Useful Links:

  • Learning Outcomes Assessment page on faculty-staff website (internal.lowercolumbia.edu/faculty-tools/assessment) 
  • Global Skills page on faculty-staff website (internal.lowercolumbia.edu/faculty-tools/assessment/global-skills) 
  • Strategic Plan page on LCC website -- for more on Key Performance Indicators and Monitoring Reports (lowercolumbia.edu/strategic-plan) 
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