PILOT ASSESSMENT PROJECT FOR April12, 2003

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1 PILOT ASSESSMENT PROJECT FOR April12, 2003 The college selected the following programs and disciplines to be reviewed and establish learning outcomes as part of a pilot project to establish examples that then may be followed by other curricula and disciplines as the college reviews all curricula and disciplines as part of its comprehensive curriculum plan. The lead dean, working collaboratively with the faculty and the appropriate associate vice president, reviewed the following curricula, establishing learning outcomes for the following curricula and disciplines. The three curricula selected for the pilot were the Associate in Science (A.S.) in Social Sciences, the Associate in Applied Sciences (A.A.S.) in Accounting, Registered Respiratory Therapist (A.A.S.), and Industrial with a specialization in Quality Assurance (A.A.S.). The two disciplines selected were history, representing general education, and developmental mathematics. Accounting (203) Associate in Applied Science Degree The college offers three levels of accounting programs, all built on the solid foundation of courses contained in the Career Studies program, continuing to the Certificate, and culminating in the A.A.S. degree. The programs may prepare students for entry-level accounting positions or help them update their skills and knowledge for entry-level accounting positions or help them update their skills and knowledge if they are already working in the field. Some courses in the Accounting program transfer to four-year institutions for those students wanting to pursue a bachelor s degree in accounting. The Career Studies program prepares individuals for employment as an accounts receivable clerk, accounts payable clerk, payroll clerk, or bank teller. These same courses also meet the educational requirements for students who have already earned a Bachelor of Science degree and plan to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) exam; or they may serve as a unique review mechanism for CPA candidates. Additionally, they meet federal government guidelines for accounting course work to qualify for positions or promotion in the federal government workforce. The accounting faculty established that the following categories of skills, knowledge, and abilities are the primary goals of the Accounting program at the college and that upon successful completion of the degree program students will be able to do the following. Collect, organize, and analyze information from a variety of business and financial sources to plan, control, and evaluate the 1

2 performance of an entity. Indicators include evaluation through testing, homework, cases, and projects pertaining to variance analysis; financial statement analysis; ratio analysis; and budgets. Demonstrate college-level reading, writing, and speaking skills by applying accounting concepts, theories and principles. Indicators include evaluation through testing, homework, cases, and projects pertaining to analyzing transactions; recording journal entries; preparing financial statements or reports; and researching current topics in accounting and auditing. Analyze and evaluate financial statements, business transactions, business information and reports to provide useful information for decision-making purposes. Indicators include evaluation through testing, homework, cases, and projects pertaining to analyzing, summarizing, and recording financial information; applying professional standards; interpreting variance analysis; applying Internal Revenue rules and regulations; and making business decisions. Demonstrate computer literacy, Internet skills, and proficiency in using accounting software applications in retrieving and managing business information. Indicators include evaluation through testing, homework, cases, and projects pertaining to effective use of a computerized accounting information system, spreadsheets, word-processing applications, and the Internet. The accounting faculty and the lead dean propose to develop a pilot to be implemented in the Fall 2003 Semester in selected accounting courses collegewide using the proposed assessment model outlined below. Upon completion of the pilot, the faculty and the lead dean will propose an action plan to improve the assessment process and expand it to all accounting courses during the academic year. 2

3 Potential Assessment Model Format Learning Objectives Collect, organize, and analyze information from a variety of business and financial sources to plan, control, and evaluate the performance of an entity Demonstrate collegelevel reading, writing, and speaking by applying accounting concepts, theories and principles Analyze and evaluate financial statements, business transactions, business information and reports to provide useful information for decision making purposes Demonstrate computer literacy, Internet skills, and proficiency in using accounting software application in retrieving and managing business information Assessment Procedures and Responsibility Expectations Results Action Needed Accounting Program Review Information The A.A.S. degree in Accounting is offered for students seeking a two-year degree in Accounting, for students who already have a four-year degree in any discipline and who are preparing to sit for the Uniform Certified Public 3

4 Accountancy (CPA) Exam, and for students who work in government agencies and need twenty-four semester hours of accounting coursework for promotional purposes. In addition, accounting courses are requirements in most Business and Information Systems curricula and are part of the articulation agreement in Business Administration (A.S.) for transfer to Old Dominion University. For these reasons, the number of graduates listed in the Program Review for the years does not accurately reflect the strength and breadth of the Accounting program at the college. According to the Program Review the number of graduates has remained fairly constant for the period, with the number of graduates in some years falling slightly below, and in some years slightly above, the mean of 17 graduates. The fall semester headcount has steadily increased during that period from 191 in 1998 to 251 in The retention rate calculated for the years was 35%, but this does not take into account the fact that some students in the program are also enrolled at Old Dominion University as part of the articulated program. The ACC 211 (Principles of Accounting I) and ACC 212 (Principles of Accounting II) courses transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Accounting courses above that level transfer to Norfolk State University and Virginia Wesleyan College, but not to Old Dominion University. Statistics in the Program Review for show that 83.6% of Accounting graduates would recommend TCC to someone else in the same curriculum. A large percentage of graduates (73.5%) are already employed in a curriculumrelated field. Of the students graduating with the degree in Accounting, 62.7% listed their primary goal as getting occupational/technical training; 97.2 % stated that they received a good to excellent preparation for employment through their education at TCC; and 62.5% stated that the education received at TCC prepared them to continue their education. A former student, Virginia DuBois, successfully passed the Uniform CPA exam in November Another student has successfully passed three parts of that exam and will sit for the exam in May 2003 to complete the final part. During the Accounting program has introduced the following new courses: ACC 220 Accounting for Small Business; ACC 215 Computerized Accounting Using QuickBooks; and ACC 124 Payroll Accounting. ACC 220 and ACC 124 were introduced as ways for individuals in the community to learn how to manage their own business information systems. ACC 215 is a requirement of the degree program, but regularly has individuals from the community taking the course to learn or improve their QuickBooks skills. During this same period, every accounting course in the curriculum had a computer component included as part of the core course requirements. These include accounting software applications, spreadsheets, computerized case studies, and tax software applications. 4

5 Starting in 2002, ACC were offered online at the Chesapeake and Virginia Beach campuses. ACC 241 (Auditing) is also offered as an online course. ACC 241 was developed online in conjunction with Thomas Nelson Community College as a way for their students to take this course due to the difficulty of that institution in recruiting faculty to teach it. The Accounting program at Tidewater Community College also offers a Certificate in Accounting and a Career Studies in Accounting. Both of these programs include the twenty-four semester hours of accounting courses included in the A.A.S. degree, but fewer of the general education requirements needed to earn the degree. In a recent article published in the Virginian-Pilot, the results of a study involving grade inflation at area colleges and universities were published. One of the degree programs at Old Dominion University with the least amount of A grades awarded to students was their accounting program. According to the article, 26% of accounting students at Old Dominion University (ODU) earn that grade. According to the Program Review, students at TCC are in line with their counterparts at ODU regarding the percentage of grades of A earned, with 27% college-wide earning the A. The Accounting program at TCC might attract more students, increase the number of graduates, and offer more course selection if more qualified faculty members could be hired to meet the demand. Course offering have decreased consistently over the period being reviewed because of the difficulty of hiring properly credentialed adjunct faculty to teach transfer courses. Even with the decreased number of course offerings, some full accounting classes have been cancelled because of the lack of qualified faculty to teach them. Currently, most full-time accounting faculty already teach a class overload every semester. If they did not, then even fewer accounting classes could be offered. Based on the data provided in the Program Review, the Accounting program is meeting the occupational and technical educational needs of TCC students. 5

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