Outcome Assessment of General Education 21st Century Competency Skills: Close the Loop Efforts in the United States
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Over the past several years, various stakeholders have continued to express concerns about the quality of U.S. higher education. Under the accountability and transparency pressures, institutions must provide evidence of student learning, especially the value of general education programs upon graduation. Therefore, a case study at a U.S. comprehensive university was conducted to assess five general education competency skills (written, oral, quantitative literacy, critical thinking and information literacy). To facilitate “close the loop” conversations with faculty and committees, in addition to descriptive analysis, the university disaggregated the assessment data in a non-traditional way by examining the relationship of student factors (race, year and college) and student learning. The researcher used ANCOVA and ANOVA to identify significant differences. Results indicated year and race were related to student outcomes, except for critical thinking skills. The researcher provided suggestions for use of the study’s findings to close the loop in the general education program.
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