SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation Site
Overview Compliance Certification Quality Enhancement Plan Resources SACS Evaluators Hillsbrough Community College
3.5.1 Attainment/ Gen. Ed. Competencies
The institution identifies college-level competencies within the general education core and provides evidence that graduates have attained those competencies.
   
Judgment of Compliance
 
Compliance
   
Narrative/Justification for Judgment of Compliance
 

Hillsborough Community College identifies college-level competencies within the general education core (College Catalog, p.89). The general education core competencies are established and approved by the faculty and the administration through the General Education Committee and academic affairs process (Academic Affairs Handbook; General Education Committee Final Report).

The General Education Committee has identified college-level competencies and assured that those competencies are within the general education courses and that methods are in place to provide evidence that graduates have attained those competencies.  HCC completed an extensive analysis and evaluation of its general education core requirements to assure that its requirements meet the general education needs of it students and community (General Education Committee Final Report, March 2002).  The General Education Committee was convened on August 21, 2000 and charged with reviewing and revising HCC’s general education curriculum.  Several forums were held at each campus to ensure faculty input.  In addition, academic cluster meetings were used to discuss student general education needs.  After reviewing the input from all areas of the college and after much research and debate, the General Education Committee devised the current General Education program which was presented to all faculty and administration in November 2001.  By February 2002, the General Education program proposal had been approved by the Academic Affairs Committee and the President’s Cabinet (minutes from Academic Affairs Committee meeting or Cabinet meeting).

Implementation of the new general education curriculum was phased in beginning fall 2003.  The institution piloted the capstone course, IDS 2110, in spring 2004 to evaluate student achievement of the original seven college-level competencies.  Furthermore, during the 2003-2004 academic year, faculty members worked to determine specific discipline program and learning outcomes, relative to the respective Associate in Arts program clusters.  Full implementation of the program and learning outcome assessment began in fall 2004.

The following specific college-level competencies apply to courses within the general education core:

  1. Demonstrate their ability to think critically
  2. Demonstrate their ability to express themselves clearly in written and oral communication
  3. Demonstrate their ability to express themselves effectively in quantitative terms
  4. Demonstrate their understanding of and appreciation for the value and significance of culture
  5. Demonstrate their appreciation for the scientific method of inquiry and the historical and contemporary impact of science on daily life
  6. Demonstrate their understanding of global political, social, economic, and historical perspectives
  7. Demonstrate their ability to use technology to access, retrieve, process, and communicate information

 

In addition, specific program and learning outcomes have been identified for assessment by the respective AA faculty clusters.

Group I - Communications (Cluster 1)

Students will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. communicate in standard American English, both in speech and in writing;
  2. think critically, showing original thought;
  3. synthesize and integrate information;
  4. read critically;
  5. organize a task and follow through to completion;
  6. research;
  7. apply the precepts of logic;
  8. attend, participate in, and contribute to group sessions.

Group I – Humanities (Cluster 2)

Students will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. evaluate the various humanities and show their inter-relationships;
  2. relate the contribution of the various humanities’ diverse populations to societal institutions;
  3. research an area of humanities and gather information that helps evaluate a question and explanation about that particular area or period;
  4. communicate an understanding of the terminology, concepts and key personalities in the various humanities;
  5. discuss some of the key factors affecting relationships among cultures and evaluate their relative efficacy.

Group II – Mathematics (Cluster 3)

Students will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. utilize mathematical techniques and procedures in problem-solving activities;
  2. recognize and use the words and symbols of mathematics;
  3. utilize logical reasoning and critical thinking skills in analyzing mathematical problems and models
  4. comprehend and draw appropriate inferences from numeric data in various forms.

Group II - Natural Science (Cluster 4)

Students will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. utilize logical reasoning and critical thinking skills in analyzing scientific  problems and models;
  2. use and understand the scientific method of inquiry;
  3. provide examples of how scientific knowledge affects and changes our lives;
  4. distinguish between ideas constructed using scientific methodology and ideas with a pseudo-science basis.

Group III - Behavioral Sciences (Cluster 5)

Students will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. communicate an understanding of the vocabulary, concepts, and key personalities in the behavioral sciences;
  2. communicate an understanding of the relative contributions of biological and environmental factors affecting human behavior;
  3. discuss some of the key factors affecting relationships among cultures and between generations and evaluate their relative efficacy;
  4. describe the impact of technology on individuals, groups, and cultures;
  5. explain the rationale of the scientific method and its use in the behavioral and social sciences;
  6. compare the contributions of various approaches to the study of human behavior

Group III - History/Political Science (Cluster 6)

Students will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. evaluate the causes of past events and relate them to problems and issues of today;
  2. relate the contributions of the United States’ diverse populations to changing our political, economic, and social institutions;
  3. relate their constitutional rights to real issues and event sin American history;
  4. research an historical event and gather information that helps evaluate a question and explanation about that event.

In addition, computer proficiency is a core requirement of the general education curriculum.  Students must demonstrate computer proficiency in one of the following ways:

  1. successfully complete the approved HCC computer course(s): CGS 1000 (3 credits) or CGS 1555, OST 1741, CGS 1510 and CGS 1520 (Total of 6 Credits)
  2. provide an official transcript demonstrating successful completion of a college/university course equivalent to the approved HCC course(s)
  3. pass the proficiency test administered by the college

 

Student Attainment of College-Level Competencies

Currently, the College utilizes nine assessment methods to determine whether students are successfully attaining the required general education college-level competencies:

1. Faculty Assessment

College-level objectives/competencies are included in the courses’ syllabi, including general education coursework.  Students who successfully complete those courses are considered to have met those competencies through the course-level assessments that are administered (e.g., exams, presentations, papers, and projects).  Course completion with a C or better is evidence that students have attained those competencies (General Education Course Performance Tables).  General Education Course Performance data are posted on the Institutional Research website and are periodically discussed with faculty through professional in-service forums. 

Furthermore, a comparison of course completion with a C or better to HCC’s curriculum map portrays the relationship between average GPA over a three-year period and the courses in which the general education outcome statements are introduced, emphasized, and/or reviewed.  GPA provides an important, indirect measure of student learning outcomes, and faculty members are able to use the information on the table as a foundation for further assessments that tie more directly to the general education outcomes.  For example, many courses indicate an emphasis on general education outcome 1 regarding critical thinking skills.  If the percent of students who attain a grade of A, B, or C in these courses is below 60%, faculty may wish to investigate further into factors affecting student performance.

Course performance data is reviewed by the Student Success, Retention, and Placement Committee; the Office of Education and Student Development; the President’s Cabinet; and the college community as a whole on an annual basis to continue to identify courses in which students succeed or in which they are challenged.

 

2. Capstone Course Performance : IDS 2110 Connections

IDS 2110, Connections, is an interdisciplinary course that allows students to synthesize key components of their general education experience.  IDS 2110, Connections, allows the College to assess general education program and learning outcomes by utilizing aggregated student performance data collected from instructors teaching the course. Aggregated student performance data is recorded on a general education rubric of student learning outcomes.  This data is analyzed by the General Education Assessment Committee to evaluate student attainment of the general education competencies (HCC Connections Rubric Results).  This information is reported to the General Education Committee and the Faculty Curriculum clusters.  They review the data and can make adjustment to the courses or curriculum as necessary to improve the likelihood of student attainment of the competencies. 

3. External and Internal Tests

The ETS Test of General Education is a pilot test of general education in which HCC participated in May 2005.  Results will be available in March 2006.  It will assist HCC as one of the measures in evaluating student learning outcomes of the general education curriculum.  Results will be incorporated into the General Education annual report.  Again, based on results, the General Education Assessment Committee and the curriculum clusters will identify areas needing improvement or other areas of need.  

During the summer of 2005, the General Education
Subcommittee recommended the development of internal assessment measures including the evaluation of general education essays and possible sample testing of students in the IDS 2110 courses. 

4. Student Transfer Performance

HCC student transfer performance data is reviewed (2004 State Accountability/Summary of HCC Performance – M2).   Results from 02, 03, and 04 indicate that transfer GPA for HCC AA program graduates is increasing in the State University System: 

AA Transfer GPA > 2.4

                   2002     2003     2004

%> 2.4       68.3      69.4      73.2

GPA           2.80      2.80      2.89

The data indicate continuing improvement both in terms of the number of students with a GPA higher than 2.4 and the average GPA of our transfer students.   

Transfer performance is also available on a statewide basis through the program review level I data displays.  These data allow a review by state-defined disciplines of HCC student performance against state university native students.  Data include mean cumulative GPA, and GPA by 3.0 and above, below 2.0, suspensions, and graduations.  Again, these data are shared broadly and assist in identifying areas of success or those needing improvement. 

5. Student Performance on the CLAST

The state College-Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST) is a statewide accountability outcome measure that assesses college-level student performance in the areas of computation, reading, and writing (2004 State Accountability/Summary of HCC Performance – M5).  HCC student performance is shared with the Student Success, Retention, and Placement Committee and the President’s Cabinet. 

Student performance on the CLAST is considered satisfactory; more than 93 percent of those who attempt the CLAST pass it.

6. State Accountability Measures      

State accountability measures provide data on the retention and success of students in both the associate in arts and occupational/technical programs.  HCC student performance is reviewed against comparable Florida community colleges and against the Florida community college system (2004 State Accountability/Summary of HCC Performance, M1P1 and P2 and M4P1 and P2).  HCC student performance is shared with the President’s Cabinet and with faculty committees.  Data are also posted on the Institutional Research web site for review by the college community. 

7. Articulation Meetings           

In Florida, there is a statewide articulation agreement which guarantees students the right to transfer from the community college to a state university as long as the colleges adhere to the state’s general education policy.  Additionally, individual community colleges are encouraged to hold discipline-specific articulation meetings with senior institutions.  HCC holds the majority of these meetings with the University of South Florida, the principal recipient of HCC transfer students.  Articulation meetings take place with the University of South Florida to review the alignment of the curriculum and course objectives with the senior institution (Fall 2004 Articulation Meeting Agenda).  Data on student performance at the senior level also may be reviewed. 

The following tables serve as a summary that HCC has clearly identified its college-level competencies within the general education core and provides evidence that graduates have obtained those competencies:

General Education Assessment Methods and Discipline Groups

Assessment Methods

Discipline Groups

1.  Faculty Assessment

I, II, and III

2.  Capstone Course Performance: IDS 2110 Connections

I, II, and III

3.  External and Internal Test

I, II, and III

4.  Student Transfer Performance

I, II, and III

5.  Student Performance on the CLAST

I and II

6.  State Accountability Measures

I, II, and III

7.  Articulation Meetings

I, II, and III

 

General Education Student Competency Assessment Methods and Results

General Education Competencies

Assessment Methods*

Results

ability to think critically

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

1 – On average for the last three years, approximately 72% of the students in the courses that introduced, emphasized, or reinforced this concept, achieved a grade of C or better.

2 – A majority of the students were assessed as having average to excellent skills in this area.  

3 – The pilot external test was given in spring 2005.  Data for this national external test will be available March 2006.

4 – GPA performance of students who have transferred from HCC to the state universities has increased over the last three years.  This performance level is not significantly below the state average (HCC – 70%, FCCS – 73%)

5 – As of 2004, HCC’s CLAST performance is equal to that of its benchmark schools and better than the FCCS average.

6 – In reviewing the retention and success rates for the AA program, which is predominantly, we found that the system average is consistently higher than the HCC average.  The general education format was changed for the 03-04 academic year to readdress our mission and to enhance our performance at the transfer institutions.

7 - Because the transfer performance is below the system average, the College has established articulation meetings with its principal transfer university in order to provide a comparison of competencies students need to have at the university for successful completion.  These meetings have enabled both faculty to examine the curriculum and assist with this academic review for student success.

ability to express themselves clearly in written and oral communication

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

1 – On average for the last three years, approximately 72% of the students in the courses that introduced, emphasized, or reinforced this concept, achieved a grade of C or better.

2 – Recommendations from faculty indicated a need to improve communication skills.

3 – The pilot external test was given in spring 2005.  Data for this national external test will be available March 2006.

4 – GPA performance of students who have transferred from HCC to the state universities has increased over the last three years.  This performance level is not significantly below the state average (HCC – 70%, FCCS – 73%)

5 – As of 2004, HCC’s CLAST performance is equal to that of its benchmark schools and better than the FCCS average.

6 – In reviewing the retention and success rates for the AA program, which is predominantly, we found that the system average is consistently higher than the HCC average.  The general education format was changed for the 03-04 academic year to readdress our mission and to enhance our performance at the transfer institutions.

ability to express themselves effectively in quantitative terms

1, 4, 5, 6

1 – On average for the last three years, approximately 72% of the students in the courses that introduced, emphasized, or reinforced this concept, achieved a grade of C or better.

4 – GPA performance of students who have transferred from HCC to the state universities has increased over the last three years.  This performance level is not significantly below the state average (HCC – 70%, FCCS – 73%)

5 – As of 2004, HCC’s CLAST performance is equal to that of its benchmark schools and better than the FCCS average.

6 – In reviewing the retention and success rates for the AA program, which is predominantly, we found that the system average is consistently higher than the HCC average.  The general education format was changed for the 03-04 academic year to readdress our mission and to enhance our performance at the transfer institutions.

understanding of and appreciation for the value and significance of culture

1, 2, 4, 6

1 – On average for the last three years, approximately 71% of the students in the courses that introduced, emphasized, or reinforced this concept, achieved a grade of C or better.

2 – A majority of the students were assessed as having average to excellent skills in this area. 
4 – GPA performance of students who have transferred from HCC to the state universities has increased over the last three years.  This performance level is not significantly below the state average (HCC – 70%, FCCS – 73%)

6 – In reviewing the retention and success rates for the AA program, which is predominantly, we found that the system average is consistently higher than the HCC average.  The general education format was changed for the 03-04 academic year to readdress our mission and to enhance our performance at the transfer institutions.

appreciation of the scientific method of inquiry and the historical and contemporary impact of science on daily life

1, 2, 4, 6

1 – On average for the last three years, approximately 72% of the students in the courses that introduced, emphasized, or reinforced this concept, achieved a grade of C or better.

2 – A majority of the students were assessed as having average to excellent skills in this area.

4 – GPA performance of students who have transferred from HCC to the state universities has increased over the last three years.  This performance level is not significantly below the state average (HCC – 70%, FCCS – 73%)

6 – In reviewing the retention and success rates for the AA program, which is predominantly, we found that the system average is consistently higher than the HCC average.  The general education format was changed for the 03-04 academic year to readdress our mission and to enhance our performance at the transfer institutions.

understanding of global political, social, economic, and historical perspectives

1, 2, 4, 6

1 – On average for the last three years, approximately 72% of the students in the courses that introduced, emphasized, or reinforced this concept, achieved a grade of C or better.

2 – A majority of the students were assessed as having average to excellent skills in this area. 

4 – GPA performance of students who have transferred from HCC to the state universities has increased over the last three years.  This performance level is not significantly below the state average (HCC – 70%, FCCS – 73%)

6 – In reviewing the retention and success rates for the AA program, which is predominantly, we found that the system average is consistently higher than the HCC average.  The general education format was changed for the 03-04 academic year to readdress our mission and to enhance our performance at the transfer institutions.

ability to use technology to access, retrieve, process, and communicate information

Computer Proficiency Examination and/or 1 and 2

1 – On average for the last three years, approximately 71% of the students in the courses that introduced, emphasized, or reinforced this concept, achieved a grade of C or better.

2 – Recommendations from faculty indicated a need to improve technology skills.   

  • Assessment method numbers are taken from the first chart.

 

 

   
Supporting Documentation
 

 

Comprehensive Standards

3.1.1 Institutional Mission
3.2.1 Selection of CEO
3.2.2 Legal Authority & Operating Control
3.2.3 Gov. Board: Conflict of Interest
3.2.4 Gov. Board: Undue Influence
3.2.5 Gov. Board: Dimissal
3.2.6 Gov. Board: Distinction of Duties
3.2.7 Organizational Structure
3.2.8 Qualified Administration
3.2.9 Appointment & Employment
3.2.10 Evaluation of Administrators
3.2.11 CEO: Intercollegiate Athletics
3.2.12 CEO: Fund Raising
3.2.13 Foundation
3.2.14 Ownership of Materials
3.3.1 Institutional Effectiveness
3.4.1 Program Approval & Lrng. Outcomes
3.4.2 Continuing Education Programs
3.4.3 Admissions Policies
3.4.4 Policies for Academic Credit
3.4.5 Dissemination of Academic Policies
3.4.6 Practices for Awarding Acad. Credit
3.4.7 Consortial & Contractual Programs
3.4.8 Acad. Credit for Non-Credit Work
3.4.9 Support Services
3.4.10 Definition/ Gen. Ed. Requirements
3.4.11 Security of Student Acad. Records
3.4.12 Faculty Responsibility/ Curriculum
3.4.13 Program Coordination
3.4.14 Use of Academic Technology
3.5.1 Attainment / Gen. Ed. Competencies
3.5.2 Credit Earned at Institution
3.6.1 Advanced Academic Contents
3.6.2 Independent Learning
3.6.3 Credit Earned at Institution
3.7.1 Faculty: Qualifications
3.7.2 Faculty: Evaluation
3.7.3 Faculty: Professional Development
3.7.4 Faculty: Academic Freedom
3.7.5 Faculty: Policies on Responsibility
3.8.1 Library: Facilities and Services
3.8.2 Library: Access
3.8.3 Library: Staff
3.9.1 Student Rights & Responsibilities
3.9.2 Security of Student Affairs Records
3.9.3 Qualified Student Affairs Personnel
3.10.1 Financial Stability
3.10.2 Financial Statements
3.10.3 Financial Aid Audits
3.10.4 Control of Financial Resources
3.10.5 Control of Sponsored Research
3.10.6 Healthy, Safe, Secure Environment
3.10.7 Physical Facilities