Friday, December 21, 2007

Accreditation team gives LTCC thumbs up

unedited 12-07 Tahoe Mt. News story

By Kathryn Reed

Unofficially, the college has made the improvements it needs to keep its accreditation. Officially, the written report from the team which visited South Lake last month won’t be out until January.
But based on the verbal rundown, Lake Tahoe Community College officials believe they’ve achieved their goals.
When a group from the Western Association of School and Colleges came to LTCC in March 2006 the mandate was to improve in nine areas. Six issues pertained to student learning outcome. The duo was inspecting that area the first week of November.
The other three items the college needed to rectify involved getting the budget reserves up (which has been done) and addressing two self-insurance related issues (mission accomplished).
“The faculty took incredible ownership of this initiative. The (accreditation) team was very laudatory of our efforts in just the short year and a half. We have done a tremendous amount of work,” said Lori Gaskin, vice president of Academic Affairs and Student Services.
English instructor Kurt Green has led the charge. Through the Academic Senate two committees were created to beef up the way the college assesses how much a student has learned.
“They asked us to re-evaluate our courses and have outcomes for what we expect our students to be able to do when they finish that course,” Green said. “The other area we are supposed to assess is if we are reaching these outcomes and goals. We are beginning the assessment phase this year.”
Green updated the board of education on Nov. 13 about what is going on with complying with WASC standards before dashing off to teach Introduction to Literature.
The college is in the second of a three-year plan to make sure all classes have the necessary student learning outcome component. Last year 137 courses were targeted, this year about 350 will be and next year the remaining 550 courses will be folded in.
“A lot of this is already incorporated into what we do as teachers. Now they are looking for documentation of it,” Green said. “It’s a different data gathering mechanism that they are asking us to come up with. We are developing our own plan and goals.”
He said some faculty members have seen it as more work, but most recognize it as a valuable tool to their craft.
For more information, go to, click on Faculty-Staff, then click on Student Learning Outcomes.

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