The Discipline Assessment Cycle (DAC) is the process whereby Austin Community College documents the extent to which students have attained the learning outcomes and objectives set before them. It pulls together information at the course- and program-level, with data regarding general education and, where relevant the skills associated with the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). The framework of the DAC is designed to promote meaningful assessment, while simultaneously providing a single repository for assessment information from across the institution.
The data gathered is then forwarded to other processes and bodies within the College where such information is needed, such as the institutional planning process, budget development, and committees and councils, such as the Academic and Student Affairs Council. It also serves to provide documentation to outside accrediting bodies, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools - Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) or discipline-specific accreditors, such as the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement.
The steps of the assessment cycle include:
Because of the complex organizational structure of ACC, the terms "department", "discipline" and "program" are often used interchangeably. For the sake of clarity, in this document:
With regard to the assessment of student learning outcomes, results of the assessments will be examined in the aggregate form, so results from multiple sections will be combined.
These results will NOT be used in faculty evaluations.
The purpose of gathering this information is for institutional and departmental decision-making.
To assist in compiling and entering assessment information, some other resources are provided below.