The following is a glossary of working definitions adopted by the Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment Committee (SLOAC).  Their purpose is to provide a common vocabulary that will help frame our discussions and guide our decisions.

Working Definitions


Knowledge, skills, and abilities that a student has attained at the end (or as a result) of his or her engagement in a particular set of collegiate experiences. WASC

Outcome Statement

Statements describing what students should know, understand, and be able to do with their knowledge when they complete courses, degrees, certificates, or enter employment, or transfer to other higher education institutions or programs.”  Modified from Huba and Freed.  Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses (9-10).


“Methods that an institution employs to gather evidence and evaluate quality.” WASC

The systematic collection of information about student learning that informs decisions about how to improve learning.  Modified from Walfvoord. Assessment Clear and Simple. (2)

Note: We evaluate individuals.  We assess groups.


For purposes of outcomes assessment: 

MCC has adapted the Title 5 §55000(g) definition to define a program as a cohesive set of courses that result in a certificate or degree.

For purposes of Institutional Program Review:

A program is defined as any logical unit within the college that combines resources, staff/faculty, and curriculum (as appropriate) to deliver a service towards a stated outcome.