ERIC Number: ED373849
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
Student Outcomes and Performance Standards: Issues and Challenges for Community and Technical Colleges.
Nolte, Walter H.
During the last few years, there has been a general emphasis in higher education on quality issues and the use of outcomes measures to assess institutional effectiveness. The quality emphasis in education suggests that previously defined performance standards are met through a review of outcomes assessment. This emphasis on outcomes measures represents a positive shift for community college occupational and technical programs, since, to a large extent, it is easier for occupational education to demonstrate effectiveness and accountability. An American College Testing survey of 675 colleges in 1990 found that the two most important measures of institutional effectiveness were employers' satisfaction with graduates and the percentage of students who received jobs. With respect to evaluating specific programs, performance standards should be based on identifiable and verified competencies which are determined in advance and explicitly stated. Four major steps for designing and implementing a performance standards system include defining student learning expectations in conjunction with customers, reviewing existing state or licensing agency standards, developing or revising curricula to address the expected outcomes, and measuring outcomes with the goal of improving both the standards and curriculum. Finally, to maintain relevancy, standards must be constantly renewed to adjust to changes in the workplace and assessment methodologies of standards should be reviewed. (KP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A