Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

The Collaborative

Oregon joined with eight other states in 2014-2015 to pilot a method for assessing essential student learning outcomes in the context of regular instruction, using work faculty and students are already doing to determine whether students nearing graduation have achieved competency in these areas. PCC was accepted as one of the pilot two-year institutions for this project.

In 2015-2016 PCC again joined other Oregon institutions and a growing cadre of two- and four-year colleges across the country in Year 2 of the Multi-State Collaborative (MSC). Year 2 was known as Demonstration Year.

In 2016-2017 the MSC continues, with the Year of Refinement as its theme. The Collaborative consists of 13 states, including Oregon. PCC is participating once again.

The Project

  • In Years 1 and 2, work was collected from students who were 75% of the way through their intended degree (associate's or bachelor's) as of fall term, across a wide variety of programs and disciplines (both LDC-transfer and Career/Technical Education), and evaluated by a multi-state panel using the rubrics developed by faculty via the AAC&U LEAP project. In Year 3, the MSC has added a second population: students who have completed fewer than 15 semester (22.5 quarter) credits as of the start of fall term 2016.
  • A key feature in all years is that the assignments used, and the work collected from students, is not “extra,” but embedded in the normal flow of teaching and learning.
  • Written Communication and Quantitative Literacy were the essential learning outcomes, and Critical Thinking was optional, in the pilot year. By Year 2, all three were essential learning outcomes. Civic Engagement was added in Year 3, but PCC opted to not apply this outcome and to concentrate on mastering the learning curve with the original three.

Who is eligible to participate?

Any faculty member who has an assignment that addresses Critical Thinking, Quantitative Literacy, or Written Communication that could be evaluated via its corresponding LEAP VALUE rubric:

What are the benefits of participating?

  • Inclusion in professional development workshops on assessment; specifically, effective use of rubrics (assignment design, norming, scoring, and analysis).
  • Opportunity to participate in scoring student work at PCC, as well as possibly being selected (and funded to attend) the Multi-State scoring event. 
  • First-hand access to results pertaining to PCC (not available to other institutions)--for comparison with the Oregon and Multi-State results. Are we interpreting these rubrics and competency levels the same way as others across the country?

What are the responsibilities of participants?

  • Complete the planning portion of the MSC Participation Template and send the form to learningassessment@pcc.edu by December 19, 2016.
  • Attend an Assignment Design workshop (to be announced in November 2016) and develop or revise an existing assignment to increase the likelihood that student work will reflect multiple elements of the chosen outcome as expressed in the LEAP VALUE rubrics.
  • Use the assignment winter term 2017, for all students in one or more assigned courses, as part of the regular curriculum (i.e., this is not supposed to be an “extra credit” assignment). Share MSC assignment parameters with students, as included in the MSC Submission Tips. By the end of winter term, submit the students' work from the targeted class(es). The collected works are called "student artifacts."
  • Send the original assignment instructions and MSC cover sheet to Academic Affairs when requested. All identifying information will be removed before the artifacts are submitted to the national MSC project. The redaction process is necessarily time consuming to ensure anonymity of all students, instructors, courses, and institutions.


If you have questions or would like to learn more about the pilot and PCC's involvement, please contact Kendra Cawley: kcawley@pcc.edu

To learn more about the Multi-State Collaborative, please visit:http://www.sheeo.org/projects/msc-multi-state-collaborative-advance-learning-outcomes-assessment