GE Program Level Assessment Resources

Why Have General Education Program Level Assessment?

General Education is more than a collection of courses; it is an academic program. Like all academic programs, GE needs to be periodically reviewed to ensure that it is current, meeting its goals, efficient, and contributing to rigorous student learning. A major goal of GE revision at Chico State was to create a General Education program with clearly articulated student learning outcomes (SLOs) that can serve as a means of programmatic assessment, as well as to create an institutional structure – through Pathway coordinators and CAB – that can lead assessment efforts. CAB has created an assessment schedule to guide assessment of the Pathways program over the next five years.

Academic Year 12-13, Program Level Assessment.

In AY 12-13, CAB is overseeing the assessment of Written Communication across GE and Critical Thinking (CT) in the Foundation courses in Area A3 (Critical Thinking).  The assessment of writing is being guided by a rubric developed by CAB in consultation with composition faculty on our campus.  All courses identified as Writing Intensive (WI) are being asked to contribute an assignment that best represents student writing in that course.  Assignments will be uploaded by students and assessed by CAB members using the Student Tracking Evaluation Portfolio System (STEPS).  Instructions are available for faculty and students on the use of STEPS.

Critical Thinking is being assessed focused on the particular definition of CT provided by the CSU in EO 1065, including: (1) logic and its relation to language, (2) deductive and inductive processes, (3) formal and informal fallacies, (4) distinguishing fact from judgment or opinion, (5) ability to analyze, criticize and advocate ideas and (6) ability to reach well-supported factual or judgmental conclusions.  In AY 12-13, the campus is using a pre- and post-test focused particularly on deductive and inductive processes and recognizing fallacies of reasoning. The pre- and post-test is being administered in all courses in the Critical Thinking area of the GE Foundations.  As indicated in the schedule above, we will also need to assess the more general notion of CT (defined in EM 10-01) in the future.

Background on Chico’s Approach to GE Program Level Assessment.

In AY 2008-09, the General Education Advisory Committee convened a Faculty Learning Community (funded by the CSU, Chancellors Office) who did initial thinking on GE assessment in this report. In October 2011, a team of Chico State faculty and the Dean of Undergraduate Education participated in a CSU system-wide conference on GE assessment and produced a working plan for GE assessment. We hope to build on this work in implementing GE program-level assessment of the new GE Pathways program.

A concerted effort at GE Program assessment was carried out in AY 04-05 and 05-06, prior to the major revision of GE on our campus. This assessment was rather ad hoc and strained due to the lack of clearly articulated SLOs in our old program. But these assessment results proved important for building a culture of evidence that informed re-design efforts. The reports of these efforts were widely shared with the campus at that time and are available at the links below.

Report to ITL (docx)
Assessment Action Plan (docx)

GE Program Assessment Results, 2004 – 2006