Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Writing Degree and Certificate Outcomes

Criteria and expectations

  • There must be a clear and distinguishable difference between the degree outcomes and the certificate outcomes.
  • Three to ten outcomes per AAS degree and/or certificate is recommended, though the exact number will depend, on the specifics of the program.
  • Identify which degree or certificate outcomes align to individual PCC core outcomes.  It is possible that all PCC core outcomes may not be addressed by the degree or certificate outcomes.
  • Outcomes must be assessable.

Writing outcomes

Following is a series of questions that the DAC committee members will consider when reviewing AAS degree and certificate outcomes, followed by sample outcome statements.

  • Do the outcomes describe what students can DO with what they know, rather than just what they know?
  • Are the outcomes clear? Can the student understand them? Do they give a clear sense to faculty and to community and professional stakeholders?
  • Are the statements robust (complex) enough so that they encompass the essential content?
  • Are the statements robust (complex) enough so that you can generate robust or engaging assessment tasks and quality criteria for measuring attainment of the outcomes?
  • Do the course outcomes in the required course work align with the AAS degree and/or certificate outcomes?
  • Is it clear how completion of the required course work leads to achievement of the program outcomes?
  • Is there a small but distinct difference between the AAS outcomes and certificate outcomes within the same program area?
  • How do the AAS degree and/or certificate outcomes align with the PCC core outcomes?  It is possible that all PCC core outcomes may not be addressed by the AAS or the certificate.

Sample AAS Degree and/or Certificate Outcome Statements

  • Original outcome statements
    • Understand professional and ethical responsibilities.
    • Relate the history of (program name) practices to contemporary policies relevant to the skills required for a ((practitioner) to meet current and future needs and practices.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the strategic marketing process.
  • Outcomes rewritten with external focus
    • Work within the ethical and professional parameters of (program name).
    • Use an understanding of the history of (program name) practices to reflect on the contemporary policies and skill requirements for the (practitioner) in a (name) office.
    • Apply the “strategic marketing process” to a specific product or service in a specific business environment.

A sampling of PCC degree and/or certificate outcomes which have been reviewed and approved.

  • Use a breadth of knowledge across the fields of arts and letters, social science, science, math, and computer science to actively engage with society and pursue their own academic and/or professional development.
    • This outcome has been approved by EAC to be used by SACs who offer a two-year certificate and an AAS to differentiate the addition of general education coursework.
  • Incorporate and articulate appropriate historical perspectives in creating residential design projects.
  • Use professional and industry appropriate communication skills to converse with employers, co-workers and customers.
  • Serve as ASL/English interpreter in a variety of professional settings, drawing on experience with and knowledge of different settings within the Deaf community, and interact effectively and respectfully with members of the majority and minority language groups.
  • Understand and apply the safety standards of the work site and the industry.
  • Strengthen organizational effectiveness by facilitating effective work relationships and resolving conflicts in a diverse workplace with skillful application of a broad range of communication skills.

For assistance in writing outcome statements, please contact Susan Watson.