New York City College of Technology (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 530-541
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
More than ever, institutions of higher education are being held accountable for student learning. As accrediting agencies and the public demand more accountability, institutions of higher learning are developing measurable learning outcomes and assessment tools to evaluate programs and develop student-centered curriculums. This process is informed best when valuable data is available, which has prompted a need for data that demonstrates students are learning.

During the summer of 2008, the Health Services Administration Program (HSA) at the New York City College of Technology/ CUNY created an assessment tool to inform program evaluation and curriculum development. As a relatively new baccalaureate program, which began accepting students in 2002, the HSA’s programmatic data planning is evolving. Given these characteristics and its strategic plan, HSA piloted the programmatic assessment tool in the fall 2008 semester.

The assessment tool, named Skills Assessment (SA), focuses on Information Literacy and Information Technology (IT) skills. The key objectives of SA are:
• To provide a baseline for Information Literacy and IT skills among all incoming students
• To assess learning outcomes in Information Literacy and IT
• To identify program strengths and weaknesses as they relate to Information Literacy and IT skills

The assessment tool’s design is critical to meeting the aforementioned objectives. Firstly, the SA is administered as a pre-test for all incoming HSA students and then as a post test for graduating students. The pre- and post-test format allows for comparison between results from baseline data and post-intervention (program completion) data. Secondly, the SA is a 100 multiple-choice test. Of the 100 questions, 50 are skills related questions and 50 are confidence questions. Each skill question is followed by a question that assesses students’ self-confidence in their answers.

The skills questions are grouped into the following four overarching skills:
• information accountability,
• information access,
• information technology and proficiency, and
• communication competency.

These categories relate to programmatic learning outcomes and skills necessary for health services administration. Measuring students’ competencies in these areas provides insight to the strengths and weaknesses of students as well as the program including the curriculum, faculty and testing methods. This information is currently informing curriculum mapping and program resource allocation.
program evaluation, assessment, curriculum development, curriculum mapping.