Vol.5, No. 5
Published by Assessment Resource Office, ENMU
By Vincent E. Miller and Alec M. Testa, et al.
In June 1995, Eastern submitted its Plan for Assessment of Student Academic Achievement to the North Central Association. This plan stipulated that each academic discipline would assess the learning of each of its graduates. More than fifty plans were prepared, and these can be found at the Assessment Resource Office web site at http://www.enmu.edu/~testaa. In the last issue of the DATAWave, the results for the General Education plan were reported. In this edition, the results for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are briefly summarized. The next edition of the DATAWave will contain results for the College of Education and Technology, the College of Fine Arts, and the College of Business. Again, these are just brief summaries. More extended summaries are available through the Assessment Resource Office web page.
Undergraduates take a locally prepared, objective examination that tests basic knowledge in the four core areas of Anthropology: Archaeology, Cultural, Linguistics, and Physical. Of the 11 seniors, 2 scored between 90-80%, 3 scored between 80-70%, 3 scored between 70-60%, and 1 was below 50%. Of the 8 graduate students, 3 scored between 80-70%, 4 between 70-60%, and 1 was between 60-50%.
In the Graduate Program, all students from the 1995 entering class who took the Candidacy Exam passed all areas. They demonstrated their understanding of the basic core areas: statistics/quantitative methods, archaeological method/theory, and cultural anthropology theory. In addition, each showed understanding of three specialty areas they selected.
Results from the Educational Testing Services major field achievement test in Biology indicate that graduates performed below the national standard norms in the areas of subcellular and cellular biology when combined student performance was compared with a national mean. Wildlife majors scored significantly above the national mean in the supraorganismic category. Pre-med majors scored at the national mean in all categories.
The Graduate Program results indicated that students performed below the national standard norms in the areas of subcellular and cellular biology when combined student performance was compared with a national mean. Graduate students completed strong thesis and oral defenses of their work.
Communicative Disorders Undergraduate Program
All recent graduates took a comprehensive, objective examination covering the entire breadth of the discipline. The mean score was 54%.
Communicative Disorders Graduate Program
- 40% of the 5 graduating students in 1995-96 passed the national examination in speech-language pathology (NESPA) on their first attempt.
- 100% of the 5 graduating students in 1995-96 passed the master's written and oral exams on their first attempt. They exceeded the goal of 90%.
- Based on a multiple question survey of satisfaction which rated aspects of the CDIS Program from 1 to 5, with 1 = strongly agree, 2 = agree, 3 = neutral, 4 = disagree, 5 = strongly disagree, overall results showed consumer satisfaction.
- Current graduate students rated the academic program 1.9.
- Current graduate students rated the clinical program 1.8.
- Alumni from the previous five years rated the program 2.0.
- Employers of the previous five years' alumni rated the program 1.7.
Chemistry Undergraduate Program
- Three Chemistry students have taken the ACS Chemistry examinations to date. Student scores range from very low (~20th percentile) to very high (~80th percentile). It is premature, given the small sample size, to draw general conclusions from these examination results.
- Follow up contacts with ENMU Chemistry graduates in 1995-1996 indicate a very high level of satisfaction (100%) with the level and quality of Chemistry training received at Eastern. Numerous positive comments about how training received at Eastern significantly exceed training levels other students received at other universities--as evaluated by Chemistry alumni at Eastern in graduate school or in the work force directly involved in assignments with alumni form other Chemistry programs at other universities--were give to the ENMU Chemistry program.
- Virtually 100% of ENMU Chemistry graduates contacted in 1995-1996 are employed in a chemically related field or are pursuing advanced degrees in the chemical and physical sciences, engineering, or the health sciences.
Chemistry Graduate Program
In the past academic year, two students completed the Master's program in Chemistry. One student is presently working for a computer company and is looking for a position in the chemical industry. The other student is not actively looking for a job.
80% of graduates were above the nation mean on the ETS or MFAT Computer Science examination.
English Undergraduate Program
- Out of the nine sample portfolio essays (from graduating majors), all demonstrated superior competence in grammar and mechanics, while seven demonstrated superior, and two adequate competence in style.
- Out of the eleven students (Senior English majors) interviewed, four responded "I strongly agree," and five "I agree," one disagreed, and one did not respond to the statement, "I can prepare essays that are competent in areas of grammar, mechanics, and style."
- Out of the nine sample portfolio essays, all demonstrated competence in critical thinking, six demonstrated competence in theoretical approach, and three demonstrated little or no competence. Of the six students who demonstrated competence with theoretical approaches, three applied gender and/or feminist theory, one applied New Critical theory, one applied New Historicism, and one applied intertextual theory.
- Of the eleven interviewed, nine demonstrated competence, one showed marginal competence, and one showed no competence in an understanding of the development of British and United States literary traditions.
- Of the eleven students interviewed, two believed that they had received a better understanding of Biblical/Classical traditions, eight believed that they had little, if any, exposure to such traditions. Ten students felt that they had been thoroughly exposed to non-western and/or multicultural literary traditions.
English Graduate Program
Four students completed Master's thesis in spring, and successfully defended their work in an oral exam.
Geology successfully implemented their Academic Outcomes Assessment Plan. Because the results were based on a sample of one, they are not replicated here in order to protect the privacy of the student.
History & Social Studies
The department implemented a student assessment of the major and the student experience with the department through solicitation of anonymous responses from our sixteen graduating majors to questions regarding why the student chose the major, what students felt was best about the program , and where students felt the program needed improvement. Student responses were candid and generally long, signifying some amount of thought was given to their responses.
Mathematics Undergraduate Program
100% of students scored above the 50th percentile on ETS exam. None applied to post-graduate programs outside ENMU. 90% agreed with the statement, "I feel comfortable using a computer as a mathematical tool."
Mathematics Education Program
- All 1996 graduates from the secondary mathematics program scored above the 60% level on NTE test.
- All graduates from the secondary mathematics program were hired.
- 100% felt they were competent to teach Mathematics.
Mathematical Sciences Graduate Program
- 100% of graduating Master's degree students agreed with the statement, "I am well prepared for a beginning position using my degree."
- 100% of those students wishing to pursue an advanced degree in Mathematics were accepted into Ph.D. programs.
- 100% of those accepted into a graduate program were awarded teaching or research assistantships.
- 100% of students, one year after being admitted into an advanced program, agreed that they were well prepared.
- 90% passed at 70% or higher on all comprehensive exams in three areas of Mathematics.
Communications, Mass Communication Undergraduate Program
- Nine students successfully completed portfolios for assessment; mean scores by peers were 4.5 (out of a possible 5.0); faculty/professional aggregate mean was 3.9.
- Students included with their portfolios written self-critiques; the material was received by the evaluation team; range of scores was 3.0 to 4.86; average was 4.1.
- All graduates successfully prepared a personal code of ethics related to their discipline per course requirement for COMM 415.
- All graduates successfully prepared a case study in mass media, demonstrating the ability to analyze ethical issues, per course requirement for COMM 415.
- All students successfully demonstrated literacy in computers and visual concepts through portfolio presentation.
- Computer and visual literacy was demonstrated through the portfolio demonstrations; quality of presentation scores ranged from 2.8 to 4.86 on a 5 point scale.
- All students successfully passed an examination of legal issues per course requirement for COMM 322 or COMM 414.
- All students successfully prepared a case brief on a landmark media case per course requirement for COMM 322 or COMM 414.
Communications Graduate Programs
- All graduates have successfully completed written and oral comprehensive exams in their discipline.
- All graduates have successfully completed either a thesis or special project in their area of interest.
- All students have regularly affirmed their preparation to conduct research, pursue an advanced degree, or take a meaningful job in their chosen discipline.
- 90% of graduates of the program agreed with the statement, "implements nursing actions based on current nursing theory."
- 100% of graduates agreed with the statement, "uses research findings to improve nursing practice."
- 100% of graduates agreed with the statement, "remains current in the area of new disease etiology, intervention, and prognosis."
- 94% of graduates' employers agreed with statement, "shows evidence of critical thinking in effectively fulfilling responsibilities of job description."
- 90% of graduates' employers agreed with statement, "communicates effectively with patients/clients, peers, subordinates, supervisors, members of the health care team, and families."
- 100% of students, during the senior clinical nursing courses, made oral and written presentations that reflect their usage of critical thinking skills, communicative skills, and therapeutic nursing interventions.
- 93% of the graduates agreed with the statement, "critical thinking skills and communication skills were incorporated throughout the program."
- 95% of graduates and employers agreed with the statement, "collaborates with other health professionals and providers to promote health of patients/clients."
- 76% of the graduates agreed with the statement, "participates in political and professional activities to enhance health promotion and quality of life."
- 100% of students completing the senior clinical nursing courses demonstrated evidence of model health care that is appropriate, affordable, and culturally sensitive.
- 75% of graduates and employers agreed with the statement, "recognizes, accepts, and deals effectively with cultural differences in patients/clients, peers, subordinates, supervisors, members of the health care team, and patient/client families."
- 90% of the graduates and employers agreed with the statement, "demonstrates leadership in nursing practice."
- 89% of the graduates and employers agreed with the statement, "encourages professional growth behaviors in peers and other nursing personnel."
- 100% of students, during the final clinical course in the senior year, demonstrated by oral and written presentations creativity in therapeutic nursing interventions.
- 70% of the graduates will enroll or have plans to enroll in graduate study within five years of graduation from the program.
Physics Undergraduate Program
Physics successfully implemented their Academic Outcomes Assessment Plan. Because the results were based on a sample of one, they are not replicated here in order to protect the privacy of the student.
This fall, 16 juniors and seniors took the ETS exam; these results are not yet in. In 1995, 19 juniors and seniors took the exam. The results are shown below. This fall, 13 seniors took the ICAT essay test a Higher Order Critical Thinking examination) and those results are also shown below:
Results ("mean" scores shown) for the 1995 ETS Major Field Achievement Test in Political Science are: United States Government (ENMU = 47.2, National = 49.2, Difference = -2.0); Comparative Government (ENMU = 43.5, National = 44.5, Difference = -1.0); International Relations (ENMU = 36.8, National = 36.5, Difference = +0.3); Political Theory (ENMU = 35.2, National = 32.7, Difference = +3.5); Methodology (ENMU = 47.7, National = 46.6, Difference = +1.1); Total Test Mean Score (ENMU = 147.3, National = 148.0, Difference = -0.7).
Results for 1996 ICAT Critical Thinking Essay Test (with "Performance Level" and "Percent of Students Performing at this Level" given) are: Unacceptable Performance: 15.38; Low Level Performance: 23.07; "Mixed" Level Performance: 30.76; "Commendable" Performance: 23.07; and "Excellence in Thinking" Performance: 7.6.
The ETS results indicate that the ENMU students compare very favorably with the national averages and are competitively trained in the major areas of the discipline, despite Eastern's limited faculty size. The ICAT results were encouraging. Students from Eastern achieved scores comparable to the national mean in three of the five content areas in 1995 and showed improvement in all areas from 1991 to 1995. Students from Eastern achieved scores slightly below the national mean in two of the five content areas in 1995.
- Three of three graduates indicated they have not been employed in their chosen field or accepted into a graduate program.
- Three students agreed with the statement, "I feel well prepared for my chosen career and/or graduate study."
- Three students agreed with the statement, "I believe that I am as well prepared in the discipline of Religion as students studying at other institutions of comparable size."
- Three students agreed with the statement, "I have the ability to perform acceptable research."
- Three students agreed with the statement, "I have general knowledge of the discipline of Religion."
- Of the two graduating seniors who took the comprehensive examination, one achieved a score of 96%, and the other 72%. The returning seniors scored 96% and 78%. Participating juniors scored 96%, 94%, and 80%. No student failed to meet the minimum standards in this exam.
- One graduating senior and one junior submitted a sample of their written work. Both samples were assessed as being "superior."
- In the interview section of the comprehensive exam, one graduating senior demonstrated "superior" abilities and the other "acceptable" abilities. The continuing seniors demonstrated "superior" and "good" abilities; and two of the juniors demonstrated "superior" abilities, and one of them "good." No student failed to meet the minimum "acceptable" levels of oral abilities.
- The only student who identified himself as a future teacher of Spanish scored "superior" in all areas of assessment, and received a 96% score on the comprehensive exam.
Sociology & Criminal Justice
The number of sociology seniors taking the ETS assessment exam in the two semesters this plan has been in effect is so small (3 the first semester and 4 the second) that statistical comparisons are not reliable. It should be noted, however, that the results suggest that the program is adequate since the scores indicate average or above performance. The criminal justice program will be addressed. Overall student scores were in the top 40% for fall 1995 and in the top 32% for spring 1996. The exam gives only one overall score which indicated above average performance.
Communications, Speech Communication Undergraduate Program
The single graduate during this past year was quite able to research and present the persuasive speech. However, the ability to use the APA style in the bibliography was lacking. The student was able to justify and evaluate a persuasive speech. The evaluation was accurate. The student successfully developed a personal code of ethics.
- In Fall 1996, 100% of the interviewed graduates reported that their academic program was "sufficiently flexible to meet their needs."
- In Fall 1996, 100% of the interviewed graduates were able to explain how their degree accomplished "the integration of their learning and their personal and professional goals." For some, the B.U.S. was the only way they were able to complete a degree at ENMU, since they were unable to pass a particular required course in their major (two examples in Business). More positively, several students reported detailed strategies where their courses of study directly matched their career objectives in a way that traditional majors and minors offered at ENMU would not have.
- In Fall 1996, 100% of the graduates reported that their post-baccalaureate needs "were met," though some reported they would have preferred being able to complete another, more recognized major.
- In Fall 1996, the cumulative GPA for graduates did compare favorably with other members of their graduating class, with one student graduating Summa Cum Laude and several graduating with GPAs over 3.0.
- In Fall 1996, about one-half of the students responded that they would choose to enroll in "the degree program in University Studies" again, given the choice.
|The Datawave is published by the Assessment Resource Office at Eastern New Mexico University, Alec M. Testa, Coordinator.|
Editor: Alec M. Testa
Production: Sarah Stacy
Proofreading: Deborah Bentley
Eastern New Mexico University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap in its programs, activities, or employment. Persons seeking additional information about the University's nondiscrimination policy should contact the Executive Director for Planning & Analysis, ENMU Station #2, Portales, NM 88130.