Assessment of student learning in the co-curriculum is a priority in the Division of Student Affairs at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF). The purpose of assessing these programs and services is to identify opportunities for improvement. A recent publication from AAC&U (2008) highlighted that, "Employers seek assessments that demonstrate graduates' ability to apply their learning to real-world challenges." (p. 13). With student learning as a guiding focus, co-curricular assessment demonstrates the attainment of knowledge and skills important for lifelong success.
Conversations regarding the assessment of student learning in Student Affairs at CSUF began in earnest in 2005-06. The division established a division-wide assessment committee in the fall of 2007 (see link on left navigation bar for full roster). The committee was charged with the development and implementation of strategies to assess student learning outcomes from programs and services across the division. The committee engaged in a process from 2007 to 2009 to identify division-level learning domains sufficiently broad to encompass the breadth of learning opportunities available to the students through the co-curriculum.
To begin the domain development process, the committee engaged in a comprehensive review of foundational documents of the institution
(CSUF mission statement, goals and strategies, GE Learning Goals) as well as of the division (Student Affairs mission statement, Student Affairs services to the campus and the community). In addition, reviews of learning outcomes models developed by professional associations were reviewed and analyzed for alignment with themes identified in the foundational institutional documents. Finally, additional models of learning outcomes and best practices from institutions of higher education across the nation were analyzed for alignment with identified themes. The committee developed a student learning outcomes model that includes five (5) division-level learning domains. The domains encompass the breadth of intended learning outcomes in the co-curriculum and are further articulated by corresponding characteristic statements. The Learning Domains and Characteristics were finalized and approved in spring 2009 and are used to guide assessment efforts across the division.
For more information regarding the CSUF Student Affairs Learning Domains and Characteristics model, please click here.
L. Jarnagin, Spring 2011
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