Report 20on 20GE 20History 2095 20to 2002 by ga3Heb

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									                   General Education Program History
                                      1995 to 2002


                                 Dr. Sally Murphy
                            Director, General Education



       Creating the General Education Program
At California State University, Hayward general education programs are subject to review
on a five-year program review cycle and academic year 1996-97 was the year to review
CSUH’s implementation of the CSU general education breadth requirements. Recent
General Education reforms had not quieted faculty complaints that students were not
adequately prepared for work in the majors. The 1996-97 GE review was given special
importance as the faculty complaints were spoken publicly by the WASC accreditation
team’s report that CSUH’s General Education program lacked “clarity, relevance, and
meaning” resulting in “little sense of a unified and integrated academic experience for
undergraduates at Hayward,” with little coherence or connection to majors. The WASC
review team found “little evidence of University-wide planning for the reinforcement and
full development of basic competencies in oral communication, critical thinking, and
quantitative/analytic skills.

In Spring 1995, a small group of faculty was selected to constitute a GE Workgroup.
Members included Mary Cullinan, Leigh Mintz, Grace Munakata, and Loretta Bruning and
they were supported by the University to attend the Asheville Institute on General
Education (sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities).

The 1995-6 GE Workgroup was augmented by two members of CIC and the full
workgroup included: Chair, Mary Cullinan, Sally Murphy (CIC), Grace Munakata, David
Woo (CIC), Leigh Mintz, and Loretta Bruning

The GE Workgroup organized campus-wide meetings of faculty and students to study
CSUH’s current GE program, its problems and strengths, and to review some successful
GE models on other campuses. The workgroup held a series of open meetings of faculty,
staff and students to begin the dialogue on campus and to identify shared ideals, goals, and
models for GE programs. Each group was asked to brainstorm ideas to address these three
questions: What should be the goals of CSUH’s general education program; what structure
GE should take, and what learning environment(s) would be conducive to the successful
achievement of the goals. Ideas from this series of workshops were compiled by the
workgroup and prepared for the coming year review of the GE program.
In Fall, 1996, CIC created a special GE Subcommittee consisting of two faculty members
from each school, one representative each from the Library, the University Advisement
Center, and Curriculum and Academic Programs, and a student member (who seldom


                                             1
attended, except at the very end of the process). The members were: Sally Murphy
(Chair), Leigh Mintz (CAP), Znovy Radovilsky (SBE), Hadi Behzad (SBE), Don Sawyer
(SEAS), Melany Speilman (SEAS), Kris Ramsdell (Library), Linda Kinrade (SOS), Kevin
Callahan (SOS), Bill Langan (ALSS), Emily Stoper (ALSS), and Jackie Charonis (UAC).

The GE Subcommittee was charged with creating multiple models for a GE program that
would combine teaching and assessing of fundamental skills, use structures and teaching
methods known to improve student learning, and provide coherence and community for our
students—all goals identified the year before by faculty, staff and students. Subcommittee
members began with a review of the WASC report, information on successful GE
programs collected at the Ashville conference, and ideas from faculty, staff and students
compiled during the GE Workgroup’s university-wide meetings. The subcommittee also
collected data about our lower division and upper division students: entering freshmen
comprise 6% of CSUH’s student population, while 85% of the students transfer to CSUH.
The average age of our undergraduate students is about 27 years; the average age of
freshman is 18. When the subcommittee examined freshman course patterns we discovered
that our freshmen were enrolling in upper-division courses during their first quarter, their
grades were weak, they were not completing remedial requirements nor were they taking
foundational courses to prepare them for the upper-division classes. While our retention of
freshmen was about average for the CSU, we determined that we could make the first
couple of years at CSUH far more academically appropriate and welcoming for the
freshmen.

After much deliberation, the GE Subcommittee created three models and, after review by
CIC, distributed them widely across campus to all academic departments and appropriate
departments in student affairs, and discussed the models in an open forum held at a special
meeting of the Academic Senate on February 11, 1997. The models ranged from
thematically integrated courses that would combine the study of science, social science and
humanities in a single learning community experience to a modified smorgasbord of
courses from which students made individual selections. At the Academic Senate forum,
considerable dissatisfaction was voiced over the models characterizing them as being either
too revolutionary and lacking defined content or not revolutionary enough to satisfy the
critiques of the current GE and lacking defined content (determining what should constitute
general education in Science, Humanities, and Social Science was purposely unspecified by
the subcommittee1). During the remainder of the Winter Quarter, the subcommittee held a
number of open hearings soliciting both oral and written comments from all concerned
members of the University community, and requested suggestions and criticisms about the
models from members of each constituency.2

Using the data collected in the hearings and incorporating the information gathered in
university-wide meetings the prior academic year, the subcommittee identified learning

1
  The subcommittee members believed that the content, as specified by learning outcomes that captured the
system requirements for each GE area, was best described by committees comprised of faculty with expertise
in the content areas.
2
  Hearings were held with students, faculty, department chairs, deans and the provost, and university general
education advisors.


                                                      2
outcomes and learning environments that would support a high quality General Education
program at CSUH and presented them to CIC on March 17, 1997 (see appendix A). CIC,
after making revisions to improve the clarity and organization of the document,
unanimously recommended forwarding the document to the Academic Senate for
information and discussion(1996-97 CIC 21). The Subcommittee continued to refine their
models of General Education based on the feedback from the Senate meeting and
subsequent open hearings. On April 21, 1997, the subcommittee submitted its proposal for
a new General Education program to CIC.

The vote in favor of the proposal was 8-0. Prior to the vote, the committee removed some
suggestions handling transfer students whose GE was incomplete. CIC recommended
further study of that issue. The new lower division General Education program, most
dramatically restructuring general education for first-time freshmen, and the new Upper
Division GE applied to all students under the 1998-2000 and subsequent catalogs. This
new program, to begin in Fall, 1998, was approved by the Academic Senate on June 2,
1997 and by the President on June 17, 1997.

         Key Features of the 1998-2002 GE program
The 1998-2002 GE program approved June 1997 made dramatic changes in the lower-
division component of general education, building a learning community structure in which
cohorts of first-year students and second-year students enroll in clusters of thematically-
linked courses. The upper-division was modified to include advanced skills requirements
(writing, speaking, critical thinking, and information literacy). The new program would be
assessed to determine if or how well it accomplished the student learning and program
goals. A more detailed description of the approved program follows.

Eschewing the “select one course from among the many approved for each of the following
fifteen categories,” the lower division GE program is characterized by required yearlong,
thematically integrated learning communities in humanities, in social sciences, and in the
sciences. The learning community model addressed several critiques of our lower division
GE program:
      Thematic integration provided a coherent learning experience that could model the
        complexity of problems humans face, the kinds of problems for which we are
        educating our students
      Cohorts of freshmen, and sophomores, enrolling together in linked classes aimed at
        helping the 6% of the student population who begin as freshmen on our commuter
        campus “get connected” to each other, the faculty, and the campus
      Linking the three Area A requirements for communication in English (Composition,
        Oral Communication and Critical Thinking) to each of the learning communities in
        the freshman year offered the opportunity to develop and reinforce the basic
        competencies in written and oral communication and critical thinking.3

3
  Although much thought had been given to how mathematics and/or statistics could be linked to the learning
communities, the variety of courses required in majors and the challenge of integrating quantitative reasoning
into the learning community themes led the GE Subcommittee to choose to leave the B4 requirement a stand-
alone course.


                                                      3
       Continued development of composition, speaking, critical thinking, and information
        literacy skills in the upper division courses.
       Completing the freshman learning community courses were two new courses, an
        Information Literacy course,4 and a one-unit General Studies course (taken each
        quarter of freshman year) designed to provide academic support for students in the
        learning communities.

The upper division component of the General Education program remained, in form, much
like the 1996-98 GE program with two notable exceptions: first, activities supporting
development of advanced skills in writing, speaking, critical thinking, and information
literacy were incorporated into the three course requirements: Humanities, Social Science,
and Capstone. Second, the inclusion of any course in one of the three upper division areas
would depend on courses meeting the requirements of each area, rather than on
departmental prefix or a presumption about where particular disciplines “fit”.

        Implementation—1997-98
In preparation for the initial year of the new GE program, planning began early in 1997-98.
The GE Subcommittee sent out call for proposals for freshmen learning communities. The
call for sophomore communities would come a year later (see Appendix A). Meetings
were held for all ALSS, SBE, and SEAS faculty to inform them of the requirements for the
learning communities and to assist faculty in making connections with one another across
departments.5 In addition, the Chair of the GE Subcommittee met with most departments
on campus to assure the faculty knew of the opportunities provided by the new program.

As proposals for learning communities were being developed, meetings were held with
department chairs and directors of courses meeting Area A requirements to begin
determining how the communication skills would be integrated in the learning
communities. Similarly, the GE Subcommittee articulated goals for the General Studies
course that would be included in the learning community each quarter of the freshman year.

During 1997-98 the GE Subcommittee determined how to schedule the “clusters” as
CSUH’s learning communities came to be known. The intentional linking of courses
required consideration of what would best assist student learning and students’ preferred
schedules, departmental and university scheduling needs and restrictions, and registration
procedures. Complicating the scheduling issues was the requirement that remedial work in
composition and mathematics begin at the quarter of a student’s matriculation and continue
until completed. The budgetary needs of the learning community program were identified
and the GE Subcommittee Chair worked with the Provost to create a budget for training
faculty and supporting the learning communities.



4
  A Library based, librarian-taught course was linked to each freshman learning community. Several courses,
including one in Computer Science, fulfill this requirement.
5
  The School of Science requested a meeting with Department Chairs. Faculty were alerted to the
opportunities through their chairs and in meetings with individual departments.


                                                     4
The GE Subcommittee Chair, with the assistance of several subcommittee members, met
with enrollment services to identify needed modifications to the registration process to
assist students in registering for all required linked courses in the clusters, including all
remedial composition courses. The Chair also met extensively with the Director of
Composition and the Chair of Mathematics to schedule sufficient sections of each of the
remedial courses in their respective departments. We needed to make certain that
mathematics remedial courses would be available to all students with developmental
requirements, regardless of their cluster schedule.

The GE Subcommittee Chair worked with the Director of the Office of Faculty
Development to design a summer seminar and a selected package of readings on
interdisciplinary teaching and active learning to prepare faculty during the summer quarter
prior to the clusters’ start in Fall 1998. All faculty6 teaching in the freshmen clusters are
required to participate in a week-long seminar to create interdisciplinary perspectives on
the cluster theme that would integrate the discipline, library, composition, and speech
courses in each cluster. A similar training was held for the sophomore cluster faculty in
summer 1999.

Summer Orientation for freshmen also required major changes. First, we needed to alert
students to the new structure of general education requirements. Second, we needed to
train the advising staff on the new requirements and develop advising materials for both
students and advisors. Finally, we realized that to manage the enrollment in both remedial
courses and in the linked components of the clusters, we needed to register students at the
summer orientation, something CSUH had never done.7 The work on advising and
orientation was completed before the first orientation was held.

The GE Subcommittee reviewed courses to satisfy the new Information Literacy
requirement that required students develop their skills in defining, evaluating, using,
communicating and appreciating information in its various forms using a variety of tools,
including technological ones. Two courses were recommended as fulfilling those goals:
Library 1010 and Computer Science 1020. CIC reviewed the subcommittee’s
recommendations and the Academic Senate approved the Library course on March 10,
1998, and the Computer Science course on April 21, 1998.

Meanwhile, the GE Subcommittee began reviewing cluster proposals for Science,
Humanities, and Social Science. First, the committee sent a request to each of the Schools
asking that their respective Curriculum Committees identify student learning goals for
lower-division General Education in the Schools’ areas of expertise. The need to stipulate

6
  The three faculty teaching the disciplinary courses, a librarian, a lead composition instructor, and a speech
instructor were invited to participate in the summer seminars. Each participant received a $1000 stipend for
producing a description of the cluster theme, syllabi that demonstrated thematic links among the courses, and
assignments appropriate to the interdisciplinary nature of the cluster. Few speech instructors participated
since the department had not assigned all instructors at the time of the seminars.
7
  Summer Orientation registration was also seen as a positive inducement for students entering CSUH. Many
Subcommittee members believed that we lost prospective students to our neighboring campuses because
students attending San Jose State and San Francisco State began a full month before students entering CUSH
even knew what classes they would take.


                                                       5
content was an issue noted by the Academic Senate when debating the new program. The
GE Subcommittee purposely did not attempt that task, believing the best articulation of
learning goals would come from those the faculty in the schools.8 Second, as cluster
proposals began to arrive, the committee set up a procedure for reviewing clusters absent
any specific learning outcomes. The number of clusters required was determined by the
average freshman enrollment from the past three years expecting approximately ninety
students in each cluster. The ninety-student cap provided sufficient student enrollment to
support the courses in Critical Thinking, Composition, and Communication. The
Subcommittee selected four of the five clusters submitted by the School of Science,
including one cluster designed specifically for students with majors in the health sciences,
and initially selected three of the four clusters submitted for Humanities and three of the six
submitted for Social Science. An eleventh cluster was needed to meet the student
enrollment and it was selected by determining the cluster with the highest number of votes
not included on the original list. In that way, eleven clusters were recommended for the
first year of the new GE program. The Subcommittee’s recommendations were approved
by CIC on March 30, 1998 and by the Academic Senate on April 21st. 9

As the planning year approached its end, it became clear that the new General Education
program would require a coordinator. The GE Coordinator Search Committee interviewed
candidates and selected Sally Murphy, Associate Professor of Speech Communication and
GE Subcommittee Chair, as the half-time GE Coordinator. (Initially a half-time position, it
is now a full-time faculty assignment.)

During the Summer of 1998, Dr. Sheila Cowen, Director of Assessment and Testing, and
the GE Coordinator developed an assessment program for the clusters. One of the
promises made in the original proposal for the new GE was that the program would be
assessed to see if it met the learning goals that had been the foundation of the program’s
development. Without learning outcomes from the Schools, we worked with the Director
of Composition, the Chair of Philosophy and faculty who taught approved critical thinking
courses, and the Chair of Speech Communication to create acceptable assessments. To
determine student experiences related to the learning outcomes, we identified standardized
student surveys that asked students about their expectations (pre-measure) and experiences
(two post measures) as students in the clusters and at CSUH. Finally, we developed course
feedback sheets for students to evaluated courses on the program’s learning outcomes and
selected a nationally standardized test to assess the level of student ability to read and
respond to content in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. (See appendix B for a
full list of assessment measures and the assessment schedule.)

In the Fall of 1998, the learning community/cluster program began. And, as early as the
summer’s orientations, we realized a need to improve the implementation of this complex
program. Since the problems we encountered went beyond the issues of curriculum, an
implementation subcommittee took the responsibility to look into problems encountered in

8
  The School of Science has submitted a list of learning outcomes for general education in the sciences. The
GE Subcommittee has not yet received outcomes in the Humanities or Social Sciences from the School of
Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences.
9
  See appendix for the list of the learning communities and linked courses.


                                                      6
registration, advising, and the computer systems required to support enrollments. Linda
Kinrade, Associate Dean of the School of Science, agreed to lead the implementation
subcommittee. AOAs from each of the schools, representatives from the University
Advisement Center, EOP, AES and EXCEL, programmers from Information and
Computing Services, and others as need required, worked to solve the problems we
encountered. While many problems were mechanical issues of managing the identification
of students in particular clusters and ways to give them priority in the linked classes, some
were academic, e.g., how do we credit Advanced Placement credits in the cluster structure?

       Program Revisions
During the academic year 1998-99 the clusters were significantly revised. The GE
Subcommittee responded to feedback from students provided either directly or by
enrollment patterns. We heard loudly that, regardless of the learning advantages of a four-
or five-day-a-week schedule, students expected and/or needed a two- or three-day-a-week
schedule. With 80% of the freshmen working either full or part-time, the demand for a
schedule accommodating full days for work was a necessity. Additionally, despite our
experience with adult students who need late afternoon and evening classes, enrollment
patterns made clear that entering freshmen do not desire such courses. The cluster
scheduled for 4 to 5:50 pm enrolled barely 25 students. The subcommittee worked with the
schools to revise the cluster schedules.

We heard from departments who, not electing to participate in the first round of clusters,
experienced a drop in enrollment. Most particularly affected was enrollment in language
courses. In Spring 1999, the GE Subcommittee recommended, CIC concurred, and
Academic Senate approved (with limitations on the use of self-paced, credit-by-exam, and
native speaker enrollments for GE credit) clusters consisting of three sequential courses in
foreign languages. And, we examined the enrollments in Critical Thinking courses. While
classes filled in the Fall, they did not fill in Winter or Spring. The GE Subcommittee
recognized that too many of the entering freshmen were not prepared to take their Critical
Thinking course during their first year. In May 1999, the Subcommittee, with support of
the effected departments, recommended to CIC that Critical Thinking be “de-linked” from
the freshmen clusters, effective Fall, 1999. CIC concurred and Academic Senate approved.

Simultaneously with review of the problems and successes of the first year, the GE
Subcommittee sent a call for second-year clusters. The second-year learning communities
are comprised of three thematically linked courses in Science, Humanities, or Social
Sciences. In the second year, there are no linked courses in written or oral communication
or in information literacy or general studies. The GE Subcommittee calculated, based on
the number of students enrolled in freshman science, humanities, social science clusters,
the number of clusters needed in each area for the second year. The Subcommittee
received the number of science and humanities clusters required, and each was accepted.
The Subcommittee made the language study cluster an option for second-year students.
The Subcommittee received more social science cluster proposals than required and, using
criteria developed for the freshman clusters, selected among those submitted. Finally, the
GE Subcommittee recognized the difficulties Science majors were having with heavy pre-


                                              7
requisite problems and recommended a linked sequence of courses in Chemistry—the
Interdependence of Chemicals, Living Things, and Energy—be offered but restricted to
those students with declared majors in the sciences and with few remedial needs. (The
subcommittee later recommended the addition of a Biology sequence—the Diversity of
Life—for science majors with remedial math requirements.) Both the Chemistry sequence
and the Biology sequence continue to be restricted to science majors and both are open to
students in the first or second year. CIC approved as did the Academic Senate.

During 1999-2000, the second year of the program, the GE Implementation group and the
GE Subcommittee continued to modify the program and the cluster offerings, work on the
refinement of assessment procedures, and review the data collected in the first year.

The GE Coordinator provided workshops for second-year cluster faculty. She and Sheila
Cowen analyzed the data collected in the first year, and reported these to the Academic
Senate. Planning for the second-year clusters required additional training for academic
advisors and work with registration system programmers. A brochure about the cluster
program was created and distributed to publicize the program. Advising materials were
developed to assist students and the academic advisors.

A summary of changes made after the first year follows. Based on feedback from students
and student enrollment patterns, several changes to first year clusters were made.
    Students heartily disliked the clusters’ four- and five-day-a-week schedules. In
       response, cluster schedules were revised to offer students three-day-a-week and a
       very few two-day-a-week schedules.
    Students expressed a desire for more and different choices in clusters. A late
       afternoon cluster with limited enrollment was dropped and another was moved to
       the second year, as faculty believed the content would be better for sophomores. In
       their place, two new Humanities clusters were added. The total number of
       freshmen clusters did not change. We determined that we needed to protect
       enrollment during the first years of implementation of the program.
    At the end of the first year it was apparent that few freshmen were adequately
       prepared to complete their critical thinking course. Enrollment did not justify
       continuing to link the requirement to the cluster and it was made a stand-alone
       requirement.
    Student and faculty feedback made clear that the General Studies support course
       had the potential to be a powerful learning experience for the freshmen but often
       failed to meet that promise. The GE Coordinator worked with the most effective
       GS instructor, Leslie Rice, to design a standard curriculum, select a common text,
       and create a schedule that allowed time to adapt to the students’ needs in particular
       clusters and provide instruction in skills required for student success, while offering
       field trips and other activities to connect student learning to the world outside the
       classroom.

   Fall 1999 to Fall 2002




                                              8
Fall 1999 to the present has been a time of continued refinement of the learning community
program. Clusters have “gone on vacation,” been abandoned, been added, (their approval
has been both simple and the source of angry debate). As the advisors and faculty learned
more about the learning communities they began to recognize that specific clusters and/or
sequences of clusters would provide courses appropriate to individual majors or allow
students to “test out” a major.

The upper division courses continue to be reviewed and approved if the courses appear to
meet the area descriptions.
The GE Subcommittee has received learning outcomes in the sciences, and awaits learning
outcomes in both lower-division and upper-division humanities and social sciences. Until
learning outcomes are clearly articulated and approved by the faculty, it will be difficult to
adequately determine which courses are appropriate for General Education or to assess the
educational effectiveness of the education we offer in science, humanities, and social
science.

That is not to say that we know little about the educational effectiveness of the clusters.
Although we must rely on self-report data in many cases, the students who have
participated in the program for the last four years have provided us with a clear picture of
the program’s strengths and weaknesses. The pages that follow include the data collected
and analyzed to date about the program. The final chapter concludes with the program
Coordinator’s recommendations for the future of General Education at Cal State Hayward.




                                              9
     Strengthening Basic Skills in Communication in English,
        Quantitative Reasoning, and Information Literacy
                         in the Clusters

       Overview
When the Academic Senate approved the 1998-2002 General Education program, they
accepted the learning outcomes the Subcommittee articulated for General Education. Two
of those outcomes focus on the need to support student’s skills in reading, writing, thinking
critically, communicating orally, using mathematics to reason quantitatively, and
developing information competence. These skills underpin all learning and the committee
recognized that the development of those skills was essential to student learning. CSUH
faculty frequently complained about their students’ struggles writing or speaking with the
clarity that results from clear thinking. WASC noted that our prior efforts to assist students
in skill development were sporadic, diffuse, and not connected to other studies at the
university. The 1998-2002 GE program was designed to address these issues by linking
writing, speaking, and critical thinking to the freshman learning communities, and by
requiring that upper-division GE courses include activities to support continued skill
development. Upper-division humanities courses must contain significant writing and
speaking activities that require critical thinking; upper-division social sciences must
include significant opportunities for students to present ideas in writing, to build their
competencies finding and using information effectively, and to use those skills to apply
research data to analysis of problems of contemporary importance; and the upper-division
capstone course must support students’ understanding of the integration of knowledge,
demonstrate their ability to use different methods of inquiry, include a major written
assignment and emphasize advanced oral communication and critical thought.


       The data presented below clearly demonstrate that the 1998-2002 cluster
       program has successfully supported and enhanced the development of
       students academic skills, provided a broad foundation for lower-division
       students, supported the development of collateral skills in problem-solving,
       working with others, awareness of diversity issues, and their ability to
       synthesize information. They report significant gains in the skills to assist
       them in a life of learning. As we look back at four years of our general
       education learning community efforts, it is clear that the clusters provide an
       effective education for our diverse student population.


We currently have no measures of the educational effectiveness of our upper-division
general education courses. Development or selection of assessment measures for the
upper-division skills support awaits approval of learning outcomes appropriate to
expectations of junior and senior level competencies by the Academic Senate.



                                             10
                    Oral Communication (GE requirement A1)
Linked to all freshman clusters. The Healthier Living cluster is designed for students going
into the health professions and for that cluster alone Communication 1004, Interpersonal
Communication, is the linked oral communication course. For all other clusters,
Communication 1000, Public Speaking, is the linked course.

       Assessment Measures

We currently have no pre-test/post-test measures of speaking competence and rely on the
course grades to assess student progress. The initial plan was to videotape all incoming
freshmen making a first presentation in either their COMM or GS class then collects
another videotape in the capstone course. We quickly realized that was an unworkable plan
given the time, personnel, monies, space, and tracking of students required.

       Baseline Data

None are collected.

       Assessment Data

In 2000-01, the last year for which we have complete data, a significant majority of the
freshmen completed their oral communication requirement.

                Completion of GE Oral Communication Requirement
                                      1998-99  1999-00     2000-01               2001-02
Percent who satisfied the requirement   55        67         72                    71
Percent enrolled who passed the         92        95         96                    94
course

In addition, increasingly more freshmen and sophomore students report significant gains in
their ability to present ideas and information effectively when speaking to others: 55% (1998
freshman class) to 65% (2000 freshman class) report such gains. (See Appendix D for data
tables and specific question.)

        Student Experiences and Perceptions of Gains in Oral Communication
                                      1998-99     1999-00     2000-01  2001-02*
 Strongly agree or agree that I have made
 significant gains in my ability to present
 ideas and information effectively when       55           64          65           n/a
 speaking to others.
 Because of this course, I am better able     90          81           83           n/a
 to communicate what I have learned to
 others.

*Data from student end-of-year surveys have been lost.



                                              11
Since we have no post-test measure, we know little about the effectiveness of the oral
communication activities at the end of the sophomore year. We have no assessment plans
for upper-division GE courses that require speaking assignments or emphasize in-class
discussions. The most effective assessments look at students’ skill development over the
course of their academic career. The logistics of such an assessment for oral
communication are currently unworkable. It may be possible to sample the student
population to determine how effectively we assist students’ development of oral
communication skills. The GE Subcommittee looks forward to Academic Senate approval
of upper-division oral communication outcomes to guide assessment design.

Development of advanced skills in oral communication, or for that matter in any of the skill
areas, is the shared responsibility of majors and general education. Once the University
community has approved learning outcomes for advanced oral communication,
assessments may be developed separately from and/or in concert with assessment of
learning in the majors.10


                     Composition in English (GE requirement A2)
Linked to all freshman learning communities. Remedial and baccalaureate courses are
linked to each of the freshmen clusters. Regardless of the student’s placement, except for
those exempt from taking composition due to Advanced Placement or a transfer course, all
freshmen work on their writing skills by writing about what they are learning in their
science or humanities or social science cluster.


         Assessment Measures

Student writing is the most thoroughly assessed component of general education. Pre-test
measures include the English Placement Test (EPT), required for admission to the CSU
unless Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) verbal scores are 550 or above, the Academic
Profile (AP) given most entering freshmen and some sophomores, a freshman survey to
assess student perceptions of writing competencies, and the WST essay test given in the
Fall quarter to all freshmen enrolled in any composition course. The post-test measure is
the junior rising Writing Skills Test.


         Baseline data

Most CSUH freshmen take the Scholastic Aptitude Test. A score of 550 or higher exempts
students from taking the English Placement Test. The data on entering freshmen (EFR)
composition skills, as measured by the tests, are displayed below.


10
  If CSUH faculty believe in integrated learning, and if general education is to be a foundation for learning in
the majors, we should give careful consideration to joint efforts between the General Education program and
majors to assess the development of student skills over their academic careers.


                                                      12
                          English Composition Remedial
                                     Needs

                  100
                   80
                                                                      1998
                   60
                                                                      1999
                     40
                     20                                               2000
                      0                                               2001
                           College Ready          Remedial            2002




The number of students needing developmental writing courses is not a local problem.
CSUH freshmen look just like those at other public urban universities that constitute our
national comparison group with no significant difference in how our entering freshmen
score on reading and writing measures. (See Appendix B for a list of the comparison
campuses.)


                                    Academic Profile
            1998-99       1999-00   2000-01 2001-02        National     95% Confidence
                                                                           Interval
Reading        117         116       116.3        116.4       118          112-120
Writing        113         113       113.6        113.5      115.3         112-120


       Assessment Data

The cluster program has been successful in helping both remedial and college-ready
students develop their writing competencies. At the end of their first two years, CSUH
students report much more knowledge of the requirements for and much more experience
in writing papers for classes. Their performance on the Writing Skills test supports the
value of those experiences.

Writing Skills Test: The cluster students taking the WST in the fall of 2000, the first
quarter in which a measurable number of the 1998 freshman class took the WST, passed at
an 85% pass rate! The average pass rate on the WST has long ranged around 65% for all
first time test takers. This is the first time in many years that a group of CSUH students
out-performed all other undergraduate test-takers at a statistically significant level. That


                                             13
first fall group of test-takers was likely comprised of those students who required little or
no remedial work. None the less, at the end of summer 2001, when most of the 1998 class
had taken the test, the pass rate remained statistically significantly higher than the other
first-time test takers at 72%. The data for the 1999 freshman class is similar (see Appendix
D) and Assessment and Testing reports that the pass rate for students from the clusters
continues to be significantly higher than those CSUH students not in the clusters or those
who transferred into CSUH.11 Assessment and Testing also notes that the cluster students
pass rate on the WST has been responsible for stopping the decline in CSUH student pass
rates on the WST.

Satisfaction of GE requirement: Most freshmen complete ENGL 1001, the GE
composition course, in their first year despite the fact that more than 55% enrolled in some
remedial course(s) during the first year.


                    Completion of GE Composition (English 1001)
                           1998-99      1999-00         2000-01                             2001-02
% who satisfied the           67          64               65                                 65
requirement
% enrolled who passed         96          95               92                                  91
the course


Reported experiences and academic improvement in writing competencies: The
power of the learning communities in supporting student writing can be seen from the table
on the next page. Included are questions from the College Student Experiences
Questionnaire (given at the end of year one) and the College Outcome Survey (given at the
end of the second year). These national surveys ask students to report their experiences in
their first two years of college and their perceptions of the amount of improvement they
have made in various academic areas. Note that on all measures CSUH students report
much more awareness of requirements for sound academic writing and significantly more
writing experiences than their national comparison group.




11
  No doubt the enforcement of remedial requirements has played a big role in student gains in writing
competencies. The required enforcement began at the same time as the cluster program. It remains the case,
however, that other students who have taken their composition courses at Hayward pass at a lower rate than
the cluster students—despite being held to the same remediation requirements.


                                                    14
                Student Experiences and Perceptions of Gains in Writing
                                            98-    99-    00-    01-     National
                                            99     00     01     02*    Comparison
                                    Writing Skills
Very often or often or often through about          82     86     84      n/a          77
grammar, sentence structure, word choice and
sequence of ideas or points when writing
Very often or often asked other people to read      61     69     70      n/a          55
something written to see if it was clear to them
Very often or often revised a paper or              62     68     68      n/a          49
composition two or more times before being
satisfied with it
Very often or often asked an instructor or staff    49     55     55      n/a          30
member to advice and help to improve writing
                                        Perceptions of Gain
Felt they had gained very much or quite a bit       63     69     69      n/a          53
in the area of writing clearly and effectively
                                             Experiences
Wrote no term papers during the school year          2      1      1      n/a          12
Wrote fewer than five term papers                   24     25     21      n/a          42
Wrote between five and ten term papers              43     36     39      n/a          28
Wrote between ten and twenty term papers            25     28     31      n/a          14
Wrote more than twenty term papers                   6     10      8      n/a           4

*Data from spring 2002 student surveys should be available by year’s end.

We currently have no assessment plans for upper-division GE courses that require
significant writing assignments. With approval of upper-division writing outcomes from
Academic Senate, assessment measures will be developed separately from and/or in
concert with assessment of learning in the majors.


                      Critical Thinking (GE requirement A3)
No longer linked to the freshmen learning communities. In the first year of the program,
1998-1999, Philosophy 1000, Sociology 1100, and Psychology 1100 were linked to the
freshmen clusters. During spring 1999, the GE Subcommittee examined enrollment
patterns and found that the critical thinking classes were under-enrolled by freshmen. Two
factors may have been operating: many students were continuing remedial composition
courses so had no room in their schedules for a critical thinking course. The second reason
is related: it became clear that students really needed to be able to write at the college level
to succeed in their critical thinking courses (the skills are directly related). Advisors began
to encourage freshmen with remedial requirements to wait to take critical thinking until
they completed their GE composition requirement. Students who enter with college-level
skills continue to be advised to take critical thinking in the first year.




                                              15
       Assessment Measures

The original plan for assessing critical thinking was to use the College Assessment of
Academic Proficiency in Critical Thinking, given at the start of the critical thinking class,
to generate baseline data until a CSUH designed assessment could be created. Since
critical thinking is no longer linked in the clusters, baseline data comes from the critical
thinking portion of the Academic Profile and the student surveys gather perceptions of
improvement.

       Baseline data

CSUH students look just like their national comparison group of entering freshmen
according to Academic Profile data on those skills.

                                    Academic Profile
             1998-99    1999-00     2000-01 2001-02         National      95% Confidence
                                                                             Interval
Critical       110         109       109.6         109.4      110.9          106-112
Thinking

       Assessment data

Fewer students complete the critical thinking requirement in their first year than complete
any of the other basic skills requirements. This seems to be due to the need to develop
other competencies before taking a critical thinking course. The completion rate for the
critical thinking is in the following table.


                 Completion of GE Critical Thinking in First Year
                       1998-99        1999-00         2000-01                 2001-02
% who satisfied           45             39              37                     38
the requirement
% enrolled who
passed the course         93             96              94                      93


The decline in the number of students completing the GE critical thinking requirement is
likely due to the course being a separate, rather than linked GE requirement.

While we have no direct measure of student development in their critical thinking skills,
the students report, on the College Student Experiences Questionnaire and the College
Outcome Survey, that they have improved their abilities to think critically. The gains
CSUH students report are similar to those reported by the national comparison group.




                                              16
                  Student Perceptions of Critical Thinking Improvement
                                     1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02*                 Nat’l
Ability to think analytically and       56         60         61        n/a            58
logically
Ability to put ideas together and
see relationships, similarities, and
differences between ideas               55         63         60        n/a             60
                       University emphasis on critical thinking skills
CSUH emphasis on developing
critical, evaluative, and analytical   4.94       5.07       5.11      n/a            4.94
skills (mean score on 1-7 scale)

*Data from spring 2002 student surveys should be available by year’s end.

We currently have no assessment measure for upper-division GE courses that require
assignments emphasizing critical thinking skills. With approval of upper-division critical
thinking outcomes from Academic Senate, assessment measures may be developed
separately from or in concert with assessment of learning in the majors.


                  Quantitative Reasoning (GE requirement B4)
Not linked to freshmen or sophomore clusters. During the development of the 1998-2002
GE program, the GE Subcommittee debated the best way to teach quantitative reasoning.
Some advocated linking Statistics 1000 to the Science and Social Science clusters while
others argued that the different requirements for mathematics and statistics in the majors,
and the very large number of entering freshmen who needed remedial work in math made
the prospect of linking any quantitative reasoning course to the clusters problematic at best.
That view held and the course remains a separate part of GE and not part of the learning
community experience.

       Assessment Measures

All students entering a California State University are required to take Entry Level Math
(ELM) or SAT to measure their abilities to reason quantitatively. These measures provide
baseline data for freshmen. Because of the wide range of courses students take to satisfy
the GE requirement, MATH 1100, the Nature of Math, MATH 1130, College Algebra,
Statistics 1000 or 1001, MATH 1180, Math for Business, and others, assessing students’
quantitative reasoning skills at the end of year one poses significant problems. For now,
we rely on completion of the GE requirement as our post-measure of student competence.




                                             17
       Baseline Data

Most of our freshmen take the Scholastic Aptitude Test. A score of 550 or higher exempts
students from taking the Entering Level Math Test. The data on entering freshmen (EFR)
quantitative reasoning skills, as measured by the tests, are displayed below.


                                    Mathematics Placement

                    70


                    60


                    50
       Percentage




                    40                                                            1998
                                                                                  1999
                    30                                                            2000


                    20


                    10


                    0
                           Exempt            College Ready       Remediation
                                                                   Needed



CSUH freshmen look just like those at other public urban universities that constitute our
national comparison group with no significant difference in how our entering freshmen
score on measures of their ability to use mathematical data, despite the number who need
developmental mathematics. (See Appendix B for a list of the comparison campuses.)

                                          Academic Profile
       1998-99           1999-00    2000-01 2001-02 National          95% Confidence
                                                                         Interval
                115       114        113.8      113.8        113.9       107-121

Although we have no direct measures of how much students improve their quantitative
reasoning skills, the majority of freshman complete the GE quantitative reasoning
requirement in their first year.

             Completion of GE Quantitative Reasoning in First Year
                       1998-99       1999-00        2000-01        2001-02
% who satisfied          42             53              59           58
the requirement
% enrolled who
passed the course        92             92              90           90


                                                  18
Students report gains similar to their national counterparts in their abilities to reason using
mathematical concepts and methods on the College Student Experiences Survey (given at
end of first year) and on the College Outcome Survey (given at end of the second year).


    Student Experiences and Perceptions of Gains in Quantitative Reasoning
                                           98-    99-  00-     01-    National
                                           99     00    01     02*
 QUANTITATIVE REASONING
 Very often or often memorized formulas,                     66       63       68     n/a            61
 definitions, technical terms and concepts
 Used mathematical terms very often or often to              52       53       52     n/a            46
 express a set of relationships
 Thought they had made very much or quite a bit              45       53       45     n/a            44
 of progress in analyzing quantitative problems

 *Data from spring 2002 student surveys should be available by year’s end.

There is no general education requirement for advanced quantitative reasoning
competency. Individual majors often require additional work and assessment of learning at
a more advanced level should occur as a part of assessment of learning in the majors.



                      Information Literacy (GE requirement G4)

Linked to all freshman learning communities. Instruction in information literacy became a
GE requirement with the 1998-2002 GE program. For many entering freshmen the library
is not their first source of information; students turn more to the internet for their research.
Learning how to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively is vital in a world of
information overload and a multitude of information sources. A new course, designed by
librarians for the clusters, is CSUH’s response to the need.12 CSUH’s decision to explicitly
teach information competency anticipated a CSU system move to make information
competency a required component of undergraduate education. CSUH librarians also work
with interested cluster faculty to design library research assignments that require practice of
the skills necessary to be a competent user and consumer of information.


         Baseline and Assessment Data


12
   The great majority of students complete Library 1010 or Library 1515 (an unlinked version of 1010 offered
in summer quarters) to satisfy their information literacy requirement. A small number of students take
Computer Science 1020. Librarians have worked with the CS 1020 faculty so that the students receive
instruction on using the library, locating appropriate data sources, evaluating data for quality, and effective
use of information.


                                                      19
At the beginning of the Library course, students are given a pre-test, designed by the CSUH
librarians, to measure their information competencies. The test is given at the course’s end
and the percentage improvement in correct answers is a measure of learning. Those data
are reported below.


                          Fundamentals of Information Literacy
                              Pre-test           Post-test               % Improvement
1998-99                        48.4                 61.9                     13.5
1999-00                        53.8                 71.9                     18.1
2000-01                        66.1                 73.1                      6.9
2001-02                         n/a                  n/a                      7.6

The improvements in the pre-test scores of the entering freshmen are likely due to
increasing emphasis in the high schools on information literacy skills. CSUH librarians are
actively involved in helping the high school librarians and teachers in our communities
develop instructional strategies to assist students in developing competencies in locating,
evaluating, and using information.

Students report that they have made significant gains in their ability to find, evaluate, and
use information from a variety of sources. Although we have few scores from our national
comparison group against which to measure our successes in teaching information literacy,
on those two items for which we have comparisons, the CSUH library taught course, and
the librarian’s assistance in designing research assignments, makes a significant difference
in our students’ skills.


        Student Experiences and Perceptions of Gains in Information Literacy
                                              98-    99-    00-   01-     National
                                              99     00     01    02*
                               Information Literacy
 Very often or often used an index or database to    55    62      54    n/a         38
 find material on some topic
 Very often or often developed a bibliography or     44    52      44    n/a         31
 reference list for a report or term paper
 Very often or often made a judgment about the       35    43      37    n/a         n/a
 quality of information obtained from the library,
 web or another source
 Very often or often used a computer tutorial to     17    25      22    n/a         n/a
 learn material for a course or remedial program
 Very often or often participated in class           16    23      31    n/a         n/a
 discussions using an electronic medium
 Used email very often or often to communicate       51    68      71    n/a         n/a
 with an instructor or with other students
 Very often or often searched the web or internet    67    76      80    n/a         n/a
 for information related to a course




                                                20
        Student Experiences and Perceptions of Gains in Information Literacy
                                              98-    99-    00-   01-     National
                                              99     00     01    02*
 Very often or often used a computer to produce     29      40      37     n/a        n/a
 visual displays of information
 Very much or quite a bit of progress using         60      63      64     n/a        n/a
 computers and other information technologies
                Perception of university emphasis on information literacy skills
 On a scale of 1-weak and 7-strong emphasis, the   5.17    5.33    5.24    n/a        n/a
 mean score on the University’s emphasis on
 developing information literacy skills

*Data from spring 2002 student surveys should be available by year’s end.


We currently have no assessment plans for upper-division GE courses that require
assignments that support the development of advanced information competence. With
approval of upper-division information literacy outcomes from Academic Senate,
assessment measures may be developed separately from or in concert with assessment of
learning in the majors.


              Completion of GE Requirements in the Basic Skills


The table below provides a comparison of the completion rate of GE requirements in
composition, oral communication, critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning. Well over
half the students complete their oral communication and composition general education
requirements, the two communication courses linked to the freshman clusters. The number
of students completing their quantitative reasoning requirement in the first year is on a
steady rise and now includes almost 60% of the entering freshmen. The completion rate in
composition and mathematics is particularly noteworthy since more than half the freshmen
enter CSUH needing some remedial course work in these two basic skills.

Only the completion rate of the critical thinking requirement has shown a steady decline.
The 6% reduction in students completing critical thinking courses from 1998 to 1999 may
be explained by the “de-linking” of critical thinking from the clusters. It is more difficult
to explain the drop in 2000. (The decline from 1999 to 2000 was a 2% reduction and may
be normal variation. We will have a clearer picture when the 2001-2002 data are
available.)




                                              21
                      Completion of GE Skill Requirements in 1st Year

             80

             70

             60

             50
Percentage




                                                                                     1998
             40                                                                      1999
                                                                                     2000
             30

             20

             10

             0
                  Oral Comm      Composition        Critical Thinking   Quantative
                                                                        Reasoning




                              Summary of Basic Skills Data

             On every basic academic skill that is a part of the General
             Education requirements, oral and written communication, critical
             thinking, quantitative reasoning, and information literacy, the
             data clearly document improvement of student competencies.
             Not only do the assessments measure improvement, but the
             students know they have improved and are able to articulate the
             ways in which their skills have developed. CSUH students’ self-
             reports generally show more opportunities to learn and greater
             growth in their academic skill competencies than the self-reports
             of our national comparison groups. Two of the five learning
             outcomes for the 1998-2002 GE program focus on the
             improvement of our students’ basic academic skills; the data
             demonstrate the educational effectiveness of the cluster program.




                                               22
          Learning in Science, Humanities, and Social Science:
                                Clusters
Overview
Fundamental to general education is instruction to achieve literacy in the natural sciences,
humanities, and social sciences. The California State University system requires that
students be provided a broad foundation in those discipline areas as lower- division
students; the upper-division requirements add a richness that comes from more advanced
coursework. Cal State Hayward’s lower-division GE program places the discipline areas at
the center of the clusters. The faculty in the disciplines identified appropriate themes for
general education and organized three courses to provide the breadth required of a solid
foundation. The cluster structure is intended to provide faculty and students with an
integrated teaching and learning experience where disciplinary perspectives on the theme
are compared and contrasted by the faculty and students, where collaboration among the
faculty may provide interdisciplinary instruction to deepen students’ learning, and where
teaching writing, speaking, and information literacy in the context of the disciplines would
demonstrate the ways those skills support learning and are central to all disciplines.

Assessing the degree to which the cluster structure deepens CSUH students’ learning in the
disciplines requires that we have learning outcomes in the discipline areas. Unfortunately,
as we begin the fifth year of the program, we still have no learning outcomes in humanities
or social science for learning at either the lower- or upper-division and the lower-division
science outcomes (there is no upper-division science general education required at CSUH)
have yet to go before the Academic Senate13.

      Without learning outcomes, the assessment of the success of the program can only
      be indirect. The GE Subcommittee members remain hopeful that the University
      faculty will engage a serious debate about just what kind of learning we want
      from a general education in the discipline areas and that we will be able to design
      assessments that tell us how well our students are learning what we think they
      should learn in general education instruction. The data we do have suggests that
      CSUH students are completing their general education requirements in a timely
      manner while they are lower-division students, a claim that could not be made
      before 1998. The students report that they have gained knowledge and
      appreciation of the skills and approaches of the sciences and humanities.14

We currently have no measures of the educational effectiveness of our upper-division
general education courses. Development or selection of assessment measures for complex
knowledge expected of upper division courses awaits approval of learning outcomes


13
   The GE Subcommittee hoped to forward all lower-division discipline learning outcomes to Senate as a
single package. Faculty could then determine how solid an academic foundation was being planned.
14
   We are curiously without data on perceptions of gain in the social sciences. I believe the data are simply
misfiled somewhere and will be provided as soon as they are located.


                                                      23
appropriate to expectations of junior and senior level competencies by the Academic
Senate.
                             Natural Sciences (GE Area B)
CSUH requires all students complete one course in the physical sciences, one in the life
sciences, and one elective in the sciences. One of the three science courses must include a
laboratory. Five freshmen science clusters are offered: three are designed specifically for
students planning a major in the sciences. The other two are designed for non-science
majors. Nine second-year science clusters are offered. Three are the same as offered
freshman science majors, six are for non-science majors. (See Appendix A for complete
list of themes and linked courses.)

       Baseline data

The Academic Profile data demonstrate that the Cal State Hayward students are like their
national comparison group in their knowledge of science when they enter the university.


                                     Academic Profile
       1998-99     1999-00     2000-01 2001-02 National              95% Confidence
                                                                        Interval
          115          114      114.5       114.7        116            109-119


       Assessment Data

As noted above, we have no direct measure of students’ learning in the sciences. When
learning outcomes are approved, we can begin to design assessment measures that give us a
better picture of how well instruction in the natural sciences supports the kind of learning
we expect from general education.

Entering freshmen typically select a humanities or social science cluster in their first year
and complete their science general education in their second year. The natural sciences
completion rate for first year students is reported in the chart below.


           Percent of Students Who Completed Science GE Requirements in
                                     First Year
            1998-99          1999-00          2000-01         2001-02
              19               13               15              14



Although we lack direct measures of student learning in the natural sciences, we do have
student self-reports from the College Student Experiences Survey, given at the end of year
one, and the College Outcome Survey, given at the end of year two, to gauge the gains


                                              24
students perceive they have made in science literacy. Those data are reported in the table
below.

                      Experiences and Perceived Gains in Science
                               1998-99 1999-2000        2000-2001            National
Very often or often explained
scientific ideas to others        39              41           44               35
Very often or often read
articles about science not        20              27           23               19
assigned in class
Very often or often completed     28              25           25               25
project with scientific methods
Very often or often compared
scientific method with other      18              20           22              n/a
methods for gaining
knowledge & understanding
Gained very much or much in
understanding the nature of       34              40           32               36
science & experimentation
Gained very much or quite a
bit in their understanding of     37              41           36               31
new developments in science
and technology
Thought they made substantial
gains in becoming aware of
the consequences of new           36              46           38               30
applications of science and
technology
 *Data from spring 2002 student surveys should be available by year’s end.

These data indicate that our students are on par with their national counterparts on most
aspects of becoming literate in the sciences. CSUH students report that they more often
explain scientific ideas to others than their national comparison group. The assignments in
the linked composition, speech, general studies, and library class require that kind of
discussion. Most of the cluster science courses are large lecture environments where
discussion about class ideas among students is difficult. One reason for the notably higher
score on their awareness of the consequences of new applications of science and
technology may be the result of living in a region where the issues related to scientific and
technological advances are the stuff of news reports and general discussion.

Upper-division science: Science is not a required area at Cal State Hayward in the upper-
division GE. There are several science courses approved for the Capstone requirement (GE
Area E). The absence of required science in the upper-division is a long-standing aspect of
CSUH’s upper-division requirements. The GE Subcommittee, therefore, did not ask the
School of Science to draft upper-division learning outcomes in the natural sciences.




                                             25
                               Humanities (GE Area C)
Humanities requirements in general education require students to take at least one course in
the fine arts and one course in letters. The third required course can be either a fine arts or
letters course. There are four freshman and six second-year clusters. One of the clusters,
Language, Culture, and Literature, in which students study a language for three quarters, is
offered to both freshmen and sophomores.

       Baseline data

The Academic Profile provides the picture of students’ abilities in the humanities as they
enter the university. As with the other measures provided by the Academic Profile, CSUH
students enter with the same ability to read and respond to ideas from the humanities as the
comparison group of students.

                                     Academic Profile
       1998-99     1999-00     2000-01 2001-02 National              95% Confidence
                                                                        Interval
          113          113      112.7       113.1       114.5           108-118


       Assessment data

Like assessing learning in science, we have no direct measures of learning in the
humanities. Without approved learning outcomes, we have no way of designing specific
measures of student learning. Until that deficit is remedied, we must rely on student
completion rates of their requirements and their self-reports of experiences and gains to
judge how well we provide instruction in the humanities.


         Percent of Students Who Completed Humanities GE Requirements in
                                     First Year
            1998-99          1999-00          2000-01        2001-02
              29               34               30              35


Student self-reports from the College Student Experiences Survey, given at the end of year
one, and the College Outcome Survey, given at the end of year two, provide a rough gauge
the gains students perceive they have made in the humanities. Those data are reported in
the table below.




                                              26
                      Experiences and Perceived Gains in the Humanities
                                    1998-99     1999-00        2000-01          National
Made very much or quite a bit of
progress in developing an
understanding of art, music,              32           43           36            27
drama
Broadened their acquaintance
with and enjoyment of literature
either very much or quite a bit           31           41           36            31
Gained substantially in seeing the
importance of history for
understanding the present as well         49           44           46            41
as the past

The self-report data show CSUH students grow in their knowledge and appreciation of
aspects of the humanities at a similar level to their national comparison group. The one
aspect on which our students report noticeably greater gains is in their understanding of art,
music and drama. It would be interesting to know why that is the case (beyond the
obviously superior teaching offered at CSUH). It may be that fewer public universities
nationally have general education requirements in the fine arts.

         Upper-division Humanities

Since we have no learning outcomes identified for upper-division humanities courses, we
have no measure, direct or indirect, of learning in those courses. When learning outcomes
are approved, measures of learning in the humanities will be designed either separately
from or in conjunction with assessment of learning in the majors.


                                     Social Sciences (GE Area D)
CSUH students are required to take three lower-division courses from three different social
science disciplines. The particular departments or approaches to social science research are
not stipulated in the requirements. Three social science clusters are offered for first-year
students; eight are available for second-year students.

         Baseline Data

As with all other measures provided by the Academic Profile, CSUH students score as their
national comparison cohort do as they enter the university. Those data are displayed in the
table below.

                                            Academic Profile
         1998-99      1999-00         2000-01 2001-02 National           95% Confidence
                                                                            Interval
           113           112           112     112.4        113.4           106-118



                                                 27
       Assessment Data

As with the other discipline areas, we have no direct measures of learning in the social
sciences because we have no learning outcomes around which to design measures. The
percentage of students who finish their lower-division social science general education
requirements in their first year is reported below.


        Percent of Students Who Completed Social Science GE Requirements
                                    in First Year
           1998-99          1999-00            2000-01        2001-02
             29               34                  30            32


Inexplicably, we have no self-report data available for learning in the Social Sciences.
When those data surface, they will be reported.

       Upper division Social Sciences

Since we have no learning outcomes identified for upper-division social science courses,
we have no measure, direct or indirect, of learning in those courses. When learning
outcomes are approved, measures of learning in the social sciences will be designed, either
separately from or in conjunction with assessment of learning in the majors.


           Completion of GE Requirements in the Discipline Areas

As the data summarized on the chart below indicate, the majority of freshmen complete one
discipline area of general education in their first year. Most students are on their way to
completing their foundational learning while lower-division students so that they enter their
major with knowledge and skill competencies upon which the major can build.




                                             28
                              Completed One GE Area in 1st Year

             80

             70

             60

             50
Percentage




                                                                                 1998
             40                                                                  1999
                                                                                 2000
             30

             20

             10

             0
                    Science        Humanities    Social Science     Total




                       Summary of Learning in the Discipline Areas

              The vast majority of freshman students complete one discipline
              area of general education in their first year. Our information on the
              quality of the students’ learning in the natural sciences, humanities,
              and social sciences is limited. Until the CSUH faculty decide upon
              what learning we want and expect from lower-division and upper-
              division general education, we cannot design measures that would
              give us direct and clear data about CSUH students’ learning in
              general education discipline areas. It is imperative that we
              overcome whatever disciplinary, political, and/or attitudinal
              barriers there are to the articulation of expectations for learning in
              all general education areas at CSUH. Until that occurs, we cannot
              know if we are able to achieve our mission of providing
              educational excellence for a diverse society.




                                                29
   Building Community, Increasing Student Academic Success,
            Supporting Lifelong Learning Skills, and
                Improving Retention: Clusters

       Overview
When the Academic Senate approved the 1998-2002 General Education Program, it
endorsed the goals of improving lower-division students academic success, increasing
retention, providing the skills and attitudes required for a life of learning, and helping our
freshman and sophomore students get connected to each other, the faculty, and the
university. The learning community design promised a structure in which those goals
might be achieved. Learning communities, by creating cohorts of students taking
intentionally linked classes together, construct an environment in which students have to
work very hard to not connect with one another. Students who feel connected to peers and
the university community may be more likely to stay in school and perform better in
classes. The longer students are in school, the more likely they are to enhance their
appreciation for and ability to live a life of learning. This web of connected outcomes is
beginning to develop at CSUH.

     The data reported below show that students are feeling connected to their peers
     and the faculty. Their grades are gradually improving and retention is gradually
     increasing. The students report that they perceive themselves to be better able
     to take responsibility for their learning and to have gained skills that will
     support their learning throughout their lives. The rate at which students return
     to CSUH after their freshman year has also shown a steady increase overall.
     The gains, though less dramatic than those seen in the skill areas, suggest that
     the lower-division learning communities are having a positive impact on
     students who enroll at Cal State Hayward as freshmen.


       Building Community
The lower-division general education clusters are designed to build community among
students and connect them with the faculty. Prior to the development of the clusters the
freshmen who comprise about six percent of the CSUH students, were distributed across
courses in which most of the students were significantly older than they. (The average age
of CSUH freshmen is 18.) While young college students may benefit from the modeling
provided by older students, too often they are simply silenced and uninvolved. The
learning communities are a vehicle for connecting with peers.

       Baseline

There is no data collected about “feeling a part of a community” before or as the students
enter CSUH.



                                              30
       Assessment data

The data displayed below are self-reports of feeling connected or of belonging to a
community. They suggest that the cluster program has been successful in supporting
connections among students and between students and faculty. CSUH students report
higher levels of connection to peers and faculty than their national comparison group.



                                                                       Mean Rating of Relationships

                                                            7
          Competitive, Alienated to Friendly & Supportive




                                                            6


                                                            5

                                                            4                                                     1998
                                                                                                                  1999
                                                            3                                                     2000

                                                            2


                                                            1

                                                            0
                                                                CSUH        National        CSUH       National

                                                                  With Students               With Faculty




The data reported in the chart above and in the table below are collected during spring
quarter of first and second year. CSUH students report that they recognize the connections
they have formed with their peers and with the faculty and that they engage in behaviors
that support building and maintaining community connections at levels above the reports
provided by students in the national cohort. Their experiences and perceptions are
summarized in the table below.




                                                                                       31
     Student Experiences and Perceptions of Connections to Peers and Faculty
                                                  98- 99- 00-    01-    National
                                                  99  00  01    02*
CREATING COMMUNITIES
Agreed or strongly that their courses helped them 76  73  69     n/a      n/a
to feel connected to other students
Percent of students who reported they never         7     5       6      n/a         5
talked with their instructor about information
related to the course they were taking
Percent of students who reported they never         21    16     18      n/a        n/a
discussed their academic program or course
selection with a faculty member
Percent of students who reported they never         20    14     15      n/a        45
discussed ideas for a term paper or other class
project with a faculty member
Percent of students who reported they never         59    56     62      n/a        82
socialized with a faculty member outside of class
Percent of students who reported they never         46    42     45      n/a        n/a
participated with other students in a discussion
with a faculty member outside of class
Percent of students who reported they never         33    27     32      n/a        28
asked their instructor for comments and
criticisms about their academic performance
*Data from spring 2002 student surveys should be available by year’s end.

It is clear that the lower-division component of the General Education program has been
successful in supporting our students’ connections to the campus and the campus
community. When students feel connected to one another and their faculty, they are more
likely to attend classes, perform better in their classes, and continue their education.


       Increasing Students’ Academic Success
CSUH freshmen are not as well prepared for university studies as we would like them to
be. Faculty complaints about freshman competencies in writing, thinking, reasoning, and
math were a primary motivator for designing a cluster program where academic skills were
taught in the context of instruction in the disciplines. One reason to adopt a program that
requires students to enroll in their lower-division general education courses while they are
lower-division students is to provide solid grounding in the very skills they lack. The data
in Chapter Two demonstrate the 1998-2002 GE program has been successful in helping
freshmen improve their skills. We should, therefore, see an increase in academic success.
As the data below demonstrate, we can mark a steady albeit small increase in freshman
grade averages over the life of the program.




                                               32
           Baseline

The baseline chosen for this measure of program success is the average distribution of
grades for the last class of freshmen before the cluster program.

           Assessment data

The table below provides a comparison of the freshman grade point averages for freshmen
who entered CSUH in Fall 1997 to Fall 2000.


                         GPAs for All First Year Students15
 Grade ranges    EFR GPAs Fall EFR GPAs Fall EFR GPAs Fall EFR GPAs Fall
                   1997-Spring       1998-Spring        1999-Spring         2000-Spring
                      1998              1999                2000               2001
Below 2.0             20.7               22.7               19.2               18.8
2.0-2.99              44.8               44.3               40.5               40.1
3.0-3.99              33.9               32.6               40.1               40.2
4.0                     .7                .4                 .3                 .9
   Data from 2001-2002 surveys will be available before the end of the fall 2002 quarter.


Two things are noticeable from the table. First is the drop in student academic
performance from the 1997 class to the 1998 class. Given the improvements of the
subsequent years, two explanations immediately suggest themselves. First, the 1998
freshman class came to CSUH with no prior knowledge of the cluster program. Second,
1998 was also the first year CSU enforced remedial requirements for entering freshmen..
The combination of required remedial classes and required participation in clusters made
for some unhappy students. Whether such variations are normal or due to the reasons
offered above cannot be fully discerned without more years of tracking freshman student
grades.

The second item of note is the decline in the number of students in danger of academic
probation (those below a 2.0). Thematically integrated courses should lead to better
learning, hence better grades. The trend documented above suggests that may be
happening.

The chart below summarizes the data above focusing on the grade point average for
freshmen who enrolled at CSUH for at least two quarters during their first year. (Students
enrolled for only one quarter are not included in the data below.)




15
     These data include all students who enrolled in the fall and completed at least one quarter.


                                                         33
                       GPA for Frosh Continuing at Least 2 Quarters of 1st Year

                 100

                  90                                                  84
                                                        83
                                       79
                  80

                  70

                  60
    Percentage




                                                                                              1998
                  50                                                                          1999
                                                                                              2000
                  40

                  30

                  20

                  10

                   0
                                                   2.0 or better

                 Data from 2001-2002 will be available before the end of the fall 2002 quarter.

As these data demonstrate, to the extent that grade point averages are measures of student
learning, CSUH freshmen are learning more each year of the program. Even if grade point
averages are only an indication of successfully meeting requirements and not a measure of
learning, our students are better at achieving academic goals each year of the cluster
program.

                 Lifelong Learning
A university education is for life. All of us hope that what CSUH students learn while
enrolled here serves them well in their lives outside the university. We aim to help students
develop the attitudes and competencies to learn what they need to learn to be active citizens
in their communities, members of healthy families, and creators of successful careers.

                 Assessment Data

We have no direct measure of how well we help students achieve the competencies to be
lifelong learners. As with a number of other goals of general education, the primary data
available are self-reports. The first cohort of cluster students is beginning to graduate from
CSUH. In the future, it would do us well to survey the alumni of the cluster program to
gather data about how well their CSUH education prepared them for life outside the
university. The self-report data that assess how well cluster courses supported
development of the skills for lifelong learning is reported below.


                                                       34
                                                        Course Evaluations: Lifelong Learning
                                                                      Nat Sci                    Soc Sci                  Human            Comp    Speech
                                                                Frosh        Soph         Frosh         Soph       Frosh        Soph
Agreed or strongly agreed that this                               82            86           86              84      83             83      90       88
course encouraged me to take
responsibility for my own learning.                                     84                         85                      83
Agreed or strongly agreed that I can                              61            64           69              72      57             71      79       87
apply what I learned to non-
academic projects or activities (e.g.                                   63                         71                      64
job or personal interests).
     Data from spring 2002 surveys will be available before the end of the fall 2002 quarter.

  Students recognize that they have gained skills needed to keep them actively learning after
  they have completed their baccalaureate education.


                                                  Gains Related to Life-long Learning

                                       4




                                       3
            Very Little to Very Much




                                                                                                                                            1998
                                       2                                                                                                    1999
                                                                                                                                            2000


                                       1




                                       0
                                                   National




                                                                          National




                                                                                                        National




                                                                                                                                National
                                           CSUH




                                                               CSUH




                                                                                          CSUH




                                                                                                                   CSUH




                                           Developing         Understanding   Learning on                          Learning to
                                           Own Values         oneself, one's    one's own,                          adapt to
                                           and Ethical           abilities,  pursuing ideas                          change
                                           Standards           interests, &      & finding
                                                               personality     information

  *Data from student end-of-year surveys have been lost.



                                                                                     35
Where national comparison data are available, CSUH students report gains at the end of
their first and second years that are greater than those gains reported by their compatriots at
other public universities to which we compare ourselves.

        Enrollment
        Baseline and Assessment Data

One goal of freshman and sophomore learning communities is to improve the enrollment of
freshmen at Cal Stat Hayward. As the data below demonstrate, since a drop in regularly
admitted students in Fall 1999, we have had the highest number of regularly admitted
students enrolled at CSUH in the past nine years. (Fall 2002 data will be available after
census date in late October.)

                 Fall 1996     Fall 1997    Fall 1998     Fall 1999     Fall 2000    Fall 2001
Regular Admit       488           531          592           555           612          622
Special Admit       219           222          178           182            98           94
Total               707           753          770           737           710          716

Total enrollment, however, continues to be below 1998 enrollment. This can be explained
by the marked reduction in the number of special and exception admits in the freshman
class in Fall 2000 and 2001. Were the number of special and exception admits the average
number over the four earlier years, the enrollment for Fall 2000 would be 812 and the
enrollment for Fall 2001 would be 822, our highest enrollments of freshmen in the last
decade. Clearly the clusters are not driving away those students who graduate from high
school with credentials for direct admission to CSUH.

        Retention
If we build communities, improve student academic success, and help students develop the
attitudes and competencies to learn through life, surely they will continue their education at
CSUH. Each university hopes to increase the rate at which students return to campus each
year until they graduate. A well-educated citizenry is the goal of higher education and is
our best protection and our best strategy for improving the lives of those with whom we
share the planet. Not to be overlooked is the benefit the university has with students who
enroll as freshmen and stay at CSUH until graduation.

        Baseline and Assessment data

Data against which to compare the success or failure of the cluster program in retaining
students is the rate at which we retained students in the years before 1998. If the clusters
have an impact, we should see that in the rate of first to second year persistence. The one
year retention rates for the entering classes of fall 1996 through fall 2000 are provided
below.




                                              36
                         Retention Rates from First to Second Year
                                      F 96-97    F 97-98     F98-99     F 99-00     F 00-01     F 01-02
              Regular Admits            81%        77%        78%        82%          81%         82%
    No remediation needed               79%        78%        82%        85%          76%          nya
       Remediation needed               82%        76%        77%        81%          82%          nya
 Special/Exception Admits               70%        79%        59%        72%          69%         72%
    No remediation needed               80%        88%        55%        63%          69%          nya
          Remediation needed            70%        79%         59%        73%         69%           nya
                           Total        78%        77%        74%        80%          79%         81%

These data show a general increase in the retention of regularly admitted freshmen since
1997. 1998 had the lowest one-year retention for the whole class of entering freshmen.
As the breakdown of data shows, the loss of special admit and exception admit students
was responsible for the drop in overall retention. There was a slight increase in retention of
regularly admitted students. Fall 1998 was also the year that the CSU required students to
enroll in and pass remedial courses during their first year of college. For the students who
met all college admission requirements but needed developmental classes in writing and/or
composition, retention rates have gradually increased, now matching the highest retention
rate among those students since 1996 where taking and passing remedial classes was not a
requirement for continued university study. The one year retention rates suggest the
clusters do not drive away students as some faculty, advisors and students have
suggested.16

A more significant test of retention is two year retention of students. While we have fewer
years to examine, the impact of the clusters has certainly not been to drive away students
from CSUH. Again, the reduced retention rates come from the special and exception admit
students. CSUH allows students with the most remedial needs six quarters in which to
complete their remedial courses.17 The impact of the remedial requirement is fully felt in
the second year: students unable to complete remedial courses leave CSUH to complete
remediation elsewhere. Those numbers have bounced back since the big drop in 1998-2000
despite the fact that special and exception admits constituted 25% of the 1999 freshman
class.

                                            F 96-98        F 97-99      F98-00       F 99-01    F 00-02
            Regular Admits                      69%         65%          66%           71%          nya
 Special/Exception Admits                       56%         59%          47%           53%          nya
                      Total                     65%         63%          62%           67%          nya


16
   Other factors in the economy and international relations may also be influential. We will have to continue
data collection before we can be certain of the trend to increased retention..
17
   CSUH students are given two chances to pass each required developmental course. Students requiring a
complete sequence of remediation (three courses) may take up to six quarters to complete their preparation
for baccalaureate-level work in composition and/or mathematics.


                                                      37
Bonus Outcome
When debating the goals and outcomes of a general education program, enjoyment of
college was not a goal that arose in the discussion. None the less, we find that over the
years for which we have data, CSUH students increasingly report that they are either
enthusiastic about college or like college. Equally important, fewer each year report that
they are neutral or dislike college. While more of the comparison group report enthusiasm
for college than do CSUH students, fewer CSUH students are neutral or dislike college
than the comparison group. The data are displayed below.


                                         How well do you like college?

                 60


                 50


                 40
    Percentage




                                                                                                 1998
                 30                                                                              1999
                                                                                                 2000
                 20


                 10


                 0
                      CSUH    National   CSUH   National    CSUH   National   CSUH    National

                       Enthusiastic          Like             Neutral           Don't like




                                                    Summary

                 As the data reported in this chapter make clear, we are seeing the
                 positive results of our cluster general education program. Students
                 are forming strong connections to each other, the faculty and the
                 university. They are acquiring the skills and dispositions that will
                 allow them to live a life of learning. The academic success of the
                 freshmen has grown at a modest but regular pace since the
                 inception of the clusters. We are enrolling more regularly admitted
                 students and retaining more of our freshmen and sophomores.
                                         And, they like college!


                                                       38
  Program Goals: Problem Solving, Working with Others,
Connected Learning, and Awareness of Diversity: Cluster Data
Overview and Summary
When the GE Subcommittee began to consider designs for a revised General education
Program, the committee members articulated five learning outcomes. Two of those
focused on basic academic skills. (Discussed in Chapter II.) The other three ask the faculty
teaching general education courses to develop activities and assignments that support
students’ development of their problem-solving abilities, to assist students in recognition of
the complexity and interconnectedness of knowledge, and to increase their awareness of the
issues of cultural, racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. This chapter will describe the means
by which those learning outcomes have been measured and the results of those
assessments.

The data presented show a complex picture of the degree to which the learning community
courses support student’s general abilities. There is reason to be concerned that the
program is not as successful in helping our students learn and practice problem-solving
processes as in other skills. The students do report higher gains in their abilities to work
with others in groups but gain no more skill in integrating knowledge or seeing connections
between and among ideas than their national counterparts. CSUH students report a
growing awareness of issues of human diversity.

       Problem solving in the context of working with others
The working experiences of most students will be working with others in groups. One
1998-2002 General Education program goal was to help students develop the skills to work
effectively in groups. Learning community faculty, during the summer seminars, were
encouraged to develop class activities and assignments that would support development of
problem solving processes and students’ ability to work with others.

       Assessment Measures

Assessment of the degree of support given to learning the skills needed to work through
problems with others is based on self-report data. Students are asked on the College
Student Experiences Questionnaire and the College Outcome Survey and in every course
evaluation they complete for individual classes about the degree to which they felt the
course and the cluster(s) supported their development of processes for solving problems.

       Baseline data

Neither the Entering Student Survey nor the Academic Profile measured students’ problem
solving skills or their ability to work with others in groups.




                                             39
          Assessment Data

  Student responses to the College Student Experiences Survey (year one) and the College
  Outcome Survey (year two) are indirect measures of interdisciplinary instruction. They do
  reflect students’ perceptions of their growth in the skills characteristic of interdisciplinary
  thinking and learning.

      Student Experiences and Perceptions of Gains in Ability to Work with Others
                                                98-    99-     00-   01-    National
                                                99      00     01    02*
                      Ability to work well with others in groups
   Very often or often contributed to class                    56            61       61         n/a          59
   discussions
   Very often or often worked on a class assignment,           60            71       71         n/a          n/a
   project, or presentation with other students
   Asked others to read something they had written             61            61       70         n/a          55
   to see if it was clear to them
                                        Mean estimate of gain
   Gain in ability to get along with different kinds of       2.81          3.03     2.97        n/a          2.75
   people.
   Gain in ability to function as a team member               2.66          2.84     2.71        n/a          2.54

  *Data from student end-of-year surveys have been lost.

  The General Education courses, in the students’ judgment, support their development of
  their ability to work with others in groups.

  When the data are disaggregated and GE Area courses are evaluated by the students, the
  picture of which courses best support problem solving and working in groups becomes
  clearer.

                                 Course Evaluations: Problem solving
                                    Data from 1998-2001 combined
                                            Nat Sci    Soc Sci       Human                             Comp         Speech
                                            Frosh     Soph   Frosh        Soph     Frosh        Soph
10. Strongly agreed or agreed that          40        37     44           48       51           46
this course helped me become more                                                                       72           67
                                                 39                  46                    49
comfortable working in teams/groups
18. Strongly agreed or agreed that          60        51     45           49       43           39
this course helped me learn to work                                                                     69           58
                                                 56                  87                    41
through a process to solve problems.

  We should not be satisfied with the picture the assessment results provide of the way our
  general education courses help students learn to be effective group members and contribute
  to problem solving. While CSUH classes appear to better support learning to work with
  others in groups than the national comparison, we are no better than the national cohort in
  reported gains in learning ways to solve problems. If we continue to believe that one of


                                                       40
the goals of a general education should be to teach these skills, it is important that those
teaching in the clusters pay more attention to their development.

        Connected Learning
An essential characteristic of learning communities is the intentional linking of courses
from different disciplines to underscore and explore the interrelatedness of knowledge. The
problems of the world are complex and messy and require minds that are able to grasp that
complexity, understand a variety of perspectives and data, and engage others who bring
their own experiences and expertise to the discussion. The promise of the learning
community program, whether met or not, is in that we educate our students to examine
problems in their complexity and work with others for collaborative responses.

        Assessment Measures

There is no baseline data to report on integrated curriculum and learning. No survey
assesses students’ experiences with interdisciplinary instruction. The data presented below
are collected from end-of-the-first and end-of-the-second year surveys of student
perceptions.

We have no direct measure of the degree of integration among the cluster courses. The
degree to which students acquire skills to connect knowledge from various sources or use a
variety of sources in their papers is not a measure of interdisciplinary teaching. Student
reports of their own experiences and educational gains on the College Student Experiences
Survey (year one) and the College Outcome Survey (year two) reflect students’ perceptions
of their growth in the skills characteristic of interdisciplinary thinking and learning. As
these data suggest, we have not achieved the kind of integrated learning the program has
the potential to provide.

Student perceptions own abilities to integrate knowledge are summarized in the table and
chart below.

                   Student Perceptions of Curriculum Integration
                                                98-   99-    00-              01-     National
                                                99    00     01               02*
Integrated curriculum and learning
Very often or often tried to see how different facts   51      53      60    n/a         71
and ideas fit together
Very often or often applied material in a class to     45      52      54    n/a         n/a
other areas, including other courses
Very often or often worked on a paper or project       61      73      75    n/a         59
where they had to integrate ideas from various
sources

*Data from student end-of-year surveys have been lost.




                                                 41
The data suggest CSUH students complete assignments synthesizing information from
various sources more often than their national cohort. But they report less frequent efforts
to seek relationships among ideas or used class materials in other contexts.

Course evaluations of the degree of integration between the linked composition, general
studies and speech courses indicate that the majority of students recognize the connections
between their basic skill classes and the discipline classes to which those courses are
linked. Although the majority recognizes the integration, the percentage seems low for a
program is intended to support integrated, interdisciplinary learning.


                                   Are Linked Courses Well Integrated with Discipline
                                                      Courses?

                              80

                              70

                              60
          Percent Agreement




                              50
                                                                                        1998
                              40                                                        1999
                                                                                        2000
                              30

                              20

                              10

                              0
                                     General Studies   Composition      Speech



Analysis of course evaluations illuminated an important error in the evaluations’ design:
the evaluation for the courses in science, humanities, and social science did not ask
students to assess the degree to which the individual discipline course was integrated with
the other discipline courses in the cluster. The only questions were about the degree of
integration with the composition, oral communication, and general studies support courses.

The data collected, none the less, demonstrate that CSUH students are not receiving the full
benefit of “thematic integration” and interdisciplinary knowing. Anecdotally, there appears
to be a correlation between student complaints about their cluster and their perception of
integrated or interdisciplinary instruction.




                                                           42
       Awareness of issues of cultural, racial, ethnic, and gender diversity
CSUH is committed to “educational excellence for a diverse society.” General Education
is central to achieving that mission. On a majority minority campus, it is too easy to
assume because we are in each other’s presence we will learn about one another and how to
work together. Such assumptions are difficult to support and the University, in endorsing
this outcome, recognized the need to teach about diversity in its many forms.

       Assessment Measures

Assessment of the degree of support given to developing an awareness of the complex
issues related to diversity is based on self-report data. Students are asked on the College
Student Experiences Questionnaire and the College Outcome Survey and in every course
evaluation they complete about the degree to which they felt the course helped them
become aware of human differences and similarities, the experiences of others, and the
social, educational and political issues related to the diversity of humans.

       Baseline data

There is none. Neither the Entering Student Survey nor the Academic Profile measured
students’ problem solving skills or their ability to work with others in groups.

       Assessment Data

Students’ reports of their experiences with students who are different from themselves in
the clusters are presented below. The first table summarizes all student responses on the
College Student Experiences Questionnaire and the College Outcome Survey. The second
table summarizes individual course feedback by general education area.

The data below provide a national comparison of student experiences. It is gratifying that
our students are far more active in making connections with those who differ from them
than their cohort around the nation. Given a majority minority campus population, these
data are not surprising. The data also show that we need to provide more opportunities for
students to move beyond acquaintance to serious engagement each other on issues that
arise from our diversity. There are no questions on the surveys that would help us discover
the extent to which CSUH general education courses provide students with opportunities to
learn about the social and political and cultural issues that emerge in a diverse society.




                                             43
   Student Experiences and Perceptions of Gains in Awareness of Diversity Issues
                                       98-99 99-00 00-01 01-02            National
Very often or often became acquainted with     59      63     66       n/a         42
students whose interests were different from
theirs
Very often or often became acquainted with     66      74     74       n/a         49
students whose family background was
different from theirs
Very often or often became acquainted with     75      78     80       n/a         54
students whose race or ethnic background
was different from theirs
Very often or often became acquainted with     54      58     60       n/a         37
students from another country
Very often or often had serious discussions    41      47     49       n/a         35
with students whose philosophy of life or
personal values were different from theirs
Very often or often had serious discussions    32      39     42       n/a         33
with students whose political opinions were
different from theirs
Very often or often had serious discussions    38      46     45       n/a         32
with students whose religious beliefs were
different from theirs
Very often or often had serious discussions    46      53     52       n/a        n/a
with students whose race or ethnic
background was different from theirs
Very often or often had serious discussions    36      38     43       n/a         26
with students from a country different from
theirs
                                    Mean estimate of gains
On a scale of 1-weak and 7-strong              4.96   5.25    5.25     n/a        n/a
emphasis, the mean CSUH score on the
emphasizing the development of an
appreciation of human diversity
On a scale of 1-very little and 4-very much    2.36   2.38    2.46     n/a        2.20
emphasis, the mean gain related to knowing
about people different from one self
On a scale of 1-very little and 4-very much    2.59   2.71    2.68     n/a        2.45
emphasis, the mean gain aware of different
philosophies, cultures and ways of life
On a scale of 1-very little and 4-very much    2.81   2.97    3.03     n/a        2.75
emphasis, the mean gain related developing
ability to get along with different kinds of
people

*Data from spring 2002 student surveys should be available by year’s end.
Clearly, our students report significant experience with those who differ from them and
significant gains in their knowledge about human diversity. The table below provides a
view of how students evaluate the courses they take on the kinds of support each provides
for their learning.


                                               44
                                       Course Evaluations: Diversity
                                       Data from 1998-2002 combined
                                         Nat Sci                  Soc Sci             Human             Comp   Speech
                                         Frosh        Soph        Frosh        Soph   Frosh    Soph

Very often or often interacted with        80          80           90          88     88          86
someone from a racial or cultural                                                                        95      95
                                                 80                       89                  87
background different from my own.
Strongly agreed or agreed that this        47          49           84          78     86          80
course encouraged me to respect                                                                          81      84
                                                 48                       81                  83
cultures different from my own.
Strongly agreed or agreed that this        45          48           75          72     60          75
course was strengthened by students'                                                                     76      81
diverse socioeconomic backgrounds                47                       74                  68
cultural and

   Cal State Hayward students report significant gains in their interactions with people who
   are different from themselves and in their awareness of issues related to diversity. This is
   an important confirmation of the rich educational environment we have at Hayward. Ours
   is a majority minority campus with a significant enrollment of international students.
   Clearly our students benefit from interactions with their classmates. However, these data
   also indicate that our students have gained less than might be desired. The data do not
   indicate that CSUH students have been asked to critically engage in the difficult issues
   arising from such a diverse population.

                                Summary of Program Goals Data

       The data suggest that CSUH students gain little more knowledge of
       and ability to use problem-solving strategies than their national
       counterparts. The data reported by our students indicate that while we
       have adopted a general education structure that is designed to provide
       integrated and connected knowledge for our students, CSUH students
       try to see connections among ideas less often than those in non-
       learning community general education programs. Encouragingly,
       they also report using ideas from varieties of sources in their projects
       and papers more often than the national comparison group. CSUH
       students report much greater experience with those who differ from
       themselves and a greater awareness of issues related to living in a
       diverse society. None the less, they are not engaging in serious
       discussions about those issues at the same high levels they report for
       other diversity measures.
            There is room for improvement in achieving our program goals.




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