Assessment of Student Learning

The goal of assessment is information-based decision-making. The purpose of assessment is to gather information on student learning that can be used to increase students’ academic achievement.

Why does assessment matter?

We do this work for two purposes.

  • First, and most importantly, we do this to inform our practice and to improve student learning.
  • Second, we document our assessment practices to demonstrate to our accrediting body and our community that we are dedicated to improving student learning through exemplary practice.

A video introduction for HFC faculty by Michael Nealon, Henry Ford College VP for Academic Affairs.

What do we assess?

Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) are the skills and knowledge that every HFC graduate should possess. These skills are critical for each graduate to become a lifelong learner, pursue a satisfying career, and create a life well lived.

ILOs are our educational promise to students. ILOs are taught and practiced throughout the student's experience in General Education courses, core courses in their program of study, and participation in co-curricular activities.

HFC's Five ILOs

  1. Civil Society and Culture: U.S. and Global
  2. Communication
  3. Computer Technology
  4. Critical Thinking and Information Literacy
  5. Quantitative Literacy

Further details about each of the ILOs are in our mission statement related to learning outcomes (PDF).

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) are statements that describe significant, essential learning that students have achieved and can reliably demonstrate at the end of a course or program. In practice, PLOs identify what the learner will be able to do when they have completed their program. PLOs are closely linked to the credential framework and program standards set by the College.


Each academic program has its own set of specific learning outcomes, which are available on individual program descriptions in the College's Catalog of Programs.

Co-Curricular Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Co-curricular Learning Outcomes emerge from programs that “are suited to the institution’s mission and contribute to the educational experience of its students” (Higher Learning Commission Accreditation criteria, 3.E.1). Co-curricular activities are related to the academic experience but are not part of College courses. Co-curricular activities enable students' intellectual, social, emotional, moral, and aesthetic development.

HFC's Four CLOs:

  1. Diversity
  2. Intrapersonal Development
  3. Communication
  4. Civic Engagement

HFC Assessment Resources for Faculty and Staff

The HFC Committee for the Assessment of Student Learning (CASL) has created resources to support the assessment of student learning. CASL has two subcommittees. One subcommittee focuses on our Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs), and one subcommittee addresses our Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). For more information, reports, and resources, see the CASL information page.