Assessment at Tyler Junior College is dedicated to creating a climate in which activities are continuously considered in light of how outcomes for students and other stakeholders may be improved. Assessment activities are carried out by academic and administrative units on an ongoing basis, with all departments and programs completing a Program or Departmental Review every five years or as dictated by programmatic accreditation and an Annual Assessment Report each year. All Annual Assessment Reports, including General Education/Core Curriculum and QEP, are created in TracDat, the assessment management software used by the College. The current Strategic Plan, Vision 2020, is effective for five years and progress toward its goals is reported annually. Strategic Plan Objectives and Initiatives are dynamic and may be updated each year in response to completion or change of focus. The Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research (IEPR) office coordinates all assessment activities, procedures, records and reports.
Organization of Assessment
The layers of assessment at TJC are carried out according to varying timelines and follow different processes. Strategic Plan Assessment occurs at the institutional level, while all other assessment occurs at the School, Program or Department level. A procedural calendar developed each year by IEPR sets out the due dates for various activities and reports, including those involving assessment. The Procedural Calendar is distributed to those responsible for overseeing the various activities and is also available on the IEPR website. More detailed information on the assessment timelines and processes for College Program Review and Administrative Departmental Program Review can be found in their respective Rationale and Calendar documents.
Strategic Plan Assessment
The TJC Strategic Plan is assessed annually, with an informal semi-annual progress report followed by a full report. The Strategic Plan Report is posted on the IEPR website after it has been approved by the TJC Board of Trustees.
The Strategic Plan Report narrative indicates the status of each Action/Strategy, reflecting progress toward achievement of the associated Initiative, Objective and Goal. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are used to measure the success of the Initiatives. Each Initiative is owned by one or more people who complete, or assign to others, actions or strategies to accomplish various parts of the Initiative. Each action/strategy has a target against which its success is measured. The resulting data points indicate whether the KPI has been achieved.
Additional reports, which illustrate the alignment of all School, Program and Department level student learning and administrative outcomes with the Goals, Objectives and Initiatives of the Strategic Plan, are generated each year in TracDat (Five Column Report).
General Education/Core Curriculum Assessment
Core curriculum assessment is coordinated and supervised by the General Education Committee, a College standing committee, with assistance from Institutional Effectiveness, Planning and Research (IEPR). Faculty administer assessments and enter the results in Canvas, the learning management system adopted by TJC. Institutional Research extracts, collates, and analyzes data for all six Core Objectives each year, separating out all artifacts produced by students with fewer than 20 earned credit hours. The purpose of the twenty hour minimum is to capture only those students who have had opportunities in multiple Foundational Component Areas to acquire the competencies of the Core Curriculum, and to develop a future baseline of achievement of students with less than 20 earned credit hours against which to compare progress.
Aggregate results are analyzed for a broad understanding of student achievement, and disaggregated by Foundational Component Area and criteria/performance indicators in order to identify specific strengths and weaknesses. Following a period during which trend data is established, faculty in Foundational Component Areas will use data from disaggregated results to develop and submit action plans as needed for improvement of student achievement on specific College Student Learning Outcomes. This broad, high-frequency approach, designed to create a culture of assessment within Tyler Junior College, will be re-examined after no more than five years of continued assessment.
College Program Review
College Program Review is a comprehensive, systematic method of self-evaluation and review of achievement of departmental/program purposes and goals. It is the means by which all instructional programs periodically review themselves according to a set of established criteria. The program review process complements on-going annual institutional effectiveness and is a vital part of the Tyler Junior College strategic planning effort.
All academic departments and programs within the College undertake a program review every five years, following a schedule published in the College Program Review Rationale and Calendar. Each department/program performs an in-depth self-study which is reviewed by their Dean prior to submission to the College Program Review Committee (if appropriate), in accordance with the timeline included in the Rationale and Calendar. Following the completion of all steps of the process, the report is submitted to the Provost who performs a final review and uses it to take administrative action and/or in the budget process to allocate financial resources that may have been identified for use in the next fiscal year.
Administrative Departmental Review
The Tyler Junior College Administrative Departmental Review is a comprehensive, systematic method of self-evaluation and a review of progress toward achievement of departmental purposes and goals. The review process has been developed to complement on-going institutional effectiveness and has become a vital part of Tyler Junior College strategic planning efforts. In essence, this process is the means by which all administrative departments periodically review themselves according to a set of established criteria. For purposes of the administrative departmental review process, administrative department is defined as follows:
An administrative department is any department of the College whose function is to provide administrative, academic and student support services to the students, faculty, staff, or other stakeholders of the College. The primary focus of an administrative department is on process and/or student learning outcomes that foster student development. An administrative division/department is allocated fiscal resources (i.e. budget) on an annual basis.
The Administrative Departmental Review process is intended to:
Identify roles and functions of the department and its sub-units and their impact on the institution
Assess department strengths and opportunities for improvement
Apply assessment results
All administrative departments within the College undertake a review every five years, according to the schedule published in the Rationale and Calendar. Following completion of the review each department prepares an executive summary and makes a presentation to the Executive Cabinet. The President uses the report to take administrative action and/or in the budget process to allocate financial resources that may have been identified for use in the next fiscal year.
Every assessment unit (academic department or program, administrative department) at Tyler Junior College prepares an Annual Assessment Plan (AAP) and creates an Annual Assessment Report (AAR) based on the completion of that plan. Plans and Reports are entered in TracDat in accordance with the Procedural Calendar dates approved by the Deans and the Executive Cabinet. Academic units develop and assess program level student learning outcomes as well as administrative outcomes related to other aspects of the program. These may include faculty development, persistence and graduation rates, having industry-standard equipment, community outreach, recruiting or other indicators the unit finds significant for program success. Administrative units plan and assess outcomes related to process and improvement of department functions and, when appropriate, student learning outcomes focused on student development.
Training on developing outcomes and assessing them, creating useful documents, and determining what to do with results of assessments, is offered by IEPR periodically, and not less than once each year. Training for new users of TracDat who will be responsible for entering assessment information is offered at least twice a year.
Annual Academic Assessment is overseen by IEPR along with the Assessment Committee, a College Standing Committee. This faculty committee is charged with providing peer review and guidance for program level assessment. Responsibilities include reviewing Annual Assessment Plans and Reports, working directly with persons responsible for assessment reporting to ensure that reports are complete and accurate, and selecting recipients of the Academic Assessment Awards.
A more complete description of assessment processes at Tyler Junior College is found in the TJC Assessment Manual.