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CTOL: College Wide Abilities



Building 22, Room 181


Monday - Friday

8:00am - 4:00pm



(360) 596-5260

CWA Assessment Deadlines

Fall 2022

December 19, 2022

Winter 2023

April 4, 2023

Spring 2023

July 5, 2023


CWA data not collected Summer Quarter

Assessing CWAs

All faculty members (full-time and adjunct) are required to engage in the College Wide Ability (CWA) assessment process as part of their instructional duties.

SPSCC engages in assessment through the College Wide Abilities, which is coordinated by the Student Learning Assessment Committee. Assessment results are compiled by the Office of Institutional Research.

This page provides resources for faculty to successfully complete CWA assessment for all of their classes.

Basic CWA Process from Start to Finish

In each course that you teach for Fall 2021, Winter 2022, and Spring 2022, you will need to complete the following steps.

Step 1 — Before the Quarter Starts

  • Review the course outline and note which CWA’s are listed

  • Identify at least one assignment to assess each relevant CWA, or that assesses all relevant CWAs if there are more than one (this should be a summative assessment that occurs at a point in which students should be able to demonstrate proficiency in the CWA)

Step 2 — During the Quarter Before You Assess the CWA

  • Do one of the following:
    • Add the CWA rubric (it is under “Rubrics” on every Canvas course). Make sure to edit the rubric to remove any outcomes you are not assessing in that assignment.

    • Add a CWA outcome to an existing rubric or assignment in Canvas for the student work you plan to assess.

    • If you run into problems adding outcomes, email Heather Ryan:

  • Make sure the assignment is published, unhidden, and is clearly connected to one of the CWA rubrics (in other words, please do not make your own rubric for the CWA, even if it’s the same language; we won’t be able to pull that data).

Step 3 — By the Assessment Deadline for that Quarter

  • Use Speed Grader to assess each CWA in your class for each student (“met,” “unmet,” or “not attempted”).
Step-by-Step: Adding an Outcome to your Canvas Rubric


  1. From the Assignments tab, open the assignment you want to use to score the CWA
  2. Click on + Rubric if you do not already have a rubric for the assignment or Edit Rubric
    (the pencil in the top right corner of the rubric box) if you are adding the CWA outcome
    to an existing rubric.
  3. Under the criteria box, click Find Outcome (in blue).
  4. Click on the imported outcome that you would like to add to the rubric.
  5. If you DO NOT want to assign points to the outcome in the rubric, UNCHECK the box
    that says “Use this criterion for scoring.” (under the met/unmet/not attempted boxes)
  6. Click the blue Import button at the bottom of the box.
  7. Click OK in the “are you sure” dialog box that pops up.
  8. Click Create Rubric for a new rubric or Update Rubric if you are editing an existing one. 


  • What CWAs should I assess? Check your course syllabus. The College-Wide Abilities should already be listed there.  You can also read the CWA process document below (bottom of this page).  
  • How should I assess the listed CWAs, or why are these specific CWAs listed on my class? Ask your dean, program lead or SLAC representative. They can provide some insight and context for the CWAs assessed in your classes and program, and may also have some example assessments you might use.  
  • Are there CWA assessment examples? Contact Heather Ryan, Director of Student Learning assessment for some ideas.  
  • Why do I need to do this? As part of our ongoing accreditation, SPSCC is required to assess student achievement of identified course, program, and degree level outcomes. (NWCCU Standard 4.A.3).  Assessing the achievement of College Wide Abilities for each student is part of this process.  These data will be compiled and made available to faculty through the Institutional Research dashboard.  The purpose of this assessment is to determine how well we, as a College, are preparing our students for life post-SPSCC.  It is NOT to be used to evaluate individual faculty. 

Quick Links

• CWAs

• Course Outlines