The Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee (SLOA) oversees planning and implementation of Program and Cross-Disciplinary (Institutional) Outcomes Assessment. Assessment efforts help ensure that  Richland fulfills its mission of empowering individuals through learning and to forge partnerships that grow communities.

Richland Assessment Framework

Cross-Disciplinary Outcomes

Cross-disciplinary outcomes (CDO’s) are defined as “learning outcomes comprised of transferable skills, attitudes, and abilities to be mastered by all learners completing a degree or certificate at Richland.” Cross-disciplinary outcomes go beyond a specific program, major, or discipline thread, are integrated throughout the learning experience, and are often set as learning goals. The current CDO’s — Oral Communication, Written Communication, Information Literacy, and Critical and Creative Thinking — are vital learning outcomes that prepare students for life outside Richland Community College. Academic and business leaders look for students who show evidence of these outcomes to solve important problems they will encounter in college and the workplace.

Student learning outcomes statements clearly state the expected knowledge, skills, attitudes, competencies, and habits of mind that students are expected to acquire at an institution of higher education.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Each Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program and each academic discipline has identified learning outcomes that will be addressed in the scope of the coursework for the CTE programs and in courses in various academic/transfer disciplines. The Student Learning Assessment System includes processes for assessing the PLSO and CDO and shows how Richland continues to demonstrate its commitment to meaningful and sustainable assessment of student learning.

To improve student learning, the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee (SLOA) and its faculty sub teams work regularly to ensure proper execution of the assessment processes including working with all faculty in collecting and analyzing PSLO and CDO.

Assessment Plans

Campus plans for gathering evidence of student learning might include institution-wide or program specific approaches that convey how student learning will be assessed, the data collection tools and approaches that will be used, and the timeline for implementation.

Cross Disciplinary Outcomes Assessment Plan

Cross-Disciplinary Outcome Timeline Artifact Collection Artifact Evaluation Analysis & Improvement
CDO 1 Written Communication SPRING 2023 FALL 2023 SPRING 2024
CDO 2 Oral Communication SPRING 2024 FALL 2024 SPRING 2025
CDO 3 Information Literacy SPRING 2025 FALL 2025 SPRING 2026
CDO 4 Critical and Creative Thinking SPRING 2026 FALL 2026 SPRING 2027


Cross Disciplinary Outcomes Assessment Process

CDO Assessment Process Diagram

Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Diagram

Assessment Academy

In 2023 Richland Community College was selected to participate in the Assessment Academy sponsored by the Higher Learning Commission. In this four-year program Richland will focus efforts on assessment projects that will strengthen faculty and staff understanding of assessment, clarify procedures for collection and analysis of artifacts, and ultimately to improve student learning. A team participated in the Assessment Academy Roundtable in June 2023 to identify current strengths and challenges with skilled practitioners and to create an action plan for improvements.

Participants in the Roundtable include the following:

Meredith Johnson-Palmer, Executive Dean, Student Success

Jessica Pickel, Executive Dean, Liberal Arts and Academic Services

Katie Raisner, Retention Coordinator

Erin Spanberger, Institutional Research

Dr. Matthew Wiediger, Instructor, Psychology

Teena Zindel-McWilliams, Director, Institutional and Academic Planning

The Team will work with the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee to propel assessment into an even more prominent place in the student learning picture at Richland.

Assessment Resources

The framework and definitions were provided courtesy of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.

Citation: National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (2011). Transparency Framework. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).