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, five Core Values anchor our mission to educate and graduate our student population: diversity, responsibility, opportunity, innovation, and learning. This last value, learning, speaks to the philosophy behind LaGuardia’s culture of assessment, which follows national models for accreditation and what’s called “assessing for learning.” The latter refers to the cycle of inquiry, data collection, feedback, and evidence-based action that asks faculty and staff to improve pedagogy and curriculum continuously, with the expectation that the process will lead to improved student success.
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?
LaGuardia strives to be a “learning college” by asking faculty, staff, and administration to assess their practices in order to learn more about ways to improve pedagogy, services, and management. A learning college encourages each person with a responsibility toward students to assess their mission, goals, and outcomes on a regular basis in order to make improvements that propel student success. LaGuardia is a college that is continuously examining, learning, and improving support for student learning and development.
LaGuardia is committed to a tradition of excellence in teaching and learning that goes beyond complying with the minimum expectations of national norms and accreditation priorities. While outcomes assessment is also a process that institutions of higher ed are required to undertake by regional accreditors like the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), they are also processes that encourage best practices, professional reflection, and evidence-based actions to improve our collective efforts to help students graduate and prepare for their next steps.
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 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 artifacts of student learning faculty engage in an inquiry process that has been shown to support effective changes in curriculum and pedagogy. In 2012, MSCHE cited LaGuardia’s assessment program as “exemplary” and commended our work in building broad faculty engagement in outcomes assessment.