As part of the ongoing move toward more college-wide assessment of student learning, four academic departments were presented with awards earlier this month for their efforts and achievement in program assessment. Industrial Design received the assessment excellence award; African and African American Studies, Management and Women Studies each received assessment achievement awards for progress in assessment. Each department received $500 and a framed certificate.
“These folks are taking program assessment seriously and that’s why they’re being honored,” said Sheila Thompson, director of student learning assessment and chair of the Institutional Assessment Committee, which presented the awards. “They’re using the information they gather through program assessment to improve their curricula and programs, which ultimately improves student learning.”
Thompson, (see http://www.mscd.edu/~collcom/artman/publish/thompson_twv5061808.shtml ), who conceived the idea of the awards, presented her brainchild to the Institutional Assessment Committee in March. “The committee decided this would be a good way to recognize the work done related to assessment of student learning in these programs,” she said.
The committee decided to award in two categories, one recognizing excellence already attained and one acknowledging progress. The assessment excellence award is based on a Metro State peer review of assessment reports. Instituted three years ago, the peer review is performed in the fall by faculty members, some on the assessment committee and some not, who evaluate a program’s assessment using a standard set of questions. To receive an excellence award, a program must receive an overall peer review rating of “Exemplary.” A program or department is only eligible to receive this award once. The assessment achievement award is based on nominations from deans, associate deans and the peer reviewers, and recognizes progress in program assessment activities since the previous year.
Assessing Metro State programs, and using the assessment data to improve programs, has been an ongoing discussion at the College for many years (see http://www.mscd.edu/~collcom/artman/publish/assess_twv4100406.shtml). But it was a recommendation stemming from a 2007 accreditation visit by the Higher Learning Commission that spurred Metro State to hire Thompson last summer as its first-ever director of Student Learning Assessment.
The members of the Institutional Assessment Committee, which serves as an advisory group to Thompson and liaisons to their respective schools and programs, are listed below.
Ellen Boswell, Coordinator of Institutional Research
Jennifer Caine, Director of Program Review
Lisa Coval, Faculty Assistant to Dean, SPS
Eric Dunker, Interim Director of Testing and Assessment
Rudy Garcia, Associate Dean of LAS, and Chair, LAS Assessment Committee
Derrick Haynes, Director of Student Academic Success
LiYing Li, Chair, SPS Assessment Committee, and Chair/Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology
Ann Murphy, Associate Dean of SCOBS
Doug Petcoff, Co-Chair, General Studies Committee and Assistant Professor of Biology
Mark Potter, Director, Center for Faculty Development
Mark Schultz, Banner Finance Support Manager
Johannes Snyman, Chair, SCOBS Assessment Committee and Professor of Management
Ellen Susman, Academic Affairs
Leslie Swetnam, Professor of Elementary Education
Jeff Taylor, Professor of English Faculty
Sheila Thompson, Director of Student Learning Assessment
Rich Wagner, Interim Associate VP of Academic Affairs
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