In the fall of 2007, Vice President Douglas Robinson invited a representative group of division staff members to a campus based training session of student learning outcomes. This session, led by a nationally recognized leader in the field, Dr. Elizabeth Griego, provided staff members with hands-on training to develop, measure, and use student learning outcomes to improve practices. As a follow-up, Vice-President Robinson appointed several staff members to serve on a newly established Student Learning Outcomes Committee charged with overseeing a process of measuring student learning outcomes throughout the division. In February of 2008, the committee accompanied the Vice-President to a CSU systemwide conference on student learning outcomes which focused specifically on assessment in student affairs. Keynote speakers emphasized the organic nature of assessment: i.e., a process fully integrated into the life of programs and supportive of planning and quality improvement endeavors.
The Student Learning Outcomes Committee provided departments with a template for writing student learning outcomes developed by Katy Busby, Ph.D., Director of Assessment, University of Alabama. Division departments used the template to write three or more statements and determine methods of data collection, and submitted these to the committee. The committee studied the submissions at length and suggested revisions. Once these were completed, the committee selected one student learning outcome from each department to be measured in the 2008-2009 academic year.
In addition, the committee studied Frameworks for Assessing Learning and Development Outcomes, a publication of the council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS). To summarize, CAS has established sixteen "desirable student learning and development outcomes" of student affairs programs and services. These include intellectual growth, effective communication, enhanced self-esteem, realistic self-appraisal, clarified values, career choices, leadership development, healthy behavior, meaningful interpersonal relationships, independence, collaboration, social responsibility, satisfying and productive lifestyles, appreciating diversity, spiritual awareness, and personal/educational goals. The Student Learning Outcomes Committee examined the descriptors of each framework, and connected one or more of these to each learning outcome statement. The complete listing of the Division of Student Services Learning Outcomes, measurement tools, relevant framework(s), and status updates can be viewed in the Student Learning Outcomes Synopsis 2008-2009.
The measurement and use of student learning outcomes for planning and program improvement in the Division of Student Services at CSULB is an on-going process. For the 2008-2009 academic year, the fall semester was devoted to crafting statements and determining the best measurement tools for collecting data. Once data for a given department have been collected and analyzed, an updated summary will appear in the status column of the Synopsis.
In addition to measuring student learning outcomes, departments of the Division of Student Services systematically collect data and monitor the impact of their programs on student learning and development. Descriptions of assessment practices can be seen in the "Department Assessment " link.