2004 Summary

April 15, 2004

College of Science and Mathematics Assessment Committee

  • Jim Fulmer, Committee Chair, Department of Mathematics
  • Cindy Gilbert, Department of Nursing
  • Larry Coleman, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Marian Douglas, Department of Chemistry
  • Paul Akers, Department of Biology
  • Thea Spatz, Department of Health Sciences
  • Beth McMillan, Department of Earth Science

The College of Science and Mathematics used to a 0 to 4 point scale to rate this year’s program assessment reports. This scale corresponds to the Exceptional (4), Reasonable (3), Limited (2), and Inadequate (1) criteria distributed by the Provost’s Office. A score of 0 indicates that the area of the report was not present. The following table is a summary of the scores for each program.

Program Use Faculty & Stakeholder Approach Overall
B.S., Biology 3.5
Exceptional
3.5
Exceptional
3.5
Exceptional
3.5
Exceptional
M.S., Biology* * * * *
B.S. & B.A. Chemistry 3.6
Exceptional
3.6
Exceptional
3.5
Exceptional
3.6
Exceptional
M.S. & M.A. Chemistry 0.5
Inadequate
0.5
Inadequate
0.0
Inadequate
0.5

Inadequate
B.S., Environmental Health Science ** ** ** **
B.S., Geology 3.8
Exceptional
4.0
Exceptional
4.0
Exceptional
3.9
Exceptional
B.S., Health Science 4.0
Exceptional
3.8
Exceptional
3.5
Exceptional
3.8
Exceptional
M.S., Integrated Science and Mathematics 1.0
Inadequate
1.0
Inadequate
2.0
Limited
1.3
Inadequate
B.S. & B.A., Mathematics 3.4
Reasonable
3.6
Exceptional
3.4
Reasonable
3.5
Exceptional
M.S., Applied Mathematics 3.4
Reasonable
3.4
Reasonable
3.2
Reasonable
3.4
Reasonable
A.S., Nursing 3.8
Exceptional
4.0
Exceptional
3.8
Exceptional
3.9
Exceptional
B.S. & B.A., Physics 2.0
Limited
2.0
Limited
2.0
Limited
2.0
Limited
Totals: Inadequate: 2
Limited: 1
Reasonable: 2
Exceptional: 5
Inadequate: 2
Limited: 1
Reasonable: 1
Exceptional: 6
Inadequate: 1
Limited: 2
Reasonable: 2
Exceptional: 5
Inadequate: 2
Limited: 1
Reasonable: 1
Exceptional: 6

*No report was generated for the M.S. in Biology

Most of the undergraduate programs in the College of Science and Mathematics are rated at reasonable level, or above, in program assessment based on the PAAG criteria rubric. In general, the undergraduate programs are doing a good job with assessment, although there is variable across the college and room for improvement. It is apparent that there is a culture of assessment that is now imbedded in most of the undergraduate programs in the college. The step between reasonable and exceptional is a difficult step to make. Five programs have made that step: B.S. in Biology, B.S. /B.A. in Chemistry, B.S. in Geology, B.S. in Health Science, and A.S. in Nursing. This represents an increase from two to five programs in the exceptional category since last year. One other program has made the step to exceptional in two categories, the B.S./B.A. in Mathematics.

The assessment plan for the M.S. in Biology is being reviewed by the CSAM Assessment Committee and Department of Biology. The Dean and the College Assessment Committee are working with the programs with inadequate or limited rating to try to improve their assessment plans and assessment process.

Strengths:

  • A new approach to the process of evaluating the Assessment Progress Reports has been initiated that involves two levels of review before a final evaluation is made. The first level is by teams as in the past, making sure that no team member evaluates his/her department’s report. The second level is the team will bring their evaluation reports for review by the entire Assessment Committee, with a majority vote need to approve the team evaluation recommendation.
  • Once the program is working with a feedback loop, there is evidence and consistency of maintenance. We have some mature programs.
  • There is considerably more assessment data being collected. It is obvious that more implementation has occurred and this has resulted in more useful assessment data.
  • Most programs have good learning objectives that are linked to goals of their programs. In addition most programs have methods to assess the learning objectives.
  • There is evidence that “assessment feedback loop” is closed in more programs this year than in previous years.
  • There has been improvement in program assessment in the programs that comprise CSAM over the past few years. As a result of continued emphasis on assessment, the college is developing faculty expertise in the area of program assessment in the programs that are scoring well in the review process.
  • A benefit of participating in the assessment process is that each program has had to examine and evaluate student learning in respect to learning objectives. Programs have discovered areas in which they are doing a good job as well as a whole rather than narrower view of individual courses.
  • Data are being collected from wider range of sources, covering more diverse areas of assessment.
  • Validity and reliability are being measured by some programs.

Areas of concern:

  • Not all programs are demonstrating a commitment to the assessment process.

Recommendations and Comments:

  • Use Excellent instead of Exceptional as a descriptor for “highest level” assessment score.
  • Assessment funds should be made available in early fall semester.
  • Remind and enforce the 10-page limit rule with 10-12 font size.
  • Consider using the Institute of Government-Study Research Group, Ross Hall, 6th floor, in the process of administering and collecting data for alumni surveys and employer surveys. They seem to be well prepared to assist in this data collection.
  • Consider developing a college-wide alumni survey and perhaps a college-wide employer survey as part of assessment.
  • It would be helpful to have assessment plans posted on Assessment Central. The assessment plans have more information than the approach section of the Assessment Progress Report.
  • Representation from MSISM on college assessment committee
  • Compare transfer student grades with non-transfer student grades in the college.