School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Annual Assessment Report

2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                              August 1, 2005    

 

University of Arkansas at Monticello

 
Annual Assessment

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

 

                                                                    2004

 

Section One

 

The School of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers major programs of study in criminal justice, history, history and social studies, political science, psychology, and social work.  Students who major in history and social studies may also work toward licensure to teach history and social sciences at the secondary level by completing other requirements through the School of Education.  The faculty members who teach in each major program meet regularly to collect data based on previously submitted assessment plans.  Based on the information that is collected they then recommend curricular or other changes designed to improve our programs.  They also make changes in the assessment plans themselves. 

 

 


1.                  How does the academic unit’s mission statement and goals flow from and contribute to the University’s mission statement?

 

The mission of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences is to develop competent professionals, effective leaders and socially responsible citizens to serve Arkansas and the global community.  To meet this mission the School provides students with the necessary tools to function in their chosen occupations and professions, which increasingly emphasizes the need for strong interpersonal skills. Along with other academic units, the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences develops students’ abilities to appreciate diversity and to succeed in technologically advanced work environments.

 

The School’s mission complements the mission of the University by:

 


 

offering undergraduate programs in criminal justice, history, history and social studies, (which is primarily a secondary level teacher preparation program),  political science that includes pre-law, psychology, and social work (leads to licensure as social workers at the bachelor=s level;

offering graduate courses in the social sciences for the master of education and master of arts in teaching degrees and as part of a special concentration through the School of Education;

providing general education courses and learning experiences that expand students’ perspectives;

providing strong curricula for career preparation in human services, government and teaching; 

offering selective courses or programs in areas where there are no majors or minors and that prepare students for graduate study and diverse professional programs.


 

2.                  How are the major field assessments based on the mission and goals of the academic unit and University?

 

The faculty meets regularly to review the relationship between major field assessments with the mission of both the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the University. Their insights and observations form the basis for developing the specific major field assessments. 

 

3.                  How are the data being gathered to support assessment of the academic unit’s goals and mission?

 

Each discipline within the academic unit prepares an individual assessment plan.  The faculty members within each discipline implement the plan and report the findings to the academic unit head.   Faculty colleagues from each discipline collect the data necessary to monitor the effectiveness of their assessment plans.  They subsequently meet to analyze the data as well as to discuss trends and results.

 

 The academic unit head then uses the data from the individual reports to ascertain if the data support the School’s goals and mission.  In addition, the academic unit head regularly examines other data such as student evaluations, CAAP test results, as well as new courses and programs to determine if the academic unit’s goals and missions are being met.

 

4.                  Describe how faculty is involved in the process (es) of assessing student learning.

 

The faculty from each program is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating a plan to assess student learning from which appropriate recommendations for change is made. A faculty member from each area is designated as the assessment coordinator, who then prepares the discipline assessment report of these activities.

 

5.                  Describe your use of multiple forms of data gathering to assess student learning.

 

The School uses multiple measures to assess student learning such as course examinations, written assignments (book reviews and research papers), in class exercises and activities, out of class projects, a standardized discipline assessment program, oral reports, group work, interviews, and final course grades.

 

6.                  Describe how data are being used to make programmatic changes in your academic unit.

 

Programmatic changes are implemented based on student comments on course evaluations, informal student feedback, performance deficiencies on standardized tests and on other specific course requirements within each discipline.  Additionally, programmatic adjustments are made to address changes in employer expectations, graduate or professional school requirements as well as teaching and program innovations learned at professional meetings. 


7.                  Describe how both faculty and students are given feedback concerning assessment results.

 

Students receive prompt feedback (within a week) on their performance on regular course exams, book reviews, research papers, group and individual projects, and other assignments.  Students in all programs receive feedback from their academic advisors concerning the results of CAAP and graduate tests during advising sessions.

 

Faculty members receive student course evaluations each semester that indicate students’ assessment of their learning in their courses.  Additionally, the academic unit head reviews with faculty colleagues the assessment results as a regular component of the annual faculty evaluation process.  As advisors, faculty members also get reports of CAAP, GRE, CLEP and other student assessment results. 

 

8.                  Describe how your assessment plan is cost effective and reflects access, equity and diversity.

 

Each of the disciplines within the School develops various strategies for assessing student learning.  Assessment plans in each case require little or no cost other than postage for surveys or long distance telephone calls to conduct follow-up surveys of alumni.  Therefore, the School’s assessment plan is cost effective.

 

Classroom instruction is accessible in a variety of ways to all University students.  Faculty colleagues adjust their presentation and material to accommodate the wide range of student abilities and preparation levels.  All of the classes for the School occur in a disabled accessible building. Classroom furniture is available for larger than average size individuals.  Students living in more remote areas can access selected course offerings of the School by enrolling in Compressed Interactive Video (CIV) courses and attending those classes at off campus locations closer to their home.

 

Faculty update and revise catalog course descriptions on an ongoing basis.  The faculty makes course revisions regularly based upon student evaluation feedback, changes in graduate/professional school requirements, and knowledge faculty gain from professional activities regarding curriculum and technological innovations. Faculty use multiple instructional strategies and resources to address the diverse learning needs of students.

 

9.                  How does your unit’s assessment system link to research on learning theories, constructing vs. acquiring knowledge, and active learning strategies?

 

The faculty within the School utilizes the principles of active learning in the delivery of content and through the design of both in and out of class activities. Faculty members diligently design course work with the express purpose of fostering the mastery of content over rote learning and actively engage students intellectually.

10.              How are students required to present verbal and written explanations of how their work products demonstrate attainment of publicly stated goals and objectives for their learning?

 

Students are not formally “required” to present verbal and written explanations of how their work products demonstrate attainment of publicly stated goals and objectives for their learning. However, faculty members informally take the opportunity during classroom discussion, student advisement and mentoring sessions to correlate the relevance and importance of required course work.

 

11.              How do course syllabi state measurable objectives for student learning and provide for the assessment of students’ academic achievement?

 

Faculty members state course objectives in course syllabi in concise, clear and concrete terms to ensure that objectives are measurable. Faculty colleagues construct examinations and other assessment activities to correlate with course objectives.

 

12.              How are students involved in the assessment process? For example, do students participate in your unit’s assessment committee activities?  

 

Students are involved in the assessment process in a variety of ways.  Each semester students have the opportunity to complete a detailed course and teacher evaluation.  Students informally provide feedback to the faculty and the academic unit head about their success in learning course content. Exit interviews with graduating seniors provide another opportunity for students to evaluate their academic experience. 

 

 

 



Section Two

 


 

A.                 Graduation

 

Table 1 reports the number of students who graduated with a baccalaureate degree with a major within the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.  In 2004-2005, a total of 47 students with Social and Behavioral Sciences majors graduated with a baccalaureate degree. These graduates constitute nine percent of the total student population graduating in 2004-2005.  

Table 1

Baccalaureate Degree by Major

2004 – 2005

 

2004-2005

Criminal Justice

11

History

7

History & Social Studies

1

Political Science

5

Psychology

11

Social Work

12

PROGRAM TOTAL

47

PERCENT

9%

UAM TOTAL

527

 

The University encourages students to apply for an Associate degree as indicator of success and as a capstone of the first 60 or more hours of academic study.   Table 2 shows the number of students completing the requirements for an Associate degree with a major within the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. 

Table 2

Associate Degree by Major

2004-2005

 

2005

Criminal Justice

6

History

2

History and Social Studies

2

Political Science

1

Psychology

1

Social Work

15

Total

27

 

B.        Special Honors

 


Table 3 (see next page) shows the number of honor graduates. In assessment year 2004, social and behavioral sciences’ majors constituted twelve percent or (8) of the students who graduated with honors. Three of the eight students graduated with distinction (cum laude).  The majority (5) graduated magna cum laude or with great distinction.


Table 3

Honor Graduates by Major

2004

 

Criminal Justice

2004

 

Cum Laude

0

 

Magna Cum Laude

0

 

Summa Cum Laude

0

Sub-total

0

History

 

 

Cum Laude

0

 

Magna Cum Laude

1

 

Summa Cum Laude

0

Sub-total

1

History & Social Studies

 

 

Magna Cum Laude

0

Sub-total

0

Political Science

 

 

Cum Laude

2

 

Magna Cum Laude

0

 

Summa Cum Laude

0

Sub-total

2

Psychology

 

 

Cum Laude

0

 

Magna Cum Laude

1

 

Summa Cum Laude

0

Sub-total

1

Social Work

 

 

Cum Laude

1

 

Magna Cum Laude

3

 

Summa Cum Laude

0

Sub-total

4

PROGRAM TOTAL

8

PERCENT

12%

UAM HONORS TOTAL

66

 

 

C.        Special Recognition

Three students received special recognition for their induction into Alpha Chi Honor Society in 2004.  Alpha Chi as a national honor society honors students for academic excellence and demonstrating exemplary character. Membership is by invitation for students who rank in the upper ten percent of the junior and senior classes and have a grade point average of 3.6 or higher.  Alpha Chi members within the School include the following majors: History/Social Studies and Psychology.   Three of the eighteen students recognized in 2004-2005 in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities are social and behavioral sciences majors.  Faculty and staff nominate students for this special recognition and a faculty reviews the nominations. Students are selected based on their academic achievement, community service and extracurricular participation. Who’s Who students within the School include the following disciplines:  Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Social Work.

 

D.        Post Baccalaureate Activity

Table 4 reports post bachelor activities for assessment year 2004.  During this assessment period the majority of the graduates sought employment after graduation.  Social work majors gained employment in organizations related to their major.  Graduates from the other areas attained employment but not necessarily in positions related to their majors.  Although employment opportunities are limited in southeast Arkansas there is an expressed preference by UAM graduates to work within the region and not relocate to cities where there maybe more opportunities.  Thus, having social and behavioral sciences graduates working  may supersede gaining employment in their chosen field.  Eighteen percent of the students in both in criminal justice and psychology and 17 percent of social work majors are enrolling in graduate school after completing their undergraduate degree programs.  

               

Table 4

Graduate Employment Survey

2004

 

 

Total

Bachelor’s

Degree

Employed

In

Field

Employed

Not In

Field

Enrolled In

Graduate Or

Professional

School

Other

Information

N/A

Criminal Justice

11

3

4

2

0

2

History

7

0

5

0

2

0

History & Social Studies

1

1

0

0

0

0

Political Science

5

1

4

0

0

0

Psychology

11

7

0

2

2

0

Social Work

12

8

0

2

0

2

 

 

For assessment year 2004, 18 percent of criminal justice, 18 percent of psychology and 17 percent of social work graduates enrolled in graduate or professional school.  Majors in history, history/social studies and political science did not enroll in graduate school immediately following graduation. (See Table 5). 


Table 5

Alumni Survey

Graduate and Professional School Attendance

2004

 

 

Total

Bachelor’s

Degree

To

Graduate

School

To

Medical,

Dental,

Law

School

MS

Obtained

or in

Progress

MA

Obtained

or in

Progress

M.Ed.

Obtained

or in

Progress

MBA

Obtained

or in

Progress

Ph.D.

Obtained or in

Progress

Name of

Graduate School

Criminal Justice

11

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

Delta State, UALR Law School

History

7

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

History &

  Social

  Studies

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Political

  Science

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

Psychology

11

2

0

2

0

0

0

0

Southern AR

  University 

Social

  Work

12

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Univ. of AR at Little Rock

 

Table 6

2004

CAAP ASSESSMENT SCORES

STUDENTS BY MAJOR

SCORING AT OR ABOVE THE NATIONAL MEAN

 

MAJOR

TOTAL TESTED

AREA OF ACHIEVEMENT

 

Mathematics

Reading

Science

Reasoning

Writing

Writing

Essay

Criminal

Justice

12

1

0

1

3

1

History/

History &

Social Studies

3

0

2

1

1

1

Political Studies

1

0

1

0

1

1

Psychology

9

4

5

4

6

3

Social

Work

8

1

0

0

1

2

TOTAL

33

6

8

6

12

8

 

 

In accordance to state law, students who have between 45-60 hours above the 1000 level or higher must take the CAAP (College Assessment of Academic Proficiency) to assess reading, writing, mathematics and scientific reasoning.   Table 6 reports the CAAP Assessment scores for social and behavioral sciences majors’ who scored at or above the national mean on the various sub-tests.   Thirty-three students within the School completed the rising junior assessment test.   Eighteen percent of the majors scored above the national mean in three of the sub-tests including  mathematics, science reasoning and essay writing.  Twenty-four  percent and 36 percent of the majors scored at above the national mean on the  reading and  writing sub-test, respectively.

 

 

E.         Unit Assessment Summary

 

Criminal Justice

 

The Criminal Justice Program is in its sixth year of existence as a major at the University. It now enrolls the largest number of students as majors within the School and has earned this distinction for the last two years.   For assessment year 2004, there  were eleven graduates. Seven are employed , two enrolled in graduate/professional school and information about  two of the graduates was not available at this time. Students expressed overall satisfaction with the program and the faculty.  

 

To ensure that students are well prepared from a generalist perspective the faculty made changes to the curriculum.  Four new courses were added to curriculum (Criminal Justice Ethics, Criminalistics, Victimology, Drugs and Society).  Five  courses were deleted that are not appropriate for  the generalist curriculum (Family law, Industrial Security, Judicial Process, Research Methods and Juvenile Justice as an upper division courses).  Three lower division courses were added to the curriculum for those students who want to pursue an associate degree and to introduce concepts to majors earlier in the program (Law and Society,  Research Methods and Juvenile Justice as lower division courses).  There were two modifications made to the supportive requirements by adding Statistical Methods and providing the option for students to take either Mental Health or Abnormal Psychology.  The course requirements for two certificate programs and one Associate of Applied Science degree program each in Crime Scene Investigation and Law Enforcement Administration.   The total credit hours increase from 33 to 36 for the major requirements and from 18 to 21 for supportive requirements. 

 

History/History and Social Studies

For assessment year of 2004, there were seven students graduating with a degree in History and one with a degree in History and Social Studies.  Grade point averages range from a low of 2.1  to a high of 3.7 . Of the eight students completing the History/History and Social Studies Exit Survey five rated their academic experience as excellent and three rated it good.  There were no changes made in the curriculum.

 

Political Science

The political science faculty made changes to major during this assessment year.  The purpose of the modifications are to increase the rigor of the program, update the courses and bring the degree in alignment with other political science programs in the state and nationally.   Three new courses were added (PSCI 3583 European Politics, PSCI 3573 Contemporary Political Ideologies and PSCI 2293 Law and Society).  There were four course deletions including: PSCI 4653 Research methods as an upper division course, PSCI 2273 Contemporary  Political Ideologies as a lower division course, PSCI 3563 Russian Politics, and PSCI 3483 Judicial Process.  Four modifications were made. Two dealt with changes in course titles.  The other modifications were made in the major requirements, which included adding PSCI 4683 Western Political Theory and PSCI 2283

Research Methods.

 

 

Psychology

 

The Psychology faculty’s primary means of assessing majors is with capstone courses, exit interviews and follow-up surveys.  The capstone courses are Statistical Methods, Experimental Methods, and Practicum.  Five of  the 11 graduates completed the exit survey in Psychology.  Fifty percent of the seniors agree and fifty percent strongly agree that statistical methods helped them understand empirical findings and conduct appropriate statistical tests.  Fifty percent agree and fifty percent strongly agree the program helped them improve their ability to work in a human service setting.  Sixty-six percent agree and 34 percent strongly agree that the psychology department helped them develop sensitivity to multicultural issues. Fifty percent rated their overall quality of their experience as a psychology major as good and 35 percent as excellent.  

 

Social Work

 

The Social Work program conducted a program review in 2004.  Three  courses (BIOL 1063, BIOL 1071 and  PSCI 2213 were added to the supportive requirements were made during this assessment year. Additionally, Social Work completed the activities associated with attaining reaffirmation of accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)  by conducting a self-study and developing a Gatekeeping Policy.  The program hosted the CSWE site visiting team  in  March 2005.  

There were twelve graduates for assessment year 2004.   Ten of the graduates work as social workers in the field and the other two enrolled in graduate school.  Fourteen local agencies served as internship sites for twenty (20) students in full time internships during assessment year 2004.  Interviews with internship supervisors indicate satisfaction with the level of preparation of the majors and desire to supervise future interns.

 

At the writing of this report none of the graduates have taken the BSW or MSW licensure exam.   While data is encouraging about graduates successfully passing their licensure exam, it is important to note that the graduates working in southeast Arkansas are in positions that do not require the licensure test and there is no financial incentive for passing the test.

 

 

 

 


CRIMINAL JUSTICE

ASSESSMENT REPORT

 

2004-2005

 

Criminal Justice offers students a broad spectrum of courses designed to instill a critical understanding of the workings of and the complex interrelationships between the several components of the American system of criminal justice.  The discipline continues to attract new majors in relatively large numbers. 

 

1.         How does the academic unit’s mission statement and goals flow from and contribute to the University’s mission statement?

 

The mission of Criminal Justice is to equip our students with a traditional liberal education superimposed with the fundamental tools for work in the justice field, and to serve our state and nation with inquiry and reflection in the discipline of criminal justice.  The objectives of criminal justice are a reflection of the University’s mission:  We strive to enhance knowledge, encourage critical thought, and create a learning environment sensitive to and positively influenced by diversity and change.     

 

2.         How are the major field assessments based on the mission and goals of the academic unit and the University?

 

The evaluation of Criminal Justice is an ongoing effort that takes place on both formal and informal levels.  At the formal level, the faculty meets at the division level to formulate an assessment plan based on the mission and goals of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.  In addition, the criminal justice faculty considers the needs and concerns specific to criminal justice.  On an informal level, the criminal justice faculty discusses the state of the program and potential programmatic improvements on an almost daily basis.

 

3.         How are the data being gathered to support assessment of the academic unit’s goals and missions?

 

The faculty gathers assessment data at both the formal and informal levels.  The most important data are classroom evaluations of student learning.  Graded materials in criminal justice go beyond merely testing field specific knowledge.  The faculty endeavors to evaluate analytical and critical thinking skills as well as oral and written communications skills.  The faculty accomplishes this by using a diverse array of graded material, such as book reviews, objective research reports, subjective analytical essays, classroom presentations, essay exams, and so forth.  In addition to classroom grades, the faculty use standardized test scores and interviews with graduating seniors to evaluate the program.  On an informal level, students constantly offer feedback to the faculty on a wide range of topics, such as how their expectations of courses are being met and which instructional strategies are most beneficial to them.

                                                           

 

 

4.         Describe how faculty are involved in the process(es) of assessing student learning.

 

On discipline level, the faculty enjoys a great deal of autonomy, and has primary responsibility for assessment plans, data collection, plan revision, and making recommendations for change.  An assessment coordinator is assigned each year to supervise this process.

 

5.         Describe your use of multiple forms of data gathering to assess student learning.

 

Student learning is assessed in a variety of ways.  Examinations, in-class and out of class assignments, and evaluations of papers form the nucleus of the evaluation strategy.  Classroom evaluations are designed to be commensurate with the level of the course, moving from a focus on basic knowledge and skills at the freshman level to more advanced analytical and critical thinking skills at the senior level.  This translates into fewer and fewer objective tests as the student progresses.  Additional evaluations are derived from standardized test scores.

 

6.         Describe how data are being used to make programmatic changes in your academic unit.

 

Both formal and informal assessment data are utilized in making programmatic changes in criminal justice.  As a relatively new program, criminal justice has undergone rapid evolution in recent years in coming into congruence with the mission of the University and the expectations of students.  New course offerings have stemmed from student feedback requesting specific content.  Other curriculum changes, such as the addition of a technical writing course to the criminal justice degree requirements, have been instituted as a direct result of deficiencies on both classroom and national standardized tests.   

 

7.         Describe how both faculty and students are given feedback concerning assessment results.      

Students are given feedback via grades, their scores on the CAAP exam, and written and verbal comments on exams and other classroom assignments.  In addition, students are given feedback during advisement sessions.

 

8.         Describe how your assessment plan is cost effective and reflects access, equity, and diversity.

 

On the discipline level, faculty at the lowest possible cost conducts all advisement efforts.  Every effort is made to reach as many students as possible by providing a diversified curriculum suitable to those who desire to begin working in the field immediately after completion of the program as well as offering a firm scholarly foundation for those who wish to pursue graduate studies.  Feedback from students and prospective students during this assessment period has resulted in an alteration of course scheduling to accommodate students who need afternoon and evening classes. 

 

 

The faculty makes every effort to establish continuity between individual courses and uniformity across course offerings.  In addition, every effort is made to keep course content on the cutting edge of the field, and to keep course descriptions and outlines in the university catalog and course syllabi updated to reflect those changes.  Criminal justice serves a diverse student body with widely varying backgrounds and professional aspirations.  While traditional classroom lectures are the keystones of criminal justice education, this diversity has fostered a commitment to diverse teaching strategies that acknowledge diverse learning styles.  The faculty frequently makes use of reading and observation assignments as lecture supplements.  For example, students have ridden along with police officers on patrol and observed court trials.  In the classroom, visual aides are frequently employed and guest lecturers are often invited to share their professional expertise.  During this evaluation period, students heard presentations from police officers, probation officers, juvenile prosecutors, mental health professionals, and

K-9 officers.

                       

 

9.         How does your unit’s assessment system link to research on learning theories, constructing vs. acquiring knowledge, and active learning strategies?

 

It is of the utmost importance that students develop proficiency in written communication.  Students in criminal justice classes are expected to pass tests that are both subjective and objective in nature.  Each test, with rare exceptions, contains a variety of question formats, including short answer and essay questions.  The majority of criminal justice courses require a written assignment.  These papers vary in length from five pages in an introductory class to fifteen pages or more in senior level classes.  The first draft of the paper is graded and returned to the student.  If the student is happy with their grade, they do not need to revise the document.  The faculty feels that no student should be progress to the next level of learning unless he or she possesses at least competent grammar skills.  Students who are in need of special attention are aided by the faculty or notified of the services of the writing center.  If the student wishes to better their grade, they can correct the errors and resubmit the paper.  Many pursue this option.

 

Students in all of the criminal justice courses with a legalistic component are required to brief court cases dealing with a number of current issues in the field of criminal justice.  The students are required to read the decision and turn in a summary of the case.  The students are required to make a presentation to the class stating the nature of the case, the issue at hand, and the holding of the court.  Other students are encouraged to ask questions of the presenter.  Many upper division classes are often round table discussions.  Students are urged to think for themselves and are urged to express their own opinions concerning relevant points of law.  Hands on learning strategies are used whenever possible.  Criminal Evidence and Investigations, for example, utilize a mock crime scene to test students’ knowledge of proper crime scene documentation techniques.  Students are evaluated on their creativity, logic, quality, and ability to work with other members of their group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.       How are students required to present verbal and written explanations of how their work products demonstrate attainment of publicly stated goals and objectives for their learning?

 

Many criminal justice courses are of an applied nature, such as policing, corrections, and criminal law.  An effort is made to instill a thorough understanding of the systemic nature of the criminal justice system in our introductory course, which is a prerequisite for all other criminal justice courses.   Faculty stresses the idea that for the system to function, each component must keep the others in mind.  In this way, students, no matter their chosen specialty within the justice field, appreciate the need for their broad spectrum of course work.  In more abstract courses, such as research methods, real world exemplars are used to remind students of the practical significance of their subject matter.  During advisement, students are guided into course work that best suits their career aspirations, and come to understand the relevance of those courses through that interaction with the faculty.   

           

11.       How do course syllabi state measurable objectives for student learning and provide for the assessment of students’ academic achievement?

 

Course objectives are consistently states in syllabi.  Examinations are in turn developed with those learning objectives in mind.

 

12.       How are students involved in the assessment process?  For example, do students participate in your assessment committee activities?

 

Students play an important role in the assessment of criminal justice.  Student evaluations are used in gauging the effectiveness of individual faculty members and their courses, and interviews with graduating seniors are used to evaluate the unit in terms that are more general.  These interviews not only request evaluation, but also solicit specific recommendations for improvement.  

 

 

 

          

 

 

 

 

 

      


HISTORY

ASSESSMENT REPORT

 

2004-2005

 

1.  How does the history unit contribute to the University’s mission statement?

 


                     All the history faculty displays a high regard for scholastic endeavor and actively contributes to the intellectual content of society through teaching, research, publication and professional presentations.

 

                     Critical and analytical thought is stressed in all history courses.

 

                     The School of Social and Behavioral Studies offers BA degrees in both History and History and Social Studies.

 

                     Graduate classes in history are available to supplement the Master’s degree program in the School of Education.

 

                     Survey of Civilization courses and American history courses are part of the broad general education program.

 

                     The history unit offers a variety of upper-division courses that are kept current and pertinent to the contemporary world.

 

                     The history program has NCSS accreditation as part of the larger unit.

 

2.         How are the major field assessments based on the mission and goals of the academic unit and University?

 

                     History faculty devised assessment plans based on the institutional and professional expectations applicable to the specific level of study, i.e., survey level students, upper-division students (history majors and minors) and graduates students.

 

3.         How are the data being gathered to support assessment of the academic unit’s goals and mission?

 

                     Assessment for history majors continued to rely on course work and grades given for specified activity.

 

                     All history majors have to complete History 3513 (Historiography and Historical Methods).  Students get evaluated on research projects, written assignments, and proficiency in using primary and secondary sources.  The unit has offered this course online in the past, an approach that proved successful.

 

                     All history majors must successfully complete 18 hours in upper-division history courses (nine hours American history, nine hours non-American history).  These classes require research papers, book assignments, and active class participation in the form of oral reports and discussion.  Some classes also incorporate role-playing activity and group presentations.

 

4.         Describe how faculty are involved in the process(es) of assessing student learning.

 

                     Individual faculty design the assessment plans for their area of specialty.  They collect and analyze the data from their classes and recommending or implementing any needed change.  One faculty member serves as the coordinator and prepares necessary reports.

 

5.         Describe your use of multiple forms of data gathering to assess student learning.

 

                     The history unit collects exit surveys from graduating History and History and Social Sciences majors.

 

                     All history faculty members require written work as part of their assessment practice, even in survey classes.  This work takes the form of papers, essays, book reviews, and short-answer questions.  Grades get awarded based on accuracy, analysis, and grammar.

 

                     History classes regularly deal with material concerning geography, economics, politics and social-cultural issues.  They also encourage students to develop library and archive skills.  Additionally, courses increasingly encourage students to use technology in their research and presentations.

 

6.         Describe how data are being used to make programmatic changes in your academic unit.

 

                     Student exam performances contribute to the adjustments of the sophistication of class material and methods of teaching.

 

 

                     Student evaluations and comments indicate preferences for selection of outside reading material and use of visual aids and technology.

 

7.         Describe how both faculty and students are given feedback concerning assessment results.

 

                     Feedback mainly comes from performance on class exams and assignments.

 

                     Student evaluations give faculty feedback concerning their perception of the course’s progress and worth.

                     Students and faculty both receive feedback during academic advising periods and, less formal, during office hour visits.

           

 

8.         Describe how your assessment plan is cost effective and reflects access, equity and diversity.

 

                     There is no outside cost for the history unit’s assessment plan.

 

                     All history classes take place in the MCB which is accessible to all UAM students.  Survey classes are required as part of the general education program and the history faculty adjust the material so that competent students from any given background can perform adequately.  In addition, CIV courses allow access to some survey course at remote locations.

 

                     History faculty incorporate visual aids such as video presentations, maps, and, where possible, PowerPoint presentations to help facilitate the learning of all students.

 

9.         How does your unit’s assessment system link to research on learning theories, constructing vs. acquiring knowledge, and active learning strategies?

 

                     History courses incorporate the following teaching methods and learning strategies:

                     Research projects

                     Outside reading assignments

                     Group discussion and role-playing activities

                     Analytical questioning

                     Application of historical knowledge to current events

                     Oral reports and presentations

 

10.       How are students required to present verbal or written explanations of how their work products demonstrate attainment of publicly stated goals and objectives for their learning?

 


 

                     Through academic advising and examination of the catalogue, students acquire the knowledge of what courses they need to take in the History and History and Social Studies majors.

 

                     Students understand the necessity of taking these courses as they relate directly to the following:

                     Requirements laid down by the State of Arkansas

                     Requirements for their degree program as laid out in the catalogue

                     Preparation for licensure tests such as the Praxis II Social Studies specialty exam

                     Statements of objectives on course syllabi

                     Introductory statements made in class by the faculty members

                     Academic advising sessions

 


11.       How do course syllabi state measurable objectives for student learning and provide for the assessment of students’ academic achievement?

 


 

                     Each course syllabus has a grading scale, statements concerning the nature of tests and exams, and reference to the expectation of academic achievement in upper-division and graduate courses.

 

12.       How are students involved in the assessment process?  For example, do students participate in your unit’s assessment committee activities?

 

                     Students participate in class evaluations

 

                     Graduating seniors are given an exit survey

 

                     The faculty and the Dean are accessible for individual student feedback

 

 

 

 


POLITICAL SCIENCE

ASSESSMENT REPORT

2004-2005

 


 

1.                  How does the academic unit s mission statement and goals flow from and contribute to the University s mission statement?

 


 

                     Not applicable to sub-unit inside larger context.

 


 

2.                  How are the major field assessments based on the mission and goals of the academic unit and University?

 


 

                     Below are the learning objectives of political science courses as set forth in the official UAM assessment plan:

 

Goals:  The Political Science and pre law  Programs are designed to:


 

                                                           prepare students for post-baccalaureate employment in both the government and the private sector

                                                           to prepare more academically talented students to successfully apply for and enter into graduate and law programs

                                                           to prepare students to become active participants in civic life

 

Learning Objectives: A student who graduates with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science or pre law should be able to:

 


 

I.                                                        .read, understand and evaluate pertinent political information, specifically those dealing with current events

II.                                                     communicate effectively orally in a public or private setting

III.                                                   develop a basis for multi-cultural understanding and apply it to situations in the school or area of employment

IV.                                                  communicate effectively the results of research or basic theoretical knowledge

V.                                                     communicate effectively via the written word

VI.                                                  do research and effectively communicate the results

VII.                                                interact with others in small group settings while participating in collaborative learning assignments

 


 

3.                  How are the data being gathered to support assessment of the academic unit s goals and mission?

 

The assessment data is gathered in an array of different ways.  The most direct methods for student involvement in the curricula are the classroom evaluations of student learning.  The Political Science department focuses its learning environment on critical thinking.  This is done by challenging the students to gain insight into the realm of politics and to be able to support their viewpoints via advanced oral and written communications skills. The Political Science faculty accomplishes this testing the students in a multitude of ways, such as book reviews, research papers, classroom presentations, and essay exams. In addition to classroom grades, the faculty use standardized test scores and interviews with graduating seniors to evaluate the program. On an informal level, students constantly offer feedback to the faculty on a wide range of topics, such as how their expectations of courses are being met and which instructional strategies are most beneficial to them.

 

4.                  Describe how faculty are involved in the process(es) of assessing student learning.

 

We, as a core in Political Science, discuss the needs of the students and design programs based on their needs.  Even though we decide what courses need to be offered, each faculty member has the primary responsibility for assessment plans, data collection, plan revision, and making recommendations for change.  A single coordinator is then given the responsibility to prepare the recommendations for unit review.

 

5.                  Describe your use of multiple forms of data gathering to assess student learning.

 

Among the multiple measures used in the assessment were test scores from class exams and final course grades, scores and informal evaluations related to analytic abilities as derived from class activities and assignments, performance of students on research papers, performance in communication and critical thinking skills as derived from class exercises and assignments (oral and written communication skills, critical thinking skills, ability to work with others, leadership skills, general analytic skills, etc.), performance on standardized tests, performance on book reviews, and surveys of graduating seniors and periodic surveys of alumni.

 

6.                  Describe how data are being used to make programmatic changes in your academic unit.

 

Both formal and informal assessment data are utilized in making programmatic changes in Political Science.  With the recent changes in the faculty in the Political Science program, the department has evolved in a new direction that, though informal means of assessment, has seem to have taken a turn for better student/professor relations.  New course offerings have stemmed from student feedback requesting specific content. 

 

7.                  Describe how both faculty and students are given feedback concerning assessment results.

 

Students are given feedback via grades, their scores on the CAAP exam, and written and verbal comments on exams and other classroom assignments. In addition, students are given feedback during advisement sessions.


 

8.                  Describe how your assessment plan is cost effective and reflects access, equity and diversity.

 

Assessment is done through self-study and therefore presents no additional financial burden to either the school or university.  At the most basic level access is assured through the entire faculty, at the discipline level, having an open door policy.  Students are encouraged to give feedback on curriculum and content at any time during the semester, and many avail themselves of this opportunity.  Classroom content is delivered using a number of pedagogic methods to ensure access to a diverse student body.  These include using the Socratic method, traditional lecturing, group projects, individual research activities, closed circuit distance learning, simulation modules, and experiential civic participation requirements.  

 

Using a variety of content delivery methods assures access and equity to a diverse student body.  Faculty peer evaluation and anonymous student evaluations are used to assess both the curriculum and ways to improve the classroom experience.  Anonymous student evaluations are an important method for students to give constructive advice in a safe environment.

 

9.                  How does your unit’s assessment system link to research on learning theories, constructing vs. acquiring knowledge, and active learning strategies?

 

All political science courses use a number of different strategies for assessing student learning.  Tests are constructed to measure students understanding of theories and their application.  Each course requires a substantial amount of written work where students are required to engage in positive problem solving assignments.  Grade oral presentations are common throughout the curriculum.  Graded group assignments are made in most political science courses.  These projects have a research portion and problem-solving activity where students are required to make policy recommendations based on real-world feasibility constraints.  Computer aided interactive simulations are also used to link theory and practice.  Civic participation is encouraged in all classes, but is required in some to receive a passing grade.  In some courses, students are required to give peer evaluations on group projects.  In all classes, the basic language of democratic participation is taught as required material reducing linguistic barriers to civic participation.

 

10.              How are students required to present verbal/written explanations of how their work products demonstrate attainment of publicly stated goals and objectives for their learning?

 

Political science courses are designed to prepare students for post-baccalaureate employment in both government and the private sector and to prepare students to be active participants in civic affairs at the local, national, and international levels.  The two gateway classes, American National Government and Comparative Politics, integrate the two goals by providing the content necessary to understand the basic structures of the political system and learning activities designed with future employment in mind.   For instance, students in American National Government are required to demonstrate and effectively communicate the results of group problem-solving projects about current events.  Group activities, such as this, prepare students for employment by helping build interpersonal skills and problem-solving in a multi cultural workforce.  Such activities also encourage students to engage in the type of civic dialogue required in a functioning democracy.  For students majoring in political-science or pre-law, the curriculum is sufficiently flexible enough as to allow students with different career goals to take different courses.  In advisement, all students are given ample opportunity to discuss how their personal career/learning goals fit in with the broader goals of the discipline and design a personal academic plan to meet these goals.

                                               

 

11.              How do course syllabi state measurable objectives for student learning and provide for the assessment of student’s academic achievement?

 

All political science courses state specific objectives on course syllabi.  Course syllabi clearly state how much each graded assignment is worth.  In all courses, syllabi state overall course objectives, and which aspects of those objectives will be measured on each graded assignment.  Non-traditional objectives are also stated on the syllabi and graded participatory activities are also given specifically weighted cardinal grades.

 

12.              How are students involved in the assessment process?  For example, do students participate in your unit’s assessment committee activities?

 

Students are involved in assessing political science in four ways.  First, each academic discipline within the School has an open-door policy that allows for ample opportunity for constructive student input.  Second, anonymous student evaluations allow students to make constructive criticism in a safe environment.  Third, during advisement students give feedback on individual courses and overall curriculums.  Advisement also gives students a chance to align their personal goals with those of the discipline, unit, and university.  Last, all graduating seniors in the major are given exit interviews where they can give feedback on their experience in the program.

 

 


PSYCHOLOGY

ASSESSMENT REPORT

 

2004-2005

                       


1.            How does the academic unit’s mission statement and goals flow from and contribute to

             the University’s mission statement?

 

The major’s mission and goals are directly related to the University’s mission statement by offering a diverse selection of courses.  Courses have been selected to provide strong theoretical and practical knowledge in a variety of areas of Psychology.  The courses are designed to improve the student’s scientific knowledge, critical thinking skills, and academic preparation.  The program allows students to prepare for graduate work or immediate employment in the Human Services area.

 

2.      How are the major field assessments based on the mission and goals of the academic   unit and University?

 

Goals: The Psychology Program is designed to:

 


 

·        prepare students for employment in the human services field.

·        prepare academically eligible students for graduate school.

 

Learning Objectives:  A student who graduates with a degree in Psychology should be able to:

 


 

·        Understand empirical findings and conduct appropriate statistical tests.

·        Produce a publication quality manuscript detailing empirical research.

·        Conduct empirical and original research.

·        Demonstrate the ability to effectively work in a human service setting.

·        Understand and evaluate professional writings in the human service fields.

·        Develop sensitivity to multicultural issues.

 

Each year the faculty meets to develop an assessment plan based upon the unit’s mission and goals. The courses needed to meet these needs are then selected.  Moreover, course offerings and materials are reviewed and revised as needed. 

 

3.         How are the data being gathered to support assessment of the academic unit’s goals and mission?

 

The faculty meets to discuss assessment results and to consider all aspects of the program.  Changes or recommendations for changes are then made.

 

 

 


4.         Describe how faculty are involved in the process(es) of assessing student learning.

 

 The faculty has primary responsibility for assessment plans, data collection, plan revisions, and making recommendations for change.  The each major has an assessment coordinator who handles this responsibility.

 

5.         Describe your use of multiple forms of data gathering to assess student learning.

 

Class grades, grades on in-class and out of class assignments, and evaluations of papers serve as the primary means of evaluation.  Additional evaluations are derived from performance on standardized tests, critical thinking skill activities, an informal evaluation of the student’s overall performance and ability level.

 

6.         Describe how data are being used to make programmatic changes in your academic unit.

 

Student evaluations and comments are considered by the faculty.  The faculty evaluates the student comments and conducts their own evaluation of the data.  The faculty further engages in pilot programs to attempt to enhance the program.  These include field trips, new learning exercises, and technology.   All of the information is used to revise the program.

 

7.         Describe how both faculty and students are given feedback concerning assessment results.

 

Students are given feedback via grades, their scores on the CAAP test and written comments on papers and other writings.  The exit interview is also used to determine student concerns and comments.

 

8.         Describe how your assessment plan is cost effective and reflects access, equity and diversity.

 

The faculty and the University are responsible for all assessments. The faculty and physical plant examine the physical structure of the classrooms to determine if they meet the needs of students.

 

Physical changes are made as needed.  For example, larger tables have been included to accommodate physically disabled students. 

 

The faculty further meets to evaluate the appropriateness of course content and the degree to which the content matches catalog descriptions. The Dean further examines each course syllabus to ensure that information is accurately conveyed to students. Further, the faculty determines means of incorporating a variety of materials and technologies in the classroom.

 

 


9.         How does your unit’s assessment system link to research on the learning theories, constructing versus acquiring knowledge, and active learning strategies?

 

Each class requires writing in the course. This includes essay answers and papers. Class material attempts to explain how the course will be relevant future classes and professional development.

 

10.       How are students required to present verbal and written explanations of how their work products demonstrate attainment of publicly stated goals and objectives for their learning?

 

Each syllabus describes the course objectives and expectations.  The academic units reviews each syllabus. The objectives are discussed at the beginning of the semester.

 

11.       How do course syllabi state measurable objectives for student learning and provide for the assessment of student’s academic achievement?

 

The objectives are measured by tests, papers, projects, and other outside activities.  The faculty meets on regular basis to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures.

 

12.       How are students involved in the assessment process?  For example, do students participate in your unit’s assessment committee activities?

 

Each semester the students evaluate each course. These evaluations consider course content, delivery, and faculty performance. The faculty receives these written comments.

 

 

 

 


SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM

ASSESSMENT REPORT

                                                                       2004-2005

 


 

1.         How does the academic unit’s mission statement and goals flow from and contribute to the University’s mission statement?

 

The mission of the Social Work Program of the University of Arkansas at Monticello is to provide competent, empowerment-focused entry level professional generalist social workers who are committed to serve individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, communities, and society in diverse environments.  The program is committed to quality undergraduate education and training through its curriculum and its faculty, with an emphasis on quality education for residents of Southeast Arkansas, which is the University’s primary service area.

 

The Program is committed to graduating social workers who are especially prepared to provide social services and leadership in Southeast Arkansas, which is rural, has pockets of extreme poverty, and has limited resources.  The Program is committed to affirming the roots and heritage of the timberland and delta regions, which include the cultural norms of a strong spiritual base, family-centered values, regional pride, and a commitment to serving persons who are less fortunate.  The Program is equally committed to affirming and enhancing the growing cultural and ethnic diversity in the State and in Southeast Arkansas.

 

The Program is committed to impacting positively the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the University, Southeast Arkansas, and  the State by helping to empower multi-level human systems and by working to reduce social and economic injustice.  

 

2.         How are the major field assessments based on the mission and goals of the academic unit and University?

 

The social work department is committed to providing major field assessments that are derived from the mission and goals listed above. This mission and these goals are in direct relation to the mission and goals for the department and the university. The social work faculty is responsible for developing an assessment plan that is built upon specific major field os study and that will complement the campus-wide general education goals.

 

3.         How are the data being gathered to support assessment of the academic unit’s goals and mission?

 

The social work program has instituted the BEAP (Baccalaureate Program Assessment Project) to gather data about the educational purpose of the department and to test the retention rate of the basic skills, knowledge, values and ethics necessary for culturally competent generalist social work practice. The instrument is administered as a pretest during the Human Behavior and Social Environment I class. The post test will be administered in the Spring semester of the senior year. In addition, the Social Work Department will be able to access scores of graduates on the Arkansas Licensure Exam beginning in January 2003. This will not only allow the department to see how our students are scoring(pass/fail), but this can be compared to other schools statewide.

 

4.         Describe how faculty are involved in the process(es) of assessing student learning.

 

The Social work faculty is involved in the process of assessing student learning in several ways. Each social work major is assigned an advisor and this advisor meets at least once each semester with the student to assess their overall progression through the program. All Social Work faculty members are aware of the grading standards for each class, and each social work class must be completed with at least a “C” average. This signifies that the student can complete the objectives of the course with at least 70 percent accuracy.

Social Work advisors are advised of CAAP scores and work with the students on areas that may need improvement.

Social work faculty meets as a committee with the students twice in the process of completing the degree. One time is at the students Social Work program admission interview and the second is at the student’s Field Placement interview. This allows all Social Work faculty to review together as a team the student’s progress and advise the student on ways to improve their performance.

 

5.         Describe your use of multiple forms of data gathering to assess student learning.

 

The social work program has instituted the Baccalaureate Program Assessment Project (BEAP ) to gather data about the educational purpose of the department and to test the retention rate of the basic skills, knowledge, values and ethics necessary for culturally competent generalist social work practice. The instrument is administered as a pretest during the Human Behavior and Social Environment I class. The post test will be administered in the Spring semester of the senior year. In addition, the Social Work Department will be able to access scores of graduates on the Arkansas Licensure Exam beginning in January 2003. This will not only allow the department to see how our students are scoring(pass/fail), but this can be compared to other schools statewide.   Also, during the last semester of the student’s senior year the department administers a senior exit survey that provides data about the department and areas the student feels needs improving and a senior exit exam. This exam is a practice licensor exam and will also provide the department with information about the student’s academic achievements.

 

6.         Describe how data are being used to make programmatic changes in your academic unit.

 

Previously collected data have been utilized to change the substance of the degree. This year we have made changes that will allow the student to have choices in courses offered in Anthropology, Economics, and Psychology.  Several new Social Work electives were added    (Mental Health Services and Medical Social Work) to allow the students a broader scope of generalist practice. With the availability of the data from the BEAP, the department will be able to make further changes based on the scores of the students.  In addition, changes have been made in several established courses based on student recommendations. The Social Policy I Class remains the same(a history course) but the Social Policy II was changed to involve more social advocacy-a very important part of rural generalist social work.

7.         Describe how both faculty and students are given feedback concerning assessment results.

 

In the Social Work department the faculty receives their course evaluations at the completion of the semester. These evaluations in addition to the annual evaluation and peer review allow the instructor to see where necessary changes can and need to be made. Faculty peer reviews are required by our department regardless of the rank of the faculty.  The Social Work department elects two student representatives each year who attend staff meetings and serve as the liaison between the faculty and the students. The results of the assessment will be made available to the student representatives and they will impart this information to the students. The Director of the program will be available to answer any questions the students have about the program or the assessment.

 

8.         Describe how your assessment plan is cost effective and reflects access, equity, and diversity.

 

The assessment plan for the Social work department was completed by the Social Work Program Director.

 

Information presented to students in the Social Work classroom is presented in a variety of ways that include audio instruction, visual aids, videotapes, and class room activities. Students are encouraged to participate and examples are used to explain new and difficult information. Students are encouraged to question the instruction until they have a clear understanding of the message.

 

All content that is delivered in the classroom is explained in detail in the course syllabus. The course syllabi follow the description of the course in the catalog and several times during the semester the course objectives are reviewed by the faculty with the students to ensure that learning remains on target.  All syllabi are reviewed the first day of class and all assignments and exams are explained. Anything that deviates from the syllabus is explained to the students and the faculty member must ensure the students are understanding the reason for the change.

 

9.         How does your unit’s assessment system link to research on learning theories, constructing vs. acquiring knowledge, and active learning strategies?

 

To deliver a curriculum that combines a well-rounded program of basic education with a professional practice curriculum that enables students to attain and integrate the contemporary knowledge, values and skills necessary for beginning level competence in the multi-skilled profession of social work.

 

To contribute to research knowledge that influences the field’s basic knowledge about promoting, enhancing, restoring, and maintaining the well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.  This objective includes 1) the development and sharing of research findings; 2) assistance with program evaluations, policy development and policy analysis at the student, local, state and national levels; and, 3) continued review and analysis current research affecting the areas of teaching and community service activities.

 

10.       How are students required to present verbal written explanations of how their work products demonstrate attainment of publicly stated goal and objectives for their learning?

 

All social work students are seen individually in advisement and during the first meeting with a Social Work faculty member the progression of courses is explained to the students. It is imperative that the students understand the nature of the program, the sequence of courses and the reasoning for the classes.

During advisement students learn that some of the classes are only taught once a year and which ones are prerequisites for the next class.

 

In addition, Council on Social Work Education requires the students to be able to explain the nature of the course they are taking and how these courses will assist them in their career as a generalist social worker. Students are advised of this in advising sessions, during their program admission interview, and finally in the field placement interview.

 

11.       How do course syllabi state measurable objectives for student learning and provide for the assessment of students’ academic achievement?

 

The Social Work faculty is aware of the grading standards for each class, and each social work class must be completed with at least a “C” average. This signifies that the student can complete the objectives of the course with at least 70 percent accuracy. This statement is placed on each social work syllabus.

 

12.       How are students involved in the assessment process? For example, do students participate in your unit’s assessment committee activities?

 

The Social Work department elects two student representatives each year who attend staff meetings and serve as the liaison between the faculty and the students. The results of the assessment will be made available to the student representatives and they will impart this information to the students. The Director of the program will be available to answer any questions the students have about the program or the assessment.  Students in the Social Work Department participate in a senior exit survey and a senior exit exam.