Development of Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College (SCTC) assessment practices began in 2002 in response to an audit by our accreditors – the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). In 2007, initial accreditation was granted by the commission with a full reaffirmation in 2013. In 2014, the College joined HLC’s Assessment Academy who assisted us in taking ownership of assessment, refining our methods, and embracing the importance of assessment in becoming a stronger learning-centered college. Over the last several years, the College has made great strides in continuous improvement and development regarding student learning, retention, and graduation by implementing several initiatives including the launch of a Learning Management System (Schoology), participating in the non-governmental reform movement for student success – Achieving the Dream, completing academic reviews on three of our degree programs (Liberal Arts, Business, and Native American Studies); developing learning outcomes at all levels, reinforcing our major institutional assessment tool (the e-Portfolio), and implementing strategies in the collection and management of data to further inform decision-making.
Additionally in 2019, the College fulfilled a major goal by offering our students a new degree – Associates of General Science. Though we know assessment and improvement is an endless undertaking, we are pleased with the accomplishments we have made thus far in creating an integrated campus environment focused on assessment processes that align with our Mission, Vision, and Strategic Plan.
A Curriculum & Assessment Handbook (link) has been created and gives formation to the academic side of SCTC’s assessment efforts by clarifying the functions of curriculum and assessment activities and their relationship to institutional, program, and course level learning outcomes – and to facilitate assessment of institutional effectiveness as it relates to student success. It also provides structure to the collection and analysis of assessment information which we hope strengthens SCTC’s approach to continuous improvement. In addition, the handbook articulates goals and priorities which will continue to be the foundation of this ongoing assessment program.
Two key parts of academic assessment at SCTC are our General Education (Gen Ed) curriculum and our Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs). The Gen Ed requirements represent our philosophy of education to provide an adequate body of common knowledge necessary to assure a broadly based liberal education. Gen Ed courses provide proficiency in writing, reading, speaking, and listening: they assist students in building communication and critical thinking skills along with developing awareness and appreciation for our culture and others. These three tenets are the foundation of our learning outcomes.
All SCTC learning outcomes are inter-related. Each program may not fulfill every Institutional Learning Outcome. However, each program must contribute toward at least one ILO. Likewise, each course within a program need not fulfill every Program‐level Learning Outcome (PLOs). However, each course must meet at least one of its program’s established Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). By contrast, a course should meet every one of its stated SLOs.
Institutional (Level) Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
Our ILOs express a shared concept of expectations for all SCTC degree recipients and were written at the faculty and administrative level. They articulate the knowledge, skills and competencies embedded within every aspect of the College to inspire and enhance each student’s transferable learning skills. These ILOs represent the broad categories of competency that enable students to be successful in further education, careers, as citizens and in their personal lives.
SCTC’s over-arching goal is to create confident and productive community members through a nurturing environment that reflects Anishanaabe values and the 7 Grandfather Teachings philosophy and to prepare them for life-long learning with knowledge and pride. SCTC’s General Education curriculum learning outcomes are the same as the ILOs and are assessed within the Gen Ed curriculum.
Upon graduating from SCTC, our students will:
Communicate clearly and effectively through listening, speaking, writing, reading, and/or other modes of communication;
Gather and synthesize relevant information, evaluate alternatives, and implement creative and effective solutions;
Cultural Awareness & Appreciation
Demonstrate awareness and appreciation for diverse perspectives through inquiry of cultural, political, social, and environmental issues comparing and contrasting global views with the Anishinaabe culture.