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Learning-Centered Update February 8, 2012

Greetings all,

This week's guest author is Dr. Mary Lou Mosley, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the topic is assessment of student learning - a critically important task in our commitment to continually improve student success and completion.  Mary Lou writes...

Assessment is a corner stone of the learning-centered college. Specifically, student learning outcomes are made explicit to students and data guide changes to improve student learning and inform decisions at all levels.  The college’s systems, processes, and decisions are evaluated in terms of how they contribute to and support learning.  Two questions that guide a learning-centered college are

  1. Is learning occurring?
  2. How do we know?

Since learning occurs everywhere, both in and out of the classroom, PVCC has two assessment teams:

  1. Academic Assessment Team (AAT) includes representatives from each academic division.  It oversees and promotes assessment of learning that happens in the classroom and across all disciplines.  The AAT has refined the 6 General Education Learning Outcomes that were developed in 2002.  They are Critical Thinking, Information Literacy, Oral Communication, Problem Solving, Technology, and Written Communication.  To learn more about the domains of each outcome as well as results of assessment, visit the AAT website at
  2. The Out of Class Assessment Team includes representatives from Academic Affairs, Administrative Services, Information Technology, and Student Affairs. It oversees and promotes the development and assessment of learning outcomes for out of class programs.  To learn more about it, visit

 The Institutional Effectiveness Office supports both teams and all employees in their assessment of learning.  To review data and reports, visit

Links to Resources About Assessment and Learning-Centered Colleges 

“It’s the Learning, Stupid” Speech given by Jamie P. Merisotis, President, Lumina Foundation for Education.  The focus of his speech is on the importance of student learning and how the quality of learning impacts the value of the degree or certificate.  Lumina is focusing its support on programs that will increase the percent of Americans with high-quality college degrees or credentials from 40% to 60%.

Thank you Mary Lou. Upcoming Learning-Centered College topics include creating a culture of student success and acting on PVCC's Completion Agenda.

Paul A. Dale, Ed.D