KCC introduces Bruin Standard as mark of excellent education

An exterior view of the entrance to KCC's North Avenue campus looking over the reflecting pools.

This fall, Kellogg Community College is introducing students to the Bruin Standard, a new mark of excellence that will be recognized in all Bruins who earn associate degrees from the College.

The Bruin Standard, required of all associate degree-seeking students beginning in the Fall 2020 semester, distinguishes students who have completed certain course work and other experiences. The intent of the Bruin Standard is to assure graduates, employers and transfer institutions that students from KCC have attained the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for success in their chosen field or in a bachelor’s degree program.

“In a sense, the Bruin Standard is KCC’s stamp of approval for students who have demonstrated effective communication, critical thinking and personal and cultural engagement, all of which are crucial in workplace and university settings,” said Tonya Forbes, KCC’s dean of arts and sciences.

“In developing the Bruin Standard over the past year, KCC also wanted to better align degree requirements with the mission of the College, provide students with the key ingredients they need to be successful and reduce the overall number of credits required for graduation,” Forbes said.

KCC created the Bruin Standard after an internal team of faculty and administrators conducted research and examined reform initiatives at other colleges. In late 2019, KCC asked more than 750 students and 100 employees in surveys if they approved of the Bruin Standard concept and the three outcome statements regarding effective communication, critical thinking and personal and cultural engagement. In both groups, more than 90% approved.

“KCC students and faculty were central in the development of the Bruin Standard and they will continue to be key as we assess how effectively it is being achieved across the institution,” Forbes said.

As a result of completing the Bruin Standard, KCC graduates will:

  • Demonstrate effective communication appropriate to audience and purpose.
  • Analyze arguments, evaluate evidence, draw conclusions, make decisions and solve problems from a variety of perspectives.
  • Engage through the exploration of civic, intercultural and ethical issues, making connections between their knowledge, choices and actions.

Specifically, the three components of the Bruin Standard are tied to two of the core components of the KCC mission, including:

  • “We engage students in learning experiences that lead to enhanced employability and successful transfer to other educational institutions.”
  • “We develop students who can think critically, communicate effectively, and demonstrate global awareness.”

To demonstrate attainment of the Bruin Standard, all students receiving an associate degree are required to complete courses from either the College’s General Education Core courses or Applied Core courses. Students must successfully complete two courses to satisfy each outcome. Available courses include a range from five areas of study, including Arts, Communication and English; Business and Computer Information Technology; Health Sciences; Science, Mathematics and Engineering; and Social Sciences, Human Services and Criminal Justice.

The courses in which students may demonstrate the Bruin Standard outcomes are listed in the KCC Academic Catalog – available at catalog.kellogg.edu – under the headings of “Effective Communication,” “Critical Thinking,” and “Personal and Cultural Engagement.”

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