2005 Summary

College of Science and Mathematics Assessment Committee

  • Jim Fulmer, Committee Chair, Department of Mathematics

  • Cindy Gilbert, Department of Nursing

  • Donna Quimby, Department of Health Sciences

  • Marian Douglas, Department of Chemistry

  • Paul Akers, Department of Biology

  • Beth McMillan, Department of Earth Science

  • AndrĂ© Rollefson, Department of Physics and Astronomy

The College of Science and Mathematics used a 0 to 4 point scale to rate this year’s programassessment 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

B.S., Biology

 

3.2

Reasonable

3.5

Exceptional

3.4

Reasonable

M.S., Biology*

 

*

*

*

B.S. & B.A. Chemistry

 

3.8

Exceptional

3.7

Exceptional

3.7

Exceptional

M.S. & M.A. Chemistry

 

0.5

Inadequate

0.5

Inadequate

0.0

Inadequate

B.S., Environmental Health Science

2.0

2.2

2.9

B.S., Geology

 

3.8

Exceptional

3.5

Exceptional

3.8

Exceptional

B.S., Health Science

 

3.8

Exceptional

3.6

Exceptional

3.2

Reasonable

M.S., Integrated Science and
Mathematics

0.0

Inadequate

0.5

Inadequate

1.5

Inadequate

B.S. & B.A., Mathematics

 

3.4

Reasonable

3.6

Exceptional

3.5

Exceptional

M.S., Applied Mathematics

 

3.4

Reasonable

3.7

Exceptional

3.4

Reasonable

A.S.,
Nursing           

 

4.0

Exceptional

4.0

Exceptional

3.9

Exceptional

B.S. & B.A., Physics

1.8

Limited

2.5

Reasonable

2.2

Limited

Totals:

Inadequate: 3

Limited: 1

Reasonable: 3

Exceptional: 4

Inadequate: 2

Limited: 2

Reasonable: 1

Exceptional: 6

Inadequate: 1

Limited: 2

Reasonable: 4

Exceptional: 4

*Assessment plan for M.S. in Biology is still under review.

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. Three
programs have made that step to exceptional in all categories:
B.S. /B.A. in Chemistry, B.S. in Geology, and A.S. in Nursing.
Two programs have made the step to exceptional in two categories:
B.S. in Health Sciences and 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:

  • Our college won two of the four
    $1,000 awards for program posters at the recent Assessment
    Expo.

  • 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. 
    This approach has now been used for two
    years. 

  • Once the program is working with a
    feedback loop, there is evidence and consistency of
    maintenance. We have some mature programs.  

  • The maturity of assessment programs
    has allowed programs to focus on fewer student
    learning objectives annually in the assessment timeline. 

  • 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 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.

  • For the first time we are 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.

  • Some programs are seeing the need to
    re-evaluate their assessment plans.

Areas
of Concern:
 

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

We encourage consequences for those
programs that do not comply and rewards for all that have a
working plan.  

Recommendations and Comments:

  • Assessment funds should be made
    available in early fall semester.

  • Remind and enforce the 10-page limit
    rule with 10-12 font size.

  • 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.

  • In the Assessment Progress Reports,
    be sure that Student Learning Expectations are carefully
    stated and identified for the evaluator’s use.

  • Develop a glossary of vocabulary
    terms on Assessment Central for use of newcomers to
    college assessment committees.