Criterion Three: Student Learning and Effective Teaching

 

Applied Sciences

 

1.  What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

 

Agriculture/Range Management Student Learning Outcomes:

Students in this program will develop the knowledge, skills, competencies, and attitudes so they will be able to:

* Attain a career in an agriculture or range management related field.

* Recognize the highly competitive and global role of agriculture in the local, national, and world marketplaces.

* Achieve entrance into graduate programs in agriculture or range management related fields.

* Interpret and utilize current theory and research findings to enhance knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for agriculture or range management related careers.

 

FCS Student Learning Outcomes:

Students in this program will develop knowledge, skills, competencies, and attitudes so they will be able to:

* Analyze factors which contribute to the development of healthy individuals throughout the lifespan (conception through old age).

*Analyze nutrition and life course choices which influence lifespan wellness.

* Assess the relationship between managing resources (time, energy, money) and achieving personal or family goals.

* Apply critical and creative thinking skills in addressing individual and family problems and issues in diverse environments.

* Describe the physical, emotional, mental and social development of children.

* Illustrate the role food, clothing, and shelter play in individual and family consumerism and resource management.

* Summarize the history of the FCS profession as well as the multiple career paths available to FCS graduates.

* Demonstrate the ability to use knowledge, skills, competencies, and attitudes in a professional work experience.

 

ITE Student Learning Outcomes:

Students in this program will develop knowledge, skills, competencies and attitudes so they will be able to:

* Demonstrate ability in the application of basic management principles as related to an industrial or educational environment within the regional and global economies.

* Apply technical knowledge in manufacturing, energy, power and transportation, communications and construction in problem solving situations relevant to their study of manufacturing, construction or industrial education.

* Demonstrate behaviors and attitudes consistent to team building leadership strategies within the regional and global economies.

* Develop a skill set of industrial, construction and educational processes as they apply to the regional as well as global economies.

* Demonstrate strong interpersonal and communication skills that are required for successful functionality in a manufacturing, construction or educational environment.

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

Each of the programs administers professional knowledge exams.  The Agriculture/Range Management program tracks scores from the Undergraduate Range Management Exam administered by the Society for Range Management over time.  Students are allowed to take it annually, and this allows the program to track student progress and compare it to other schools offering similar programs.  Students are also encouraged to take the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists exam. Again, appropriate corrections are made to animal science curriculum.   The ITE program administers the Society of Manufacturing Engineers exam to its students.  Detailed results are presented to faculty.  Deficiencies in the exam are noted and corresponding adjustments are made to the curriculum and presentation methods.  The FCS group administers the National Family & Consumer Sciences Certification Examination and makes appropriate adjustments to materials and programs.

 

Additionally each program has developed a set of rubrics to assess classes.  Feedback is also garnered through fall semester class evaluations.  Each faculty member then has to respond to these results and analyze how they can be utilized in adjusting course content.  Feedback from recently employed students and their employers is also collected, analyzed and implemented.

 

Data is stored in departmental and program assessment reports.  These are stored in the department, with each program assessment coordinator, and with the School dean.

 

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

Each class is given an assessment in the fall semester.  Rubrics are also constructed for by the programs for their classes.  Each program has a faculty member that is assigned as the assessment coordinator.  They prepare a full assessment report of each program based on these tools which then goes to the department chair.  The chair then combines the reports for the department and submits it to the Dean.

 

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

Questions 4 and 5 logically go hand-in-hand.  The faculty of the Department of Applied Sciences uses these assessments as tools to adjust their course content, course offerings, and delivery methods.  This is supplemented by direct student input from both current and past students.  Attendance at state and international meetings leads to collaboration with faculty at other institutions and the sharing of educational content.  These meetings also provide educators with emerging information.

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

Please see response to previous question.

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

 

Programs within the Applied Sciences department provide a mix of classes ranging from traditional lecture format, laboratories, field experiences, tours, on-line, and Interactive Television (ITV), and hybrid (combination of face-to-face and online) delivery formats.  Most programs have migrated to a PowerPoint format for lecture materials.  The CADD lab maintained by the ITE program is maintained to a level representative of industry standards.  The Child Development Center provides a unique opportunity for students to gain experience in working with young children and observing them as they learn through various methodologies.

 

Business & Economics

 

1.  What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

 

            The objectives for the Department are:

 

A.  The students will average at least in the second quartile of the major field achievement test in business produced by the educational testing service.  The test will be taken during the student’s senior year.

 

B.  Departmental Survey of Recent Graduates

i.  85% of graduating seniors, actively seeking employment, will be employed in an entry-level position within six months of graduation as indicated by the data gathered through a departmentally developed survey instrument.

 

ii. 80% of the graduating seniors completing the attitudinal portion of a departmental survey will indicate they “agree” or “strongly agree” with the statement: “I had enough depth of study in an emphasis area to feel confident in learning and using the practical elements of that area.”

 

C.  75% of students who participate in a professional experience (student teaching and/or internship) will average at least 80% on their final grade.  Grades will be assessed by the faculty coordinator based on attainment of initial goals set by the student, evaluation of paper work including the final paper, and recommendations given by the site supervisor(s) and internship & career services representatives.

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

            The Department has six separate tools for assessing student learning:

 

A.  The ETS Major Field Test—this nationally normed test is used to assess the learning in the Department’s core classes.

 

B.  The Departmentally Created Survey of Recent Graduates—this is used to assess student satisfaction with their learning.

 

C. The Attitudinal Portion of the Above Survey.

 

D.  Evaluative Instruments used by Site Supervisor(s)/Employers and Internship Representatives. (For tools A-B consult the Assessment Matrix Plan on the next page.)

 

E.  A Subjective Faculty Assessment of Meeting the Course’s Learning Objectives (example) —This instrument is designed for the Faculty of each class to assess how well they achieved the goals of each class they taught, what worked well, and what needed to be improved.  This was started in Spring 2005, and is on-going.

 

F.      Anecdotal Evidence of Employer Views of our Graduates, which can be found in the Advisory Board Minutes and is now being formalized into The Department’s Board of Advisors.  Last fall the Department Board of Advisors was formed with the express goal of providing us feedback about the performance of our graduates and to alert us about business trends.

 

Part A data is sent to the Chair from the ETS Company.

 

Parts B and C data is generated by sending surveys to our recent graduates and collating the returned survey’s responses.

 

Part D data is gathered by the Internships and Career Services Department.

 

The data from parts A through F are stored with the office of the Department Chair. They are stored in both electronic and hard copy and can be accessed by the Department Chair.

 

ASSESSMENT MATRIX PLAN for

Bachelor of Arts with a Comprehensive Major in Business Administration

Bachelor of Arts with a Subject Major in General Business

Objectives

Assessment Instrument

Outcomes

Data Results

Process Used To Share & Review Data

How Results Will Be Used

1. Graduating seniors will compare favorably in knowledge and core competencies with students completing a similar program.

ETS Major Field Test
Business

Aggregate of students will average at least in the second quartile of the MFAT in business produced by the educational testing service.

Aggregate:
  2003-2005
Dept. Mean = 150.2
National Mean = 152.3

Dept.
   Spr. 2003 = 153.3
   Fall 2003 = 149.0
   Spr. 2004 = 150.9
   Fall 2004 = 151.1
   Spr. 2005 = 148.6
   Fall 2005 = 148.5

1. The data are compiled and reviewed initially by the Strategic Planning and Information & Analysis Committees.  (Data analysis will include the 8 discipline areas)

2. These joint committees develop recommendations for Departmental consideration.

Scores are analyzed for appropriate course and/or program revision

2. Graduating senior respondents, actively seeking employment, will be employed in an entry-level position within 6-months of graduation

Departmental Survey

85% of graduating seniors, actively seeking employment will be employed in an entry-level position within 6-months of graduation

6-YEAR Follow-up
Calendar Years 2000-2005
    83.6%

SUMMARY BY YEAR OF DEGREE COMPLETION:
Summary (Calendar) Year 2000
     79.0% 
Summary (Calendar) Year 2001
     85.7%
Summary (Calendar) Year 2002
     88.2%
Summary (Calendar) Year 2003
     82.9%
Summary (Calendar) Year 2004
     73.9%
Summary (Calendar) Year 2005
     90.3%

1. The data are compiled and reviewed initially by the Strategic Planning and Information & Analysis Committees.

2.  Survey is reviewed for relevance.

3. These joint committees develop recommendations for Departmental consideration.

Scores are analyzed for appropriate course and/or program revision.

Survey is revised to meet departmental needs

 

3. Graduating senior respondants will indicate they feel confident in learning and using the practical elements of their option area.

Attitudinal Portion of
Departmental Survey

 

80% of the graduating seniors will indicate they "Agree" or "Strongly agree" with the statement:  "I had enough depth of study in an emphasis area to feel confident in learning and using the practical elements of that area".

 

6-YEAR Follow-up
Calendar Years 2000-2005
     86.0%

SUMMARY BY YEAR OF DEGREE COMPLETION:
Summary (Calendar) Year 2000
     84.2% 
Summary (Calendar) Year 2001
     89.3%
Summary (Calendar) Year 2002
     90.9%
Summary (Calendar) Year 2003
     85.3%
Summary (Calendar) Year 2004
     86.4%
Summary (Calendar) Year 2005
     80.7%

 

1. The data are compiled and reviewed initially by the Strategic Planning and Information & Analysis Committees.

2. These joint committees develop recommendations for Departmental consideration.

 

Scores are analyzed for appropriate course and/or program revision.

Survey is revised to meet departmental needs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Students who participate in a professional experience (student teaching &/or internship) will receive an "above average" grade.

Evaluative instruments used by Site Supervisor(s)/Employer(s) and Internship Representatives.

75% of students who participate in a professional experience will average at least 80% on their final grade

Calendar Year 2003
     98.7%

Calendar Year 2004
     96%

Calendar Year 2005
     96.3%

1. The data are compiled and reviewed initially by the Strategic Planning and Information & Analysis Committees.

2. These joint committees develop recommendations for Departmental consideration.

Scores are analyzed for appropriate course and/or program revision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rev 09/28/2006

 

           

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

            The Department has spent a lot of effort assessing how well the courses in the Department’s Core of Courses contribute to achieving the goals of the Core.  This was explained above in the Assessment Matrix Plan, part 1.

 

At this time the Department does not coordinate individual course and program evaluation for all its courses.  That is the main goal of the creation of the option student outcomes.  When the individual course and option outcomes are created, they will be coordinated by each program option’s committee, with the assistance of the Assessment committee.  These committees will also create assessment data on each course and assess how well each course contributes to each option reaching its student learning outcomes.

 

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

In the past, the Department preset goals that we wanted our aggregate measures to meet.  If the goals were met, the Department took no action. 

 

However, the Department now is establishing continuous program improvement.

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

Please see response to previous question.

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

 

All departmental classrooms are mediated.

 

Departmental Graduate Assistants provide tutoring services. 

 

Departmental faculty consistently recommend tutors for the campus-wide tutoring service. 

 

Departmental faculty recommend books, periodicals and audiovisual materials to the library.

 

Departmental faculty use Blackboard to web-enhance student learning.

 

Communication Arts

 

  1. What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

 

By the end of the program we believe the students should be able to:

1. Gather, evaluate and synthesize materials in the following contexts:

·        Interpersonal Communication

·        Public Address

·        Group/Team Communication

·        Mass Communication

2. Create and evaluate messages designed for target groups related to:

·        Interpersonal Communication

·        Public Address

·        Group/Team Communication

·        Mass Communication

Faculty members realize there are only two program outcomes. Because this was our first attempt to assess using the new outcomes changes are anticipated for the future. We had hoped to start small and see what worked for us and adjust the program outcomes or method of assessment as necessary based upon the results of the data. 

 

  1. What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is that data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

The assessment for spring 2006 will be comprised of the areas of Public Address and Mass Communication in the first outcome.  Courses included in the Public Address assessment will be CA 125 Fundamentals of Oral Communication, CA 233 Multimedia & Presentational Speaking, and CA 334 Theories & Practice of Persuasion.  The program faculty chose to select these courses to assist in program evaluation as well as to help in assessing the program’s contribution to the General Studies curriculum at CSC.  One assignment will be selected from each of these courses to submit to the faculty to be evaluated. 

 

The Mass Communication component of the spring 2006 assessment will consist of a collective evaluation of one assignment from CA 333 News Journalism.

We collected data in the Spring from the assigned courses through videotaping speeches.  We then met on May 1, 2006 to evaluate the assessment materials.  Each instructor brought his/her evaluation tool.  It became evident in the first five minutes of the conversation that we were using different criteria to assess classroom speeches.  We decided we needed to create a rubric that would be used for this purpose and that would include what we valued in presentations.  A rubric was adapted to meet the criteria we value and has now been distributed to instructors teaching courses in the category of Public Address.  Once again student speeches will be recorded to assess based upon this new rubric. We can then make changes based upon the results of the data collected in the Fall of 2006.

 

Communication Arts is a new Department and our configuration of courses is also new to the 2005-07 CSC General Bulletin.  We are in the process of developing all of our assessments.  We hope to create course embedded assessment so that it is not viewed by the students or faculty as an “add on project”.  The results of the collection of data this semester will help us determine not only departmental assessment but also the new General Studies Assessment approved by Academic Review in the Spring of 2006.

 

Since we have collected little data, the information is currently store in the office of the Department Chair for Communication Arts.  As the data grows, we will need to find an appropriate place to store data so it is easily accessible to faculty and students.

 

  1. How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

Communication Arts Curriculum Map 2005/06

 

Outcome

Courses

Gather, evaluate and synthesize materials effectively.

Interpersonal

CA 230 Conflict Resolution & Mediation

CA 260 Intro to Communication Theory

CA 420 Relational & Family Communication

CA 440 Gendered Communication

CA 353 Health Communication

CA 430 Communication Research Methods

Group/Team

CA 250 Public Relations Techniques

CA 350 Public Relations Multimedia

CA 351 Organizational Communication

CA 353 Health Communication

Public Address

CA 125 Fundamentals of Oral Communication

CA 233 Multimedia & Presentational Speaking

CA 334 Theories & Practice of Persuasion

Mass Communication

CA 238 Introduction to Mass Media

CA 333 News Journalism

CA 431 Publication Projects

CA 434 Editing and Design

Create and evaluate effective messages designed for target groups.

Interpersonal

CA 125 Fundamentals of Oral Communication

CA 225 Interpersonal Communication

CA 346 Intercultural Communication

CA 351 Organizational Communication

CA 420 Relational & Family Communication

CA 440 Gendered Communication

Group/Team

CA 250 Public Relations Techniques

CA 350 Public Relations Multimedia

CA 353 Health Communication

Public Address

CA 125 Fundamentals of Oral Communication

CA 144 Oral Interpretation and Performance Studies

CA 233 Multimedia & Presentational Speaking

CA 334 Theories & Practice of Persuasion

Mass Communication

CA 231 Introduction to Desktop Publishing

CA 234 Photojournalism

CA 333 News Journalism

CA 431 Publication Projects

CA 434 Editing and Design

 

 

  1. How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

The program is new and has only recently developed a full-fledged assessment plan.  The program faculty will gather data related to their new assessment plan at the end of this year.  The results of our assessment show that we need to all have the same assignment for students and the same criteria to evaluate materials in the General Studies course, CA 125 Fundamentals of Oral Communication.  Other courses were assessed based upon the assignment criteria and evaluation rubric used by the instructor of the course.  One improvement is to have students develop speech outlines.  The speech outline provides structure for the student and a standard format from which presentations can be delivered and evaluated.  The speech outline also gives students an organizational structure to follow and forces them to know and understand the components of an informative or persuasive speech, not just the content of the topic selected for the speech.

 

  1. How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

The implementation of assessment as a part of classroom activity has helped faculty in Communication Arts to engage in discussion on what we value as instructors.  In the spring of 2006 several heated conversations developed as we discussed how we needed to proceed with the assessment of oral presentations in CA 125.  Several professors had stringent standards for evaluating content of presentations and less focus on delivery of the presentation.  This discussion even led faculty to consider if the CA 125 format was the best for students.  Many faculty outside of Communication Arts believe we just teach public address in this course.  While there is a focus on this skill, students are also exposed to theories and activities related to nonverbal communication, intercultural communication, interpersonal communication and working with groups and teams.  We were unsure as to how to proceed in the future.  Some faculty felt this was our only opportunity to expose students to other aspects of communication besides public address while others suggested that if faculty on campus value public speaking skills then we might need to focus more on that content. 

 

Faculty members have also engaged in discussion on how we present materials, what assignments and activities are provided to the students, and how we might come up with embedded assessment within the commonly taught courses in General Studies.  By discussing our teaching philosophy and assignments we are able to share with one another.  Many of the ideas can also be adapted to other courses in Communication Arts. 

 

 

  1. How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities, and support services?

 

Communication Arts participates in contributing to effective learning environments in a variety of ways.  The Eagle newspaper creates an opportunity for students to gain hands on experience in newspaper reporting, developing advertising, editing and design.  This newspaper is not only read by the campus community but it is mailed out to High Schools within the region. 

 

Faculty in Communication Arts has worked to get a classroom mediated for student and faculty use in presentations.  We encourage students to use the technology to present materials formally and informally.  We believe that faculty can model proper technology use, however, student use of technology for presentations helps them create a comfort level with software and hardware in addition to learning how to properly present mediated materials to audiences.  Currently we have a permanently mediated room in Administration 343.  This room is used predominantly for CA courses on campus.  We also have a portable mediation unit consisting of a laptop, projector and speakers.  We are able to move this from room to room as students access multimedia materials to aid in presentations.  Communication arts faculty members have worked hard to get students to engage in technology use as a part of classroom activities.  Students are encouraged to use media to present a variety of materials in visual format to enhance the spoken message.  We encourage the addition of mediated messages and have made technology use central to several courses for students, including CA 233 Presentational Speaking, CA 250 Introduction to Public Relations, CA 350 Public Relations Multimedia, CA 420 Relational and Family Communication and CA 440 Gendered Communication.  

 

Communication Arts will continue to share a computer lab with English and Humanities for the 2006-07 academic year.  The primary function of this lab is to assist in CA 231 Introduction to Desktop Publishing, CA 333 News Journalism and CA 233 Presentational Speaking.  Classes are conducted in the lab to provide students with hands on access to computers, software and professional direction for completing assignments.  This lab is also critical for CA 234 Photojournalism, CA 250 Introduction to Public Relations, CA 350 Public Relations Multimedia and as a resource for Eagle Newspaper reporters to complete stories as deadlines approach. 

 

The computer lab facilities are maintained by Communication Arts faculty members with Mrs. Dickenson taking the lead.  Support is also provided by CSC computer services when needed.  Currently we have 15 Mac computers available to students in the lab and several Mac computers designated for use only on developing issues of the Eagle newspaper.

 

Faculty in Communication Arts teach most classes in mediated classrooms.  These are critical for us to access current information, have students present materials and to view supplementary course materials like websites and DVDs.

 

Faculty members have also assisted with the development of the Writing and Speaking center on the CSC campus.  Mr. Lurvey and Dr. Kirsch presented tips to the tutors in the CSC Tutoring Center the first year of the writing and speaking center.  Dr. Kirsch also presented materials on how to develop and deliver and effective presentation to the tutors in Fall 2005.  In addition, she continues to present this material each semester to the sections of BIOL 410 Biology Seminar.  Students and instructors are provided with handouts on how presentations should be developed with the use of visual aids.

 

Communication Arts faculty have also volunteered to spend time at the speaking and writing center.  We have asked to be contacted about spending some of our office hours in the center and if students.  Currently no faculty member spends time there, but it is a presence we hope to develop.

 

Counseling, Psychology & Social Work

 

1.  What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

 

Counseling

Community Counseling Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the Community Counseling Program students will be able to:

1.      Demonstrate knowledge of human growth and development; social and cultural foundations; helping relationships; groups career and lifestyle development; appraisal; research and program evaluation; and professionalism;

2.      Demonstrate entry-level clinical skills as a professional counselor;

3.      Demonstrate knowledge and application of the principles of the Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association (ACA);

4.      Apply the ACA ethical principles professionally;

5.      Fulfill the pre-graduation requirements of Title 92, Nebraska Department of Health Professional and Occupational Licenses Regulations in the areas of course content and supervised field experience;

6.      Understand the needs of  rural populations and develop appropriate referral and networking skills;

7.      Demonstrate empathy and skill with counseling diverse cultural, social and gender groups;

8.      Understand one’s personal and professional strengths and weaknesses and to maintain supervisory and peer consultation relationships;

9.      Provide consultation services to local, state and professional community;

10.  Understand research design sufficiently well to comprehend professional journal literature.

 

School Counseling Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the School Counseling Program students will be able to:

1.      Demonstrate knowledge of human growth and development; social and cultural foundations; helping relationships; groups career and lifestyle development; appraisal; research and program evaluation; and professionalism;

2.      Demonstrate entry-level clinical skills as a professional counselor;

3.      Demonstrate knowledge and application of the principles of the Code of Ethics of the American Counseling Association (ACA);

4.      Apply the ACA ethical principles professionally;

5.      Fulfill the pre-graduation requirements of Title 172, Nebraska Department of Health Professional and Occupational Licenses Regulations in the areas of course content and supervised clinical experience;

6.      Understand the needs of  rural populations and develop appropriate referral and networking skills;

7.      Demonstrate empathy and skill with counseling diverse cultural, social and gender groups;

8.      Understand one’s personal and professional strengths and weaknesses and to maintain supervisory and peer consultation relationships;

9.      Provide consultation services to local, state and professional community;

10.  Understand research design sufficiently well to comprehend professional journal literature.

 

Psychology

Psychology Student Learning Outcomes:

1.      Knowledge Base of Psychology: Demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.

2.      Research Methods in Psychology: Understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.

3.      Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology: Respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes.

4.      Application of Psychology: Understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.

5.      Values in Psychology: Value empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a science.

6.      Information and Technological Literacy: Demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes.

7.      Communication Skills: Communicate effectively in a variety of formats.

8.      Sociocultural and International Awareness: Recognize, understand and respect the complexity of sociocultural and international diversity.

9.      Personal Development: Develop insight into their own and other's behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.

10.  Career Planning and Development: Pursue realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings.

 

Social Work

To carry out the mission of the Social Work Program and Chadron State College, the Social Work Program seeks to prepare Social Work Professionals who will upon completion of the Program be able to:

1.   Critically assess and intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities using multidimensional theories and strategies that enhance the social functioning and interactions of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities by involving them in accomplishing goals, developing resources, and preventing and alleviating distress.

2.   Utilize the skills and knowledge to successfully practice within the context of diverse cultures reflected by, but not limited to, age, gender, sexual preference, mission/orientation, racial or ethnic background, disability, marital status, religious orientations, and lifestyle.

3.   Utilize knowledge of the forms and mechanisms of oppression/social injustice, integrate a value-base that fosters commitment to advocacy, and develop the political and social skills necessary to alleviate oppression/social injustice.

4.   Critically analyze social welfare policies and implement social welfare policies, services, and programs through political and organizational processes that meet basic human needs and support the development of human capacities.

5.   Work collaboratively within rural human service agencies and human service delivery systems with supervisors and professional colleagues and develop personal/professional/political support systems.

6.   Utilize the knowledge and skills of research, evaluate professional practice using qualitative and quantitative research methods, use and solicit collegial feedback, and apply existing knowledge to advance Social Work practice.

7.   Practice Social Work with an ethical orientation compatible with the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and to assess and act professionally and intentionally in situations with ethical dilemmas.

8.   Develop an identity as a professional Social Worker and practice Social Work with the highest regard for the strengths/capacities, integrity and value of all beings whether as individuals or in families, groups, organizations and communities.

9.  Enter a graduate program in Social Work with advanced standing.

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

            Counseling

      The following information derives from the 2005 Assessment plan and report. All assessments are designed to assess the graduate student learning and the graduate Counseling program.

1:  Instrument 1-Pre-test survey-The department developed in the 2004-05 academic year a pre-survey with 10 questions that seek qualitative information to assist in the processing of students into the Counseling program. The Counseling program suspended the former test given in previous years due to the lack of reliability of the instrument. None of the aforementioned assessments were administered to the 2004 graduating students. This plan was under construction for 2005-06 academic year and is being implemented in the fall of 2005.

2:  Instrument 2-Post-survey has been developed to follow the aforementioned assessment. This survey is to correlate with the pre-survey. None have been administered to the 2004 graduating students. This plan was under construction for 2005-06 academic year and has been implemented in the fall of 2005.

3:  Instrument 3-Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE)-  At the end of the student’s fulfillment of all Graduate Counseling program course requirements and the completion of all culminating internship experiences (COUN 633), all graduate students will be administered a quantitative post-test. As the Center for Credentialing and Education (CCE) identified (2004), the purpose of the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is to assess counseling graduate student knowledge of counseling information. This is also part of the new plan for the Graduate Counseling program. Administration of the aforementioned instrument instruments begins in the academic 2005-06 school year.

4:  Instrument 4-Counseling Portfolio Rubric-the Counseling unit also developed an additional instrument to be included in the portfolio evaluation.  The use of this instrument begins in the fall of 2005. Included are available spaces for specific and general comments by the faculty members that complete the portfolio review. The instrument offers a quantitative provision as well.

5:  Instrument 5-Masters Orals Examination -The Oral Examination in the graduate Counseling Program is the culminating activity for all Masters of Arts in Education (M.A.E.) and all Masters of Education (M.Ed.) counseling students. The Orals Rating Instrument was first developed in 1994, and was modified in 2000 and 2004 with the inclusion of additional items. It is used consistently during the Counseling Orals Examination for all exiting graduate students.

 

Orals Examination - Areas of Strength

In 2004-2005, eighteen (18) counseling students completed their orals examination before graduation. Counseling students received their highest scores in the areas of Professional Orientation/Identity and Helping Relationships. (The following discussion will identify the number students who scored in the “superior or “above average” categories for specific instrument sections of the instrument).

 

In the area of Professional Orientation/Identity, 14 students received scores for their “active involvement in professional organizations;” 17 students exhibited scores for “knowledge of at least the code of ethics of the American Counseling Association;” 18 students received scores for “applies ethical and legal requirements to professional practice;” 18 students scored highly for “recognizes professional limits” and “understands role as a professional counselor;” and 11 students were “aware of licensure/certification requirements.

 

In Helping Relationships, 16 students received scores for “in-depth knowledge of at least two-counseling theories;” 18 scored in “understands interaction between counselor (self) and client characteristics and behaviors;” 18 “demonstrates and uses counseling skills and techniques with in the context of theory;” and 17 “knows and uses basic interviewing, assessment, and counseling skills.”

 

Orals Examination - Areas of Strong to Moderate Response 

Counseling students exhibited strong to moderately strong responses in many areas of the Counseling Orals Examination. These areas included Social and Cultural Diversity (sections a, b, and c); Human Growth and Development (section a); Group Work (sections a, b, c, and d); Appraisal (section a & b); and Research and Program Evaluation (section c & d).

 

Orals Examination - Areas for Departmental Concern

Although the graduate student Counseling Orals Examination is generally 1 to 1 1/2 hours in length, not all items can and may be addressed by graduate Counseling faculty. Areas of Professional Orientation/Identity are often addressed at the beginning of the interview to set the stage and create a professional tone. During the 2004-2005, areas of concern that were often “Not tested” were: Human Growth and Development (section b); Career Development (section a, c & d); Helping Relationships (section e); Appraisal (section c); and Research and Program Evaluation (section c & d). It is not the intent of the graduate Counseling faculty to ignore any item or question on the oral examination. The faculty will address the inclusion of these items in future graduate Counseling Oral Examinations.

 

6:  National Counseling Exam-Chadron State College Counseling unit supports the assessment of the National Counseling Exam each year. In 2004-2005 six gradating students completed the National Counseling Exam and all six participants passed the exam and readied themselves to be approved for provisional licensure with the state of Nebraska.

 

            Psychology

The department currently uses the Area Concentration Achievement (ACAT) test with the selected concentration areas of Abnormal, Personality, Development, Experimental Design, Social, and Physiological Psychology, which the department considers to most accurately reflect departmental emphases. In addition, the department intends to use the ACAT as a pre-test starting in Spring 2006, with a selected sample of the General Psychology students.

 

The department will continue to supplement this primarily knowledge-based assessment with surveys regarding job or graduate school plans and other reflective activities. The initial survey was designed to address plans at the time of graduation, address issues of differences in course options (substance abuse versus general psychology), and to provide reflective analysis on how well students felt the ten student learning outcomes (described above) were met in their departmental coursework.  The information about student learning outcomes is collected through numeric rating scales, but students are also given a chance to comment.  This information is subjective in nature.

 

In addition, a version of The Academic Skills Inventory (Kruger  & Zechmeister, 2000, Kruger, D., & Zechmeister, E., 1999) has been implemented in May 2005 and December 2005.

 

An additional survey will be administered to faculty to address the extent to which the expected academic skills have been addressed by projects and assignments in specific psychology courses (this has also been developed by Kruger and Zechmeister). The department will meet at the end of each year to discuss how courses have been taught.

 

The department will develop a plan for surveying alumni. The alumni survey will include information about alumni careers and graduate schools, as well as their assessment of learning outcomes and preparation for graduate school or employment.

 

            Social Work

Student learning is assessed by multiple measures. The assessments include:

 

(1)    Midterm exam involving multiple choice questions and written questions covering content of first half of semester.

(2)   Final exams involving multiple choice questions and questions covering content of last half of semester.

(3)   Mastery exams on Blackboard covering course content and requiring repeats until minimum standards are met.

(4)   Weekly Group Assignments requiring application of readings and lectures to tasks leading to the development of research projects when applicable.

(5)   Student and Instructor evaluations of student participation in group and class discussions.

(6)   Student quantitative assessment of attainment of objectives for course.

(7)   Student completion of written summary on attainment of specific objectives with description of how achieved.

 

 During each course student attainment of learning is assessed by quizzes, examinations, verbal and written feedback on in class presentations and written assignments. At the end of each course students are requested to complete an assessment of their attainment of course learning outcomes and provide written narratives on how those learning outcomes were attained. At the end of each course, faculty develop a written self-assessment of the course content, sequencing, and assignments. Faculty meet to discuss student attainment of objectives and goals of the program and how to better meet student learning needs.  For example, if students are not speaking or writing at a college level, faculty members explore how to enhance the student learning in these areas. Students in field practicum are assessed on attainment of and performance with program objectives at midterm and finals by their agency Field Instructor. This feedback is provided verbally and in writing to the student by the Field Instructor and reviewed with the Field Director. Graduating seniors are asked to participate on a focus group exit interview regarding the Program content, values, knowledge, and process any issues they have experienced. This experience allows seniors to integrate their learning and gain experience in the provision of feedback to a program. Their feedback is incorporated in future curriculum development.

 

 Student assessment data are collected electronically on Blackboard or an Excel spreadsheet and made available to students throughout the semester. Students are able to electronically access the information regarding their assessments as soon as scores are posted.

 

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

            Counseling

At the current time, the coordination of individual courses and program evaluation is still in progress. The department has focused their evaluation of the Counseling program by collecting summative data.  Specific courses are expected to reflect many of the overall Student Learning Outcomes. Information is currently being collected from department faculty to determine formative evaluation.  The Counseling program is evaluated by the use of the assessment instruments discussed in question #2 (pre-test survey, post-test survey, Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE), Counseling Portfolio Rubric, Orals Rating Instrument, and the National Counseling Exam).  As this is the first year to use these assessment instruments, the counseling faculty will determine the best means of using the results of these assessments to evaluate the program.  At this time, the assessment of the graduate Counseling program is conducted at the program level and not at the individual course level.

 

            Psychology

The coordination of individual courses and program evaluation is done on an informal basis through department meeting and collection of information by faculty members. This coordination is often specifically addressed when catalog changes are pending, as changes to course offerings and programs are often implemented in new catalogs. Also developed as part of the catalog processes are four year templates for program completion. Four year rotations of course offerings are also developed in department meetings. 

 

Other sources of information for the coordination of courses within the overall program come from student advising services. In some cases students are unable to complete required courses in the order specified in the program template, due to time constraints, course enrollment issues, program and catalog changes, and so forth. If courses are not meeting required enrollment, they are offered less frequently, or evaluated in terms of whether they fit the evolving psychology program.

 

Program resources, outside sources and agencies and faculty information also play a large part in this process. The Psychology program has utilized information from the American Psychological Association in addressing the fit of the course offerings and current program objectives. Information has also been collected from websites of psychology departments at similar schools. Administrative input has also been considered in this process. The goal of creating a greater distinction between the counseling graduate programs and the undergraduate psychology program was supported by each of these sources of information. In particular, information from the American Psychological Association and Psi Chi had suggested the need to address differences between the programs prior to 2005 and suggested learning outcomes for psychology, including a renewed focus on psychology as a science, including increased exposure to research and earlier exposure to statistics.

 

Another impetus in this direction comes from state requirements for CADAC. These requirements are shifting to the graduate level, resulting in less need for these courses at the undergraduate level.

 

Information from students has also played a role in this process. Student interests in forensic psychology and criminal justice have led to the development of a new minor “Psychology and the Legal System”. Minors have also been developed for “Organizational Psychology”, and “Social and Personality”, based on student interest and needs. These minors have been incorporated into the 2007 -2009 catalog.

 

            Social Work

By utilizing the multiple measures and evaluation processes outlined in Criterion Two, the Social Work Program has been able to identify the overall programmatic changes and curriculum changes needed. In addition, by use of student evaluations completed by the College and narrative evaluations of each course, faculty have assessed their teaching methods and derived valuable information for approaches to the material. Faculty meet and discuss the narratives, provide peer feedback on teaching techniques and make recommendations for overall program changes. In addition, students are asked to participate in midterm discussions of the progress of the class in meeting the Learning Outcomes anticipated in the course syllabi. An example summary of Evaluative Processes used by the Social Work Program is as follows:

 

Summative Evaluations:

(1)   Midterm exam involving multiple choice questions and written questions covering content of first half of semester.

(2)   Final exam involving multiple choice questions and questions covering content of last half of semester.

(3)   Four mastery exams covering course content and requiring repeats until minimum standards are met.

(4)   Weekly Group Assignments requiring application of readings and lectures to tasks leading to the development of research projects.

(5)   Student and Instructor evaluations of student participation in group and class discussions.

(6)   Student quantitative assessment of attainment of objectives for course.

(7)   Student completion of written summary on attainment of specific objectives with description of how achieved.

            Formative Evaluations:

(1)   Ongoing opportunity for students to express issues and concerns about learning and teaching.

(2)   Formal midterm discussion with students about teaching – learning issues.

(3)   Faculty colleague will complete an assessment of teaching approach.

(Excerpt from SW 343 Research Methods, Dr Wes Stevens, 2005)

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

      Counseling

There have been program modifications to the required courses in the new catalog. There have been changes to specific courses implementing more of the materials that showed up as weak in standardized knowledge assessments and self-assessments of skills. These areas include research and statistics and specific professional identify issues. The change of PSYC 536 Study of the Individual to COUN 536 Foundations of Professional Identity will assist in improving the knowledge base of the students   

 

      Psychology

      There have been program modifications to the required courses in the new catalog. (e.g., weaknesses in areas of research methods, etc.). There have been changes to specific courses implementing more of the materials that showed up as weak in standardized knowledge assessments and self-assessments of skills. These areas include: research and statistics, critical thinking, and social and cultural background. The incorporation of statistics and research as required classes, as well as incorporation of related topics in other classes has been implemented.

 

      In addition, program adjustments have included the dropping of the Substance Abuse “Area of Focus” from the 2003-05 catalog, due to needs to focus on psychology at the undergraduate level. In the 2007-09 catalog, the Substance Abuse minor will be dropped, since regional requirements are changing and will require much of this coursework at the graduate level. Several new majors will be added, which will allow students from other areas to complete minors related to other disciplines.

 

      Social Work

Assessment Results have been used in the following ways by the Social Work Program:

 

1.   Added requirement that students complete pre-requisite courses prior to entering the professional social work program.  Intent: students to gain a broader liberal arts experience prior to entering social work courses, to expose students to a greater range of perspectives on the human experience, and allow additional time for students to mature in thinking ability prior to entering social work program.

 

2.  Added a requirement that students complete a course in American Government. Intent:  to enhance student understanding of how the government operates, the role and function of government decision-making, to provide a greater foundation for policy studies and social work history.

 

3.  Added a requirement that students complete courses in Psychology and Sociology. Intent: to enhance student understanding of perspectives and theories of human, group, organization, and community behavior.

 

4.  Moved Social Welfare History and Implementation, Human Behavior in the Social Environment I, and Professional Social Work to pre-requisite courses prior to entering the Professional Social Work Program.  Intent: These three courses provide a strong knowledge base of social work history and the evolution of the social welfare systems, ideological issues and values, the range and nature of social work practice, theoretical understanding of human behavior in the social environment over the life span, including in organizations and communities. Content on mechanisms of oppression and interaction with identify included.

 

5.  Added requirement that students to complete a course in statistics prior to entering the Professional Social Work Program. Intent: to increase analytical and critical reasoning and provide a beginning understanding of concepts related to quantitative research and mathematical language.

 

6.  Added requirement that students complete a lab course in interpersonal relationship skills (attending, feedback and dealing with intimidation, power differentials, etc) related to work with individuals, groups, communities and organizations. Intent: provide students with greater interpersonal skills and confidence in using themselves in a variety of situations, including ability to use influence and persuasion.

 

7.  Added requirement that students complete a lab course in research methods where students will develop skills in using software, applying statistical processes to data, and enhancing understanding of research concepts. Intent: enhance understanding and ability to use empirical information, contribute to knowledge and skills in evaluating own practice, and contribute to analytical reasoning skills.

 

8.  Brought into the Social Work Program a Research Methods course Intent: to provide social work students with classroom information and knowledge specific to understanding and engaging in social work research processes, including single subject designs, survey research, and qualitative study.

 

9.  Integrated curriculum on human behavior in organizations and communities into the Human Behavior Social Environment course and expanded it to four credit hours. Intent: greater exposure to content on organizations and communities.

 

10. Included a semester long project in descriptive analysis of human service delivery systems and increased content of social welfare history in Social Welfare History and Service Delivery Systems. Intent: to expand student knowledge of functioning of service delivery systems and organizations and to expand awareness of policy implementation issues.

 

11. Added a 2-credit seminar course, Methods: Integrative Seminar. Intent: to provide students with opportunity to use empirical information to aid in doing multi-level assessments and in designing multi-level interventions. Provide students with greater understanding of applied theory.

 

12. Added a 1 credit pre-field course. Intent: provide students with opportunity to develop advanced relationships with field instructors and agencies. Intent: to negotiate learning contracts prior to students entering field placements in order to clarity student and field instructor understanding of specific learning tasks and responsibilities that students in field placement needs to undertake and complete. Enhance the pace in which students engage in applying knowledge and acquire higher order skills while in the practicum placement.

 

13. Included a semester long project in policy analysis of major social issues using comparative, historical, content, etc. analysis. Intent: provide students with the experience of integrating policy understanding and theory with actual experience.  Engage students in contact with agency leaders, information sources, political processes so that they are able to conduct policy analysis, recommend policy directions, and identify strategies to implement policy recommendations.

 

14. Integrated the use of intentional student groups in completion of assignments with discussion of group problem solving and dynamics discussed in relation to group projects.  Some groups require students to elect group leaders and others are naturally developed. In addition, Methods II course to incorporate more applied experiential opportunities for students to facilitate and participate in different types of groups

 

15. Redesigned Social Work curriculum to ensure that student accepted into the Professional Social Work Program can take only social work courses and a maximum of 12 credits during the last 3 semesters.  Intent: to support raising the standards and expectations of student performance in social work courses and to permit the arranging and timing of social work courses to accommodate the needs of a greater number of working and distant students.16. Process Improvement: Developed an internal Social Work Gatekeeping Process. Intent: to develop an avenue for addressing grievance within the Social Work Program and to involve students and community professionals in the resolution of interpersonal issues. (General)

 

17. Changed the admission standards to the Professional Social Work Program from a 2.0 overall to include a 2.75 in the pre-requisite social work courses. Intent: to raise the expectations for students entering the Professional Social Work Program.

 

18. CSC Diversity Mission Integration: Clarified and integrated additional readings on gay men and lesbian women, Latino and African American Peoples into Professional Social Work, Social Welfare History and Service Delivery Systems, Diversity in the Rural Environment, Methods courses, Research, and Policy Analysis and Advocacy. Intent: to provide students with additional knowledge and skills in working with these populations.

 

5.      How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

Counseling

Modifications have been made to individual classes to incorporate areas of concern from assessment reports.  Faculty individually assess student learning in coursework, and make adjustments to courses as required in teaching and assignments.

 

An example of how the assessment results have improved the unit’s teaching is illustrated from the review of the results of the oral exams indicated that students were failing two specific areas of the overall oral exam; the knowledge of validity and specific focus of counseling ethics. Changes and additional material was included into the practicum and internship courses and a significant change in the responses were viewed from 2003 to 2005.

 

Psychology

Modifications have been made to individual classes to incorporate areas of concern from assessment reports. For instance, students in Cognitive Psychology complete online experiments in cognitive psychology, with the goal of demonstrating classic experiments and concepts, and are asked to examine their individual data and group data and make conclusions. Students in Social Psychology have been asked to discuss research articles which demonstrate significant concepts or classic issues in social psychology.

 

Faculty individually assess student learning in coursework, and make adjustments to courses as required in teaching and assignments.

 

Social Work

Assessment is ongoing for academic courses, laboratory courses and Field Practicum. The program will continue to utilize those assessment results to make adjustments to curriculum and the program as indicated. Each course Narrative Evaluation by Social Work Faculty contains the professor’s plan for course improvement.  An example follows:

 

Introduction to Professional Social Work

Spring 2005

Deborah D. Stewart, LCSW

9

Summary of Issues and Recommendations for Course

This was the second semester during which I taught this course. It was broadcast to 3 sites in addition to CSC campus: North Platte, Alliance, and Scotts Bluff, NE.  I chose to continue with the text utilized in the prior semester, supplementing the text and written assignments by use of case examples and actual tools and documents used in the professional social work practice setting being covered (i.e. Durable Power of Attorney and Advanced Directives workplace management of aggressive behavior, psychosocial assessment and high risk screening formats, the Zung Depression inventory used in primary care clinics to evaluate depression, etc.).  The film from the series Women in America covering the settlement house movement and charitable societies, women's labor movement, and the suffragists’ struggle to obtain the vote was utilized.

 

To  instill an understanding of the NASW Code of Ethics and encourage student’ self reflection to determine whether there was a fit between their own values and those of the profession,  I assigned each student a portion of the Code to present with original applicable case scenarios exemplifying those issues addressed in the Code of Ethics. Students were required to do peer evaluations on this project to engage them in the concepts of evaluation of practice, peer consultation. They also completed self reflective values clarification exercises. Systems theory was applied through mapping personal and client support networks, person in environment concepts and strength perspectives through case studies and lectures.

 

Based on the comments of the students in the previous semester after the national elections, I concluded that students had not gained a clear understanding of the spectrum of political persuasions in this country and the effect of social policy on the client populations served. I developed an instructional tool to enhance this understanding by application of case scenarios in which students were asked to match political viewpoints and resulting responses to social policies. Students became highly engaged in this exercise.

 

Debates of differing viewpoints regarding the controversial social issues of the impact of immigration on American society, and physician assisted suicide were utilized to develop critical thinking skills. Students' preconceived notions were further challenged in the course through the assignment of Internet research and readings found in the bibliography of the text. During the previous semester of this course, I noted many of the students had not been exposed to persons of differing lifestyles and sexual orientations, or held strong religious convictions on these issues. Assignments and discussions on these issues were given increased focus. In addition, based on the previous time I taught this course, oppression and history of Native American and Hispanic populations in the region appeared to not be generally held knowledge for these students and required additional attention in the discussion of populations at risk. Students attended and wrote on the visiting Diversity speaker, Daryll Davis on the KKK.

 

I anticipate focused attention on diversity, populations at risk, mechanisms of oppression and social justice will continue to be needed in the Introductory Social work classes in this region, as it cannot be assumed all entering college students are aware of the historical background of diverse populations here. In order to encourage students to apply and discuss topics addressed in class, and improve verbal skill development, students were again asked to bring pertinent news articles to share in class. Based on the performance of the students on written assignments, I assigned frequent, brief written responses to all course assignments. Feedback was given about the content, and one re-submission for corrections was required.

 

Recommendations:

  1. Written assignments: I will continue frequent writing assignments and utilize this system for correction in which writing assignments are graded only after corrections are made. Verbal presentation of material to class will be continued, but use of a “concept map” will be required to reduce students’ tendency to “read” the text of material to the class.
  2. Diversity: given the insights gained from these two semesters instructing this course, emphasis continue to will be placed on cultural, ethnic, racial, and sexual diversity with within each setting for practice that is studied. Although the text covers this, would appear that students from this area have a low degree of exposure to alternative lifestyles, and insufficient education regarding the Lakota, Hispanic and Black populations of the region.
  3. In all, I feel this text works well, and will plan to use it again next semester. I have requested the Instructional Resource Center to order the CSW E film, Legacies of Social Change for increased awareness of Social Work history. It should be available by Fall 2005.

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

 

Counseling

¨      Faculty have implemented seminar format to increase the effectiveness of student discussion as a learning tool

¨      Adding more topical courses in the summer to expand  offerings

¨      Developed more online course to meet needs of adult students

¨      Training of faculty in use of electronic portfolios

¨      Training of faculty in effective use of Blackboard Use of mediated classrooms

¨      Meeting with prospective students and improving advising skills when meeting with students

¨      Tutoring of students through Interactive Television (ITV) and other modes

¨      Faculty participation in West Nebraska Community College (WNCC) meetings

¨      Providing more off site opportunities by instructor traveling to other campuses

 

 

Psychology

Modifications have been made to individual classes to incorporate areas of concern from assessment reports. For instance, students in Cognitive Psychology complete online experiments in cognitive psychology, with the goal of demonstrating classic experiments and concepts and are asked to examine their individual data and group data and make conclusions. Students in Social Psychology have been asked to discuss research articles which demonstrate significant concepts or classic issues in social psychology.

 

Faculty individually assess student learning in coursework, and make adjustments to courses as required in teaching and assignments.

 

Social Work

Members of the Social Work Faculty have served on committees within the college, including Information Infrastructure Committee, 2004-05; Chair, CSC Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on “Faculty Forums”, Spring 2005; Diversity Committee 2005-06.  Faculty has served in the Student Advising Center 2005-06.  Faculty has sponsored the Social Work Club, attended the 2005 National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Legislative Day in Lincoln, NE with students and is scheduled to attend again in February 2006.  Social Work Faculty has also taken student groups to the Guadalupe Center in Scottsbluff and to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for field trips.  The Social Work Program has expanded course offerings and encouraged increased involvement by students in Distance Education sites in academic, advisement and extra-curricular activities. Social Work has been actively engaged in recruitment and enrollment of incoming freshmen students to CSC.

 

Education

 

1.  What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

 

The student learning objectives of the Department of Education are:

·         To promote a positive professional attitude within those who participate in and complete the teacher education programs; this attitude will be evident in a lifelong commitment as a visionary leader and in the facilitation of learning for others.

·         To extend the intellectual inquisitiveness of those serving as educators through the development of higher levels of cognitive functioning.

·         To develop skills in creating and implementing curricula which meet the needs of all learners through effective communication and positive interpersonal relationships.

·         To help education majors interpret and utilize current theory and research findings which enhance individualized learning consistent with varied and acceptable learning styles and teaching styles.

·         To provide the most highly qualified educators capable of serving all learners, including those with exceptional needs and those from multiethnic/racial backgrounds, in both subject content and social areas.

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

Tools:

Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST), Grade Point Average (GPA), Criterion Referenced Exams, Teacher Intern Checklist, Cooperating Teacher Evaluation Form, Teacher Work Sample, Teacher Intern Guidebook, Graduate Oral Examination, Graduate Field Study Paper, Portfolios.

 

Data Collection, Storage, and Accessibility:

Data is collected at various identified Gateways throughout the program. Data is collected from the following:

- student self assessments

- cooperating teachers (O & P and Teacher Interning)

- College Intern Supervisors

- Teacher Work Sample

- Graduate (program completers) follow-up surveys

- Employer Survey of CSC graduate performance

 

Data is stored in PC database (EXCEL and FileMaker Pro) programs located in Hildreth Hall Faculty Office.  Data is analyzed, aggregated and displayed for Education Unit faculty evaluation, in an effort to guide program improvement.

 

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

Overall program evaluation is coordinated through the Teacher Education Committee, which serves as the governing body for the Education Unit.  This committee makes recommendations for program change to the Dean and subsequently to the Academic Review Committee.   The membership of the Teacher Education Committee is comprised of a representative from each of the departments on campus that offers an education program-- at either the graduate (advanced) or the undergraduate (initial) levels. Members of this committee meet monthly for general business communications, and meet once a year (during the Spring Semester) in a Data Retreat.  At the Data Retreat, aggregated endorsement program data are reviewed and discussed, perhaps resulting in recommended program changes.  These data and recommendations are taken back to the respective departments for faculty review and evaluation.  Potential program changes are identified and eventually presented before the CSC Academic Review Committee for approval and subsequent catalog revision.

 

Within the Education Department individual courses and/or programs are reviewed regularly by their respective coordinating team/committee.  The following program coordinating teams/committees exist within the Department and meet monthly or bi-monthly:

2005-06 AY

Graduate Coordinating Committee: Dr. Clark Gardener, Dr. Patricia Blundell, Dr. Ann Petersen, Dr. Jerry Neff, Mr. Michael Engel

Secondary Block Coordinating Team: Dr. Don King, Dr. Patricia Blundell, Dr. Ann Petersen, Mr. Michael Engel, Ms. Lorie Hunn

Elementary Block Coordinating Team: Ms. Karen Enos, Ms. Peggy Marshall, Dr. Clark Gardener, Dr. Ann Petersen

Special Education Coordinating Team: Ms. Cynthia Squier, Mr. Chuck Squier, Dr. Don King

 

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

Changes illustrating how data and research have been used to improve initial programs:

 

·         Teacher Intern Checklist was revised based on feedback from supervisors and changes in the conceptual framework. Content area supervisors, Education Department supervisors, and P-12 school cooperating teachers participated in the revision.

·         The name “student teaching” was changed to “Teacher Internship” to better reflect the emerging professionalism of candidates in the final field-based experience.

·         As a result of feedback from graduates, the Teacher Intern Guidebook [secondary] was developed and adopted to better prepare graduates for initial employment.

·         As a result of research into best practices the Teacher Work Sample [TWS] was adopted and piloted. Based on field testing and feedback from teachers in the field, the TWS process and rubrics were revised to better reflect actual practice.

·         Changes were made in the elementary and secondary assessment courses to reflect the Nebraska Assessment Framework.  The framework was developed during a year-long process involving all 17 Nebraska teacher education institutions, Education Service Unit representatives, Nebraska Department of Education personnel, and public school educators. 

·         Education Service Unit #13 personnel present information to secondary and elementary professional semester candidates regarding current assessment instruments and practices.

·         Development and implementation of an alternative certification route for individuals holding a bachelors degree in a content area resulted from data collected statewide by the Nebraska Department of Education.  Data indicated shortage areas for certified teachers in public schools.

·         NCATE accreditation standards prompted examination of approaches to assessing dispositions of candidates.  The assessment system was modeled after other established programs, incorporating formal and informal practices previously used by Chadron State.

 

Changes illustrating how data and research have been used to improve advanced programs:

 

·         Peer and regional institution admissions requirements were examined.  Admissions requirements for specific programs were reviewed by program faculty.  Some programs made changes in admission requirements.  Graduate Council reviewed approved all changes.

·         After reviewing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) data and determining limited efficacy of the GRE requirement, the GRE requirement was dropped.

·         The comprehensive written exam for specialist candidates was revised based on the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards. 

·         The ISLLC standards were used to revise the follow up surveys for: 1) Education Administration--Elementary and Secondary graduates and their employers, and 2) Education Administration--Specialist (superintendent) graduates and their employers.

·         Nebraska Department of Education Rule 24: Policy Regulations Pertaining to Operations of Teacher Education Programs components were used to develop a new follow up survey for Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction--Elementary and Secondary graduates and their employers.

·         Feedback from oral exams resulted in changing advising for Education Administration candidates.  Candidates were advised to include a course on assessment based on current needs of public schools.

·         Education Department graduate faculty evaluated required core courses and Education administration courses to determine their alignment with the ISLCC standards.  Changes were made to address any deficiencies.

·         Education Department graduate faculty evaluated required core courses and Education administration courses to determine their alignment with the Nebraska assessment framework.  Changes are being made to address any deficiencies.

·         Feedback from Education Administration practicum candidates and supervisors resulted in a revised procedures manual and adoption of a rubric to evaluate practicum portfolios.

·         Adoption of the 6-Traits writing model in P-12 schools prompted faculty to develop a scoring rubric for graduate level papers.  The rubric has been adopted for use by the majority of faculty in the core, curriculum and instruction, and Education administration courses.

·         School Counseling adopted a rubric to offer a more consistent assessment of the portfolios.

·         School Counseling adapted the pre and post tests to fit the overall objective of the counseling unit's mission and goals according to the CACREP standards.

·         School Counseling added to the curriculum of the practicum and internship a review of the essential concepts that are being assessed by the oral exams.

·         School Counseling adapted the interview process to bring it in compliance with the mission and goals of the unit and provide more structure to the process.

 

These illustrate the variety of sources of data that have helped Chadron State College develop high quality initial and advanced preparation programs.

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

See response to previous question.  In addition, the Unit has provided the following training/workshop opportunities to assist faculty with improving instruction:

 

·         Blackboard Technology Training - April 1, 2005 Dr. Robin Smith

·         Six Traits Writing Assessment Workshop - March, 2005 - Sue Anderson, Coordinator for Nebraska Statewide Writing Assessment

·         No Child Left Behind curriculum workshop - July 2004 - McRell Inc., Denver, CO

·         SPED: Inclusionary Practices - Jan 25th & Sept. 1st 2005 - Chuck and Cindy Squier 

·         Conflict Resolution Workshop - Mar. 17th & Sept. 15th 2005 - Ms. Ellen Yates

·         ESU # 13 - STARS “Assessment” Workshop - Apr. 31st 2005 - CSC Student Center

·         Nebraska Excellence in Education Conf.- Oct. 12th 2005 - CSC Student Center

·         Native American Education Symposium - Oct. 13th 2005- CSC Student Center

·         Marco Polo Technology Training - Nov. 8th 2005- Mr. Jim Weber

·         CSC Early Childhood Education Conference - Feb. 26th 2005 - CSC Student Center

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

 

See response to previous question.  In addition, the Unit has worked to upgrade its Computer Lab in Hildreth Hall during the summer of 2005.  This lab is now an integrated, multi-mediated instructional laboratory, that is used in direct instruction. During non-class hours this lab serves as a student computer lab.  

 

In addition, three other classrooms in Hildreth Hall are now outfitted for multi-mediated instruction.

 

The Special Education Unit, within the department of Education has developed, through a Vision 2011 Grant, a presentation and publication that they have provided to EDUC 432-Special Methods courses, and to professional semester (Block) courses.  This presentation focuses on Special Education Inclusionary Practices, now mandated in all public school settings, as a result of the re-authorization of IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

 

Also as a Vision 2011 grant, the Education Unit now hosts, each semester, a Native American Welcome Day.  This activity is geared to provide Native American High School students with a vision for attending college; a vision that most young Native American students do not see as a possibility.  This day-long event was instituted during the 2004-05 academic year, and is in collaboration with the Department of Social Sciences.

 

In the way of recruitment and service, the Education Unit hosts the District 12 FFA Leadership Conference every December.  This event brings over 200 High School agriculture students to campus for the purpose of participating in leadership activities (public speaking contests, parlimentary procedure team competitions, agriculture demonstrations). 

 

Each October, for the past three years, the Education Unit has sponsored and hosted the Western Nebraska Excellence in Education Conference.  This activity brings to campus over 100 educators from a tri-state region to attend presentations and workshops for the improvement of instruction and learning environments.  Conference themes have addressed the Effects of Poverty on Education and Working/Teaching students with special needs and/or exceptionalities.  Nationally recognized speakers and presenters have participated in this yearly event.

 

Also in the fall of every year, the Education Unit hosts the Native American Symposium.  The Symposium, sponsored and conducted by the Nebraska Department of Education, draws to campus P-12 teachers and administrators from a tri-state area.  This conference focuses on topics pertaining to Native American education issues and how to better address the learning needs of Native American students within the traditional school system.

 

Faculty serve volunteer hours each week in the new Student Advising Center located on the third floor of Crites Hall.

 

Lastly, Unit faculty participate in a variety of committee assignments within the framework of the College.

 

English & Humanities

 

  1. What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

 

English

 

The English faculty have designed and recognized the following program student learning outcomes:

 

Students graduating with an English major or an educational endorsement in English will:

 

1. Demonstrate a proficiency in critical thinking and writing.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the elements of traditional literary genres.

3. Know and identify the representative works and authors in major periods of American and British literature.

4. Show evidence of familiarity with major theories of literary criticism.

 

Spanish (please note that the Spanish major and endorsement will no longer be offered effective fall 2006.)

 

Language Acquisition.  The student will:

 

1.      Select responses to oral questions in the target language on homework and exams.

2.      Practice and master responses from simple to more complex oral questions.

3.      Discuss the meaning of brief paragraphs after reading in the target language.

4.      Write compositions (guided at the beginning on a given topic on upper level classes).

 

Literature and Culture.  The student will:

 

1.      Compare and analyze cultural practices seen in visual printed material and videos.

2.      Select responses to questions relating to the target culture in homework and exams.

3.      Define and attain the ability to debate the basic vocabulary of literary analysis.

4.      Recognize some of the summations that motivate and shape our interpretations.

5.      Recognize cultural differences and explain them inside the frame of our common human experience and the mediation of culture and experience through language.

 

  1. What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is that data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

Language and Literature

 

The English faculty has discontinued the use of the Major Field Test in Literature, since it is not aligned with the program’s stated outcomes and addresses content that they do not consistently cover in their courses.  In its place, an objective assessment has been designed that is comprised of questions written by faculty members teaching in each of the major course areas—questions designed to measure the outcomes publicized with each of these courses.  In the spring of 2006 the program concentrated on the following courses:

 

ENG 335A/B: History of American Literature

ENG 338A/B: History of English Literature

ENG 432: Shakespeare

ENG 440: Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism

ENG 441: English and American Novels

 

Faculty pooled their questions in these areas and created an assessment that is available for students to take on-line, via Blackboard.  The exam is titled “Senior Assessment,” and was first administered to graduating seniors in the spring of 2006.  In future years, more questions will be added to the pool to cover the program’s entire course content.  Eventually separate assessments will be developed for the Literature, Subject Endorsement, and Field Endorsement majors.  For the 2006-2007 academic year, faculty also plan to develop and add to the “Senior Assessment” exam a portfolio component which will consist of written work from the seniors coupled with a self-assessment of their written work in their major.  Portfolio guidelines and an assessment rubric will also be designed.

 

In addition, the department will create a web page specifically for the English program that has a link for EACH major course in the catalog.  The course links will provide an extended course description and a set of outcomes specifically aligned with that course. The “exit surveys” will be posted online for students to fill out as well, since the department has been collecting those over the past several years.  The “Senior Assessment” will also be advertised on this web page.

 

The faculty has also recognized a need for earlier tracking and assessment of the progress of English Education majors.  To meet this need, faculty will begin meeting on the last Monday of each spring semester (assessment day) to have an “informal” discussion about each student who is scheduled to go on the Education block a year from the upcoming fall.  The faculty will go over the students’ transcripts, look at their written work, and discuss the students’ overall progress in the English Education program.  The goal of this assessment is to address any problems or deficiencies in any given student’s level of preparedness well before that student submits to the department his or her application to go on block (Professional Year).

 

Spanish

 

·         Spanish Language Self-Assessment Questionnaire

·         Self Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties Questionnaire

 

  1. How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated.

 

English

 

Rubric has not yet been created.  Projected to be completed by December 2006

 

Spanish

 

Rubric has not yet been created.

 

  1. How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

English

 

Students, in general, seem very satisfied with their English education at CSC, finding the faculty very accessible, the program appropriately challenging, and the emphasis on critical, interpretive and analytic thinking skills consistent and strong. All of our students surveyed were “largely satisfied with the overall structure of the major and its requirements.”  The environment is conducive to learning and most of our students seem enthusiastic about the time they have spent with our faculty and in our courses.  A frequent complaint from our students continues to be that there are not enough course offerings, diversity or choices, especially in genres and topics.

 

To address this, faculty have expanded the offerings in topics courses.  For instance, one faculty member is teaching a course in Gothic literature in the fall of 2006.  Another instructor is offering a course called “Angling in Literature,” which will explore the theme of fishing in various genres of literature.

 

A fairly common complaint is that our courses do not emphasize enough “teacher preparation” or relate closely enough to what the Education majors will actually do in their classrooms.  ENG 438 Adolescent Literature and ENG 331 Theory and Practice of Teaching Writing, for example, were singled out as courses that needed to be tailored more to the actual needs of the High School classroom with more emphasis on content and breadth than theory.  If there is one trend that continues to emerge in these surveys, it is that our English Education majors struggle at times—along with their professors—to coordinate our English/Literature content courses, and the requirements in the Education program.

 

The first thing that must be reported regarding this issue is that we have just hired a new English Education professor who is well qualified in her area.  She began in the fall of 2005 and has significantly improved the English teacher education program.  She has constructed all of her syllabi to ensure that the content of her courses meet all of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards.  In addition, she has added more literary criticism to her readings, lectures, and discussion in Adolescent Literature.

 

Grammar and writing in general seem to be recurring concerns among some of our graduates.  ENG 240 Advanced Grammar and Composition was singled out by many as a very helpful course.  Students feel less confident in both their writing and their mechanics/grammar than in any other area.

 

To improve teaching and learning in the area of writing, faculty who teach Composition have met regularly throughout the year to develop common student learning outcomes for Composition I and have utilized the new Writing Center as part of their pedagogy.

 

Spanish

 

No report available. The faculty member who ran the program is no longer here.

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

Since our assessment tools have changed so recently, this data is still in the process of being collected and analyzed.  The projected timeline for completion is December 2006.

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities, and support services?

 

English

In conjunction with the SVP for Academic Affairs and Student Services, the English program developed a Writing Center on campus.  We have also provided a faculty member with expertise in teaching writing to help operate the Writing Center.  Faculty are also active participants in and sponsors of activities in the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center.

 

Faculty members also collaborated with the Communication Arts program to establish and equip a computer and writing lab in the Administration building for our students.  This lab consists of 17 computers loaded writing and presentational software.  In addition, the program faculty advised the Dean of Arts and Sciences on the conversion of specific classrooms to mediated facilities.

 

The English program has also taken the initiative to furnish and maintain a departmental student/faculty lounge and seminar room.

 

Spanish

 

The former director of the program designated a room to be used solely as a Spanish lab.  The room is equipped with computers loaded with appropriate language software as well as audio-visual equipment (TV, VCR, DVD player).

 

Health, Physical Education & Recreation

 

1.  What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

           

            Health

 

Demonstrate knowledge in the field of health by being able to comprehend concepts related to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease.

 

            Demonstrate the knowledge to promote health-enhancing behaviors and reduce health risks.

 

            Analyze and describe the influence of culture, media, technology and other factors on health.

 

            Demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health.

 

            Demonstrate the ability to promote goal-setting and decision-making skills to enhance health.

 

            Demonstrate the knowledge to promote personal, family and community health.

 

            Physical Education

 

            Define Physical Education.

 

            Identify and demonstrate knowledge regarding the four components of physical fitness.

 

            Identify what constitutes a quality physical education program.

 

            Align a physical education curriculum and lesson plans to the National Association of Sport and Physical Education Standards.

 

            Recognize processes of motor movement and assess student progress.

 

            Construct a quality physical education lesson plan that includes the following:

a. Components of the lesson plan

b.Safety precautions

c. Equipment

d.Goals and objectives

e. Extensions and adaptations

 

Adapt the physical education environment for all learners.

 

            Administer physical education and fitness tests that evaluate and assess the psychomotor, affective and cognitive domains.

 

            Promote the value of physical education in the community.

 

            Integrate other content areas such as math, geography, reading, history and science into the physical education curriculum.

 

            Recreation

 

Participate in scholarly activities and services that promote student development by encouraging professional involvement, community service, certification, and lifelong learning.

 

Understand and develop effective leadership styles to successfully enter management positions in the field of recreation.

 

Demonstrate competency in skills needed to design, implement, and administer a variety of programs and activities in the field of Exercise and Fitness, Sports, Outdoor Adventure Recreation, and Leisure Services.

 

Develop a knowledge base and the skills necessary to participate in lifelong recreational activities.

 

Understand and be able to contribute to the enhancement in the overall quality of life for participants in the field of recreation.

 

Design and outline objectives for the development of a recreation program for their specific field.

 

Gain a basic knowledge regarding legal liability which is necessary to provide a safe and productive environment for participants in the field of recreation.

 

Understand the importance and general principles of proper fiscal management in recreational programs.

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

The HPER department utilizes a variety of assessment tools to measure student learning.  Exit exams, developed by sub-committees and reviewed by the HPER department, are administered to the graduating seniors.  For education majors, portfolio development and evaluation are completed.   Exit surveys, and post graduate surveys are conducted for follow-up information.  In addition, the HPER department has imbedded coursework which is evaluated to collect the data for assessment.  The department collects most of the data during the students last semester of attendance.  The information is stored via hardcopy within the HPER department files.

 

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

The HPER department meets at the conclusion of the assessment data collection to review the findings and review progression and content of the various courses within the degree program.

 

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

At the conclusion of the review of the findings, the HPER department will evaluate specific strengths and weaknesses of the learning process from a content, evaluation, and delivery method

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

The HPER department continually uses the findings of the assessment process to develop improved teaching through collaboration with the Dean and department members.  These improvements may include content changes, delivery methods, student learning outcome reviews, and other teaching strategies.

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

 

The department of HPER has continually developed laboratory experiences for our majors through the purchase of equipment.  In addition, funding has been requested and approved for the development of mediated classrooms in the Nelson Physical Activity Center.  Vision 2011 funds were requested to develop climbing wall and ropes courses at Chadron State College.

 

Justice Studies

 

1.  What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

           

            Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice curriculum prepares students for professional criminal justice careers; for graduate work in areas such as political science, sociology, and criminal justice; and for various professional schools including law, social work, public administration and business administration.  Students will:

• Demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills.

• Identify the principal components of the criminal justice system and recognize the interrelationship within and between those components.

• Demonstrate an understanding of the role of law, both substantive and procedural, as a central feature in the criminal justice system.

• Recognize and describe the scope of the crime problem, theoretical explanations of crime and delinquency, and how our understanding of these concepts affects system processes.

• Understand the importance of ethics and ethical behavior in the pursuit of justice.

• Recognize issues related to effective policing in American society.

• Possess a foundational knowledge in the principles of scientific investigation of crime.

• Demonstrate an understanding of the differing arrays of people and cultures as they relate to the justice system.

• Possess an awareness of the goals, successes, and challenges of institutional and community corrections.

• Recognize issues that have traditionally confronted the justice system and identify prevailing trends, attitudes, advances and policies that will have an impact on the principal institutions of the criminal justice system.

 

            Legal Studies

The Legal Studies Program prepares non-lawyer personnel to perform support services for professionals in law firms, government offices, trust departments, real estate offices, accounting firms and other law related activities.  Under a lawyer's supervision, Legal Assistants or Paralegals are expected to perform a wide variety of functions. These include interviewing clients and witnesses, researching legal authority, analyzing factual and legal situations, preparing documents and forms, and managing offices.  The curriculum also prepares students for graduate work in Legal Studies or law.  Legal Studies students will:

• Possess a comprehensive understanding of selected areas of substantive and procedural law.

• Acquire organizational, computer literacy, writing, oral communication, and interpersonal skills.

• Demonstrate an ability to analyze problems, to formulate and evaluate logical alternative solutions, and to construct and evaluate logical arguments in support of specific positions.

• Understand the ethical dimensions of the paralegal profession.

• Demonstrate appropriate and effective legal research and writing skills,

• Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of law office organization, accounting systems, and the role performed by lawyers and non-lawyers.

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

·         Use of faculty created or approved rubrics that rate skills as excellent, competent or insufficient.

·         Faculty meetings to review majors and discuss individual student progress & needs.

·         Faculty will complete course reflection statements. 

·         Oral presentations by students

·         Analysis of student essays, term papers, research projects, internship portfolios and journals.

·         Criminal Justice students will complete a norm-referenced standardized exam prior to graduation.

·         Legal Studies students will complete an internally developed exit exam entitled the Legal Studies Area Concentration Assessment Test.

·         Students will demonstrate a minimal mastery of the relevant subject matter by successfully completing relevant coursework, including examinations.

·         Students will complete written "application of concepts" papers.

 

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

In terms of decisions concerning course rotations, the Justice Studies Program relies on numerous factors.  These include a four-year recommended plan of study for students, a regularly updated four-year departmental course rotation plan, and assessment feedback (from alumni, employers, internship supervisors, exit exams) that inform curricular changes and catalogue revisions.

 

In terms of evaluating individual courses within our program, Faculty meet on a semester basis to review majors and discuss individual student progress and needs.  Student learning outcomes were revised to reflect the skills, knowledge and abilities our graduates should possess.  A curriculum grid was then recently created to track what courses introduced or developed each student outcome.  This grid is reviewed annually and is part of our departmental assessment plan. Faculty also complete course reflective statements against the template of the student learning outcomes.  This process is a constant reminder to work towards developing the outcomes to be introduced or developed in a given class. 

 

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

Each fall, Justice Studies faculty meet to review the assessment results from the prior academic year. During these meetings, faculty analyze and reflect upon the assessment results and determine what course of action, if any, is necessary to address deficiencies or improve upon student performance.  At the same time, faculty prepare the assessment report, revise course rotations, propose future course offerings, and make suggestions for catalogue revisions.  In general, an increased institutional emphasis on assessment has prompted Justice Studies to focus on what our graduates should know.  Concomitantly, the assessment process has required an ongoing internal evaluation of appropriate student learning outcomes, introduction of concepts and development of concepts.

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

Requiring course reflection statements encourages faculty to evaluate successful factors and incorporate these into future classes.  The reflective statements, as well as student and administrative evaluations, prompt us all to candidly address items that could be improved upon.  Often, items are discussed with colleagues who make suggestions based upon their experiences.

 

Past assessment results have resulted in revision of the program’s assessment plans, rewriting of course descriptions for the 2007-2009 Bulletin, the addition of an entire new focus area in Criminal Justice (the Forensic Science component), the rearrangement of course offerings in Legal Studies (elevation of LS 232, Litigation, to the Core, and the splitting of LS 338, Legal Research & Writing, into LS 238, Legal Research & Writing I, and LS 338, Legal Research & Writing II) just to name a few. 

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

 

The Justice Studies program holds that "learning environments" is a broad phrase.  Our students' learning environment consists of the classroom, department clubs, opportunities for cultural and social interaction, travel, exposure to professional organizations and graduate programs, and interaction with professionals in a variety of fields. 

 

The Justice Studies program continues to strive to bring students to the world.  With our Comparative Studies in London programs well as our Honors in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, the faculty brings a global perspective to the classroom.  The Criminal Justice and Legal Studies clubs foster civic involvement and responsibility.  The clubs also serve as an extension of the classroom in that they are used as an avenue to sponsor class and student trips to law schools, government agencies, conferences, and social events.  Further, departmental activities in hosting regional conferences allow students to interact with professionals in their chosen career.

 

Justice Studies faculty continually look for new ways to improve course offerings and to incorporate technology into the classroom.  The department has provided all faculty with flash drives (data sticks).  All faculty are trained in the use of Z-drives and PowerPoint.  Student Response System Radio Frequency Receivers will be a new addition in Fall of 2006.  This system will allow faculty to receive immediate feedback on student learning (and understanding of concepts) in the classroom.  Faculty are in the process of developing online or hybrid (combination of on-line and face-to-face offering) courses.

 

A new dedicated Forensic Sciences classroom is one more example of our departmental participation in developing facilities that contribute to student learning and an effective learning environment.  Students will soon have a central location that will serve as a learning center in this emphasis area.

 

As always, faculty continue to emphasize the importance of student advising and volunteer to staff the CSC Advising Center.  Lastly, equipment, resources and facilities that contribute to student learning and success are always a priority.  A Justice Studies Resource Room has been dedicated to student use and includes criminal justice and legal resources as well as a computer lab.  The dedicated classroom (mentioned above) and equipment provide a new and exciting learning environment.  Resources such as Campus WestLaw are now available to all students on campus, in part, as a result of the Legal Studies program and its assessment plan.

 

 

 

Library Media Program

 

1.      What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

 

Upon completion of this program, students should be able to:

·         Adapt and apply the principles of collection development, cataloging, reference, management, and assessment in library environments.

·         Describe formats of information sources with diverse points of view and discuss the legal and ethical responsibilities of providing access.

·         Apply traditional and innovative technologies to support library services.

·         Describe professional attitudes and philosophies of service needed to meet the information needs of diverse populations.

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

To assess student learning in individual classes the following are used:  rubrics, assignment evaluations, exams, project criteria, journals, worksheets and class discussion using the Discussion Board. Rubrics (example) are used to evaluate finished projects.  Assignment evaluations are used as an evaluation of individual assignments.  In LMS 439, Practices and Procedures, our students are assigned to work in a regional library and must keep a weekly journal of experiences, assigned projects, observations and reactions to the library and it services and the number of hours worked each day.  Class discussion using the Discussion Board (since all classes are conducted online, this is the format for student to instructor and student to student interaction) is done online.  Worksheets, exams and project criteria should be self explanatory.

 

The Course Opinion Survey and part of the Oral Interview/Dialogue Score Sheet are used to evaluate student learning and the Library Program. Data is collected from the Oral Interview/Dialogue Score Sheet and from the Course Opinion Survey using the Assessment Builder in Blackboard. Data is stored in an Excel Spreadsheet and made available to all instructors.

 

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

One means of coordination is to have basic concepts in Library Media taught in several classes, for example, intellectual freedom, copyright and access to information. Another is the use of the Oral Interview/Dialogue Score Sheet which allows the instructors to evaluate student knowledge and also gives the student the opportunity to comment on specific classes and the program.  The Oral Interview/Dialogue Score sheet is given at the beginning of the semester during which the student is enrolled in LMS 439 Procedures and Practice.  This also serves as an exit exam. Students are asked 2 questions from each of the 4 core classes (LMS 332, LMS 333, LMS 334, LMS 335) plus questions on core concepts such as philosophy of library service, professionalism and intellectual freedom. Students are given the opportunity and encouraged to comment on specific classes and the LMS Program.  These comments and suggestions are taken very seriously.  Both the individual courses and the program are measured by this score sheet.

 

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

When students don’t seem to have captured a concept, additional practice can be given, and instructors can modify assignments for future classes. 

 

In LMS 332 it was apparent from student worksheets, exercises, assessments, course evaluations, personal interviews and P & P interviews that students were not as competent in their cataloging skills as those students from previous traditional classroom environments.  More examples of the various rules and interpretations as well as more practice exercises were needed by students before attempting the graded exercises.  Poor performance in graded assignments showed the lack of understanding of how to catalog.  Students were requesting more examples than the ones given in the textbook.

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

In using technology to its best advantage, changes are made in assignments from one year to the next to take advantage of new technologies.

 

In LMS 332 discussions were held with library instructors, students and the Instructional Design Coordinator and it was determined that a student workbook (currently under development) would be created.  It would provide examples to illustrated rules from their texts and provide practice problems and solutions to allow students to assess their own progress and identify problem areas.  The discussion board would then serve as a forum for rule interpretations and problem resolution.

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

 

Because our program is completely online, the learning environment for most of our students is Blackboard.  Blackboard is the online environment where classes take place.  There is no face to face contact and we never meet with most of our students.  The use of Blackboard allows library classes to be accessible in the state of Nebraska and throughout the world.

 

Blackboard provides several means of communications which are discussion board and chat.  Other features are access to course syllabi, web links, online exams and other instructional materials. It provides the flexibility of time (what time of day students access course materials) and locale (students can access materials wherever the internet is available).

 

Mathematical Sciences

 

1.  What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

 

            Mathematics

·        Develop mathematical ability and knowledge of the depth and breadth of mathematics.

·        Communicate about and with mathematics.

·        Use technology to support problem solving and promote understanding.

·        Apply the mathematical sciences, including statistics, in other academic disciplines.

 

      Information Science and Technology

·        Develop the ability to communicate effectively.

·        Develop appropriate information systems and apply them effectively.

·        Understand the principles of information systems and apply them effectively.

·        Follow social, ethical, and professional standards.

·        Work effectively and professionally.

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

Pre-selected test items are selected to measure the program learning outcomes assigned to courses in accordance with the matrix in the Assessment Plan.  These embedded items are scored according to formal or informal rubrics.  Instructors maintain records of the scores and submit scores to the Chair upon course completion.  The scores from all courses pertaining to an outcome are aggregated for semester and annual measures of success on that outcome. We use “reflections documents” at the end of each semester, and use problems embedded in course exams, problems designed to assess understanding of the Program Learning Objectives.  

 

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

Discussion of progress in meeting each Program Learning Outcome, at both course and aggregate levels, occurs in Department meetings.  The Chair will maintain records showing course level attainment and aggregate attainment at the Program Learning Outcome levels.  Clusters of Program Learning Outcomes can be aggregated as necessary.

 

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

Assessment results are discussed in Department meetings.  If scores indicate a need for change in content or method, a plan will be formed and tested.  Every department meeting agenda includes discussion of Assessment.  Discussion topics range from the course reflection forms submitted by individual instructors upon course completion to course Program Learning Outcome scores and aggregated Outcome scores.  Since we have just started using embedded problems linked to Program Learning Outcomes, we have no specifics from that.  However, we also follow the recommendations of the Mathematics Association of America (MAA), and will be submitting a significant revision of MATH 142, College Algebra, which will be in keeping with the recommendations of MAA by the end of September.  That proposal will include the use of data from Institutional Research. 

 

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

As instructors complete course reflections forms, teaching methods or activities that worked well are noted, and those that did not work well are analyzed and if retained a plan for improvement is formed.  Some are minor, unique to an instructor or content, and not discussed in meetings.  Those with wider impact are discussed in meetings and changes planned. 

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

The Department has acquired SmartBoards and audio recording devices to insure equity for distant students in this program, which is offered online as well as in the traditional setting for on-campus students. This is done by offering courses as hybrids.   All online courses are dynamic and highly interactive, with instructors participating in Discussion Boards, available by telephone or email, and by use of the hybrid (combination of on-line and face-to-face delivery) model.

 

Music

 

1.  What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

           

·         Students will demonstrate acquired musical skills by performing alone and in ensembles.

·         Students will notate, analyze, and describe music using a common vocabulary.

·         Students will develop an appreciation for, and knowledge of, the history of music as it relates to form, style, performance practice, culture, and the other arts.

·         Students will be able to formulate strategies and demonstrate skills directly related to their degree program.

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

Assessment of Outcome #1: Performance Skills

We require that all music majors and minors demonstrate the ability to perform music in three types of settings:

·        public performance

·        juried performance

·        private performance

Of these, juried examination of solo performance is the only one that is assessed uniformly throughout the department. Assessment occurs at carefully planned intervals throughout a student’s academic career:

·        at the beginning of a student’s academic tenure, prior to the beginning of instruction (Scholarship Auditions)

·        routinely at the conclusion of each semester of private instruction (“Jury”)

·        at the end of the second semester of private instruction (Freshman Admission to Candidacy)

·        at the end of the fourth semester of private instruction (Sophomore Qualifying Exam)

·        no less than three weeks prior to the date of a required recital, usually during the eighth semester of private instruction for all degrees except Vocal Music K-8, and also during the sixth semester for music performance (Pre-Recital Hearing for Junior/Senior Recital)

For the end-of-semester “jury,” students appear before at least two faculty members to present a 10-minute performance. The other situations described above are longer, more formal presentations made before the entire music faculty. At each of these, all faculty members in attendance record observations and feedback in each of five categories—tone, intonation, accuracy, interpretation, and technique—onto an evaluation instrument prepared by the collective faculty. A numerical score is also assigned. This written data is collected by the chair or “point of contact” within the department. Copies are then made and distributed back to each student and the private instructor. The original document is stored in a file maintained by the office assistant in the Music Office. Access is available at any time during established business hours. Files are maintained for seven years. Additionally, an audio recording is made and preserved of each juried performance. These recordings are likewise stored in the Music Office.

Juried performance has not been established as a regular assessment tool for any of our performing ensembles. However, occasionally the individual directors of our ensembles elect to attend music festivals at which juried evaluation by outside adjudicators is offered for a fee. The director then uses the feedback provided to guide future curriculum planning and/or rehearsal strategies. There is currently no system in place for collection or storage of any such data.

Music majors and minors enrolled in private music instruction courses are required to perform in public at least once during each semester of study at the weekly department recital. During the senior year, students in all degree programs except Vocal Music K-8 must perform a 30-minute solo recital. At the present time, none of these performances is officially evaluated or assessed.

Likewise, all music majors are required to participate in at least one ensemble each semester, and each performing ensemble performs at least one concert each semester. The ensemble director typically engages in some sort of self-reflection following each performance, but no official practice is currently in place for recording, collecting, or storing any such assessments.

At the most fundamental levels, however, assessment plays an integral role in all performance-oriented music courses. Students enrolled in private music instruction attend weekly sessions with an assigned faculty mentor during which they perform prepared material. Following every performance, the student receives immediate personal feedback from the instructor. The manner in which this feedback is given varies according to faculty preference, but often includes both verbal and written comment as well as mentor demonstration. At present, there is no procedure in place at Chadron State College to collect or store private lesson assessment data. The standards for evaluation are determined by the individual faculty members and reflected in the final semester grade of the student.

All CSC musical ensembles meet at least once each week to perform and rehearse together. Faculty directors or coaches give frequent verbal feedback during every rehearsal to correct and improve performance. Again, unless the faculty member chooses to engage in self-reflection, this feedback is not recorded for later review. Individual student accountability is occasionally measured through required pass-offs of musical material.

It is the goal of the music faculty that basic assessment takes place during daily individual practice sessions. Students are taught to listen critically as they attempt to master assigned compositions and acquire musical vocabulary. Our aim is that students become self-reliant musicians.

Assessment of Outcome #2: Acquisition of Musical Vocabulary

The assessment of this outcome is primarily the domain of the faculty members assigned to teach courses in Music Theory (MUS 131-2, 231-2 and associated labs), Jazz Improvisation (MUS 336-7), and Songwriting/Arranging (MUS 413-4). Tools used in assessment include:

·        written assignments, quizzes and examinations designed to assess acquisition of core content and recognition of its application within musical compositions

·        improvisation of melodies upon given harmonic progressions

·        composition of original music based upon given criteria

·        notation of pitch, rhythm, and harmony from given aural examples

·        verbal interpretation of musical symbols through vocal or physical demonstration

Individual instructors receive and analyze the results of these various assessments throughout the semester and provide feedback to the students. There has not been any attempt to collect and store these examples on the department level. In the recent past, graduating seniors were given an Exit Exam that was intended to serve as a final assessment tool for this category. However, the current faculty has elected to withdraw it due to inherent deficiencies and a question of whether the timing of its administration was appropriate.

Assessment of Outcome #3: Historical Awareness

The assessment of this outcome is primarily conducted by the faculty member(s) assigned to teach courses in Music History (MUS 437-8), Music Literature (MUS 311-2), Elements of Music (MUS 235), and African-American Popular Music (MUS 436). To a lesser extent, assessment of historical understanding also takes place during private music instruction and juried examination.

The tools used in assessing this area are primarily written assignments, quizzes and examinations. Instructors collect and analyze the results of these assessments during the semester and provide feedback to the students. Again, there has not been any attempt to collect or store these examples on the department level. The recently-withdrawn Exit Exam also included questions intended to assess student learning in this area.

Assessment of Outcome #4: Strategic Planning and Career Skill Development

The assessment of this outcome is at once most complex and perhaps most complete. For the degree options in music education, there are many courses that are designed to teach and measure specific skills such as classroom management, curriculum development, instrument maintenance, program management, and vocal and instrumental pedagogy. For the degree options in music business, such courses teach and measure the acquisition of such skills as marketing, accounting, sales, management, and legal practice.

Tools employed in these assessments vary according to the preferences of individual faculty members, but include:

·        written assignments, quizzes, and examination

·        lecture-demonstration

·        supervised teaching

·        professional internship

·        faculty recommendation

·        private or public performance

Of these, only notes on student teacher evaluation are stored and maintained by the institution at the present time. All other evaluation records may or may not be kept by the instructors of individual courses.  

 

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

The assessment of individual courses is the responsibility of each faculty member. We have begun to implement the use of a course reflection sheet that is electronically distributed to all faculty members at the end of each semester. However, because the department has merely suggested rather than required the use of these sheets, response has been less than satisfactory. As a result, the department will discuss requiring the submission of these reflection sheets beginning with the 2006-07 academic year.

 

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

New faculty members hired over the last seven years have played a key role in the assessment of various degree programs and the individual courses comprising their makeup. Following professional assessments made by these faculty members, changes adopted over this time include:

·        implementation of degree options in commercial music business with emphases in vocal music, instrumental music, and piano studio operations

·        inclusion of cross-disciplinary coursework offered by the Business Department

·        redefinition of course content in Music History and Music Literature courses

·        addition of a course relating to sound recording (Intro to Recording)

Efforts are ongoing to measure, collect and assess additional data from current students and recent graduates. At present, we are not making effective use of the data that we collect regularly on the department level.

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

Please see answer to question 4 above.

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

 

We currently utilize one mediated classroom throughout the department. Additionally, one faculty member supports and maintains a six-unit computer lab that includes access to discipline-appropriate software for music notation, sequencing, recording, and editing. Another faculty member maintains and services a subscription to a software program that provides feedback and support to students in the individual practice environment.

The faculty nominates and approves a peer tutor to work in the Student Academic Success Services’ tutoring center, and one faculty member volunteers additional tutoring hours in music theory.

Each faculty member suggests the acquisition of titles to the Reta King Library in subject areas of expertise. Recently, we were successful in lobbying the library committee to acquire a subscription to the Grove Music Online database. The database will be available to students both on- and off-campus to aid in music research. We are now involved in discussions to add a subscription to a recorded music archive for the benefit of both students and the campus community at large.

Some faculty members utilize the functionality of the Blackboard online delivery system to enhance student learning. The department webpage is updated with helpful information for current students.

 

Physical & Life Sciences

 

1.  What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

 

Students who complete a program of study from the Department of Physical and Life Sciences:

·        Will be able to consistently apply logical reasoning and critical thinking, not constrained by convention or prejudice.

·        Will be fluent in the foundations of knowledge needed for tomorrow's scientists and teachers of science.

·        Will have acquired, through knowledge and study, a sense of appreciation of our world.

·        Will possess the skills of inquiry and study needed to understand the true nature of the universe.

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

Student learning is assessed through the use of pre-tests and post-tests in selected courses to gauge knowledge of fundamental principles, and through laboratory courses and the Capstone series of seminars and research to evaluate ability to apply fundamental principles to solve problems and communicate information.  Surveys of graduates and their employers are to be implemented in the future to identify weaknesses in the curriculum. Faculty from both Life and Physical Science have been chosen to develop this survey with the intent of putting it into use within two years.  The data collected in the Life Science area will be useful almost immediately where as that from Physical Science may have limited usefulness initially do to the limited number of graduates in that program currently.  Once all assessment data is collected it is given to a designated faculty member who condenses the raw data into the annual assessment report.  An electronic copy of the report is kept by the Department Chair and a hard copy is sent to the Dean of the school to be filed.

 

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

Since program evaluation is based upon information gleaned from individual courses faculty teaching these courses are responsible for administering the tool specific to their discipline, whether that be pre and post tests as given in chemistry, embedded test questions as in other courses, or exit interview/surveys etc. and collecting the raw data.  The data from all sources is then pooled at the end of the year and an evaluation of the program prepared summarizing the strengths and weaknesses as identified from the raw data.  In some instances the results may indicate a specific course in the program is weak and an effort is made to adjust the course content to strengthen it.  In some cases a component of the program needs to be addressed by adjusting it in several classes such as the use of scientific laboratory equipment in chemistry classes, or the reading, analysis, evaluation and presentation of scientific information across the discipline.  Here we have adjusted the curriculum to introduce the topics at the entry level and build upon that as students progress toward graduation.  At this time, adjustments to the program or individual courses are made to attempt to rectify the weaknesses.

 

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

Examples of how assessment has been used to improve student learning/teaching include; courses with less than acceptable scores on pre and post tests have been redesigned to increase student understanding and retention of fundamental principles, experimental techniques used in labs have been adjusted to improve students ability to effectively collect data in a manner consistent with current scientific standards, and preparing laboratory notebooks has been added to several laboratory courses to improve students ability to collect and analyze data and communicate the experimental results in a more scholarly manner.

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

In addition to those statements above that relate to this question, faculty in the department have increased the use of computer based educational systems, i.e. Blackboard, E-college, in their classes to supplement the classroom delivery by having class materials available online, using discussion board, having online grade books, all intended to aid the student in succeeding or assessing his or her progress in the course.  Multimedia equipment has been installed in five rooms in our building in an effort to allow course presentation in a manner that is favorably received by the student.

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

 

Several courses in our unit make use of the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program. This is for courses identified as traditionally difficult for students.  Through equipment monies available each year we attempt to maintain our laboratory instrument inventory at a level consistent with that found in the job markets our students will enter.  We encourage the use of technology by our students in and out of the classroom in the form of information searches and presentations.  

 

Social Sciences

 

1.  What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

 

Applied History

Upon completion of a degree in Museum Studies, graduates will be able to demonstrate the following:

1.      Principles for collections care and management

2.      Understanding of the historical and philosophical context for the museum in modern America

3.      Fundamental knowledge of museum administration, education, and exhibit design principals

 

            History & Social Science

                        History

Outcome 1: Students will synthesize and summarize in an articulate manner the genesis of the world’s major religious traditions and will recognize and explain in writing the continuing influence of historical religious traditions upon societies.

 

Outcome 2: Students will identify and relate the causes and consequences of the major turning points in world history, including but not limited to the Rise and Fall of Rome, the Scientific Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, and the Cold War.

 

Outcome 3: Students will articulate theories of causation in the emergence and fall of the world’s major civilizations.

 

Outcome 4: Students will articulate and demonstrate with examples the contributions of major world civilizations to history and to state the relevance of these examples to the current world.

 

Outcome 5: Students will verbally and in writing generalize and demonstrate with examples major trends in political, social, economic thought in history.

 

Outcome 6: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the spatial and physical locations of regions of the World from an historical perspective by passing map exercises in each of the courses offered at the 200 level.

 

Outcome 7: Students will recognize and associate the various verbal languages and written scripts which have formed a basis for societies and served as a transmission of their cultures.

 

Geography

Outcome 1:     Geography minors will demonstrate in writing an ability to recognize and describe major concepts, language, and techniques of a general nature used by geographers and articulate the geographical relationships with other areas of study.

 

Outcome 2: Students will be able demonstrate knowledge of the major human behavioral and physical processes that contribute to or result from spatial arrangement of phenomena on the earth’s surface. Students will be able to articulate this knowledge base.

 

Outcome 3:  Students will demonstrate in written exercises an ability to acquire, locate, and assess geographic information from multiple sources including traditional primary and secondary sources, library collections, the use of the Internet and electronic data, and on-site observation and collection of data.

 

Outcome 4: Students will demonstrate in writing an ability to evaluate critically, in ways relevant to social science research and/or teaching, basic geographic tools and techniques including theories, statistical analysis, map interpretation, aerial photography interpretation and digital spectral image analysis, and geographic information systems and the application of same.

 

Outcome 5: Students will synthesize skills and graphic techniques and prepare research reports that describe, analyze, and articulate geographic distributions and processes of people and physical phenomena.

 

Political Science

Outcome 1:   Students will demonstrate in writing and articulate verbally a basic understanding of the processes of politics and structure of government in the United States.

 

Outcome 2:  Students will identify and evaluate key actors in the global environment, and analyze significant factors that contribute to national power.

 

Outcome 3:  Students will demonstrate in writing an understanding of key historical ideas in political thought and articulate the influence those ideas have had on the evolution of political thought.

 

Outcome 4:  Students will analyze and synthesize complex political relationships and schools of thought and articulate the results of their efforts in both written and verbal forms.

 

Outcome 5:  Students will be able to elaborate upon and articulate, and actively demonstrate the basic knowledge and skills needed for responsible and active citizenship.

 

Sociology

Outcome 1:  Students will demonstrate a working knowledge of the nature of a society.

 

Outcome 2:  Students will describe the patterns of social behavior that constitute a society.

 

Outcome 3:  Students will distinguish between the meanings of culture and society and elaborate on the manner in which societies are built upon cultures.

 

Outcome 4:  Students will acquire and articulate a working knowledge of the vocabulary for describing and analyzing society and social institutions.

 

Outcome 5:  Students will demonstrate knowledge in the specific subfields of Sociology that explore social institutions and other basic elements of society.

 

Outcome 6:  Students will conduct social research and presents the results of their research both verbally and in writing.

 

Outcome 7:  Students will demonstrate through interpretative exercises the society in which they were raised through comparisons of that society with other societies.

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

            Applied History

Academic year 2005-2006 will be the first year that the Applied History Program will matriculate students from the program. Currently, student learning is assessed based upon the student learning outcomes for each individual course. These course outcomes are developed in line with the program outcomes. Data on student learning is currently compiled by the Director of the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center, as the faculty of the Applied History Program. She plans to conduct longitudinal studies of graduates’ work and skills experience, with emphasis on how their education at Chadron State College prepared or did not prepare them for their career.

 

Student learning is assessed in many ways. One of the most visibly dramatic ways that student learning is assessed is through the Skills Mastery evaluations in the Collections Management course. Students are taught how to use equipment such as a hygrothermograph and light meter. A week later, students are tested over their ability to handle, use, and read the equipment. Students in this class are also evaluated on their ability to photograph an object, number and handle the object, and describe storage solutions.

 

Student learning in individual courses is evaluated in several ways including long-format essay questions, often based on contemporary museum issues. The instructor believes that showing practical applications of the topics and skills discussed in class is vital to knowledge integration. The students are presented with a newspaper or magazine article not previously discussed in class or researched by any student in the class. The students are then asked to respond to a question provided by the instructor using this article and what they have learned in class. Questions have included “List and explain three museum management issues in this article? How would you work to resolve them?” This type of question allows students the freedom to showcase what they know, shows the student that what they are learning is relevant to the profession, and requires the student to assimilate their classroom knowledge into a real-world application.

           

Student learning is also evaluated through short-format essay questions, multiple choice questions, group projects, written reports, and class presentations. Data is collected by the instructor using the evaluation tools and stored in the instructor’s office. The data can be accessed through the instructor. Aggregate data will be made available to the Department Chair and on the web-site.

 

            History & Social Science

Both programs share a similar assessment program.  Each assessment program is comprised of three components.  First, as students approach graduation, they are required to take an exit exam over upper-division major courses they have completed at Chadron State College.  Out of the three essay questions found on the exam, students are required to select and write on two of them.  Each exit exam is unique, as questions are based on the specific courses a student has taken at the College.  The Department of Social Science requires students to earn a minimal grade of “C” on the exit exam in order to graduate from either the History or Social Science program.  Those who do not achieve this minimum requirement have to take the exit exam again.  

 

Second, graduating seniors in both programs are required to create a portfolio which includes a student’s coursework within the major. The portfolios are assessed based on specific guidelines distributed to each student.  A copy of the Social Science Portfolio Guidelines is attached to this document.

 

Third, in spring 2007, five years since the inception of the History and Social Science Assessment Plans, Dr. Hyer, the faculty member in charge of assessment for both programs, will contact individuals who graduated in 2002 in order to ascertain how well the two programs prepared students for their careers.  Survey feedback from graduates will influence the direction of the two programs.  At that time, History and Social Science faculty may alter course offerings, course requirements and expectations, and other program elements.  This is our primary feedback loop for the two programs.

 

Dr. Hyer keeps the exit exams and portfolios in his office.

 

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

Applied History

There is only one faculty member for Applied History. Therefore the course and program evaluation is done by the same person. The program is also very new and evaluation at this time has been course based. It is anticipated that as the Applied History program develops, the program’s integration into the Social Science department will help in program evaluation.

           

History & Social Science

Individual courses are coordinated through Dr. Hyer, who through the assistance of other Social Science faculty has created a four year course rotation.  It is updated on an annual basis. As mentioned in the previous section, both programs have an assessment program.  In addition to that, each course starting in fall 2005 is being evaluated at the end of the semester by the course instructor through the Social Science Course Reflective Statement.

 

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

      Applied History

Assessment has led to many changes in Applied History courses. Textbooks used in select courses will be changed based upon the student reading comprehension levels demonstrated in courses. Content presentation order has been and will continue to be modified in response to student test scores and material comprehension and implementation.

 

Assessment has led to changes in the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center as well. Center staff has placed suggestion boxes around the facility asking for visitor input. Based upon these suggestions, Center staff is currently working on developing directional signage for the Center, directional signage for the Mari Sandoz exhibit, and changes to the Mari Sandoz exhibit with emphasis on the Sandoz Homestead and Mari Sandoz gravesite.

 

One example of this was with the Introduction to Museums class. In class discussions, students were able to answer questions based on readings from the texts and the instructor also noticed students quizzing each other over material that they thought might be on the tests. However, the students were having difficulty in answering questions related to these topics on the tests.

 

The instructor began reviewing the questions that students were having trouble with to see if the questions were unclear or if students were struggling to learn the material. In a couple of cases, the questions were written in a manner unclear to the students and those questions were corrected. The other questions that students were struggling with were all related to one area of content. The instructor met with each student and asked the student what she could do to help them. With this particular class, there were no students that had presented information to the instructor about learning disabilities or impairments.

 

Based on what the instructor had seen in the written work and after the conversations with the students, the instructor added content to the course. The instructor was expecting the students to reply that there was too much information and that retention of the information was a problem. On the contrary, the students wanted to have more information to help clarify the different complex segments of the subject matter. After the addition of content, especially pictures and illustrations, the class as a whole scored much higher on this section and completed answers more thoroughly.

 

      History & Social Science

Assessment results have been used to improve student teaching in a few ways.  First of all, course learning outcomes have been and are being coordinated with program learning outcomes.  Through the generous assistance of Dr. Rankin, our program learning outcomes have also been coordinated with Nebraska state standards.  We are convinced that this has not only improved student learning, but is also enabling faculty to better prepare students for teaching in the state of Nebraska.

 

Second, the portfolios are encouraging students to keep their assignments, film critiques, and research papers.  Our intention is that students will include their coursework in their portfolios and reflect upon their personal development which has occurred through their years at Chadron State College.  Inevitably, student research, writing, and critical thinking skills improve during their time at the college.

 

Third, the program surveys, which will begin to be sent out in spring 2007, will influence the direction of the two programs, including improvement of student learning and teaching.

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

Applied History

Assessment has led to many changes in Applied History courses. Textbooks used in select courses will be changed based upon the student reading comprehension levels demonstrated in courses. Content presentation order has been and will continue to be modified in response to student test scores and material comprehension and implementation.

 

History & Social Science

Assessment results have also affected how instructors teach and what types of assignments are being made in class.  Apart from the items just mentioned under section 4, faculty members have had discussions regarding the different types of assignments being offered in their courses.  We have concluded that students taking courses from all members of the department will complete an array of assignments that hone skills in many ways.  Students will complete original research papers, position papers, film critiques, map assignments of various sorts, field trip reflection papers, and group presentations.  Therefore, assessment has affected, at some level, the coordination of course assignments.

 

In addition, the creation of both course learning outcomes and program learning outcomes has affected teaching, in the sense that instructors are required to teach to the aforementioned learning outcomes.

 

Finally, as mentioned above, program surveys being sent to alumni will assuredly affect the teaching of courses in the near future.

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

 

Applied History

The establishment of the Applied History program is tied closely to the establishment of the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center. The Center is where the Applied History courses are taught and where the instructor has her office, as Director of the Center.

 

The Center, which has been renovated and added on to since the last accreditation visit, has provided a unique and effective learning environment. The Center hosts over 140 events per year in our facilities. These events include music hearings and recitals, student debate, professional conferences at which CSC students present, class meetings, and writing groups. (For a complete list of learning opportunities held at the Center in the past two fiscal years, please refer to the Center’s annual reports.) The Center also provides students an opportunity to have a different study atmosphere. The Center, when not being used for other events, can be used by students as a study area.

 

The Museum component to the facility has added to the learning environment. The Center has been able to bring artists, art, and cultural exhibits that the College might not otherwise be able to bring to campus. Several professors have used the content presented at the Center as requirement for their coursework. The Center is continually striving to tie its programming in with the curriculum of Chadron State College. (For a complete listing of exhibits featured at the Sandoz Center, please refer to the Center’s annual report.)

 

As mentioned above, the renovation of the former campus library and the addition of the Chicoine Atrium have added to the facilities of the campus. While space on the campus is still at a premium, the Center’s facilities have added to the accessibility and visibility of the campus. Many community groups have and continue to use the Center for their meetings, social gatherings, and formal meetings. The Center is currently in the process of developing its grounds into outdoor interpreting plantings. Through the transformation of our outdoor areas, we are moving from “pretty areas” to areas that feature living collections that can be used for teaching and learning.

 

In terms of support services, the Center has brought degreed museum expertise to the campus. This expertise not only helps the Center and the campus in bringing greater professionalization but also in being of service to the region. The Center also provides support for ongoing research by providing housing for collections and assistance with research requests.

 

History & Social Science

By teaching courses which follow both course and program learning outcomes, and by assessing students in those courses in a fair and just manner, as outlined in this document, we are convinced that we are contributing to effective learning environments at Chadron State College.

 

Visual & Performing Arts

 

1.  What are the student outcomes for each program in your unit?

            Art

·         Students will have an opportunity to explore, create, analyze, and understand art.

·         Students will develop and enhance their artistic skills.

·         Students will gain knowledge of art through workshops, field trips, and gallery exhibits.

·         The Art discipline will create an atmosphere which encourages students to communicate their ideas and feelings about art.

·         Students will experiment with new art materials, procedures, and technology.

·         Prospective teachers will become knowledgeable with methods and techniques used in art education.

·         Students will develop a professional portfolio and art exhibit.

 

            Theatre

Outcome #1: Acting and Performance

Student will demonstrate proficiencies in preparing a role for performance.

·        Character Goals, Obstacles, Tactics and Expectations

·        Arc of the Character and spine of the play.

·        Movement Techniques and behavior

·        Intent of the Playwright

·        Rehearsal Methods

·        Presenting work before a live audience

 

Outcome #2:  Directing

Student will demonstrate proficiencies in

·        Analyzing a script for subject, purpose, focus and emphasis

·        Analyzing a script for character

·        Creating the directoral concept

·        Organizing the rehearsals and production

·        Staging the script for visual storytelling,  composition, and style

·        Presenting work before a live audience

 

Outcome #3:  Design:

Student will demonstrate proficiencies in

·        Analyzing a script for subject, purpose, focus, emphasis, and style

·        Analyzing a script for action and technical demands

·        Creating the visual concept

·        Researching the visual concept for time, place and purpose

·        Completing all CAD drawings or renderings needed for design.

·        Organizing and overseeing work for crews

·        Demonstrating proficiencies in construction and electrical techniques and procedures

·        Presenting work before a live audience

 

Outcome #4:  Stage Management and Organization

Student will demonstrate proficiencies in

·        Organizing  all rehearsals and production meetings

·        Organize cast and crew

·        Distribute rehearsal schedules, scene breakdowns and daily rehearsal reports

·        Preparing rehearsal hall daily

·        Keeping  all notes, blocking, and cues in a prompt script

·        Organizing  and supervising  running crews

·        Organizing and supervising all backstage activities during performance

·        Presenting  work before a live audience

 

2.  What tools does your unit use to assess student learning?  How is the data collected, stored, and accessed?

 

            Art

In the Art Department we’ve tried to create an assessment plan in which we first interview each incoming freshman or sophomore transfer student who enters the program as a junior.  We conduct a basic survey to create a baseline from which to measure improvement.  As a student takes each course within the Art Department, the student completes a questionnaire about the course to give us feedback.  This information is then evaluated by not only the instructor of the course, but the entire Art Department to determine what improvements may be made in those courses.  Those questionnaires are retained in a file for each course that we offer.

 

When the sophomore portfolio review is conducted, students are expected to bring in up to ten pieces of artwork for faculty review.  The work is discussed with the student to gather additional background data as to the amount of art the student has had up to that point.  Again, all art courses are evaluated as each course in completed and the feedback is retained in the course folder for the individual faculty member. 

 

When the student has completed all the required courses and is ready to graduate, the most important and final evaluation is the Senior Art Show.  The student produces artwork in at least two to three different media, a portfolio, a resume, artist statement – basically, everything they need to begin applying for work in the public and private sector.  It also gives the faculty an opportunity to evaluate ourselves on how well we have taken the student from the beginning to end of their program of study.

 

Student learning is assessed through tests, critiques, written comments, and assignment rubrics that are scored with points rather than grades.  The data is collected through grades given in the courses.  It is collected through student responses to our four main learning outcomes.  We look at the work produced, evaluate it and discuss it with the student.  Faculty collect those, review the comments, make changes based on the comments and track these each year.  The faculty member does a self-evaluation at the end of each course, using the same criteria used in the student evaluation, as a reflective statement.  An example would be a student complained of the lack of access to the studio after hours.  So over the past two years, we have increased the hours that the studios are open for student use after 4:30 p.m.  Technology in our computer graphics and photography areas has been upgraded.  There is an availability for anything that involves the safety of the student, both in the classroom and studio environment to help them succeed.

 

The graduating senior questionnaire and assessment as well as a faculty assessment of each graduating senior’s art show are completed and stored in hard copy in the Department Chair’s office.  Also, there is a final art portfolio and resume for each graduating senior.

 

            Theatre

Although a variety of key assessment mechanisms are used to assess the individual in each course, the objective of each course is to provide students with practical skills, creativity, and processes in creating complete productions for an audience. To this end, the productions will be the focus of Program Assessment in that:

·        They are the “high stakes simulation” of knowledge and skills and are the theatrical equivalent to the “standardized test” used in other programs.

·        They are viewed (and “assessed”) by the public, peers, students

·        They  involve all  majors as well as the Program Faculty

·        They demonstrate most effectively the application of the skills and knowledge bases taught within the Program.

·        They most quickly and clearly demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses within the Program. 

 

Methodology:

Student Learning Outcomes will be assessed for each major production and student’s performance within them. 

 

Feedback data will be collected from 5 different sources:

 

1.      Audience Members                                                      All 4 productions

2.      Program Faculty                                                        All 4 productions

3.      Professionals from outside institutions                    One production

4.      Faculty from appropriate disciplines on campus     All 4 productions

5.      Students in the program                                             Portfolio Review and Survey

 

The quantitative portion is kept on file along with NCATE and other documentation in a master file for Visual and Performing Arts and is available for viewing by all faculty and staff during building hours.  Much of the qualitative information (Eagle Reviews, American College Theatre Faculty (ACTF) responses, External Faculty comments, are archived on the hard drives of the faculty computers.   Each week, the faculty discusses assessment issues as their offices are immediately adjacent to each other. Also, Monday at the end of each semester is dedicated entirely to discussion, review, collection, and assessment of data.

 

3.  How are individual courses and program evaluation coordinated?

 

            Art

In each class every semester, art faculty distribute an assessment survey to be completed anonymously by the student.  This allows them to communicate perceived strengths or weaknesses of the course and give suggestions.  Each faculty member reviews these and writes a self-reflection statement after the semester has ended and makes necessary course adjustments.  This is also discussed in department meetings for overall program improvement.

 

These surveys are our basis for our learning outcomes, our history production, aesthetics, and criticism areas.  Results are stored in the Department Chair’s office in individual folders with the course syllabus.  This outlines what was taught, the semester schedule for the course, projects, deadlines, etc., student responses to course survey, and the faculty reflection.  This information is reviewed the next time the course is taught in order to make needed adjustments and avoid making unnecessary changes or corrections.

 

            Theatre

Individual courses are selected by the faculty and administered through the Dean’s office via Office Assistants.

 

The program is assessed annually by virtue of the data collection listed above and a collaborative overview by the Theatre Faculty (1.6 faculty)

 

4.  How have assessment results been used to improve student learning?

 

            Art

In each class every semester, art faculty distribute an assessment survey to be completed anonymously by the student.  This allows them to communicate perceived strengths or weaknesses of the course and give suggestions.  Each faculty member reviews these and writes a self-reflection statement after the semester has ended and makes necessary course adjustments.  This is also discussed in department meetings for overall program improvements, both immediate and long term.  This includes upgrading equipment, direction of a program, or re-examination of courses that have become outdated because of current market trends.  Examples include: student suggestions on improving equipment, which we do if funds permit, or more hands-on experiences in the introductory art class.  Another example is that ten years ago there was no Graphic Design emphasis within the Art Department.  Now due to market demand, faculty, equipment and an emphasis program are in place.  Nearly 50% of the art majors pursue this area.

 

            Theatre

Assessment conclusions have resulted in:

·        Revision of the curriculum with courses created in Children’s Theatre and Acting for the Camera

·        Revision of the curriculum into a comprehensive major

·        Revision of the program to include greater regional impact

·        Revision of the curriculum to include greater use of technology  

·        Revision of Assessment methodologies

·        Greater public and regional outreach

 

5.  How have assessment results been used to improve teaching?

 

Art

Refer to question 4.  In our use of course assessment questionnaires we make adjustments in our presentations, delivery and material covered, based on student feedback and student learning outcomes.  Examples:  Elements of Art class student feedback indicated students were interested in hands-on type activities, i.e. working with clay rather than looking at pictures of pots.  Same thing with painting – students paint basic watercolors and simple instructions of how-to techniques, but it shows what is involved in the production of these types of media.

 

In addition to traditional photography, we are seeing a big increase in the number of students wanting to learn digital photography and computer manipulation.  Again, this is due to market trends from the professional photographer to the home hobbyist.

 

            Theatre

            Please see response to previous question.

 

6.  How has your unit contributed to effective learning environments, facilities and support services?

 

Art

Much of this was incorporated in the remodel of the physical facility.  Improvements were made in ventilation, modernizing, and new equipment to improve the studios, improve existing equipment, and improve the instruction.  All classrooms have modern technology, LCD projection, DVD projection, track lighting, etc.

 

a.       Continual improvement of studio facilities and equipment

b.      New state of the art graphic design lab and mediated classrooms

c.       Suggestion of acquisitions of books and videos for library and IRC

d.      The Art Department maintains its own video library and graphic deigns book and periodical library

e.       Course presentations available to students via Blackboard

f.        Department webpage in the process of a complete makeover, with help from student research and suggestions

g.       All areas are now handicapped accessible

h.       Expanding the Graphic Arts/Photography emphasis

i.         Two galleries with continually revolving shows with regionally, nationally and culturally diverse artists

j.        Visiting artists who speak to classes and do demonstrations of not only the traditional media but also more contemporary areas

 

            Theatre

            From 1998-2006, the Chadron State College Theatre Program has:

·   Created a touring Children’s Theatre Workshop serving all elementary and middle schools in the region

·   Created new curriculum and comprehensive major

·   Added new courses in Stage Combat, Acting for the Camera, Alteration and Construction Technology , Scene Painting

·   Created Internships in Costuming and Design both at CSC and The Post Playhouse

·   Provided 10 Theatre Days for high school teachers and students in the last 7 years with workshops and performances

·   Created two state of the art performance spaces which also serve as labs and classroom

·   Created state-of-the-art computer lab with lighting facilities and 3-D set and lighting design as well as digital sound

·   Created partnership with Chadron City Library Foundation for annual performances for young audiences

·   Collaborated with the Music Program to produce a major musical

·   Collaborated to present a production related to Domestic Partner Abuse Awareness Month

·   Produced over 50 short plays for public performance by student actors and directors

·   Created over 15 opportunities for design of major productions for students in lighting, costumes, sound and set design.

·   Produced 32 major productions in the last 8 years with successful attendance and critical response

·   Served as technical and performance consultants for area high schools and performance groups.

·   Served as adjudicator for 16 different play competitions in the last 8 years including

o        Panhandle Conference One Acts

o        Western Trails Conference One Acts

o        Ord Chanticleer Play Festival

o        Wyoming State One Act Competition

·   Successfully placed graduates in professional and graduate programs at

o        Texas Shakespeare Festival

o        University of Delaware MFA program

o        University of Southern  Illinois MFA

o        University of Montana MFA program

o        The Actor’s Theatre of Louisville

o        Utah Shakespeare Festival

o        St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre

o        Humboldt State MFA  program

o        Texas Tech University PhD program (2)

o        Kansas State MFA program

o        Montana Children’s Theatre (2)

o        The Barn Theatre (MI)

o        The Astor Place

o        The Olney Theatre (DC)