CAS Assessment Summaries

Assessment summaries are listed by department below.

Africana Studies

The Department continues to monitor student learning outcomes through discipline-based general knowledge test, survey data and writing samples. Some of these measurements were used for this reporting cycle. Overall, the available data suggest that the Department has met its learning outcome goals for 2008-09. A broader collection of data at course and program levels is planned for future reports.  

Anthropology

The Anthropology Program participates in the University’s assessment program and is confident that it produces qualified graduates. Further, our ongoing assessment efforts seek to identify areas that could be further strengthened and to develop strategies for achieving that goal.

Art

Our assessment efforts in the Studio Art Bachelor of Fine Arts Program are paying off for our program and our students.  We have examined the data collected from surveys, BFA exhibit oral review forms filled out by faculty and documentation of work provided by students and adapted the program as we find weak points.  The work of the students and their abilities to articulate, contextualize and analyze art forms, periods, and trends is steadily improving.  The BFA exhibitions in the gallery over the past few months have been inpressive and coherent.

Art Education

The Art Education Program at the University of Michigan-Flint follows rather strict guidelines set forth by the State of Michigan.  We have embraced those standards and have used those standards as a starting point when developing our program and are eager to include new assessment posibilies as we move toward NCATE accreditation.  We carefully examine the data and information collected in our assessment and use that information to imrpove existing courses and enhanse our student’s experiences.  Our 100% pass rate on the art area of the MTTC test attests to our success. All of our students were rated either proficient or outstanding in the student teaching evaluations.

Biology

Biology student outcomes assessed in the 2009-2010 academic year concentrated on early curricular outcomes that focused on key skills and abilities referred to as Mastery Skills.  The Mastery Skills, ideally achieved by the end of a student’s sophomore year, can be grouped into three categories: 1) basic applied math and statistics; 2) use and understanding of graphs; and 3) basic laboratory techniques.  Assessment this year focused on basic applied math and statistics, which showed improvement from the previous year. The department plans to continue the foundational curricular changes implemented last year and assess whether the improved student performance in math and statistics continues this year.

Biology MS

Assessment of the M.S. in Biology suggests we are mostly doing well, with perhaps some need for improvement in research for thesis students. Direct assessment of learning outcomes in the BIO 503 course showed that departmental goals were met. As an assessment of student research experiences and productivity, we monitored whether graduating students had presented research results at a professional conference and/or had published in a peer-reviewed journal. Only one of the two thesis students who graduated during the year had done so, marking the second year in a row that 50% or less of the thesis students had presented/published research results. This may suggest a need to improve research opportunities for thesis students, but we would like a larger sample size over a longer time frame before proceeding in that regard. An exit survey was sent to the 5 students who graduated during the 2012-2013 year. Two students responded and gave the program high marks.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

It is the intention of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the University of Michigan-Flint to provide our students with a nationally competitive experience if they enroll in any of our programs. As such each of our professional faculty crafts his/her own course(s) to meet  that specific goal.  We assess the outcome of of the student’s educational experience in our courses by several means including the traditional grading scale, instructor designed evaluative and testing tools used in the classroom experience and, in selected courses, by comparison of our student’s performance against a national student pool provided by the use of American Chemical Society’s final examinations.  Since 2007-2008 we have judged that our expectations of program performance have exceeded or met as is demonstrated by measurement of student performances against such standards.

Communication

The Communication Program has been working diligently to create a new assessment plan to meet the needs of our rapidly growing program. The plan embodies the high ideal of everyone in our Department and our earnest efforts to continuously improve the quality of our services to students, the University of Michigan-Flint, and our community.

Computer Information Systems

The Computer Science faculty continues to make progress in the design and implementation of the assessment of student outcomes in the Computer Information Systems program.  The assessment process is viewed as an on-going exercise. In that spirit, every effort continues to be made to incorporate into our assessment instrument revisions and refinements that become known through feedback from faculty and students.  This feedback is obtained through alumni surveys and faculty reviews of capstone course content and activities, as well as department faculty evaluations of students’ work in the capstone courses.

Computer Science

The Computer Science faculty continues to make progress in the implementation of the assessment of student outcomes in the Computer Science program.  The assessment process is viewed as an ongoing exercise. In that spirit, every effort continues to be made to incorporate into our assessment instrument revisions and refinements that become known through feedback from faculty and students.  This feedback is obtained through alumni surveys, student participation in programming contests, CSC faculty reviews of capstone course content and activities, and department faculty evaluations of students’ work in the capstone courses.

Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice Program participates in the University’s assessment program and is confident that it produces qualified graduates. Further, our ongoing assessment efforts seek to identify areas that could be further strengthened and to develop strategies for achieving that goal.

Earth and Resource Science

The highlights of the 2008-2009 ERS assessment program include: 1) continued strengthening of relationships between our department and the plannning, scientific, and educational community, 2) greater use of research, capstones projects, lab and field experiences, and the utilzation of comprehensive examination in 300 and 400 level courses  3) the engagement of NCATE, to enhance our earth Science TCP program. 4) confirmation of the need to continually advise and assess our students, our courses, and our programs.

Engineering

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English

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French

The goal of the French Program is to provide students with an opportunity to become conversant with the language and cultures of Francophone nations and cultures (France, Quebec, Switzerland, Belgium, French-speaking countries in Africa, etc.). Our mission is consistent with institutional purposes and College core curriculum goals. We foster the development of proficient oral and written communication skills in French. Also, as an integral part of a liberal arts curriculum, our programs offer instruction that is necessary to the development of educated and aware individuals who are capable of adapting to a changing and increasingly diverse world. The French Program provides a sequence of courses that leads to familiarity with French and the cultural experiences associated with it. Our language programs aid students in acquiring fluency in French, acquiring a thorough understanding of Francophone cultures, and experiencing a variety of linguistic approaches to the world. The French Program offers opportunities for study that promote the understanding and value of human, cultural, and ethnic diversity.

History

The mission of the Department of History is to provide students with a “disciplined and rigorous study of the past” in which they come to understand better the processes of change and continuity, “problems of cause and consequence, and relationships between the past and the present.” Through review of student research and writing as exemplified in a major research paper History Faculty evaluate student achievement in these areas: critical analysis of primary and secondary texts, construction of historical theses and arguments, conduct of historical research, use of appropriate documentation style, and understanding of the history that lays within and beyond the traditional scope of the United States and Europe.

Mathematics

The average performance of UM-Flint students on professional and national math exams is above average. UM-Flint math graduates and students consistently get job offers or internships.

Music

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Music Education

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Philosophy

Our annual assessment involves a review by Philosophy Department faculty of major papers written by Philosophy majors in all upper-division philosophy courses.  We evaluate our student writing according to a matrix of criteria that embody what we regard as most essential in a curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking and analysis.  We also evaluate the communication skills of our majors to make sure that they are well prepared to present and share their ideas with others, both in the classroom and in the larger community.

Physics

Physics continues to assess student learning by administering the Force Concept Inventory test to all students enrolled in introductory physics. Assessment of student learning for physics majors is achieved through an independent evaluation of their laboratory reports for the advanced physics lab course. Additionally, physics graduates are surveyed at regular intervals to assess the career preparedness provided by the physics program.

Political Science

This year we assessed 2 papers from each of 18 student portfolios, using a 4-point scale (exceeds expectations, meets expectations, partially meets expectations, and fails to meet expectations) across seven  dimensions: shows solid grasp of topic; uses evidence appropriately; uses social science concepts; demonstrates awareness of alternative theories/explanations; demonstrates knowledge of criticisms of categories, concepts, theories; presents material in logical sequences; writes clearly and correctly.  67% of students met or exceeded expectations based on portfolios.  We assessed 5 internship papers on a 3-point scale, examining students knowledge of the organization's purpose and relationship to broader processes of government and politics; knowledge of the organization's rules, procedures and practices; knowledge of how citizens, clients, constituencies gain access to the organization and its resource; knowledge of contributions and impacts of organization and limits of organization in solving problems, meeting needs, organizing public life; critical thinking and writing including use of social science concepts, alternative explanations, evidence in support of assertions, clear and correct writing.  All were acceptable overall and they generally showed improvement over last year, reflecting emerging changes in the content of the internship in relation to program mission.

Sociology

The Sociology Program participates in the University’s assessment program and is confident that it produces qualified graduates. Further, our ongoing assessment efforts seek to identify areas that could be further strengthened and to develop strategies for achieving that goal.

Spanish

The Spanish Program at the University of Michigan-Flint is committed to the asssessment of student learning and engages in annual assessment activities. The program uses these results to make informed decisions regarding program improvement. While our results from 2008-2009 indicate that there is room for improvement, however the program did obtain evidence that students are learning in the area of language and oral proficiency.

Theatre and Dance

The Department of Theatre and Dance continued to refine its assessment measures in 2008-2009.  Goals in deomonstrated critical understanding and application of theatre/dance performance technique, theatre design, technology, history and criticism were met.  We carefully examine the data and information collected in our assessments and use that information to improve existing courses and enhanse our student’s experiences. Our evalution process consists of a combination of methods and these include:  a]  outside (Peer) respondents to our production work, b] student portfolios, c] participation in Kennedy Center / American College Theatre Festival programs, d] dialogue with respondents to our productions and d] departmental interviews with all majors on an annual basis. Meeting all of the goals set forth in our assessment plan attests to our continued success.