Rasmussen College has designed a framework to strengthen its approach to assessing and improving students’ learning of “Transferable Skills.” The use of the word, “Transferable,” to describe the specific skills that are the focus of the College’s project, is intended to express the essential contribution of such skills to lifelong learning and to authentic workplace activities. These skills are: Communication, Critical Thinking, Digital Fluency, Diversity and Teamwork, Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and Information Literacy. The six skills were chosen after conducting an extensive literature review; receiving formal feedback from nearly 100 advisory board members; and gathering substantial input from nearly 400 faculty members across the College.
In 2014 the College began adding the Transferable Skills to courses, focusing first on existing courses, and then on newly developed courses. The six Transferable Skills are the College’s institutional outcomes, meaning all graduates – regardless of program or credential – will possess these skills at varying levels. The College made the decision to focus first on adding these skills within School of Business courses, to be followed by other Schools thereafter.
The measurement of these outcomes demonstrates Rasmussen’s commitment to graduating individuals who are well prepared to be successful contributors to their communities. Rasmussen students will have the opportunity to learn and demonstrate each of the Transferable Skills at two or more distinct points at each level of the curriculum, and the skills will be measured as a portion of a course assignment that will be designed to replicate an authentic workplace project. The College’s Assessment Coordinators, School Deans, Course Development team, and Subject Matter Experts are partnering to integrate these improvements into courses and capstones from each School.
Students will ultimately submit their completed skills artifacts via the Optimal E-portfolio in their capstone courses. Toward the end of a student’s academic program, each student will have the chance to review and reflect on the work in the portfolio and submit a final version to the student’s capstone course instructor. Students will then be able to share their Transferable Skills outcomes with potential employers to demonstrate their learning. The College is also working to develop a final report document which will summarize a student’s attainment of the six Transferable Skills. This document, which will be able to be shared with potential employers, will support students in the interview and job seeking process after graduation.