CAS Assessment Summaries

Assessment summaries are listed by department below.

Africana Studies

Africana Studies (BA)

The Department of Africana Studies monitors student learning outcomes through direct and indirect assessment methods, including survey data and evaluation of writing samples. Some of these measures were used for the current reporting cycle.

Applied Science

Applied Science (BAS)


Anthropology (BA)

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 and Art History

Art History and Criticism (BA)

In the Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Criticism students learn both in the classroom and in the community through a variety of activities. Learning is evaluated through theoretical and hands-on experiences that prepare students for the professional art world as well as graduate studies. Such experiences include participation in the annual Art & Art History Student Symposium, held each year at the Flint Institute of Arts, and internships at prestigious arts organizations in the community. Community-engaged learning is integrated into diverse aspects of the program, preparing graduates as both citizens of a global community and emerging professionals in the art world.

Art Education (BS)

The Department of Art & Art History works to put the best prepared artists and teachers in art rooms across the State of Michigan and beyond. We use various means to assess the quality of our students. In addition to the State mandated assessment for teacher certification, Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC), we collect and analyze data from three additional sources. These are (1) evaluations by our student teacher supervisor (five visits during the semester), (2) regular evaluations by the master teacher each student is placed with for a semester of student teaching, and (3) the student exit survey.


Art & Design (BFA)


Fine Art - Studio (BFA)

The goal of our assessment plan is to create a system whereby the student receives feedback and direction from the beginning to the end of the program, and establishes meaningful professional relationships with program faculty, in order to have a diverse range of creative input into his/her work, and to increase communication between students and program faculty.  The assessment plan now relies on two program assessment courses (ART 240 and ART 495), and hopes to add a non-course-related entry review process.  Assessment will also include a digital archive of student exhibitions and artist's statements, which are significant records needed to further refine our BFA program.


Arts Administration

Arts Administration (MA) Museum and Visual Arts Track


Arts Administration (MA)  Performance Track



Biology (BA) (BS)

Current biology-student learning outcomes assessed in the 2016-2017 academic year concentrated on early curricular outcomes of key skills and abilities referred to as Mastery Skills.  Assessment this year focused on Mastery Skills of a foundational course of the Human Biology Program, BIO 167 (Human Anatomy and Physiology I).  Our assessment of learning outcomes in the first semester course revealed that students generally mastered the foundational outcomes targeted by that course.


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

Chemistry (BA) (BS) and Biochemistry (BS)  

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry of the University of Michigan-Flint provides our students with a nationally competitive experience in each of our programs.  As such each of our professional faculty is expected to craft his/her own courses to meet that specific goal.  We assess the outcome of our students’  educational experience in our programs by several means including traditional grading utilizing instructor designed evaluative testing tools used in the classroom, and, in several selected courses, by the use of the American Chemical Society’s final examinations.  Since 2007 we have judged our program performance as having met or exceeded our expected goal levels as demonstrated by the measurements provided by these methods for our program in general.  


Communication Studies (BA)

The communication program produces students that are highly satisified with the program, highly engaged with the community, and feel supported and inspired by their faculty and classes. Students leave the program with extremely strong public speaking skills.They also exhibit solid writing aptitude and an excellent ability to use and apply theory. Communication majors entering UM-Flint Fall 2016 and on are required to complete internships and many report wanting to further their education with a graduate degree.


Applied Communication (MA)


Computer Information Systems

Computer Information Systems (BS)

The mission of the computer information systems program revolves around its goal to produce graduates who are ready to integrate and apply their knowledge to real-world problems. We maintain a philosophy of continuous program improvement, and we view our assessment process as an ideal opportunity to improve the program. Every effort continues to be made to incorporate, into our assessment instrument, revisions and refinements that become known through feedback from students and faculty.  We use periodic alumni surveys, faculty reviews of student work in capstone courses, and faculty review of independent studies, to review and improve the program on a yearly basis.


Computer Information Systems (MS)

The MS-CSIS program is now in a state of program maturity where we have significant enrollment, graduates, and new applicants. We had a total of 75 graduates this past year. This is well below the previous year but still a very solid number. The students’ performance on the portfolio of 86.5% was a little below the target of 90%. During this assessment cycle we again had 5 papers submitted and accepted with students at major computer science conferences. We also had 4 students complete the thesis option, and 1 admitted to a PhD program.

Computer Science

Computer Science (BS)

The mission of the computer science program revolves around our goal to produce graduates who are ready to integrate and apply their knowledge to real-world problems. We maintain a philosophy of continuous improvement, and we view our assessment process as an ideal opportunity to improve our program.  We use periodic alumni surveys, CSC faculty reviews of student work in capstone courses, and faculty review of independent studies to review and improve the program on a yearly basis.

Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice (BA)

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.


Economics (BA) (BS)

Teaching, advising, activities such as the Economics Club and the Center for Economic Education, and informal conversations with students and each other continue to be our major activities with respect to student learning.  Through these activities and our assessment process, the Department of Economics continuously strives to improve our teaching and curriculum to better serve our students, so they can achieve their educational and professional goals.




General Program (BSE)


Mechanical Engineering (BSE) (MSE)




English (BA) (MA)

In assessing the skills and learning of its majors, the English Department collects writing portfolios from all graduating students in our MA program and all four of our undergraduate programs (General, Writing, Teacher Certificate Program, and Linguistics), and Department faculty members evaluate them annually. These student portfolios contain a reflection essay and several essays from English courses. In 2016-17 the English Department focused on the reflection essays. This allows us to make better use of the information in these reflection essays as we systematically analyze it for information beyond anecdotal interpretation. Of the thirty-six essays read, 91% were evaluated as adequate or above in the way they were able to follow directions and used clear effective writing.
Faculty readers further analyzed the student reflective essays for five broad themes which are thought to reflect the desired attitudes for the department. The analysis of this year’s data only looks at the percent of positive comments from those essays that commented on the theme at all. Theme one (Growth of the individual, personal development or growth) and theme two (Content knowledge, skills, and program learning outcomes) are overwhelmingly positive in the student reflections.

7 students took the MTTC test for English (designed to measure the content knowledge of secondary pre-service English Language Arts teachers) All but one of those majors passed the test, giving us a pass rate of 86%. The state pass rate during that same time period was 83%. This favorable number is an improvement over recent years.


French (BA)

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.

Geography Planning and Environment

Geography Planning and Environment (BA) (BS)

The highlights of the 2016-2017 GPE assessment program include: 1) continued strengthening of the relationships between our department and the planning, scientific, and educational community; 2) expanding the use of research, capstone projects, lab, field, and internship experiences, and the utilization of  comprehensive examinations in 300 and 400 level courses;  3) improving student advisement and communication via GPE website and Facebook page;  and, 4) expanding GPE assessment to include all faulty / all courses hence greater integration and understanding of assessment for faculty in this endeavor.


History (BA)

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.

Liberal Studies

Liberal Studies (MA)

The MALS program assessment yields useful information about aspects of the curriculum that work well and those that could be improved.  As the faculty prepare to review and revise features of the program that will continue to support student success, we are enthusiastic, overall, that the MALS in American Culture and American Theatre is meeting its goals and that its graduates leave the program with deep knowledge and understanding of the American intellectual tradition and demonstrated skill in interdisciplinary research.


Mathematics (BA) (BS) (MA)

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 and Music Education

Music (BA) (BM) and Music Education (BME)

Assessment practices of the Department of Music encompass both musical performance and academic disciplines.  The faculty of the Department maintain and closely monitor student achievement within the dynamic interaction of these two disciplines. The  programs of the Bachelor of Arts (BA), the Bachelor of Music (BM), and the Bachelor of Music Education (BME) adhere to the standards, guidelines, and requirements of the National Association of Schools of Music (BA, BM and BME) and the State of Michigan (BME).  

Measures of student progress in music theory, music history, music performance, and pedagogy specific to music as well as the teaching profession are based on well-established conventions.  At the core of all music programs and professional careers, musicians continually work on improving their powers of self-assessment. The practice of music at UM-Flint is a process of practice, performance, assessment, and revision, under the direct instruction and close guidance of the department’s full-time faculty and applied instructors. 


Philosophy (BA)

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 (BA) (BS)

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

Political Science (BA)

The Political Science Department conducts a comprehensive assessment of the written work of majors who have graduated from the program. The Political Science assessment plan focuses on six dimensions of written work: grasp of the topic; use of evidence; use of social science concepts; awareness of alternate theories/explanations; logical presentation of material/arguments; clarity of writing.  A 4-point scale is used (exceeds expectations, meets expectations, partially meets expectations, and fails to meet expectations) is used by a faculty committee to evaluate papers from each portfolio.  An overall assessment target is for 60% of student portfolios to meet or exceed expectations across the seven dimensions. 

In 2016 we assessed portfolios from 8 political science majors who had graduated in the 2015 calendar year. The result of the assessment exercise was that student portfolios met the 60% target in 2 of the 6 categories; nearly 100% at least partially met the target in all 6 categories.


Psychology (BA) (BS)

The department of psychology monitors student learning outcomes through a variety of measures. Results indicate departmental program goals are being met. Student performance is consistent with expectations of the American Psychological Association.

Public Administration

Public Administration (MPA)


Sociology (BA)

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.

Social Sciences

Social Sciences (MA)


Spanish (BA)

The Spanish Program at the University of Michigan-Flint is committed to the assessment 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

Theatre and Dance (BA) (BS) (BFA)

The UM-Flint Department of Theatre and Dance has effectively achieved their ongoing assessment goals revised in 2016-2017. We set goals to work on the musical theatre program and this is still in motion. We meet frequently as a faculty and because of our close work together on mainstage productions we are continually examining the data and information collected in our direct and indirect assessment techniques and use that information to improve existing courses and enhance our student’s experiences. Our evaluation process consists of a combination of methods and these include:  a] external (Peer) respondents to our production work, b] student portfolios and websites (produced in THE 425) 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. Our faculty are consistently involved with formative and summative assessment in many ways  throughout the department and the academic year.