The central mission of Cabrillo College is its commitment to student
learning. We recognize that learning requires more than
memorizing facts or figures; it demands that students utilize their
command of those facts and figures to solve problems, demonstrate
skills and think critically about what they have learned. In
the same way, Cabrillo’s faculty and staff recognize that
measuring student learning is more than identifying patterns in course
completion rates and GPAs; we are committed to thinking critically
about how students learn and how each component of the college
contributes to the learning process. We have developed
assessment procedures for every sector based on two philosophical
- Although we may not have used the language of assessment
before, most areas of the college have always undertaken some form of
evaluation. We have now formalized that evaluation process
through our new assessment methods, using what has always been done and
building upon it. Each area of the campus now has a formal
on-going self-reflective cycle of evaluation that is tied to either
Instructional Planning or Departmental Review. This cycle
examines how the department or campus office contributes to student
learning, evaluates that contribution and overall services and details
- These new assessment processes feature dialogue as a major
component of the evaluation cycle. It’s not enough
to undertake measurements of effectiveness and leave it at
that. The key to improving that effectiveness arises from
talking about the results. We ask that everyone in a
department or office participate in this process, regardless of rank or
In addition, the development of assessment processes at Cabrillo has
been guided by the following principles:
- Some portions of the campus community directly assist
students to master learning while others indirectly help by making the
campus a place where learning can occur. Indirect sectors
participate in campus assessment activities by evaluating their
services and asking the campus community for feedback on how they are
doing and how they can improve.
- Assessment Plans are developed by the personnel in specific
sectors; assessment results are evaluated by those same sectors.
- It’s the faculty’s responsibility to
create assessment methods and evaluation processes for courses,
programs, certificates and degrees. Cabrillo’s
Faculty Senate has led this effort.
- Whenever possible, the KISS method (Keep It Simple
Sweetheart) has been used to develop assessment methods and plans.
- Assessment can be quantitative or qualitative.
- Assessment results are reviewed by the campus SLO
Assessment Review Committee, which archives results and looks for
issues that can benefit from a campus-wide dialogue.
Finally, we recognize that assessment is NOT:
- An end in itself or busy work that has no relation to
teaching and learning.
- A means to evaluate individual faculty or staff.
- A way to impinge on academic freedom.
- A solution to every problem on campus or an answer to all
questions about students and learning.
- A method to reorganize the campus.