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1 Texas Woman s University College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of General Studies Program Undergraduate Program Review May 2012 I. PROGRAM REVIEW AND MISSION A. History Texas Woman s University has a proud history of educating both traditional and nontraditional students. TWU, in an effort to reach students who had not completed their degree for various reasons, created the Bachelor of General Studies program in The intent of the program was to offer a flexible degree program which allowed students to complete their degree online. During the preliminary stage of development, General Studies was comprised of seven concentration areas which included Art, Business, Computer Science, English, Government, History, and Sociology. B. Overview of Program Currently, the General Studies program offers students the flexibility of completing their degree 100% online, which is the primary mode of course delivery, or by taking campus courses either in a face to face format, or in a hybrid setting where students may have the option of coming to campus for face to face lecture a few times during the semester. Students in the General Studies program now have thirteen concentrations to choose from including Art, Business, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Dance Studies, English, Government, Health Studies, History, Math, Music, Sociology, and Women s Studies. Eight of the thirteen concentration areas may be completed 100% General Studies Page 1

2 online including Business, Computer Science, Dance Studies (twelve hours only), English, Government, Sociology, and Women s Studies. There are approximately 600 students enrolled in the General Studies program which makes up 7.6% of all undergraduate enrollments for the university. The target audience for the BGS degree consists of: adult learners who have completed the equivalent of the first two years of college (core curriculum). These students are already in the workforce but need to acquire a Bachelor s degree for professional advancement. students who have been out of college and unemployed for numerous years and need a Bachelor s degree to gain employment. currently enrolled students who have accumulated a significant number of hours in multiple disciplines without finalizing a major. currently enrolled students who have completed their first two years of study with plans to enter a special degree program, but are unable to gain admittance to the program. Having the General Studies program provides an alternative academic focus, and by providing flexibility of course delivery and versatility of course topics, General Studies students continue to have the opportunity to work with experienced faculty members across multiple disciplines and gain a breadth of knowledge relevant to their General Studies degree. General Studies Page 2

3 C. MISSION Texas Woman s University builds on its long tradition as a public institution primarily for women by educating a diverse community of students to lead personally and professionally fulfilling lives. The university has made a commitment of creating a campus environment which empowers students of different ages, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity to obtain the essential knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to enhance their prospects for success. (TWU Mission) The Bachelor of General Studies program offers students an undergraduate education of the highest quality while offering the flexibility needed to complete their degree online as the primary mode of learning. The General Studies program provides a learning environment that empowers and affirms the full development of students by encouraging students to develop intellectual, humanitarian, and leadership skills that will advance their potential for service. D. RESOURCES Currently, the human, material, and fiscal resources available to the General Studies program have been adequate, but strained, and have not kept up with enrollment increases. For , General Studies will operate on a program expense budget of $144, with revenue being generated from state appropriation in the amount of $8,840.00, designated tuition in the amount of $ , and distance education fees in the amount of $136, Funding within the distance education fee budget may fluctuate between each fiscal year depending on student enrollment in distance education courses and departmental offerings of distance education courses. Staff salaries and fringe benefits are $114,989.10, leaving $29, for support of faculty General Studies Page 3

4 and students, and maintenance and operation of the office and program for the year. General Studies is currently supported by a full time staff program director reporting to the Senior Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, one full time academic advisor, a full time staff project coordinator who has.25 FTE duties allocated to General Studies, and two half time student assistants. Based on enrollment demands, the program has identified the need for a part time departmental secretary and additional academic advising support. Funding for these needs is not currently available. Offices for full time staff members, located on the College of Arts and Sciences Deans floor in CFO, is adequate. Storage space for archived files is inadequate for current needs. Classroom space and laboratory space is not an issue for General Studies as we operate as an extension of departments where on campus students take classes with other department majors. Online accessibility is adequate, although at times, our online resources such as Blackboard 9 are not user friendly, and our university internet system is not as sophisticated as needed for this volume of online students. E. Overview of Institutional Effectiveness Plan and Strategic Plan The Institutional Effectiveness Plan for General Studies focuses on students ability to summarize and critically analyze ideas from multiple courses in order to draw well supported conclusions and solve problems; apply knowledge and technological competence from multiple disciplines in order to gain understanding of humanitarian and global perspectives; apply acquired knowledge gained by multiple disciplines in professional settings such as graduate school or a career field of their choosing. Each General Studies Page 4

5 outcome is being measured with two assessments within course embedded assessments, projects, and a standardized proficiency test. F. Strategic Plan The General Studies Program strategic plan, , focused on increasing enrollment of new students, increasing retention, and preparing students for leadership roles, all within the goals of the TWU strategic plan. Progress has been made in all areas. Enrollment has increased, and strategies to increase retention, including individualized advising, and online student resources, are now in place. General Studies is meeting the needs of distance education and adult learners by continuing to foster partnerships with faculty by supporting the development of online courses, and by creating an honor society specifically geared toward students who complete their degrees 100% online. General Studies Page 5

6 II. INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS and STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES A. Institutional Effectiveness Plan and Report, Program Description B.G.S. in General Studies The Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree is an interdisciplinary program intended to provide flexibility for students seeking to complete a bachelor's degree. Depending on the concentration, all upper-division course work for this degree can be completed either online or in daytime, evening or weekend face-to-face classes. Some online courses may require an occasional face-to-face meeting such as an orientation session. In fall 2011 there were 641 undergraduate General Studies majors which make up 7.6% of all undergraduate enrollment. The majority of the students enter the program as transfer students who have completed the equivalency of an Associate s degree and have acquired at least 73 hours. The average age student is 34, and 42% of students enrolled in the program are from the immediate metro-plex area. Program Mission The Bachelor of General Studies program offers students an undergraduate education of the highest quality while offering the flexibility needed to complete their degree online as the primary mode of learning. The General Studies program provides a learning environment that empowers and affirms the full development of students by encouraging General Studies Page 6

7 students to develop intellectual, humanitarian, and leadership skills that will advance their potential for service. Outcomes for the IE Plan and Report The IE plan and report details three outcomes. Assessment descriptions, results, analysis of results, and improvement actions are organized below. Student Learning Outcome #1 Students will develop basic intellectual competency in the area of critical thinking via the internet Student Learning Outcome #2 Students will provide evidence of preparedness to move into either a professional career or professional degree program Student Learning Outcome #3 Students will demonstrate skill competency within the areas of writing, reading, research, organization, and creative thinking Student Learning Outcome #1 Students will develop basic intellectual competency in the area of critical thinking via the internet Assessment for Outcome #1 Students will complete a Critical Thinking Analysis Exam via the internet Students Assessed Graduating seniors General Studies Page 7

8 Expected Outcome 75% of students will complete test with a minimum passing score Result Graduating seniors who were given the CCAT exam were not responsive as the exam was not a requirement to graduate. Of the 117 students who were sent codes to take the exam, only five students accessed the online exam, and no students completed the exam. Improvement Action Starting fall 2012, all graduating seniors will be required to access and complete the MAAP online exam as a mandatory graduation requirement. It is expected that at least 70% of students who take the exam will meet the minimum base score. Student Learning Outcome #2 Students will provide evidence of preparedness to move into either a professional career or professional degree program Assessment for Outcome #2 Students will complete a resume which will include career goals and objectives Students Assessed Graduating seniors Expected Outcome 85% of students will be prepared to move into professional careers or post graduate programs General Studies Page 8

9 Results Collection of resumes took place in spring 2011 and fall Only 30 students submitted resumes as it was not a requirement to graduate. Of the 30 resumes submitted, only 7 resumes showed objectives that would indicate preparedness to move into a career or graduate program. Improvement Action Beginning fall 2012, a resume which follows a template as specified by the program will be a mandatory graduation requirement. It is expected at least 80% of all graduating seniors will be prepared to move into a graduate study program or career. Student Learning Outcome #3 Students will demonstrate skill competency within the areas of writing, reading, research, organization, and creative thinking Assessment for Outcome #3 Students will submit 2 examples of coursework from various concentration area courses to be reviewed and scaled on a rubric for writing and critical thinking Students Assessed Graduating seniors Results Data collection took place in spring 2011 and fall 2011 from graduating seniors. 45 students submitted various types of examples; however, there wasn t sufficient consistency to build a comprehensive rubric for measurement. General Studies Page 9

10 Improvement Action Beginning fall 2012 students will complete a writing assignment as designed for them by the General Studies Advisory committee to show a proficiency in writing and critical analysis. Determination of completion will be based on a rubric scale in which at least 70% of students will scale at least an 8 on a 10 point rubric scale. III. Curriculum and Programs of Study A. General Description of Program of Study 1. Undergraduate Degree Offered Bachelors of General Studies 2. Areas of Specialization Students may choose two 18 hour concentrations or three 12 hour concentrations from the following areas: Art, Business, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Dance Studies, English, Government, Health Studies, History, Kinesiology, Math, Sociology, Women s Studies 3. Admission Requirements The same standards for admission to the University apply to admission to General Studies. 4. Special Program Requirements All students within General Studies are required to earn a grade of C or better in all concentration area courses applied toward the degree, including transfer credits. 5. Program Delivery Currently, courses offered by the General Studies program are delivered online, face-toface, or in a hybrid format. Most courses are formatted for online delivery, however, courses in Math, History, and Art are focused toward a face-to-face delivery. General Studies Page 10

11 6. Accreditation The General Studies program is not an accredited program because accreditation is not available. 7. Advising New General Studies Program students are assigned a staff advisor their first semester. Students may be advised in person, via telephone, or by . It is expected that students schedule an advising appointment before registering each semester, however, at this time, advising is not mandatory. Starting fall 2012, advising holds will be placed on student registration accounts, and advising will be made mandatory for every semester the student attends, and will be completed once the student has completed advising for graduation. 8. Advisory Board The General Studies program has had an inactive advisory board since 2004 which consisted of various faculty from several concentration areas, the Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and the General Studies advisor. Beginning fall 2012, the new advisor board will consist of the chair of the Sociology department, the director of the School of Management, the chair of the History and Government department, the chair of the English department, the Senior Associate Dean of the College, the project coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the program director for General Studies. The role of the chairs will be that of a supportive role for embedded course assignments and assessments. The Associate Dean will attain the role as the principle administrator of the program, with the program director and project coordinator working as administrative support. 9. Alignment of Courses with Student Learning Outcomes and Mechanisms which Foster Independent Learning The content of the courses offered within the General Studies concentration areas are aligned with competencies required for the degree. Students enrolled in concentration area courses engage in many learning activities such as working in groups, analyzing and responding to videos, creating presentations through online resources such as blackboard, wiki, blogging, and producing YouTube videos. Hopefully, through group projects, problem solving, decision making, creating, evaluating, self-assessments, and interaction with instructors, students become engaged in learning activities which will prepare them for moving into a career or graduate school of their choosing. General Studies Page 11

12 10. Courses Required For the Bachelor s degree in General Studies, core curriculum requirements include approved courses in composition, humanities, history, government, mathematics, natural sciences, social behavioral sciences, visual arts, multicultural women s studies, and meet computer literacy and speech competencies. In addition, students are required to complete 6 hours in courses which meet the university requirements in the area of Global Perspectives. Students are required to complete 36 hours of upper division concentration area coursework divided into two concentration areas of 18 hours in each area, or 12 hours in each area. Students are required to complete a degree with a minimum of 120 hours for graduation. 11. Upper Division Course Offerings Due to the volume of courses offered among the 14 concentration areas, listed below are the most frequented classes within the concentration areas most chosen by General Studies students. Business Concentration Area Course Number Course Title Rotation BUSI 3003 Principles of Management Fall, Spring, Summer BUSI 3113 Principles of Marketing Fall, Spring, Summer BUSI 3163 Business Communication Fall, Spring, Summer BUSI 3183 Intro to International Business Fall, Spring, Summer BUSI 3243 Entrepreneurship Fall, Spring, Summer BUSI 3273 Human Resource Management Fall, Spring, Summer BUSI 4213 Consumer Behavior Fall, Spring, Summer General Studies Page 12

13 Sociology Concentration Area Course Number Course Title Rotation SOCI 3003 Theories of Crime Fall, Spring, Summer SOCI 3043 Deviant Behavior Fall, Spring, Summer SOCI 3073 Social Inequality Fall, Spring, Summer SOCI 3093 Race Ethnic Group in US Fall, Spring, Summer SOCI 3113 Juvenile Delinquency Fall, Spring, Summer SOCI 3213 Women s Roles Fall, Spring SOCI 3483 Developing Societies Fall, Spring Government Concentration Area Course Number Course Title Rotation GOV 3053 American Presidency Fall, Spring GOV 3243 Criminal Law Fall, Spring GOV 3253 Criminal Evid. & Procedure Fall, Spring GOV 3393 Law for Women Fall, Spring Summer GOV 4073 Con Law Admin Fall GOV 4083 Con Law Indiv. Liberty Spring GOV 4813 Public Policy Spring, Summer General Studies Page 13

14 English Concentration Area Course Number Course Title Rotation ENG 3203 Advanced Grammar & Comp. Fall, Spring ENG 3243 Literary Analysis Fall, Spring ENG 3273 Film Literature Fall, Spring, Summer ENG 3293 American Lit After 1865 Spring ENG 3323 American Fiction Fall, Spring, Summer ENG 4333 Intro to World Lit Fall, Spring ENG 4393 American Women and Lit Fall, Spring, Summer General Studies Page 14

15 12. Degree Plan (For Catalog Years ) General Studies Page 15

16 13. Comparison to Similar BGS Programs Within the North Texas area, the only comparable program is the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies offered by the University of North Texas. Their program is traditional in nature with a primary target audience of on-campus students. The primary target for the TWU degree program is adult learners. There are several comparable state institutions which have General Studies programs that focus on adult learners, however, for this comparison, the TWU General Studies program is compared to Lamar University, and West Texas A&M based on size of program, overall enrollment, and similarity in requirements. All degree programs have the same core curriculum requirements, require 120 hours for the degree, and have similar residency requirements. Each degree program, however, differs in requirements for General Studies department requirements. Lamar University requires 42 elective credit hours, and 30 advanced hours. The thirty advanced hours must consist of at least 9 hours in each of the three disciplines as assigned. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 is required in all advanced elective coursework as well as a cumulative grade point average of 2.0. West Texas A&M requires 78 hours of electives, including at least 39 advanced hours. Although there are no majors or minors for the BGS degree, students are required to satisfy at least one academic option such as: 18 semester credit hours in one academic discipline and 18hours in a second; 18 semester credit hours in one academic discipline, 12 hours in a second, 6 hours in a third; or 18 semester credit hours in one academic discipline, 6 hours in three additional disciplines. General Studies Page 16

17 IV. Quality and Quantity of Students and Graduates A. Overall Enrollment of BGS Students for Academic Years Academic Year 2004/ / / / / / / Students in the academic year made up 7.6 percent of the university s overall undergraduate enrollment of 9,010. B. Enrollment of BGS Students Concentration Areas for Academic Years CONCENTRATION AREA 2006/ total 2007/ total 2008/ total 2009/ total 2010/ total ART BUSINESS COMPUTER SCIENCE CRIMINAL JUSTICE DANCE EDUCATION ENGLISH GOVERNMENT HEALTH STUDIES HISTORY KINESIOLOGY MATH SOCIOLOGY WOMEN S STUDIES General Studies Page 17

18 C. Average Age of General Studies Students Enrolled Academic Years Academic Year 2004/ / / / / / / yrs 33 yrs 33 yrs 34 yrs 33 yrs 33yrs 34 yrs The average age of all university undergraduate students is years. D. Average GPA of General Studies Students Enrolled Academic Years Academic Year 2004/ / / / / / / The average grade point average for all university undergraduate students is E. Demographic Information (Ethnicity) Demographics of Ethnicity were collected based on enrollment of General Studies students for Academic Years The data shows over the past few years, minority student enrollment has increased within the program with the Hispanic student population indicating significant growth between 2008/ /2011. (See chart on Pg.17) General Studies Page 18

19 White African-American Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander American Indian International Other F. Number of General Studies Graduates for academic years Academic Year 2004/ / / / / / / General Studies represented 14.7% of all undergraduate conferred degrees for the academic year The average time to the degree is 2.5 years, and students graduate with an average of 134 hours completed. G. Student Retention Rate for General Studies UG Transfers Overall 4 yr Grad Rate Academic Year 2004/ / / / / / /2011 No data No data No data 56% 63% 68% 72% General Studies Retention rate is significantly higher than that of the University retention rate of 57% for UG transfers for academic year General Studies Page 19

20 H. Student to Faculty Ratio Based on enrollment data collected, student/ faculty ratio within the General Studies department has risen slightly over the past two years; however, the General Studies student/faculty ratio is significantly higher in comparison to overall university numbers. General Studies Student/Faculty Ratio for Academic Years / / / / / / / /1 23/1 22/1 22/1 22/1 23/1 23/1 TWU Student/Faculty Ratio for Academic Years / / / / / / / /1 15/1 15/1 15/1 15/1 16/1 18/1 General Studies Page 20

21 V. Faculty Resources and Productivity A. Current Faculty Profile (Pertaining to all Concentration Areas) The total number of faculty who teach within the General Studies program is 291 divided between professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors, lecturers, part time adjunct faculty, and graduate teaching assistants. Because the General Studies program does not employ its own faculty, the statistics below reflect data collected from all concentration areas during the academic year. Number of Faculty by Rank and Position Full Professor Associate Professor Assistant Professor Instructor Lecturer Adjunct Faculty Teaching Assistant General Studies Page 21

22 B. Current Faculty Profile (Most Chosen Concentration Areas: Business, Sociology, Government, English) The data below represents information collected from Academic Program Reviews for the academic year within the areas of Business, Sociology, Government and English, which are the most student populated concentration areas. School of Management Professor 2 Associate Professor 7 Assistant Professor 6 Instructor 0 Lecturer/Other 36 Adjunct Faculty 36 Teaching Assistant 0 Sociology Department Professor 3 Associate Professor 5 Assistant Professor 1 Instructor 0 Lecturer/Other 6 Adjunct Faculty 5 Teaching Assistant 10 General Studies Page 22

23 History and Government Department Professor 8 Associate Professor 1 Assistant Professor 2 Instructor 0 Lecturer/Other 22 Adjunct Faculty 21 Teaching Assistant 2 English, Speech, and Foreign Language Department Professor 7 Associate Professor 4 Assistant Professor 1 Instructor 0 Lecturer/Other 17 Adjunct Faculty 16 Teaching Assistant 16 Based on the numbers collected, there is more part time faculty teaching within each department; however, there is not sufficient evidence to show that more part time faculty are teaching General Studies courses than full time tenured faculty. General Studies Page 23

24 VI. Summary of Analyses The summary of the analyses and undergraduate program review for General Studies is described through bullet points in terms of Areas of Strength, Areas of Weakness, Areas of Opportunity, and Areas of Threat Areas of Strength Have maintained a steady program growth since 2004 Supports the mission of the university by providing high quality education with the convenience of being 100% online Offers the student body a flexible degree program Have a good understanding of student needs Have a broad ethnic diversity of majors Have a competitive grade point average Have visibility and respect across the campus Work constantly to build new academic partnerships with other departments Students work one on one with a staff advisor to ensure student success Areas of Weakness Not enough statistical data to support program reviews Need more cooperation from departments to collect data needed for assessment Have little contact with other departmental chairs and directors Focus of the program is too narrow. Everything is focused on advising and graduation. Advisory Board inactive No valid data supporting alumnae activities and employment General Studies Page 24

25 Areas of Opportunity Work to become more included with departmental administration such as chairs meetings etc. in order to build relationships and academic partnerships Identify areas where more detailed statistics will be helpful Understand the process and importance of Program Reviews Develop more online course selections Hire more staff to work in support of program Areas of Threat Source of future program funding in question Lack of involvement by concentration area departments Underutilization of innovative technology General Studies Page 25

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