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CTOL: College Wide Abilities



Building 22, Room 181


Monday - Friday

8:00am - 4:00pm


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

SPSCC has revised its College Wide Abilities! In October 2022, the new College Wide Abilities (CWAs) and levels were approved. Regular assessment of the outgoing CWAs will continue through Spring 2023. In 2023-24, recording CWA assessments will pause as faculty fully implement the new CWAs. For Spring 2023, all faculty members (all-time and adjunct) are required to engage in 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 (SLAC). Assessment results are compiled by the Office of Institutional Research. This page provides CWA resources for faculty so that they can successfully engage with the assessment process and assess CWAs in all of their courses. You can also review and download the full CWA rubrics for your use.

CWAs and Levels (as of Fall 2023)

These College Wide Abilities will be in effect Fall 2023, but assessments for them will not be entered into Canvas until Fall 2024.

Analytical Reasoning: Assess qualitative and quantitative information to discern patterns, solve problems, and justify conclusions.

Effective Communication: Convey and receive information applicable to interpersonal and public situations. 

Information Literacy: Research and evaluate information to make informed decisions and conclusions.

Multicultural Awareness: Analyze diverse cultural values, beliefs, and practices that impact interactions, social frameworks, and institutional structures.

Social Responsibility: Analyze the ethical, environmental, and community impact of actions within local and global systems.


Feel free to review and download the full CWA rubrics for your use.

Basic CWA Process from Start to Finish


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

  • Add a CWA outcome to a new or existing rubric. Then add the rubric to the assignment in Canvas for the student work you plan to assess.
    • If you run into problems adding outcomes, email the Center for Teaching and Online Learning:

  • 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


[Starting for Summer 2024 classes] All of the College-Wide Abilities are automatically imported into your course outcomes page when the course is created. You do not need to import them yourself. All you need to do, is set up a rubric with your course’s correct CWAs and attach it to the relevant assignment.

There are two ways to create a rubric – from the rubrics page, or from the assignment itself.

  1. To create a Rubric, go to the Rubrics page in Canvas. Click on “Add Rubric”.
  2. A new rubric will pop up. Give the rubric a name, and edit any criteria you want to use for assessment.
    To add the CWAs, click on “Find Outcome”. Click on “College-Wide Abilities” and find the appropriate CWA and level for your course.
  3. You can decide whether you want to use the outcome for scoring or not. Then click “Import.” This will add the CWA to the rubric. Repeat for however many CWAs you are assessing with this particular assignment.
  4. Finish making any changes you want to the rubric, then click “Create Rubric”.
  5. Navigate to the assignment that includes your CWA assessment. At the bottom, click “+ rubric.” Here, you can create the rubric if you haven’t already, following the same process described above.
  6. If you already made your rubric, you can click “Find rubric”. Find the correct course, then find the appropriate rubric and click “Use this rubric”.


[If you are trying to add CWAs to rubrics for Spring 2024, you will first need to "Find" the Outcomes and add them to your course. Go to "Outcomes", "Find", "Account Standards", "South Puget Sound Community College", and "College Wide Abilities: Current." Then click "Add all Outcomes, or pick and choose the ones you want.]


What CWAs should I assess?

Make sure to check the course outline for each course you teach. Course outlines are housed in CourseLeaf.

How should I assess the listed CWAs, or why are these specific CWAs listed on my class? 

Ask your dean, program lead or the SLAC representative for your division. They can provide some insight and context for the CWAs assessed in your classes and program. 

Are there CWA assessment examples?

Contact your dean, program lead, or 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 as detailed by NWCCU Standards 1.C.1-1.C.7 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 used to evaluate individual faculty.