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Academic Learning Compacts

In recent years, there has been increased emphasis on the identification and assessment of core student learning outcomes in higher education.

The Florida Board of Governors included processes in its strategic planning and accountability that emphasize the importance of student learning and achievement. In addition, the Board has placed more emphasis on institutional accountability while encouraging campus-level decisions about how to implement the processes. The Board of Governors has mandated that all baccalaureate programs in the State of Florida public universities develop Academic Learning Compacts (ALCs) that are student learning outcomes in three areas:

Academic Learning Compacts are agreements that describe the communication skills, critical thinking skills, and content knowledge in the major (known collectively as Student Learning Outcomes) that students should acquire if they diligently follow the prescribed course of study. UF is required to assess student achievement in these Student Learning Outcomes through Individual Student Assessments (ISA) before graduation. Satisfactory completion of the ISAs constitutes successful completion of the Academic Learning Compact.

At the University of Florida each baccalaureate degree program has formulated a set of ISAs suitable to the major. Each set of ISAs will require satisfactory completion of the baccalaureate degree and Florida Statutory requirements for the CLAST test, as specified in the Undergraduate Catalog. Each major will require one or more additional ISAs to satisfactorily complete the Academic Learning Compact.

ALCs apply to all undergraduates entering UF Summer B 2006 and beyond. Visit the Registrar Services web site for major specific ALCs.

Definitions

Academic Learning Compact: UF's definition for each major that prescribes communication skills, critical thinking skills and content knowledge appropriate for that major.

Student Learning Outcomes: specific skills students are expected to acquire by completing a particular major.

Individual Students Assessments: the different ways in which UF will measure whether students have successfully completed the Learning Outcomes for a particular major. These assessments can include a passing score on a particular test or a final project, term paper, portfolio and so on. Faculty in each major have decided what the most effective means to do this is for their particular major.

Major Field Test: Innovative undergraduate outcomes assessments designed to measure the basic knowledge and understanding achieved by students in a major field of study. Tests can be developed by the program or purchased from outside testing organizations.

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Documentation

Each department maintains its own records indicating that students have successfully completed the Individual Students Assessments and have met the ALC requirements for graduation. The documentation is subject to audit. Electronic files are the preferred “green” method for documentation. Documentation can be quantitative, qualitative or a combination.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How is an ALC revised?

Any change to the ALC is processed first through the College Curriculum Committee. Complete the "Request for Revision" form which is provided on this site. After the CCC approves the revision it is then presented to the University Curriculum Committee for approval.

If we use ETS for our field test but decide to use a different field test that is created by the department, do we need to submit this change for approval?

Yes. The change is processed through the College Curriculum Committee. Please use the ALC Revision Request form.

We recently made changes to our ALC. Do the changes apply to students who entered our major before the change was made?

No. Students in the major follow the ALC that was in affect when they were initially accepted into the major.

What do I do with the scores from the field test?

If the field test was a requirement for the ALC, documentation that the student took the test must be maintained in the department. If the field test was administered by ETS, they will provide an electronic data base of the documentation which at a minimum will include: field test name, date, name of student, and scores. You may choose to record Pass/Fail as scores for field tests.

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College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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