Program Level Assessment
Program Level - Student Learning Outcomes
Ridgewater’s educational programs lead to associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas.
Students seeking an associate degree must complete the general education requirements for that degree. Ridgewater’s general education offerings conform to the requirements of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), a curriculum designed to offer high-quality general education and seamless progress toward a baccalaureate degree. The MnTC defines ten learning goal areas and associated competences (i.e. student learning outcomes): Communication, Critical Thinking, Natural Science, Mathematical/Logical Reasoning, History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities and the Arts, Human Diversity, Global Perspective, Ethical and Civic Responsibility, and People and the Environment.
For eight of the goal areas, a student demonstrates mastery of the learning outcomes by successfully completing a course that has content covering 51% of the goal area competencies. Students must complete nine credits of Freshman Composition and Communications courses in order to demonstrate competency in communications. Competency in critical thinking, is demonstrated by the successful completion of the requirements of the other nine goal areas.
A student must complete work in three goal areas to earn an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree; an Associate of Science (AS) degree requires successful completion of six goal areas; and an Associate of Arts (AA) degree requires successful completion of all ten goal areas. The MnTC and associated goals can be found here.
Program-level student learning outcomes (PL-SLO) for technical programs are articulated on program webpages
and in printable program brochures. The work to develop these outcomes began in 2007 and was completed for the majority of technical programs by 2015. Faculty participated in in-service activities designed to provide an overview of best practices (Jan, 2007); and, were provided time and peer-training to work with their department to develop the PL-SLO (Mar, 2008; Aug, 2008; Aug 2009). By 2015, the majority of technical programs had established outcomes specific to their program and incorporated content specific to the career field in the areas of a) communication; b) math/sciences; c) information technology; d) workplace skills; and e) interpersonal skills.
The technical program review process, which occurs every three years, requires faculty to assess institutional-level and program-level student learning outcomes, analyze the results, and create an action plan for improvement.