ACE Certification Guidelines

The following guidelines will be used by the UUCC-ACE subcommittee for review of ACE certification proposals.

  1. The committee agrees to look at question #1 (Describe the opportunities students will have to learn the ACE outcome. How is the learning objective embedded in the course?) and question #2 (Identify the specific student work that will be used to assess student achievement of the outcome. Describe how this work reflects the knowledge and skills specified by the outcome.) together. Merely listing items such as tests, quizzes, and lectures in question #2 does not address how the students will demonstrate they are achieving the outcome.
  2. The proposal must be able to 'stand on its own', although the committee might use the syllabus to clarify items, it should not be a substitute for the information required on the certification proposal.
  3. Question #3 (As part of the ACE certification process, the department/unit agrees to collect and assess a reasonable sample of students' work and provide reflections on students' achievement of the Learning Outcomes for its respective ACE-certified courses. Describe how the instructor will collect and archive the student work indicated above. Explain how this work will then be assessed with respect to the outcome.) should include strategies for 'collecting' as well as 'doing' with the evaluation products used for assessment to meet the outcome.
  4. Overall, the committee members are not making judgements regarding courses, course content, academic disciplines, instructors, units, etc.. Rather, they are solely evaluating the effectiveness with which the proposal demonstrates that students have the opportunity to gain and demonstrate the knowledge and/or skills specified in the outcome, and that the unit has indicated a reasonable strategy for assessing including 'collecting' and 'doing'.
  5. The proposal needs to be written in language that will be understood by those reading them who are from outside the course's discipline.
  6. According to ACE Governing Document IV, the syllabus for the ACE certified course must include the following information so that students understand what they are supposed to learn:
    • The Learning Outcome(s) that would be satisfied by the course.
    • A brief description of the opportunities this course would provide for students to acquire the knowledge or skills necessary to achieve the Learning Outcome(s).
    • A brief description of the graded assignments that the instructor(s) will use to assess the students' achievement of the Outcome(s).
  7. Assessment strategies for awarding the grade for the course do not necessarily address assessment of student achievement of the outcome. There certainly could be some courses where they might be the same strategies, but for many courses, assessment of the student achievement of the outcome is not synonymous with the final grade. The assessment plan should identify the specific parts of the course that teach the outcome and identify how the assessment of that outcome will be accomplished.
    • For SLOs 1-3, which focus on developing intellectual and practical skills, the main purpose of the course should be to teach the skill. In other words, if a faculty member proposes a course for SLO 1, teaching writing must be the main purpose of the course. If that is not the case, the course might be better suited to achieving a different learning outcome.
    • For SLOs 4-10, the ACE committee will verify that students have an opportunity to work toward achieving the outcome. As courses vary widely across campus, stipulating that a certain percentage of the course be devoted to the outcome would be difficult to prescribe and impossible to measure for these outcomes.

Faculty should use these guidelines to determine whether or not a course is appropriate for a specific Student Learning Outcome.