The mission of the Outcomes Assessment Committee is to facilitate Carl Sandburg College’s mission by providing structure and training for assessment, a support system for analyzing and interpreting data, and a means of communicating assessment results to the college’s stakeholders. 

Assessment Plan


 Assessment Workshop


Carl Sandburg College has worked on enhancing the assessment process and implementing updated assessment practices since 1995. A noteworthy paradigm shift occurred in assessment circa 2009 — one that emphasized a student-centered approach rather than a teacher-centered one. In other words, learning outcomes drive the assessment and content for courses. The Assessment Committee changed its name to the Outcomes Assessment Committee in 2011 to signify this shift and has since then facilitated and used an outcomes-based approach to assessment.

The dominant trend of the assessment process at Sandburg is that assessment is a continuous process, one that never pauses and is perpetually improved by all stakeholders.

To see a more topical breakdown of assessment activities at Carl Sandburg College, please see the Assessment Timeline.

Curricular Assessment

A curricular experience occurs when students apply a Sandburg GEO (General Education Outcome) inside the classroom. Sandburg faculty use the outcomes assessment philosophy to collect data and make changes at the classroom, course and departmental levels.

Outcomes assessment is a student-centered approach driven by the students' efforts to meet course objectives and is a continuous process that uses set criteria to measure students' successes. This chart further explains the four primary characteristics in outcomes assessment and is constructed with information from Rhodes University (2012):

Outcomes-based assessment is an assessment that…

  • ...focuses on students’ final products.
  • driven by students’ applications of course content.
  • continuous to understand where students are.
  • ...uses evaluative techniques to measure student work against set criteria.

Outcomes-based assessment is not and assessment that…

  • ...focuses on pedagogy.
  • driven by courses’ content.
  • ...uses evaluative techniques that measure student work against other student work.
Co-curricular Assessment

A co-curricular experience occurs when students apply a Sandburg GEO (General Education Outcome) outside of the classroom. Sandburg faculty and staff submit either an internal assessment form or a program review mandated by ICCB (Illinois Community College Board) to assess these activities.

This chart further explains the differentiation of co-curricular assessment reporting.


Assessment Resources

Your source for current assessment trends and updates:

Your tools for understanding GEOs (General Education Outcomes): GEO-Materials

Your guide to understanding and enhancing the Classroom Assessment Report: CAR Manual

For more resources in assessment, visit the OAC Moodle Page Link.


The Annual Summary Report highlights significant assessment changes and trends, as well as current/ongoing assessment activities, during the academic year outlined. This report is shared with the faculty at the first regularly scheduled Faculty Assembly and the Board of Trustees at the November Board meeting. Additionally, it is shared here for all stakeholders:

Annual Summary Report 2022-2023

Annual Summary Report 2021-2022

Annual Summary Report 2020-2021

Annual Summary Report 2019-2020

CAR Completion GAP Analysis Report 2019-2020

Annual Summary Report 2018-2019

Annual Summary Report 2017-2018

Annual Summary Report 2016-2017

Annual Summary Report 2015-2016