Oakland Community College

Student Learning Academy

Focusing on Student Learning: An Institution’s Transformation 

In early 2009 Oakland Community College began a four year initiative with the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) Academy for Assessment of Student Learning. The college applied for membership in the Academy as an alternative to a 2012 Focus Visit that would have evaluated OCC's progress in fully implementing its comprehensive student learning outcomes assessment program. 

As a first major step of our participation, OCC established a steering committee referred to as the Student learning Academy (SLA).  Consisting of knowledgeable faculty and academic administrative staff the SLA guided the college through the Academy.  Membership in the Academy supported the college’s efforts to further develop institutional culture and increase institutional commitment to assessing and improving student learning. Our participation afforded us the opportunity to generate evidence required for institutional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. 

The Student Learning Academy developed and executed a series of projects which after four years sought to attain the following outcomes: 

    1. 100% of all occupational programs will have quality assessment plans.

    2. 100% of all occupational programs will have collected, analyzed assessment data and will have instituted changes in pedagogy and/or curriculum to enhance student learning.

   3.  Establish a clear process for faculty and academic administration to ensure that our curriculum development process requires that all new programs have quality assessment plans in place prior to their first offering.

    4. The General Education Distribution List will be revised in relationship to the newly revised General Education Outcomes.

    5. All General Education Outcomes will have been defined by the development of a college-wide rubric.

    6. There will be evidence of "closing the loop" in the assessment of general education. Specifically, there will be evidence of changes in pedagogy/curriculum as a result of assessment.

    7. The assessment of student learning will be integrated into college systems such as planning and budgeting, hiring, curriculum development and curriculum review.

    8. An assessment culture will exist at OCC, and assessment is systemic and an expected and fully accepted part of what we do.