Assessment at Flint Hills Technical College

The Flint Hills Technical College staff's motivation for assessment of 1) student learning 2) instruction 3) institutional effectiveness and 4) satisfaction is its desire to carry out the mission and philosophy of FHTC. Assessment is a continuous process of evaluation of academic achievement, instructional effectiveness, and customer (both student and external stakeholder) satisfaction.

The goals of assessment include:

  • Enhancing student learning and improving instruction by assessing student academic achievement at the course, program and institutional levels.
  • Improving curriculum through continuous review and revision by utilizing assessment data.
  • Ensuring that the college’s mission statement is being met by including assessment goals in the strategic planning process.
  • Making results of the assessment data available and evaluating the satisfaction of stakeholders.

FHTC has three ways of measuring student outcomes. These include:

  • Core Abilities which are skills and attitudes that are not unique to any particular occupational field but common to all present and future learning.
  • Program Outcomes which are the broad technical knowledge and skills that are unique to each occupational field and program.
  • Course Competencies which are the specific technical knowledge and skills that are unique to each individual course.


Core abilities are the skills and attitudes that are not unique to any particular occupational field but common to all present and future learning. These characteristics are necessary to ensure success in life and the work place. At FHTC, faculty evaluate and students self-assess on the meeting of expectations for the nine core abilities. They conference once a semester to discuss the students’ current level of meeting expectations and the improvements needed for the students to become more successful.


  • Attendance - meets attendance expectations
  • Honesty/Integrity - follows the rules, tells the truth
  • Accountability - takes responsibility for own actions
  • Fit for duty - hygiene, drug use, appearance, prepared for class
  • Meeting deadlines - completes tasks on time
  • Safety - follows rules and protocols, uses designated personal protective equipment


  • Customer Service – is caring, polite, and helpful to others
  • Positive Attitude – does not complain, is helpful to others, is engaged and willing to participate, demonstrates perseverance
  • Appropriate language and behavior – is respectful of others, communicates and behaves professionally (no sexual harassment, no violent or threatening behavior, no emotional outbursts, etc.)
  • Honesty/integrity – follows the rules, tells the truth
  • Appearance – dresses appropriately for the profession

Group Skills

  • Teamwork – works well with others, contributes positively
  • Leadership – empowers others to succeed, mediates well, motivates group members, keeps group on task, puts needs of group before their own
  • Conflict Resolution – mediates well, controls emotions, is fair and open-minded, allows all sides to be heard, is able to bring sides together for resolution
  • Respect for others/diversity – treats others as they would like to be treated, shows self-awareness, is aware and respectful of differences in others, is kind and empathetic

Problem Solving

  • Numerical (Math) - calculates correct answer, maintains high math scores, applies math to practical applications/lab situations
  • Logic & Deductive Reasoning - determines the problem and asks the right questions, draws appropriate conclusions and forms effective solutions, knows the problem and fixes the problem

Sound Judgement

  • Open Mindedness - recognizes own bias and is willing to see things from (or is willing to listen to) various points of view, is willing to think “outside the box”, is a creative troubleshooter, treats others (regardless of view point) respectfully, is open to new ideas
  • Reaching Conclusions and Solutions - uses logic and deductive reasoning, determines problem and asks appropriate questions, draws appropriate conclusions and forms effective solutions, recognizes and fixes the problem, makes decisions that are constructive
  • Self-Awareness - understands how their actions effect themselves and others, follows safety protocols in the workplace, thinks before they speak or act, anticipates the consequences of an action, is respectful in how ideas are presented


  • Effort – completes work, shows improvement, willing to seek help, engaged in class, does extra credit
  • Service – helps others


  • Written – uses correct grammar (spelling, punctuation, mechanics, etc.) and diction, uses appropriate tone and format
  • Oral – uses appropriate tone, is sensitive to audience, uses correct grammar, communicates clearly
  • Public Speaking – is confident in front of a group, is prepared to present, is clear and engaging, uses presentation aids
  • Interpersonal - is sensitive to audience, is an engaged listener, uses appropriate oral and nonverbal language
  • Nonverbal - can identify nonverbal cues, is attentive to body language in self and others
  • Listening – is an active listener (attentive, provides appropriate feedback to speaker)
  • Electronic – can use a variety of electronic tools and devices to communicate effectively and appropriately

Personal Growth

  • Willingness to Seek Help - asks questions, recognizes when help is needed and seeks it out, asks for feedback
  • Acceptance of Constructive Criticism/Guidance – responds favorably to suggestions, applies changes as needed

Information Literacy

  • Gather, Assess & Interpret Information – uses a sufficient number and variety of sources, uses appropriate and current resources, identifies bias and misinformation, is able to filter information based on need, understands information contained in sources
  • Ethical Use of Information – doesn’t present someone else’s ideas as their own – whether in writing or spoken (provides appropriate citations of sources when needed, avoids plagiarism), follows the law (no copyright infringement, etc.) in use of intellectual property
  • Summarizing Information in Own Voice - understands information and presents it in own words, can explain the meaning of concepts
  • Effective Use of Electronic Resources – can use a variety of electronic tools and devices to research and present information

Assessment Tools

FHTC utilizes a wide array of assessment instruments in measuring direct learning, indirect learning and experiential satisfaction. Many of the assessment tools used at FHTC are listed below and include both internal and external instruments to measure student learning, achievement and satisfaction. These tools are used at the course, program and institutional levels.

Direct Assessment Instruments

  • In-class exams/quizzes
  • Assignments
  • Presentations
  • Portfolios
  • Research projects
  • Laboratory rubrics/checklists
  • Comprehensive pre-and post-tests
  • CAT’s (classroom assessment techniques)
  • Certifications
  • Licensures
  • COMPASS Testing
  • Skillbuilding Mastery Placement Timing (Business Administrative Technology Keyboarding (BAT) Admissions Test)
  • TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) Test – Reading level for prospective CNA students and the AEC (Adult Education Center) students – Reading and Math
  • TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) – Nursing Admission

Indirect Assessment Instruments

  • Job Placement Report (which includes continuing education of graduates)
  • Student Follow-Up Report
  • Graduation rates
  • Core Abilities student self-assessment and instructor evaluation
  • Student conferences including Core Abilities and progress checks
  • Internships evaluations
  • Carl Perkins/KBOR Core Indicators
  • KBOR Performance Agreements Indicators
  • Academic Scholarships
  • WorkKeys Assessment

Experiential Satisfaction

  • Course and program assessments
  • Graduate Follow-Up Survey
  • Program specific surveys
  • Strategic planning surveys
  • Student marketing surveys
  • Student Complaint Forms

The next step of the assessment cycle is to utilize results to make necessary improvements. The faculty and staff analyze and assess the results and then respond with a variety of feedbacks, reviews, or action plans on what specifically will be done to make improvements at the course, program and/or institutional levels.

Course Assessment

Toward the end of each course, students complete a course assessment which includes 12 items related to course requirements, instructor effectiveness and interaction, presentation of materials and evaluation/grading. Students also have the opportunity to make specific comments about the course. At the end of each semester (after all grades are turned in), faculty analyze the course ratings and comments, filling out one comprehensive feedback form. They state specific action steps to be taken, if necessary, in their next semester’s instruction to make improvements.

Program Assessment

Toward the end of academic year, students complete a program assessment which includes 9 items related to the program’s guiding documents, student experiences, program content and facilities/safety issues. Additionally students have the opportunity to make specific comments about the program. At the end of the academic year, program faculty review the ratings and comments together, filling out one Feedback Form for the entire program that states they have analyzed the program’s student responses. They also state specific action steps that will be taken in their next year’s instruction and/or curriculum to make improvements, if applicable.

Pretests and Posttests

Each program has a pretest and posttest. In the case of a few programs (general education, Power Plant Technology and Welding Technology), a pretest and posttest is given for each course. The program’s pretest is given at the beginning of the semester as students enter the program. As students complete their technical certificate and/or associate of applied science degree, they are given the same test as a posttest.

At the end of the academic year, program faculty review the results together, looking at both individual student learning gains and individual question results on the posttest. The College has set a minimum benchmark for overall student learning gains as either:

  • a gain of 30% from pretest to posttest
  • a minimum overall posttest score of 70%

Questions not receiving at least 50% success rate from all participants are re-evaluated for curriculum, instruction or question validity through the posttest feedback form. Program faculty fill out one form for the entire program that states the specific action steps they will take (on any questions below 50%) in their next year’s instruction and/or curriculum to make improvements.

Ruffalo Noel Levitz Student Satisfaction Inventory

At the beginning of the academic year, all program students in Emporia will complete the inventory which includes more than 70 items related to student centeredness/climate, services available to students, instructional effectiveness/academic support, and safety/security. At the beginning of the following academic year, program faculty collectively review their program results, which have been compiled over the summer by the Director of Library Services, so that each program has a more clear analysis of the results. A response form is completed, stating at least 2 specific action steps the instructors will take in their instruction, curriculum or services to make improvements on items that were identified as “Challenges” for the program.

The assessment efforts at Flint Hills Technical College lead to both a collection and analysis of student data (viewed through a plethora of reports) and the use of the results to continuously improve student learning and satisfaction. The resulting reports are produced both internally and externally and are used to make improvements mainly at the program and institutional levels. Additionally, many of the reports are used by prospective students in gathering data to make decisions about their higher education. The Kansas Board of Regents utilizes many of the reports to advocate for higher education to the state legislature, make resource allocation decisions and to promote the work being done individually and collectively at Kansas public post-secondary institutions.

Annual Surveys/Projects/Reports Completed

  • ACT Institutional Data Questionnaire
  • Business & Industry, Training and Enrichment Report
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Institutional Update
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Survey
  • Kansas Board of Regents Reports
  • Kansas Higher Education Enrollment (KHEER) Report
  • Kansas Postsecondary Database (KSPSD) Report
  • National Community College Benchmark Project (NCCBP)
  • Performance Agreement Report
  • Perkins Program Improvment Grant Report
  • Peterson’s Annual Survey of Undergraduate Institutions
  • Special Collections (SB155, AOK, GED Accelerator) Report
  • Student Learning Assessment Report
  • Technical Education Pays

Program Accountability Reports

FHTC provides many assessment resources for its staff. The main campus library has a good variety of books and electronic resources on various assessment practices and tools, which are available for all staff. The Assessment Handbook provides an overview of assessment, some assessment practices and tools used at the course, program and institutional levels, as well as a glossary of common assessment terms.

External Resources

Several programs have external bodies that exercise authority over their programs, curriculum and/or course deliveries. Automotive Technology, Dental Assisting, and Dental Hygiene must maintain third-party accreditation to offer their programs. Practical Nursing must retain state approval to deliver its program. Emergency Services Technology and Allied Health must receive state approval to offer a number of the individual courses within their programs.

Flint Hills Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of sex including pregnant and parenting students, sexual orientation, handicap, race, color, age, religion, marital status, or national or ethnic origin in educational programs, admissions policies, employment policies, financial aid or other College-administered programs. For questions or concerns regarding non-discrimination contact the Director of Human Resources at 620.343.4600.

Flint Hills Technical College 3301 West 18th Avenue Emporia, KS 66801 620.343.4600
© 2017 - 2018 Flint Hills Technical College

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