Kansas City Kansas Community College and the Degree Qualifications Profile

Dr. Tamara Agha-Jaffar, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Sangki Min, Dean of Institutional Services

Kansas City Kansas Community College is an urban community college located in Kansas City, Kansas, serving a diverse student body of approximately 7,000 students.

In June 2011, Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC) was invited to by the Higher Learning Commission to be a participant in Cohort 3 of the Lumina Foundation’s Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) pilot.  Our participation in the pilot serves as a fulfillment of one of the two required components of the Higher Learning Commission’s Open Pathway accreditation process, specifically, the Quality Initiative component.

We began by merging KCKCC’s existing 21st Century Learning Outcomes with DQP outcomes, combining both in one institution-wide document. Faculty then aligned their course competencies with the DQP competencies and submitted the mapping information to the office of Institutional Services.  Subsequently, our office of Institutional Services created an extensive curriculum mapping database that revealed how and where each of our course competencies aligns with DQP items.  As a result of this database, we are able to generate a series of reports that reveal strengths and weaknesses in the course and program level, as well as transcript analysis of graduates.

Simultaneously, we have designed an Online Competency Index form to facilitate faculty submission of assessment data.  The faculty can report the assessment of each student by simply clicking on one of the five radio buttons representing 0 to 4 scaled scores by each competency and learning outcome shown on the form.  Once the form is submitted, all the data (course section ID, faculty information, and assessment data by each student on each competency) is recorded, stored, and archived in a database.

The assessment data collected through the online form enables the Office of Institutional Services to generate reports with different variables that provide information on students’ performance in learning outcomes: on a course-by-course basis, as a compilation of all the sections of the same course, on courses within the same discipline, in a program, and/or by academic division, and college-wide.  These reports are disseminated to faculty, academic deans, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs as they become available.  Faculty close the loop on assessment by reviewing the reports on their courses, setting goals, devising action plans to improve student learning outcomes based on the data provided, and documenting the activity in a course assessment form which has been developed for this purpose and which is then saved in a database.

KCKCC’s participation in the DQP pilot has helped us to establish a culture of assessment at the institution with increased faculty engagement; to identify where and to what degree the DQP competencies are being addressed in the curriculum; to simplify the assessment process; and provide valuable feedback to faculty for making informed decisions about course/program modifications based on the data.

For more information, please see the DQP Case Study on KCKCC.