Political Science Department Five Year Program Review/Planning Document March 17, Section 1. Mission and Goals

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1 Political Science Department Five Year Program Review/Planning Document March 17, 2009 Section 1. Mission and Goals The Mission of OTC The mission of Ozarks Technical Community College is to promote student learning through accessible, high quality, affordable workforce training and technical and general education that is responsive to the educational needs of the Community and its diverse constituencies. 1. What is the mission of the department? The primary mission of the political science courses within the Social Science Department at Ozarks Technical Community College is to develop and increase the students abilities to retain, analyze, and apply principles to higher academic learning and/or career situations. Political Science courses offer a strong background for understanding and participating in our representative democracy by providing diverse frames of reference for insights into our government and its place in the world. Successes in the Social Science Division hinges on the ability of the student to think, read, and write in a logical manner. After mastery of these abilities, it is crucial for the student to be able to synthesize and apply learned principles by the use of critical thinking strategies. 2. How does your above mission support the overall mission of the college? The departmental mission is completely compatible with the mission of Ozarks Technical Community College. These courses are part of the General Education requirements for Certificates, and the A.A., and A.A.S. degrees, and are transferable to four year colleges. Political Science courses enable students to develop lifelong skills for active citizenship. 3. What are the primary objectives/goals of your department? The primary goal of the Political Science Department is to prepare students for active citizenship and fulfill the Missouri statutes. Students will understand how parts and levels of our government work together and be able to analyze the effects of media, political parties and interest groups in our representative democracy. Goals: 1. Knowledge base of Political Science: Students will investigate the political science field of study, and its subfields, to include constitutional government, Missouri government, political institutions, public law, public policy, and international relations. 2. Critical thinking and research methods in Political Science: Students will use critical thinking, creativity, and skeptical inquiry to seek answers and solve problems related to government, current events, and the political processes. 3. Application of Political Science: Students will analyze the value of citizen participation in all types of political systems. 4. Values in Political Science: Students will demonstrate knowledge of various political ideologies and continue to develop a personal political philosophy. 1

2 4. What are the key quality indicators (KQI) for your department and what benchmarks have been established for each? 1. Students will achieve a success rate of 70% or above on course objectives as measured by a standard course assessment instrument. 2. Retention rate in Political Science courses: 70% or better 3. Students completing Political Science courses with a C or better: 70% or better 5. What are the intended objectives/student learning outcomes for courses within this department? List all relevant course objectives below or attach as an appendix. See appendix I Section II. Admission, Placement, and Entry 1. Is enrollment in any course within this department dependent upon student performance on an assessment or placement test? If so, how have the results on these assessment/placement tests been demonstrated to be related to student success? None of the political science courses require placement testing. 2. Does your department offer developmental courses? If so, how have these courses been assessed and how has the department utilized the feedback provided from the assessment to promote improvements in student learning? Our department does not offer developmental courses. 3. Is enrollment in any course dependent upon student performance in a previous course other than a developmental level course? If so, what method is used to determine if a student has met the necessary prerequisite? PLS 102, 103, 201, and 250 require completion of PLS 101. Section III. Advising, Curriculum, and Assessment 1. Describe the department s practice of student advisement. The full-time instructors serve as academic advisors when students seek advisement about transferability of courses, pursuit of an Associate of Arts degree or career possibilities. Faculty is available to students as needed. 2

3 2. Are course syllabi available for all courses and are they posted on Blackboard? If not, please explain. Syllabi for all political science courses are posted on Blackboard. 3. Are course objectives outlined in every course syllabus? If not, please explain. Yes, each political science course syllabus lists the course objectives. 4. Are courses available in appropriate sequence for day, evening and weekend students? Yes, Political Science 101 is offered at a variety of times and at all campuses and online. PLS 102 is offered as an intersession course at the beginning of each semester. 5. How do the courses in this department complement or assist other college departments/ programs or meet the needs of students in other departments/programs? Political Science 101 is a part of virtually all degree programs. Understanding our governmental processes is necessary in all endeavors. 6. How does the department ensure that the content of each course is up-to-date and at the appropriate level? Faculty in the Political Science Department keep up to date on political science issues and pedagogy in a variety of ways. There are faculty meetings, discussions with textbook representatives and online support for faculty to maintain a high degree of content and teaching effectiveness. 7. Describe how appropriate technologies are incorporated into department coursework. Many technologies are used in department coursework including Blackboard, digital Camera, power points, LRC resources and podcasts. Every political science section has a blackboard site with a minimum of the syllabus. Instructors are encouraged to include external links and grade book in the blackboard site for both seated and online sections. In the Spring 2009 semester, thirteen online sections of Political Science 101 are offered. 8. What assessment tools and/or methods does the department currently utilize to assess student learning at various levels, such as within individual courses and at the department level? Political Science faculty utilize an array of assessment tools in the classroom to determine student learning. Unit exams, written projects, group projects measure knowledge and comprehension. Research projects and current event analysis papers measure specific skills in research, analysis and writing skills. 9. Present the evidence the department has generated from the course assessment process to determine the level of student learning. List assessment results below or attach as an appendix. This data is still being collected and analyzed. All full time political science instructors gave the same standard 36 assessment questions as a part of the final exam at the end of the Fall 2008 semester. 3

4 10. How has the department utilized the feedback provided from assessment results to promote improvements in student learning? We will use this information to assess and reframe content and delivery options to improve student growth and understanding. Section IV: Previous General Education Department Review 1. Has this department undergone a previous five-year review by OTC? If so, when? Yes, List the recommendations from the previous five-year review and describe how they have been addressed? Previous Recommendation Continue to examine methods for meeting new general education guidelines Continue to develop multiple and meaningful measures for the assessment of student learning. As funding becomes available, continue to add full-time faculty until fifty-percent of the courses are taught by full time instructors Outcome objectives should be specific and measurable and should relate to the college program missions. Examine internal professional development opportunities (retreats, workshops) that would integrate full time and adjunct faculty. Continually reassess core finals. How it has been addressed We have created new assessment instrument to more accurately measure student learning. 35 assessment questions Since 2001, we have added to our full-time political science faculty. We now have four full time political science faculty and nineteen part-time political science instructors. Of the 58 sections of Political Science on all campuses, 33% are taught by full time staff. The course objectives and assessment tools have been adjusted to be more measurable and directly relate to the college mission It is difficult to manage opportunities for all of the politcial sicence faculty because of the problems of time and geography. Blackboard and help provide continuity. This is done every semester. An assessment component of 35 questions used by all instructors has been added for consistent ongoing evaluation of student learning. This will give us a clearer picture of where we are in the process of meeting course objectives. 4

5 Section V: Department Planning Summary 1. Are the department s facilities adequate to achieve the academic goals listed in Section I? If not, what is needed and why? The Learning Resource Center provides a wide array of resources through subscription and arrangements with MOBIUS and SWAN. Computer and data resources in the classrooms are increasing. Faculty office computer resources need to be updated. A digital camera has been added to one classroom on the main campus for political science and history. There are digital cameras available for checkout on the main campus and Richwood Valley. 2. Are sufficient resources, authority, and flexibility available for the department to achieve the academic goals listed in Section I? If not, what is needed and why? Generally, the resources, authority and flexibility are adequate. There is however continuing need for additional full time faculty and updated computers and programs to be able to optimize our efforts. If possible, it would be beneficial to allow member(s) of faculty to have time set aside to create an online library of readings to augment the materials provided in the selected textbooks. 3. List and comment on the major strengths of the department. Political Science courses offer a strong background for understanding and participating in our representative democracy. Our faculty brings a wide array of experience that offers our students diverse frames of reference for insights about our government and place in the world. We sponsor Constitution Day and work with the League of Women Voters and the local media to bring in guest speakers. These events are then utilized to promote an essay contest for students. The department records the guest speakers in a Podcast which is then posted in the online sections for the benefit of all students. In addition, along with the Sociology and Anthropology faculty, we created a series of culturally diverse programs with international guests. 4. List and comment on the department s major challenges and areas that need improvement. A. A major challenge is to provide parity of experience for students in all sites including online and extension venues. Especially extension sites have no full time political science instructors. B. Another ongoing challenge is maintaining adequate instruction in dual credit courses in area high schools. C. As the Honor Program progresses, the political science components will need to be developed and staffed. 5. What actions are planned at the department level based on course level assessments of student learning outcomes. If students are competent in an assessed area, no changes will be required. In areas where students are not showing competency, faculty will evaluate delivery material and methods and adjust as needed. 5

6 6. Prioritize the department s long-range goals for the next five years. Describe the actions necessary in order for the department to accomplish these goals? Priority Goal/Objective Actions Required 1 Increase the number of Political Science sections Hire an additional full time political science instructor. taught by full-time faculty to 50%. Currently there are 33% of sections taught by full-time instructors 2 Work with full-time and adjunct faculty to further develop teaching skills and ensure consistency between campuses and delivery systems. Provide more opportunities for instructors to share ideas and concerns. 3 Provide greater oversight and assistance for political science instructors at extension sites 4 Develop more opportunities for student field experiences 5 Develop an online, possibly, asynchronous section of Political Science 102 Missouri Constitution. This would provide assistance for transfer students who may not be aware of their need for the Missouri component in the social sciences. The asynchronous component would allow for students to sign up for the course during the semester instead of only during intersession. Work with extension sites and directors to facilitate course delivery. Provide a system of service learning to be used in political science courses. Develop an online section of PLS 102 6

7 APPENDIX A POLITICAL SCIENCE COURSE OBJECTIVES 7

8 PLS 101 Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course students should be able to: 1. Describe the influence of the United States Constitution on America s political, social and economic systems. 2. Describe the workings of the American governmental system and the role of local, state and national government in our political system. 3. Identify the powers and functions of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the constitutions of the United States and Missouri. 4. Describe the political process as it relates to campaigns, elections, political participation and the role of the individual voter in a representative democracy. 5. Explain the system of federalism and the relationship between the national and state level governments, including the impact each has on citizens. 6. Recognize the role played by political parties and interest groups in the political process. 7. Describe the economic system in the United States and the role of government in that system. 8. Describe the policy formulation process in the United States and the various types of policy outcomes including the domestic and foreign policy realms. 9. Explain the evolution of individual rights and liberties in U.S. history and the changing dynamics associated with the global arena. PLS 102 Objectives: Upon successful completion of the course students should be able to: 1. Compare and contrast the Missouri constitution with the United States Constitution. 2. Describe the Act of Admission and the Ordinance of Acceptance for the State of Missouri. 3. Discuss the process by which a proposal becomes law, including attachments and riders. 4. Discuss the manner and procedure in which the Constitution of Missouri may be amended. 5. Identify the sources of revenue for the State of Missouri for use by the government. 6. Relate, in writing, the ways in which Missouri s history has affected the development of the State, 7. Identify the individuals responsible for governing the State of Missouri. 8. Reorganize information for an intended purpose such as assigned research projects. PLS 103 Objectives: Upon successful completion of the course students should be able to: 1. Define the concept and types of public policy and how it differs be it domestic or international in origin. 2. Clarify the process by which public policy is made and the impact of institutions on that process. 3. Explain the role of ideological influence (liberal versus conservative) regarding public policy development. 4. Review that which makes up the substance of public issues. 8

9 PLS 201 Objectives: Upon successful completetion of this course students should be able to: 1. Define international relations. 2. Articulate the interconnectedness of people and places around the globe. 3. Identify the concepts of bargaining and its dynamics. 4. Identify the role of systematic factors in the foreign policy process. 5. Describe the making of international law and foreign policy process 6. Describe the political of arms control and combating terrorism. 7. Identify the pattern and determinants of foreign policy behavior. 8. Discuss the causes of war and peace and the types of foreign policy. 9. Describe and analytically compare social, cultural, and historical settings other than one s own. 10. Describe the major paradigms in international relations. PLS 250 Objectives: Upon successful completetion of this course students should be able to: 1. Explain how humans and economic rationality can cause environmental problems 2. Gain a greater understanding of environmental problems and the political processes that affect the inputs, outputs, and outcome of decisions 3. Raise personal consciousness about the relationship of our life styles to environmental problems 4. Explain the relationship between traditional security agendas and environmental degradation, and the meaning of environmental security 5. Appreciate the breadth of environmental policy and its range across levels of government PLS 255 Objectives: Upon successful completetion of this course students should be able to: 1. Define the concept and types of public policy and how it differs be it domestic or international in origin. 2. Clarify the process by which public policy is made and the impact of institutions on that process. 3. Explain the role of ideological influence (liberal versus conservative) regarding public policy development. 4. Review that which makes up the substance of public issues. 9

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