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Lesson 4: How to Develop Program-Level Outcomes

"[It is] likely learning objectives exist for individual courses but not for the program as a whole." (Palomba & Banta 32) Today's climate of accountability, however, demands outcomes at the Program Level.

Not only are there numerous ways to approach this task, but several, if not all of the following should be utilized to achieve the most appropriate set of outcomes for a marketable graduate.

  1. Review course syllabi in key major-related courses in your Program. Determine broad, overarching outcomes from those particular courses.
  2. Review standards and guidelines for learning developed by professional associations or accrediting bodies.
  3. Review program-level outcomes from other community colleges.
  4. Discuss, as program faculty, the characteristics of an "ideal" graduate. I.e., what the graduate should know and be able to do.
  5. Survey alumni three to five years after graduation to determine their satisfaction with their career preparation.
  6. Survey employers and/or advisory committee members regarding the successful employee.
  7. Survey senior institutions regarding the successful transfer student in baccalaureate programs.

Lessons: Index, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, References

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