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June 2013 Assessment Showcase: York Campus

Assessment York Campus

In June 2013, the York Campus hosted an assessment showcase. More than 100 attendees from all HACC campuses heard details about the workings of CWAC and its changing perspective on General Education; they heard about the reorganization of Academic Affairs; and they heard about a large, several-semesters-long assessment being conducted by Student Affairs. Representatives from faculty, staff, and administration were "interviewed" by a "roving reporter" about their efforts and the improvements that had been made in their respective areas. You may view the highlights of some of these assessment initiatives below.

Institutional Effectiveness
Assessment processes and practices developed and implemented to evaluate HACC's overall effectiveness in achieving its mission and goals and compliance with accreditation standards.

General Education
HACC's curricula provide students with college-level proficiency in general education and essential skills.

Student Learning 
Assessment processes and practices that demonstrate HACC students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with institutional and higher education goals.

Access to HACC's Intranet is restricted to employees and accreditors. Please contact Kim Kelsey to request information related to specific documents in the password-protected areas: krkelsey@hacc.edu.

Institutional Effectiveness


Board of Trustees

  • Trustees participated in a generative, qualitative assessment of this past year’s body of work, studying it in light of their bylaws and Middle States Characteristics of Excellence.
    [Details of Board of Trustees Assessment Record (pdf)]

Academic Affairs

  • After much research, document review, inventory-taking, and outreach, the Academic Affairs Division has undergone a major reorganization designed to provide streamlined and improved leadership for both established and emerging curricula.
    [Details of Reorganization Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • In the last two years, 12 academic transfer programs have been comprehensively reviewed, revised and approved through governance. They each have met all standards required to meet Pennsylvania state-wide transfer requirements. These programs are: Biology, Business, Chemistry, Communications, PreK-4 Education, Psychology, Art, Criminal Justice, Environmental Science, Social Work, and Theater.
    [Details of Transfer Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • In an effort to keep costs manageable, the nursing program assessed the costs of its program and compared itself to costs of similar programs at other institutions. Their findings informed curricular reorganization, a revision of the course fee structure, and a decision to develop a long-term budget strategy.
    [Details of Nursing Assessment Record (pdf)]

Student Affairs

  • In alignment with the HACC Strategic Plan Goal I:  Teaching and Learning Excellence and Goal III:  Operational Excellence, all campuses undertook an examination of issues related to class fill rates and class cancellation/scheduling practices.
    [Details of Fill Rate Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Exemplifying the College’s commitment to its students and their academic success, findings from Fall 2012’s Student Satisfaction Survey led to a decision to conduct student focus groups this spring to learn more about what students expect and need related to course availability. [Details of Student Affairs Assessment Record (pdf)]

Finance and College Resources

  • A study of building-specific utility meter data and reports informed budgetary priorities that resulted in the purchase and installation of improved HVAC systems yielding substantive reductions in utility expenses.
    [Details of Finance Utility Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Facilities: A comprehensive standards-based assessment conducted by APPA (a professional association recognizing leadership and excellence in educational facilities) resulted in HACC being recognized as one of only three institutions nation-wide to receive an award for excellence in 2012.
    [Details of Facilities Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • An auditor’s report pointed to the need to better manage student financial aid “bad debt.” This led to the decision to implement a multiple disbursement process for financial aid.
    [Details of Finance Internal Audit Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Careful analysis of contracts, lease obligations, and real estate opportunities informed the decision to maintain current arrangements for HACC’s culinary program rather than proceed to authorize new construction or relocation.
    [Details of Finance Real Estate Assessment Record (pdf)]

College Advancement

  • The College Development department conducted focus groups on several campuses and distributed a survey in an effort to learn more about and better engage HACC’s alumni.
    [Details of Alumni Assessment Record (pdf)]
  • The Office of College Development has developed local standards resulting in metrics that can be used to better train/orient staff and evaluate fundraising performance.
    [Details of College Development Assessment Record (pdf)]

Information Technology Services

  • Informed by the findings of focus groups and document review, a College-wide ITS governance structure has been proposed, approved, presented college-wide, and will be operational beginning Fall 2013.
    [Details of ITS Shared Governance Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Based upon the findings of two external audit reports, the ITS department was reorganized to improve operational effectiveness, provide necessary expertise, and improve customer service.
    [Details of Reorganization Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Informed both by internal and external audits involving interviews, focus groups, and document review, a new Help-Desk Coordinator has been appointed, a ticketing priority-system developed, and service-level guidelines articulated detailing priority actions and response timelines.
    Details of Help Desk Assessment (pdf)]

Human Resources

  • A current practices inventory has been conducted which is assisting Human Resources staff with articulating and prioritizing critical data sources necessary for effective operations and more efficient customer service.
    [Details of  Current Practices Inventory Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Surveys, historical benchmarks, department records, focus groups, and 1-1 interviews have guided the redevelopment and improved scheduling practices of HACC’s new employee orientation.
    [Details of Training Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Benchmarking HACC’s benefits programs against other similar employers not only positions the institution to competitively attract and retain talented employees but is also slated save HACC $3 - $5 million over the course of a multiple-year contract.
    [Details of Wellness Benefits Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • A workflow analysis and document review uncovered ways in which a new custom Banner report could be utilized to streamline and expedite adjunct payments.
    [Details of Electronic Personnel Action Form  Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • An external consultant audit has helped the Security and Safety Department strengthen its practices, improve campus lighting, and standardize firearm policies and practices.
    [Details of Security Assessment Record (pdf)]

HACC Campuses

  • Harrisburg and Lancaster Campuses: A study of the effectiveness of the campus welcome centers resulted in changes in practice involving increased staffing, training, and utilization of new phone and queuing systems to better manage demand and to gather better metrics.
    [Details of Harrisburg Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • York Campus: Taking advantage of area economic impact studies, PA demographics reports, WIB data, the York County Economic Alliance, advisory committees, and input from all stakeholder groups, the York Campus is now able to document its priorities for master planning.
    [Details of York Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Gettysburg Campus: A rubric based upon best practices and the findings coming out of a pilot project are guiding the Gettysburg Campus in strategically maximizing outreach to area high schools and improving enrollment into their Early College Academy program.
    [Details of Gettysburg Early College Academy Assessment Record (pdf)]

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Assessment of General Education Outcomes

  • In Fall 2011, the first General Education and Core assessment pilot was developed to establish a baseline for student work across the ten core competencies. The results were used to revamp the General Education Assessment into an outcome-based approach conducted and managed by the College Wide Assessment Committee.
    [Details of Board of General Education Core Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Two Information Literacy assessments were conducted based on the Information Literacy Outcome; one assessing research assignments in a selection of classes and one assessing library instruction sessions. Results of the first assessment will be shared with the professors who shared their samples, so professors and librarians can work together to emphasize citation in future library sessions. Librarians are comparing strategies, as well as brainstorming new strategies for helping students to identify the name of the publication in a database article record. Assessment findings have been shared with English 101 faculty.
    [Details of Information Literacy Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • For the General Education outcome of oral communication, over 1100 student speeches were recorded, and then 136 speeches were randomly selected for evaluation. Faculty used the NCA (National Communication Association) rubric with slight modifications to help measure one additional course learning outcome related to technology use. HACC students are meeting baseline standards for public speaking competence in all areas, based on criteria used with the NCA rubric. Because it was learned that instructor assignments are not all aligned with current learning outcomes, consistency in measuring content was deemed questionable. Involved faculty determined to 1) develop a required assignment with specific parameters to more closely align every course instruction with learning outcomes, 2) slightly modify the NCA rubric to more closely align with our assessment of course outcome needs, and 3) simplify the recording process for instructors and students, requiring all students and instructors to participate. This assessment experience will be used as a baseline for assessing oral communications across curriculum and not just in communication classes.
    [Details of Oral Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • A college-wide assessment based on the General Education Outcome of Written Communication was conducted by the College-Wide Assessment Committee (CWAC). First year Cohorts were identified and initial classes taken were identified as areas where samples could be pulled (ENGL 101, HUM201, PSYC 101, SOCI 201). Random samples were then taken from those classes and assessed based on a common rubric. The General Education subcommittee of CWAC thus assessed the cohort as demonstrating a limited amount of proficiency to full proficiency in each category. The samples scored highest in Ideas/Engagement with Topic, and lowest in Thesis/Focus. Results and recommendations have been forwarded to Faculty Senate, including a recommendation to improve faculty participation.
    [Details of CWAC Writing Spring 2013 Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • The English Department has been assessing written communication in their 101 and 102 classes for several years. Ongoing assessments provide focused outcomes that serve as the backbone for General Education Written Communication Assessment. Results have been used to set baselines for General Education and improve the assessment process including improved rubrics and enhanced methods of sampling. The significant improvements seen in the past 4 years demonstrate the commitment to improving HACC’s writing curriculum. When considered in combination with the Written Communication Assessment conducted in Spring 2013 (above), there is a clear trajectory of improvement in student learning outcomes. In addition, the collaboration with the Libraries in conducting workshops and embedding librarians in classes has resulted in an improvement in source use and citations.
    [Details of English Spring 2011 Assessment Record (pdf)]

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Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

  • Chemistry
    In the Spring and Fall semesters of 2012, 161 CHEM 101 students took the First Term General Chemistry exam created by the American Chemical Society.  The 5 (of 70) multiple choice questions on this exam that cover the area of chemical nomenclature were used to assess that program goal.  Using the national average correct on each question as a benchmark, our students demonstrated competency in each inorganic chemistry nomenclature question.  In fact, our students exceeded the average correct by at least ten percentage points in three of the five questions.  In the Spring semester of 2012, using a similar process, 27 CHEM 204 students took the Organic Chemistry Exam (cumulative over two terms) created by the American Chemical Society.  Using the national average correct on each question as a benchmark, HACC students demonstrated competency in each organic chemistry nomenclature question.    Program faculty have determined to emphasize chemical nomenclature throughout the entirety of  these chemistry courses by including additional questions in each homework assignment and assigning a higher percentage of points to nomenclature questions on exams.
    [Details of Chemistry Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Computer Information and Science Engineering
    A myriad of outcomes and competencies were tested.  The results led to many positive changes in the curriculum.  For example, course/instructional materials will be updated to ensure that all of the outcomes for the CNT 125 class will be addressed with instructional materials.  Some additional class instructional material will be developed to assist the students with the concepts addressed in Objective 1.  Course activities will be selected and aligned with the outcomes of the class.  The main assessment tool (final exam) will be reviewed to make sure that it is assessing the CNT 125 outcomes in a reliable manner.  Also, results were aligned with research and national standards.  Additionally, closer supervision of adjunct faculty and standardization of course content and measurements must be considered.  Use of standardized rubrics to define research assignment parameters for grading and expectations is recommended. 
    [Details of Computer Information and Science Engineering Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Cardiovascular Technology
    The program analyzed multiple outcomes through exams, clinical competencies, lab competencies, quizzes, and clinical journals.  As a result of assessment findings, various changes were made to the curriculum such as the implementation of a professionalism component to the laboratory section of CVT213 in the fall which held the students accountable for their professional conduct in the simulation laboratory. This enabled faculty to work individually with the students regarding their professional conduct. In addition the midterm evaluation was changed to include areas of interpersonal communication
    [Details of Cardiovascular Technology Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Cardiovascular Technology (Invasive)
    Program assessment data was derived from exams, clinical competency, invasive registry examination, laboratory competency, and demonstration in the clinical setting.  One aspect assessed was attrition rates.  Based on the results, the program added mandatory information sessions that students must attend prior to application to the invasive or cardiac sonography program.
    [Details of Cardiovascular Technology Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Dental Assisting
    The program seeks to maintain the standards set forth by their accrediting body.  Each course is assessed to that end. One such assessment looked specifically at DA175.   It was determined through student interview that the current text was extremely difficult to read and comprehend. As a result, the primary text for this course has been changed for next year, and the syllabus and lecture materials correspondingly modified and updated.
    [Details of Dental Assisting Assessment Record (pdf)]
  • Management
    Program competencies were assessed as follows:  each student will be an effective communicator with the ability to prepare and deliver oral and written presentations using appropriate technologies, each student will be able to use cutting edge technology to function in a 21st century business environment, and each student will be skilled in critical thinking and decision-making, as supported by the appropriate use of analytical and quantitative techniques.  These competencies aligned with General Education Outcomes:  Written Communication, Information Literacy, and Critical Thinking.  The student learning outcomes informed a number of critical changes that were implemented fall 2012:  ENGL 003 eligibility was added as a prerequisite , the rubric was added to the Assessment of Student Learning section of the Form 335 so that all full time faculty and adjuncts can adapt their small business plan assignments to achieve the student learning outcomes, the MGMT 121 course was re-prefixed to a 200 level to accurately reflect the rigor of the course, and BUSI 101 – Introduction to Business was added as a pre-requisite.  The alignment with General Education places the program in a position to enhance student learning through closer parallels with those outcomes.
    [Details of Management Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Marketing
    The 2012 assessment focused on the outcome:  Each student will be able to use cutting edge technology to function in a 21st century business environment.  In addition, this assessment can be mapped to the General Education Technology Literacy Outcome:  Demonstrate the ability to communicate, create, and collaborate effectively using technologies in multiple modalities.  The results found that while 86% of the students in MKTG 218 were able to research and cite sources at a proficient level, students in MKTG 201 were  less proficient.  Based on the results, the marketing department is creating a research/citation module for students in the Marketing Program.
    [Details of Marketing Assessment Record (pdf)]

  • Reading
    The discipline has engaged in ongoing discussion and reflection of assessment, and has worked to create assessments that balance instructor autonomy with consistent procedures and levels of difficulty.  Previous assessments have included questions based on passages from newspapers and books, and multiple choice vocabulary assessments.  Results have shown, among other things, discrepancies in achieving outcomes between native English speakers and ESL students and a need for pre-assessment testing, and have spurred continued reflection on the effectiveness of various means of assessment.  For Spring 2013, the discipline drew from this experience to strike a balance between standardization and autonomy.  Through discipline-wide collaboration and consultation with the Provost and CWAC, the faculty has created a more comprehensive plan for upcoming academic years based on this model.
    [Details of Reading Assessment Record (pdf)]

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