General Education Assessment


The assessment of general education at Palo Alto College is an institutionalized and ongoing process, incorporating several distinct procedures. Direct assessment includes the assessment of the THECB's general education competencies in addition to indirect assessment such as: unit planning, program review, administration of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSEE), and high risk course identification with accompanying action plans.


In anticipation of revised THECB Core Curriculum Competencies, Palo Alto College adopted six Institutional General Education Competencies: communication skills, critical thinking, empirical and quantitative skills, teamwork, social responsibility, and personal responsibility.


During Summer 2010, a Palo Alto College team of department chairs and deans designed a direct evidence, on-going process for assessing the six General Education Competencies. This group examined best practice models and reviewed the current literature on assessing general education student learning outcomes as they crafted the Palo Alto College process. This team of faculty leaders developed student learning outcomes, common rubrics, and assessment data forms as well as the logistics of the assessment process. Faculty brainstormed assignment ideas for each of the competencies at a workshop during Convocation Week, and designed and implemented core competency learning opportunities for students in courses. Faculty assessed the student learning outcomes using the assessment plan rubrics. Results of the assessments were shared with the faculty at Convocation Spring 2011 and improvement plans were generated. Based on the Fall 2010 experience and feedback, the general education assessment of student learning outcomes process was modified and the remaining three competencies are being assessed Spring 2011: Critical Thinking, Empirical and Quantitative Skills, and Personal Responsibility. Palo Alto College uses an assessment calendar available under additional supporting files to indicate which two competencies will be assessed for the academic year.






General Education Assessment Process Guidelines


Student Artifact Request for Critical Thinking Skills Rubric

Student Artifact Request for Empirical and Quantitative Skills Rubric

Faculty Assessor Guidelines 2012-2013



Cliff Notes for Assessment

Cliff Notes for Curriculum Maps

Cliff Notes for Gen Ed Assessment

Cliff Notes for Key Assignments

Cliff Notes for Program Assessment




Findings and Reports

CLA Fall 2010 Report Palo Alto College

Fall 2010 Assessment Summary Report

CCLA 2011 Report Palo Alto College

Spring 2011 Assessment Summary Report

Fall 2011 Assessment Summary Report




Additional Supporting Files

Student Artifact Key Assignment Cover Sheet 2012-2013

THECB General Education Content Area Mapping

Embedded Assignment Ideas File

Assessment Timeline File

On-line Teamwork File

PAC Courses Crosswalk

SLO Checklist

Teamwork Faculty Advice

Assessment Timeline File

Effective Fall 2014 CCSSE Survey Question Crosswalk to Core Objectives

Faculty Assessor Scoring Methodology

Indirect Assessment Measure Methodology

Sampling Methodology

Outline of PAC Gen Ed Assessment

General Education Assessment Deployment Process Flow Chart


Key Assignments

Communication Key Assignment Planning Template

Guide to Developing



Teamwork Key Assignment Planning