General Education Success

General Education Success

Piedmont Virginia Community College identifies seven college-level general education competencies.  These are:

 

1. Communication (includes written and oral communication)

2. Critical Thinking

3. Cultural and Social Understanding

4. Information Literacy

5. Personal Development

6. Quantitative Reasoning

7. Scientific Reasoning

In addition to PVCC's general education competencies, PVCC assesses graduates academic preparation.


Academic Preparation

Goal: In the area of academic preparation, PVCC has a goal that 90% of graduates will report that PVCC contributed to their academic preparation in the areas of reasoning logically; researching a topic; solving problems; speaking effectively; using computers; using mathematics; and writing effectively.

Results:

 

Conclusion: Overall, graduates report that PVCC contributed to their academic preparation.   On average since 2006, students reported PVCC aided them in reasoning logically (89%),  researching a topic (88%), solving problems (91%) , speaking effectively (86%), using computers (83%), using math (85%), and writing effectively (90%).

 


Writing Success

To assess writing communication, the VCCS used a customized version of the postsecondary education readiness test for writing created by McCann and Associates.  This assessment is a computer adaptive test which measures a student’s level of preparedness for college level writing.  The assessment allows for the determination of students’ strengths and weaknesses across five domains: focus and meaning; content and development; organization; language use and style; and mechanics and convention. This test also provides a holistic score.  The maximum score on all portions of the assessment is a 6.

Goal: PVCC's goal is for graduates to have holistic score of 4 on the writing communication assessment.

Threshold of Acceptability: PVCC's graduates will have holistic score of a 3.5 on the writing communication assessment.

Results:

Conclusion:  In 2015-2016 PVCC students scored an average holistic score of 5.2 out of a maximum 6.

 

PVCC Quality Enhancement Plan 2010-2014

Goal: PVCC's Quality Enhancement Plan was "Write Here! Write Now!".  The plan concluded in 2014.  PVCC's goal was to improve student writing in the domains of focus, content, organization, style, and conventions.

Results: The table below depicts the results for the results of the QEP.

PVCC Improves Writing!

Conclusion: Since 2010, PVCC has improved in writing.   Student's organization in writing has improved by 18%, conventions with writing has improved by 8%, writing style has improved 6%, and student focus has improved by 2%.
 


Information Literacy

PVCC uses the information literacy test (ILT) to assess student achievement in the area of information literacy.  The ILT defines multiple standards to rate student success.  The standards are defined as follows:

Standard 1: Determine the nature and extent of the information needed;

Standard 2: assess needed information effectively and efficiently;

Standard 3: evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system;

Standard 5: understand many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and access and use information ethically and legally.

Goal:  Informational literacy is assessed every two years.  PVCC set a goal of scoring an average of 70% across all standards for the ILT.

Threshold of Acceptability: PVCC's threshold of acceptability is an average of a 65% across all standards for the ILT.

Results:

In 2017-18, PVCC began use of Project SAILS to assess information literacy.  The results  from the Spring 2018 assessment along with data comparing PVCC to all Associate degree students, US Institutions, and all institutions are shown below.  This is the initial assessment and is the benchmark assessment.

Spring 2018        
  PVCC Associates US Institutions All Institutions
Overall 61.40% 52.50% 53.00% 53.00%
MAJORS        
Business, Accounting, and Management 60.60% 55.40% 53.00% 53.00%
Education 67.10% 55.00% 54.70% 54.70%
Engineering/Computer Science/Info Sys 61.60% 54.50% 55.80% 55.80%
General Studies 59.50% 58.60% 56.50% 56.50%
Health Sciences 62.20% 55.70% 52.80% 52.80%
Liberal Arts 67.50% 63.30% 61.30% 61.30%
Police Science * * 46.10% 46.10%
Art, Music, Theatre-Fine Arts 64.10% 59.20% 56.70% 56.70%
Science 62.20% 56.40% 56.10% 56.10%
Culinary Arts 55.80% 43.90% 52.40% 52.40%
Other 61.00% 52.20% 50.30% 50.30%

*Data is not shown for majors with less than 5 students completing the assessment.

Conclusion: Since 2011, PVCC students exceeded the goal of 70% for Standards 1, 3, and 5.  However, students have not achieved 70% on standard 2.  In the 2015-2016 academic year, PVCC students on average earned a 60% in standard 2.  In 2017-18 PVCC began conducting the Project SAILS assessment.  PVCC students scored higher than all comparision groups including all associates, US Insitutions, and all institutions who conducted the same assessment.


Quantitative Reasoning and Scientific Reasoning 

In academic year 2008, the Virginia Community College System began to use the Natural World Assessment Test which assess both quantitative reasoning and scientific reasoning. In academic year 2014, Virginia Community College System made a decision to test for quantitative reasoning and scientific reasoning independently. In 2018-2019, PVCC assessed quantitative reasoning and scientific reasoning jointly.

Goal: PVCC strives for  an average of 60% on the Natural World Test, this meets the national norm for the test. 

Threshold of Acceptability: PVCC's threshold of acceptability is an average of a 55% on the Natural World Test, this meets the national norm for the test.

Results:


**Quantitative and scientific reasoning assessed independently.

Conclusion: In the past 5 years, PVCC has a quantitative reasoning average of 61% and a scientific reasoning average of 65%.


Critical Thinking

In AY 2013, the Virginia Community College System went to the Test of Everyday Reasoning (TER) from the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST).  

Goal: PVCC has a goal to score greater than 20.0 on the TER. The maximum score on the TER is 36.  The CCTST goal was to score greater than 14.0. The maximum score on the CCTST is 34.

Threshold of Acceptability: PVCC's threshold of acceptability is an average of an 18 for the TER.

Results:

Conclusion:  In 2017-18, PVCC students scored an average of 23.00 on TER.  The maximum score on TER is 36.  PVCC has exceed the testing goal in critical thinking since the 2005-2006 academic year.


Oral Communication

Goal: In the area of oral communication, PVCC has a goal of scoring 60% on the Test of Oral Communication Skills (TOCS or TOCS2)

Threshold of Acceptability: PVCC's threshold of acceptability is an average of an 55% on the Test of Oral Communication Skills (TOCS or TOCS2)

Results:

Conclusion:  PVCC students continue to exceed the 60% goal.  In the 2017-2018 academic year, PVCC students averaged a 61.4% on the TOCS.


Cultural and Social Understanding

Goal: In the area of cultural and social understanding, PVCC's goal is for 75% of students to state that PVCC helped them to work effectively with people of varying racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; effeciently communicate in various social and cultural contexts; understand the interdependence of social, economic, geo-political and cultural systems; and understand the role and impact of social institutions on development of individuals and cultures.  This data is collected in the graduate exit survey.

Threshold of Acceptability: PVCC's threshold of acceptability is for 70% of students to state that PVCC helped them to work effectively with people of varying racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; effeciently communicate in various social and cultural contexts; understand the interdependence of social, economic, geo-political and cultural systems; and understand the role and impact of social institutions on development of individuals and cultures.

Conclusions: PVCC has met the goal in all aspects of cultural and social understanding for the past 10 years.


Personal Development

Goal: In the area of personal development, PVCC's goal is for 80% of students to state that PVCC helped them to establish and maintain a personal code of ethics and values; identify their own biases and prejudices; make informed, reasonable decisions about personal wellness; and make informed, reasonable decisions about personal, academic, and career goals.  This data is collected in the graduate exit survey.

Threshold of Acceptability: PVCC's threshold of acceptability is for 75% of students to state that PVCC helped them to establish and maintain a personal code of ethics and values; identify their own biases and prejudices; make informed, reasonable decisions about personal wellness; and make informed, reasonable decisions about personal, academic, and career goals.

Conclusions: PVCC has met the goal in all aspects of personal development.