• About Assessment at LaGuardia

    Assessment at LaGuardia Community College is a process designed to support meaningful learning and development—for students, of course, but also for faculty, staff and the College as a whole. Our assessment framework addresses:

    • The entire purpose of college education, from first to last semester.
    • The teaching and learning that takes place inside and outside the classroom.
    • The learning that happens within and across programs, majors, or disciplines.

    At the core of LaGuardia Community College’s Mission Statement “to educate and graduate one of the world’s most diverse student populations" is an idea that also rests in the heart of the larger mission of the City University of New York (CUNY): opportunity. The central mission of both LaGuardia and CUNY aims to provide students with the tools, abilities, and higher-order competencies they need to create new opportunities for themselves, and, in the process, to change their world.

    At LaGuardia, three additional Core Values anchor this mission: diversity, responsibility, and learning. These values are the foundation that supports an assessment framework that goes far beyond rote reporting of grades or a compliant normative testing schema. Our Mission and Core Values propel how students learn at the College.

    Our assessment processes are meant to answer questions such as:
    • What do we want our students to learn?
    • What are our common priorities as a College?
    • How do we know we are succeeding in teaching those priorities?
    • How do we know our students are learning, and how do we prove it?

    While outcomes assessment is required to maintain accreditation and exist as a college, LaGuardia has higher goals as well. LaGuardia deploys outcomes assessment in its effort to become what could be called “a learning college” – a college that is continuously examining, learning about, and seeking to improve the ways it supports student learning and development.

    This reflects the core value of “learning” – an understanding that learning is not confined to students alone, but also a goal for faculty and staff. And it also embodies the value of “responsibility” – faculty and staff taking responsibility for collectively strengthening the education that we provide to our students.

    LaGuardia has drawn accolades from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment and the Association of American Colleges & Universities for its ability to use outcomes assessment to help faculty make changes that improve student learning (LaGuardia Community College: Weaving Assessment Into the Institutional Fabric. Staci Provezis. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. June 2012) Since 2002, LaGuardia has steadily built broad faculty engagement with an outcomes assessment process centered on a common set of outcomes addressed in both General Education courses and key courses in the majors. Assessing authentic learning artifacts gathered in students’ ePortfolios, faculty engage in an inquiry process that has been shown to support effective changes in curriculum and pedagogy. In 2012, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education commended LaGuardia for our exemplary work in building broad faculty engagement in outcomes assessment.

    LaGuardia has systematically assessed General Education since 2002, using authentic artifacts of student learning to powerfully connect assessment with teaching and learning. In 2012, MSCHE cited LaGuardia’s assessment program as “exemplary.” In 2013-14, CUNY instituted Pathways, asking CUNY community colleges to structure General Education in 12 credits of the Pathways Required Core and 18 elective credits in the Pathways Flexible Core. In 2014-15, building on Pathways and its MSCHE Self-Study, hundreds of faculty, staff and students engaged in sustained review of what LaGuardia graduates should know and be able to do, informing revision of our college-wide Core Competencies, or Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). Since 2015-16, the faculty-led Assessment Leadership Team (ALT) has facilitated broad efforts to shape learning, teaching and assessment associated with these new Core Competencies

  • General Education Assessment

    General Education assessment at LaGuardia flows from its mission as an open-access community college. Our assessment processes reflect our focus on students’ longitudinal growth. We believe that, to be effective, development of student learning requires recursive attention in both General Education core courses and in required courses in the major, from First Year Seminars to Capstone courses. Consequently, LaGuardia assesses its General Education Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) both in the Pathways Core and in three required courses in every major during early, middle and late points in the curriculum.

    LaGuardia uses curriculum maps to structure its General Education work. Directors of every major and coordinators of Pathways courses submit curriculum maps matching courses and SLOs. The Assessment Leadership Team and the College-Wide Curriculum Committee, an arm of College governance, review these maps. Using the maps as a guide, faculty develop assignments that recursively and intentionally build student capacities related to the SLOs.

    LaGuardia assesses SLOs by examining student-learning artifacts collected in our ePortfolio system organized according to the curriculum maps. Faculty and staff rate these artifacts using college-wide Core Competency and Ability rubrics. Shared with the College, findings inform changes in curriculum and instruction in both Pathways and required courses in each major. Regular Periodic Program Reviews (PPRs) require majors to use SLO data to make recommendations for improvement. Findings also shape the programs of the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL), supporting SLO-related improvement efforts.

    Benchmark Reading data from 2018-2019 show how assessment helps to build professional learning and advance student learning and success.

  • Staff in a conference

    Core Competencies

    LaGuardia has identified three overarching Core Competencies to structure our general education framework.

    LaGuardia Community College Core Competencies:

    • Inquiry and Problem Solving asks students to seek and use disciplinary and cross-disciplinary content knowledge to address challenging issues, weighing evidence and drawing conclusions through a process of synthesis and evaluation.
    • Global Learning asks students to approach the world’s challenges and opportunities from multiple perspectives and engage with issues of diversity, identity, democracy, power, privilege, sustainability and ethical action.
    • Integrative learning asks students to make connections between ideas and apply them to new contexts, within and beyond campus and over time.

    Students demonstrate Core Competencies using one of three Communication Abilities.

    • Written is the ability to combine vocabulary with grammatical proficiency, fluency and cogent organization.
    • Oral is the ability to speak clearly to different audiences.
    • Digital is the ability to combine images, text, video or other media in effective digital presentation.

  • Student asking questions to staff

    Assessment Leadership Team (ALT)

    The Assessment Leadership Team at LaGuardia is a college-wide team that meets monthly to discuss the College’s on-going initiatives in Outcomes Assessment, and to lead our annual Benchmark Readings.

    ALT Membership Information
    ALT Members

  • Students in classroom

    Programmatic Assessment

    Mandated by CUNY, all majors conduct a Periodic Program Review (PPR) on a regularly scheduled basis addressing Core Competencies and Abilities as well as the programmatic competencies developed for each particular major. PPRs are led by program faculty, who use their findings to recommend and implement changes in programmatic practice.

    PPR Calendar
    PPR Guidelines

  • Students talking

    Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

    Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) are developed by each program and articulated as part of the Mission Statement of each program. PLOs describe program-specific learning throughout the course of students’ education in the program and what specific skills, competencies, and knowledge the students will attain. PLOs are defined individually, and each program usually has between three and five. On an annual basis, faculty assess one of their PLOs in order to improve program-specific teaching and learning. Program faculty choose the methods of direct assessment of PLOs, which varies according to the courses and program goals.

    Annual PLO Assessment Report Template

  • Students taking notes in an event

            Learning Matters Assignment Library

    LaGuardia’s Learning Matters Assignment Library (LMAL) is a faculty-generated online resource housed within CUNY Academic Works. It responds directly to faculty requests for examples of assignments that model ways to address our Core Competencies and Communication Abilities. Contributions emerged from Center for Teaching and Learning seminars, Learning Matters Mini-Grants, departmental assignment development workshops, and successful assignments. Faculty are encouraged to submit their assignments to the LMAL.

    LMAL Submission Form