The Degree Qualifications Profile Project at Kapi’olani Community College

Anthony Silva, Assistant Professor of Languages, Linguistics and Literature

As a participant in the Associate Degree Cohort of ACCJC’s Degree Qualifications Profile Project, Kapi’olani Community College looked at how the DQP could be used to inform a potential revision of the College’s general education student learning outcomes as well as how it might influence student learning outcomes at the course level.

Kapi’olani Community College is one of seven community colleges in the University of Hawaii system. The College first engaged with the DQP in 2011 when working in collaboration with its sister community colleges to develop a system-wide Associate in Arts in Hawaiian Studies degree. In order to create degree coherence across the seven campuses (each with its own general education outcomes), each campus mapped its general education outcomes to the DQP. For its Associate Degree Cohort project, the College’s DQP Project Team decided to build on the DQP work previously done with the AA in Hawaiian Studies degree.

The DQP Project Team first looked at the relationship between the DQP outcomes and the College’s general education outcomes within the context of the AA in Hawaiian Studies degree. The Team collaboratively mapped the DQP outcomes to the College’s general education outcomes, taking into consideration the mapping previously done during the development of the AA in Hawaiian Studies degree. These new matrices were then delivered to a cross-disciplinary Task Force of general education faculty. Working in small groups, with each group focused on a specific general education outcome, their charge was twofold: to fine-tune the maps / matrices and to draft potential revisions to the College’s general education outcomes in order to create closer alignment with the DQP. The result of the first task was a set of specific statements (DQP outcomes) that served to clarify and support the College’s more general outcomes, making them (potentially) more easily assessable. The second task demonstrated the robustness of four of the College’s general education outcomes (which needed only modest revisions): Thinking and Inquiry, Communication, Self and Community, and Integrative Learning. The Task Force recommended that a fifth outcome, Aesthetic Engagement, be collapsed into the Integrative Learning outcome.

At the course level, the DQP Project Team recruited lead faculty members of courses contributing to the AA in Hawaiian Studies degree, asking them to individually map their course competencies (what we call our course outcomes) to the DQP outcomes. This resulted in the creation of matrices for each course as well as a master matrix showing all competencies across all courses that addressed each DQP outcome. A subset of these faculty members then used their course matrices to guide a competency revision, the goal of which was to ensure that DQP-identified learning would be an integral part of the course. These faculty members incorporated DQP wording into select course competencies. The result was course competencies intentionally aligned with DQP outcomes.

Going forward, the College hopes to take the next logical step: aligning assignments and assessments to the new experimental course competencies. The College also hopes to explore the use of the DQP in other degree programs, and to further refine its general education outcomes to reduce overlap revealed by the DQP.

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