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National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

ACCJC DQPP Miniwebinars

Community Colleges in the Western Region Complete Projects Using the DQP

This section provides links to 15 mini webinars from the Degree Qualifications Profile Project (DQPP) of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), with project support by Lumina Foundation.  Participating colleges completed projects during the 2013-2014 academic year to examine one or more aspects of their degree-level learning outcomes practice using the DQP framework. For more information about the DQPP, contact Krista Johns at kjohns@accjc.org, or 415-506-0234.


Cerritos College examined how its career-technical programs and degree-transfer programs aligned with the DQP outcomes, using the Cosmetology and Political Science programs. The alignment efforts were used to identify gaps in SLOs and create course-taking pathways for students.

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College of the Marshall Islands mapped its General Education courses to the DQP, and then created cross-discipline embedded assignments with campus-wide rubrics to assess the outcomes. The process also provided a means for enhancing the ethics component and for evaluating the rigor and degree-level expectations within SLOs.

Webinar recording (August)
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Copper Mountain College used a process of “Tuning to the DQP” to look at selected degrees from a competency and learning outcomes perspective, in order to enhance student transfer.  Initially focusing on communication studies and mathematics, the college is expanding into other disciplinary areas.

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Gavilan College wanted to streamline the transfer process and increase transfer rates to the state university in two areas: Digital Media and Computer Programming. Using tools within the DQP, including the spider graph, the college identified ways for the programs to describe themselves to prospective students and to refine the curriculum.

Webinar recording



Grossmont College used the DQP to look at course-level SLOs through the lens of its General Education and Institutional Learning Outcomes. The purpose was to identify relevant and high quality assessments across multiple courses. The college developed a unique model that describes a framework for essential learning which supports the DQP areas of learning. Together, these hold up the college’s mission.

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Kapi’olani Community College wanted to ensure that its new Associate Degree in Hawaiian Studies had clearly defined outcomes and competencies, and that the course progression was clear and relevant for students. A multi-disciplinary group of faculty used the DQP to evaluate and strengthen outcomes in the major and in general education with some interesting results.

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MiraCosta College faculty in the Sociology Department used the DQP to assess the learning outcomes and competencies associated with the degree. The process involved full and part time faculty, impacted courses in the degree track, and resulted in some creative ways to obtain assessment information from graduates.

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Mission College worked within selected disciplines offering both AA-T and AA or AS degrees to align outcomes and competencies for the degrees using the DQP framework. The project was designed to achieve increased degree completion through greater student understanding and coherence of degree programs within the transfer path.

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Pasadena City College’s project looked at the use of a theme—sustainability—as a cross-cutting element in their engineering programs, and for honing degree-level outcomes using the DQP. The effort involved creation of a first-year experience, project-based learning, and deep conversations about stackable certificates marking steps along the pathway to the degree.

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Riverside City College used a process of “Tuning to the DQP” to better identify the core learning and competencies that were key to particular degrees and those which were critical for RCC students earning associate degrees. The resulting Degree Specifications describe the degree programs in terms of the learning rather than the course progressions. They are being used in advising and counseling, as well as for communications with prospective students and to employers.

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Sacramento City College underwent an assessment of its existing SLOs using an “outside in” (general education outcomes to programs and courses) and “inside out” process (aligning program outcomes to institutional and degree-level outcomes) with the DQP. The resulting gap analysis informed deeper discussions around teaching and learning at the college.

Webinar recording


Saddleback College aligned its outcomes with the DQP, and then created signature assignments that would measure multiple competencies and areas of learning at or near the end of students’ programs of study.  A new signature assignment in Speech (the Carl Rogers Ted Talk), and revised capstone project in Child Development (the Student Teaching Experience), resulted in excellent assessment information for program improvement.

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Santa Rosa Junior College began its work with goal of identifying General Education outcomes separate from the existing Institutional Learning Outcomes. They were motivated by an upcoming accreditation visit and a newspaper article quoting a student that “College is not worth it.” SRJC was able to place their college’s SLO work into a national context using the DQP, and to articulate for students, college constituents, and the public, the value of their degrees. 

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Shasta College’s project was led by faculty from the communications and math departments, and the college’s director of research, with support from the academic affairs office. The effort began by examining outcomes common across the University Studies degrees at the college, and the needs of both transfer students and students stepping out of higher education after completing the University Studies degree. The project resulted in strategies for faculty to articulate the purpose and value of their degrees to students and the public, and created tools to communicate the value of liberal education (general education) to all students.

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West Hills College Coalinga wanted to ensure that its degree-level SLOs were valuable and representative of intentional learning. Using the DQP competencies, they created a coherent learning plan of courses for students pursuing career-technical degrees, piloting it for the administration of justice and the agriculture science technology degrees.

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Degree Qualification Profile Project

The mission of the Degree Qualifications Profile Project (DQPP) is to enhance educational quality, increase institutional effectiveness and promote continuous quality improvement in higher education. The initial stage of this project involves two initiatives: 1) Tuning Clusters; and 2) Associates Degree Cohorts.

The Tuning Clusters Cohort emphasizes the goals of assuring quality and comparability of programs in regard to core competencies and learning outcomes and the Associates Degree Cohort will work toward validation of multiple uses of the DQP toward increasing institutional effectiveness.

More information on the project can be found here: http://www.dqpp.org/.