Student learning outcomes coordinators in the California community college system: focus on implementing student learning outcomes processes and accreditation

This descriptive explanatory research study drew upon a system-wide survey of the California Community College system Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Coordinators and other SLO leaders to explore how California Community Colleges utilize the Student Learning Outcomes Coordinator positions on their campus, what barriers campuses face when trying to implement SLOs, how campuses have effectively addressed these barriers, and what role accreditation status plays in the role of implementing SLOs. This study found four primary differences between the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) study conducted in 2007 and the current study: (1) Increase in the amount of reassigned time allocated to the SLO Coordinator positions; (2) More formal roles; (3) more colleges using a cooperative model for position selection; (4) support and training programs are still in demand. This study also found colleges are utilizing a multitude of strategies to both implement SLOs and reduce barriers to implementation. Additionally, a hierarchical system of SLO culture was found to exist on campuses consisting of resisters, compliers, and believers. Understanding the dynamics of SLO Coordinator positions across the system and how colleges are working to implement SLO processes on their campuses will add to the existing limited body of knowledge about how CCC can successfully implement SLO processes on their campuses and avoid accreditation sanctions for SLOs and the use of the data resulting from SLO assessment.