Marymount California University’s new student achievement and program learning outcomes site turned heads at the regional WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) Community of Practice (CoP) on Learning Outcomes Visibility meeting this month.
The site, developed by MCU’s Provost Dr. Ariane Schauer and Chair of Multidisciplinary Studies Blue Wade, shows how Marymount’s academic programs, engaged faculty and interactive classes deliver on student learning outcomes and connect students with career-driving experiences. The site was built as part of a wider effort across higher education to make program outcomes more visible to the public, with particular attention to evidence of student learning.
The wider WSCUC initiative involves a broad set of institutions and seeks to, “help assure various stakeholders in higher education (policy makers, parents, the general public, and students themselves) that higher education institutions in the region are delivering on their promises to students regarding learning outcomes,” according to the WSCUC website. “With funding from Lumina Foundation over a three-year period, WSCUC will develop and facilitate a Community of Practice (CoP) comprised of WSCUC institutions in order to increase leadership for and institutional capacity in learning outcomes assessment visibility.” The work done through this Community of Practice will become part of a library of accreditation-process resources for institutions regionally and nationally.
At the October 17th meeting, Schauer and Wade had the chance to discuss this work directly with nationally recognized assessment gurus Linda Suskie, Amy Driscoll and Pat Hutchins. MCU’s work was very well received at the conference and it was suggested that the university’s approach could serve as a model to others. Schauer reflected, “This is a testament to our faculty – not only their dedication to their students but their commitment to educational quality and their pride in Marymount.”
This year, MCU’s faculty are engaged in assessment initiatives that will allow each program to add program learning outcomes data by summer 2019. So far, we have compiled and posted outcomes for the university’s BA in Psychology. “We are very proud of the success of our Psychology program, especially its success in graduating students who can collaborate effectively and who can work with data to assess situations and draw reasoned conclusions,” Schauer explained.