Data & Results

Institutional UCSB & UC-wide Data

The UC Santa Barbara Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment provides extensive data about UC Santa Barbara students. Click to access the Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment data home page (with links to additional information). You can also check out this data dashboard of UCSB's Retention and Graduation Rates and these summaries of various UCSB Student survey results.

The University of California Office of the President also provides extensive data about students across all UC campuses. Click for data on: Undergraduate Graduation Rates (select "Santa Barbara" in the "Campus" drop down menu), Undergraduate Alumni Graduate Degree Attainment, and the UC Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES) data tables (click on a year, then select "Santa Barbara" in the "Campus" drop down menu).

*note: All UC undergraduates have the opportunity to take UCUES every other spring. The survey is voluntary. Systemwide, 35-45% of students usually complete this survey.

Program Learning Outcomes Data - Core Competencies & GE

Program Learning Outcomes Data

Data on program-specific learning outcomes achievement come from faculty-driven research within those departments, coordinated and reviewed by UCSB's Council on Assessment. These continuous cycles of assessment focus on PLOs of current salience for the programs in question. All degree-granting programs, both graduate and undergraduate, complete a targeted PLO assessment every 3 years and submit a report to the CoA.

For example, Psychological and Brain Sciences' graduate program is extending their previous investigation of how well the program prepares students in scholarly communication by rubric-scoring students' dissertation proposals, assessing student CVs collected during the annual review, administering a questionnaire for further data on those submitted/published manuscripts, and aggregating data regarding types of writing the students are publishing by year in the program. Other graduate PLO assessments begun this year include:

  • Dynamical Neuroscience - Write articles, chapters, and reviews that are comparable in scope and format to articles that appear in leading peer-reviewed journals in the field of Dynamical Neuroscience.
  • Film & Media Studies - Understand and discuss the nature and stakes of major intellectual debates in the field; demonstrate expertise in a variety of theoretical and critical approaches to the analysis of film and media objects, audiences, infrastructures, traditions, and institutions.
  • Technology Management - Demonstrate a mastery of quantitative methodologies, of designing and implementing a market research study, and analyzing data for the purposes of solving technology business problems.

Black Studies' undergraduate program is currently examining the impacts of renovations to its research writing courses by collecting senior thesis research papers, using a Likert-scale scoring guide to assess discrete research skills (e.g. constructing a research question, producing a literature review, identifying appropriate data-collection methods, synthesizing and analyzing data). Other undergraduate PLO assessments begun this year include:

  • Chemistry & Biochemistry - solving problems involving nomenclature, reactivity stereochemistry, mechanism, and synthesis of the various classes of organic compounds.
  • Computer Science - Analyze complex computing problems and apply principles of computing and other relevant disciplines (e.g., mathematics and logic) to identify solutions.
  • Religious Studies - Analyze religious phenomena (for example, rituals, texts, and beliefs) through various methods in the study of religion (philosophy, ethnography, comparative, legal, sociological, historical and scientific).

Within undergraduate program assessment data, we pay specific attention to those WASC-defined core competencies of information literacy, oral and written communication, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking. 

Core Competencies

The UCSB Assessment Research Group maintains ongoing data on departmental progress with PLO Assessment. During the 2020-2021 academic year, the Council on Assessment reviewed plans for 30 programs (from 19 departments), approving 18 and requiring revisions for 12. Most undergraduate assessments in the latest cycle (2018-2021) emphasized the core competency critical thinking, followed by written and oral communication.

Graduate assessments focused on oral communication, content knowledge, and/or demonstrating broad disciplinary knowledge or mastery of specialized knowledge. 

Most plans in the upcoming cycle (2021-2024) will focus on learning outcomes related to critical thinking (33%) and written communication (28%), with a strong emphasis also on quantitative reasoning (19%) and information literacy (14%). The graduate plans for this cycle are focused mainly on communicating and presenting research (40%), conducting original research (33%), and demonstrating a broad base of core knowledge. (33%). In years 2022-2023, we will begin Cycle 3 of our campus-wide PLO Assessments. Click below for a summary.

Core Competencies

General Education

2020-2021 also marked the fourth year of our longitudinal GE assessment, which has followed ~120 students/year through courses in the GE program to learn how well students find specific GE courses help them achieve the outcomes of that GE area, how well faculty find students are achieving these GE outcomes, and how well faculty and student assessments of student GE performance overlap. 

During the course of the study, 401 students submitted and rated artifacts from GE courses; 198 of these students participated for multiple years. A workshop for faculty in Fall 2019 shared important data results, e.g., that students in GE courses indicated learning less about kinds of methods and communication used (i.e., “knowing how”) than about the kinds of questions asked and topics studied (i.e., “knowing that”). 

A workshop for students in Spring 2020 invited student perspectives on these data, learning, e.g., that students greatly appreciated GE courses' opportunities for developing reading/writing skills across disciplinary boundaries and discussing topics with students outside of their majors, and would like more procedural guidance on how to read and write within different fields in future GE courses. Click below for a summary.

General Education Assessment

Read here the full General Education Assessment Report 2020 and the Council on Assessment Annual Report 2020 - 2021 or explore the links above for summaries and further information on General Education and Core Competencies.

Student Affairs Data

The Division of Student Affairs annual report, compiled by its assessment team (SAAT), brings together the assessment efforts and findings of its various departments within Student Academic Support, Student Life, Student Wellness, Enrollment Services, Office of the Vice Chancellor, Student Governments and Publications. Annual reports going back to 2014, as well as their Community of Practice (COP) resources are included on the Student Affairs Assessment Initiative website.