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Student Learning Outcomes


The Business Education Department is dedicated to student success.  Each division within our department has developed the following Student Learning Outcomes to help quantify and evaluate the curriculum and programs that we deliver:

A.     Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

1.     SLOs for Accounting program are:

a)     Accumulate, record, and analyze financial data.

b)     Prepare accurate reports for decision making and regulatory compliance.

c)     Understand accounting and business terminology used in business scenarios, and be proficient with commonly used office software programs.


2.     Assessment plans and/or progress of outcomes in 1A:

a)     We’re in the process of developing pretests for ACCT 100, ACCT 4, and ACCT 25 for use in Fall 2008. 

A common final was administered for ACCT 2 (Financial Accounting) in Fall 2007. The common final confirmed our expectation that the majority of students (and nearly all passing students) were able to meet the appropriate learning objectives.  We will continue to assess our courses in the future.


3.     Development and Assessment of Course Level SLOs.

a.     In Spring 2006, course level SLOs were developed in the curriculum review process.  We modified the course outlines for individual courses so that the general course objectives were student learning outcomes.  Each semester course level SLOs are assessed through coursework including exams, practice sets, quizzes, class discussion, homework, etc.

b.     The common final that was administered for financial accounting (ACCT 2) confirmed our expectation that the majority of students (and nearly all passing students) were able to meet the appropriate learning objectives.  Specifically, the common final was written to verify that students could 1)   Accumulate, record, and analyze financial data, 2) Prepare accurate reports for decision making and regulatory compliance and 3) Understand accounting and business terminology used in business scenarios, and be proficient with commonly used office software programs.  The common final also confirmed our expectation of similar levels of academic rigor across instructors. Average student scores varied less than five percentage points across instructors.  While this information was useful at confirming expectations, a few more years date would give us greater confidence in the results.  It would also allow us to assess areas where individual instructors might need to amend their teaching style to facilitate greater student success.

4.     The Accounting program’s ongoing process of evaluation, planning, and implementation, and re-evaluation of SLOs is centered around several important activities: 

a)     Day-to-day interaction between instructors and students.  Class presentations, discussions, and in-class problems are the most immediate means of evaluating student success in meeting student learning outcomes.  Instructors are constantly assessing student learning outcomes by asking students to perform various accounting tasks and respond appropriately to instructor questions. 

b)     Use of homework & quizzes. Homework and quizzes are another fairly immediate means instructors use to assess student learning outcomes.  They provide the instructor feedback as to whether the students are progressing appropriately or whether they need to adjust their teaching style and/or spend more time on a particular topic. 

c)     Exams.  A well-written exam is the most objective means of evaluating student learning outcomes.  If students understand accounting terminology and are capable of performing various accounting tasks, they will perform well on the exam.

d)     Accounting program meetings.   Aside from time spent in the classroom, nothing is more important to the planning, implementation and evaluating.   At these meetings, we discuss the details of our individual assignments, quizzes, and exams and work to keep these as consistent as possible with respect to difficulty and subject matter.  Changes to individual instructor’s teaching methods are analyzed along with their impact on student success.

e)     Meetings with outside groups including the Accounting program’s advisory board and Chico State business faculty.  These meetings provide feedback on the appropriateness of SLO’s and upon the success of our students in the workforce and higher education.


5.     Making public learning outcomes.

a)     This is accomplished through meetings with the Accounting program advisory board and Chico State business faculty.  It is also accomplished by making course outlines (containing SLOs) available to the public.  SLO’s are indirectly made public via the annual catalogue which contains course and program descriptions.


A.     Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

1.     SLOs for General Business program are:

·     Understand business terms and concepts, and effectively communicate using the language of business.

·     Make effective business decisions using a systematic, evaluative, information-based approach.

·     Develop and exhibit high standards of professional practice, demonstrating awareness of ethical and social responsibilities in today’s multi-cultural, team-oriented, rapidly-changing environment.

2.     Assessment plans and/or progress of outcomes in 1A:

We are in the initial stages of assessing our performance and progress relative to student learning outcomes. During the Fall 2007 semester, two teachers had students complete self-assessments during the first and last class periods, assessing a variety of relevant skills/abilities.  Assuming support staff is available to facilitate analysis, efforts will be made to assess differences and pre- and post-test scores. 

Also, in BUS 20, BUS 35, BUS 40 where students participate in team projects, all team members complete assessments as to contributions made by team members.  These assessments are used to determine if all team members “earned” the right to be awarded points for team projects.  Efforts will be made to track results and look at patterns relative to students’ professional practice in the team setting.

Numerous advisory members have noted students’ lack of awareness of appropriate conduct in the workplace. This has also been noted by faculty in the classroom setting. Short quarter-unit soft skill courses (courses in Time Management, How to dress for success, Customer Service) are being added to the Accounting and BCIS programs and they are being evaluated for the General Business programs as well.   .

3.     Development and Assessment of Course Level SLOs.

At present, a template has been created, showing all BUS courses and their respective course objectives and attempting to map them vs. the Marketing and Management Program objectives.  Work has begun on this process, but has not been completed. 

4.     The General Business program’s ongoing process of evaluation, planning, and implementation, and re-evaluation of SLOs is centered around several important activities: 

Unit plans were implemented two years ago as were SLO’s. Faculty members within the Business Department conduct unit plans annually, or as the college requires.  SLO assessment, at both the program and course levels, will be part of that annual evaluation and planning process.  In addition, new course development will include a determination of course-level SLOs, in sync with program-level SLOs.


5.     Making public learning outcomes.

This is accomplished through meetings with our advisory board and Chico State business faculty.  It is also accomplished by making course outlines (containing SLOs) available to the public via program descriptions in the catalog and brochures.

B .Program Success and Improvement

1.     Curriculum Review.

a.     Curriculum review was completed in Spring 2006, updating all courses and taking them to the Curriculum Committee for approval.  Since that time, we have continued to review and update courses on a regular, as needed basis.

b.     The Certificates of Achievement and Completion are currently being reviewed and re-named by the Chancellors office. It is anticipated these programs will take the new revised certificates to the Curriculum Committee by the end of Fall 2008.

       2.  How instructional program serves present and anticipated student demand:

Very recently wait lists have been added to our schedule of courses.  This should better enable us to serve the needs of these students and to determine levels of unmet demand.  Otherwise, we use historical scheduling/enrollment data to project demand levels, supplementing this with information gathered from CSU Chico and our vocational students.

      3.  Articulation with high schools and 4 year institutions:

Faculty members in the General Business Program (actually, throughout the Business Education Department) have a collegial relationship with CSUC.  Many of us have taught there in the past, and one of our part-time faculty is employed full-time in the Human Resources function within the university.  In addition, CSUC College of Business faculty and administrators serve on our advisory committee and are in regular contact with the Business Education Department chair.

At present, our articulation agreements with CSUC are strong; however, we remain aware that they have, in the past, made changes that significantly impacted our curriculum (e.g., pulling Business Law into the upper division core and creating a lower division Introduction to Business requirement for the BADM major, and creating a lower division Database Analysis course for the BIS major).  CSUC’s College of Business faculty prides itself on the rigor of its program and carefully assesses articulated courses prior to their acceptance.  The fact that both Norm Hughart and Donna Weaver, who teach a significant number of the articulated BUS 20 and BUS 18 courses, taught for many years at Chico State helps to facilitate the relationship between the institutions.

At present, General Business courses are not articulated with area high schools and faculty are unwilling to articulate BUS 20, Introduction to Business.  BUS 20 is considered by Chico State to be the equivalent of one of their lower-division core classes, required of all Chico State Business Administration students.  

Within the BUS curriculum, transfer-level courses that do NOT replace core lower-division requirements at the university level (e.g., Personal Selling, Management and Human Relations) would be more appropriately articulated with the high schools and we are willing to work with high schools with these courses.



1.     SLOs for Economics Program:

a)     Analyze specific economic markets to explain and predict changes in price and economic behavior.

b)     Formulate and evaluate various policy options using economic terminology when given an economic problem.

2.     Assessment plans and/or progress of outcomes in 1A:

a)     We used the National Council on Economics Education (NCEE) Test of Understanding in College Economics (TUCE-4) as a basis for the one full-time permanent and one full-time temporary Econ 2 and 4 instructor’s comprehensive final exams. 

i.     The NCEE website states, the TUCE “is the fourth edition of a test that was first developed forty years ago, and has an extensive history of use by teachers and researchers in the economics profession …  (it) has two main objectives:

1.     To offer a reliable and valid assessment instrument for students in principles of economics courses.

2.     To provide norming data for a large, national sample of students in principles classes, allowing instructors to compare performance in their classes on both pretests and posttests to the performance of the national sample of students and instructors.” 

ii.     We compared our student scores to a national sample and determined that our students, on average, passed the TUCE with a score 10% higher than the national average in the Fall 2007 semester.

iii.     We are using data relating to test items students performed worse than the national average (less than 10 of 60 test items) to augment our instruction in the Spring 2008 semester.  We look forward to see if this modification will further improve our students’ success relative to the national average.

b)     In relationship to basic skills, all Econ 2 and 4 instructors have been asked to gather student-reported data regarding their math and English competency and last, highest-level class taken. It is desired to incorporate better prerequisites for student success. To this end we received student basic competency testing data from the Assessment Office for all Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 Econ 2 and 4 students. 

i.     Analysis of Fall 2007 data show that only 4 students successfully completed Econ 2 or 4 with a reading, math, or English score below the recommended level.

ii.     Both the full-time temporary and full-time permanent faculty members have made additional efforts to stress to students that they may remain in our classes without the recommended level of preparation, but informed them of the historical data related to student success.

3.     Development and Assessment of Course Level SLOs

a)     The development and assessment of our course-level SLOs was completed in consultation with our advisory panel, Chico State University’s Economics Program and the entire Economics Program staff. 

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