Featured Website: Rio Salado College
Rio Salado College was recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for “building an accessible, comprehensive and systemic process for assessment, accreditation and accountability.” This practice, along with working within the Presidents’ forum’s Transparency by Design, resulted in CHEA presenting Rio Salado College with the CHEA Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes Award. Rio Salado College is highlighted for communicating its well-crafted Assessment Plans, explaining its assessment work to faculty and others who visit its website, and interpreting evidence of student learning in alignment with its mission. Rio Salado College measures Student Learning Outcomes in critical thinking, information literacy, reading, writing, and sustainability. Rio Salado believes that “(1) learning is the primary purpose of assessment; (2) assessment should lead to improvement and not be an end unto itself; and (3) faculty and students who understand the value of assessment and participate in assessment activities benefit most from this work.”
Departments use a Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle to guide conversations and actions around data collection and analysis of student learning outcomes. These aims are framed by rubrics for each student learning outcome. Mini program reviews provide easy to read graphs and data on selected departmental student learning results and assessment summary reports are provided every year beginning in 2000 to present. For providing a variety of transparent information on student learning in a central location, Rio Salado College is NILOA Featured Website for October 2012.