Skip to main content

General Education and the Assessment of Student Learning

The General Education curriculum at VCSU is a unique blend of a menu of courses.
Faculty and the General Education Council have been instrumental in refining and implementing the Learning Outcomes and Goals. General Education Faculty have identified Learning Outcomes to be developed in their respective courses as well as specific student projects within the course. Upon completion of the course, these projects are used to assess the level of competency of identified Learning Outcome/s.

The General Education Council has oversight responsibilities for the General Education curricula and works with faculty to review syllabi, assure breadth of coverage, and affirm commitment to the Learning Outcomes model.

The Aims of General Education Assessment:

  • Promote a learner-centered classroom environment
  • Assure a quality General Education program that meets student needs
  • Examine University-wide student progress in each of the General Education Learning Outcomes
  • Develop the integration of technology for success

The General Education Learning Outcomes

General Education courses comprise almost one-third of a student’s VCSU coursework. These courses provide the distinctive mark of the University’s culture and values, setting the foundation for a student’s journey into a major and on to graduation.
General Education course syllabi must list a Learning Outcome project measuring student learning. Each General Education course must meet at least one of the Learning Outcomes established by the General Education Council and may address up to three Learning Outcomes.

General Education's Cycle of Assessment and Revision

The General Education Council is responsible for the program review. This review, with recommendations for revision, is presented to the General Education Program Faculty, the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, and the Academic Policies and Affairs Committee (APAC), which then discuss and act on the findings of the program review. Faculty make program decisions, while APAC provides the VPAA with input for budget decisions and strategic planning.

In Spring 2013, the General Education Council and Director of Institutional Research and Assessment began conducting annual meetings with General Education faculty to review courses in their respective areas as recommended by Walvoord (2010). The meetings are intended to reaffirm General Education course connections, evaluate projects for strengths and concerns, identify General Education course changes, and determine actions that the department desires from the institution in regard to General Education offerings. The Director of Institutional Research and Assessment provides student projects to the departments to facilitate department review of their General Education courses. The Director of institutional Research takes meeting minutes and returns them to the departments for additional feedback prior to being finalized. The Director of Institutional Research and Assessment compiles a summary report of findings for the General Education Council, Assessment Committee, Curriculum Committee, APAC, and Executive Team.

Assessment data from the annual General Education assessment meetings and other appropriate measures are collected annually, with discussion, revision, and subsequent implementation as necessary.
Assessment results are disseminated to the General Education faculty, the General Education Council, Curriculum Committee, APAC, and Assessment Committee.