1 Graduate Program Department of Communication McMicken College of Arts & Sciences 2014 Primary Faculty: Heather Zoller Faculty Committee: to be named
2 I. Program Overview The Master of Arts in Communication prepares students for future excellence at the Ph.D. level or in professional careers. Our program offers advanced coursework addressing the theoretical and applied complexities of communication in interpersonal, organizational, and mediated contexts as well as rhetoric, politics, and persuasion, health and environmental communication, culture, and public relations. Graduate students will master a variety of communication research methods. Small classes provide opportunity for in-depth engagement and student choices in coursework allows students to customize the program. Students may choose to conduct an independent research project (a thesis) or engage in a professional experience (the praxis project) under the supervision of members of our award-winning faculty. Students work with a group of highly research-active faculty members whose work spans a number of areas in the field, including organizational communication and leadership, health communication, environmental communication, media-culture-identity, children and media, and global/cultural dimensions of communication. Upon graduation, our graduate students go on to pursue doctoral-level education at some of the best Ph.D. programs in the United States (Texas A&M, Indiana, Utah, Georgia) or to work in a variety of professions, including: public relations and marketing, corporate communication and human resources, higher education administration and teaching, data analytics and market research, sales, and organizational or political consulting.
3 II. Previous Program Outcomes Program Outcomes Revised Program Outcomes 1. Demonstrate comprehension of methodological assumptions and designs. 2. Analyze and interpret a range of communication artifacts and processes. 3. Understand how meta-theoretical assumptions influence the study and practice of communication. 4. Learn how to build, apply, test, and critique theories within and across different research traditions. 5. Comprehend the interrelationships, to draw inferences, and to make contextual applications between and among the foundational and contemporary components of the communication field. 6. Conceptualize a communication problem, and design and execute a project using appropriate methodology to interpret data and experience. 7. Understand and address connections between communication and contemporary social problems through the application of advanced theoretical concepts and research methods. 1. Demonstrate mastery of a range of methodological approaches (textual, field, survey, experimental) that can be applied to analyze communication artifacts and processes. 2. Test, apply, and critique a range of communication theories, both foundational and contemporary, so as to better understand connections between communication and contemporary social problems. 3. Complete and successfully present: an original communication research project (thesis) that involves problem conception, methodological design, and data collection resulting in meaningful findings; or a writing project (praxis) that explores connections between practical field experiences and relevant theoretical and critical communication concepts.
4 III. Key Curriculum Mapping Matrix: Linking Program Outcomes to Curriculum E: Emerging D: Developing A: Achieved (THESIS) 8091 (PRAXIS) OUTCOMES 1 Demonstrate mastery of a range of methodological approaches (textual, field, survey, experimental) that can be applied to analyze communication artifacts and processes. E/D/A E/D/A 2 Test, apply, and critique a range of communication theories, both foundational and contemporary, so as to better understand connections between communication and contemporary social problems. E/D/A E/D/A 3 Complete and successfully present: an original communication research project (thesis) that involves problem conception, methodological design, and data collection resulting in significant findings; or a writing project (praxis) that explores connections between practical field experiences and theoretical and critical communication concepts. E/D/A E/D/A
5 IV. Methods and Measures
6 Program Outcome 1 Demonstrate mastery of a range of methodological approaches (textual, field, survey, experimental) that can be applied to analyze communication artifacts and processes. 2 Test, apply, and critique a range of communication theories, both foundational and contemporary, so as to better understand connections between communication and contemporary social problems. 3 Complete and successfully present: an original communication research project (thesis) that involves problem conception, methodological design, and data collection resulting in significant findings; or a writing project (praxis) that explores connections between practical field experiences and theoretical and critical communication concepts. Assessment Measures Aligned with Program Outcomes Assessment Tools Responsible Person, Course(s) and Time frame *Graded homework and in-class assignments on course readings (E, D) *Graded research proposal papers (A) *Graded homework and in-class assignments on course readings (E, D) *Graded exams on course materials and/or literature review papers (A) *Thesis or praxis proposals (E, D) *Thesis or praxis final draft (A) *Oral presentation and defense of thesis or praxis (A) Course/ Experience 7041 and and (thesis) and 8091 (praxis) Time Line Once a year Once a year Once a year (when students complete projects) Responsible Person 7041 and 7042 instructors 7001 and 7007 instructors Thesis or praxis committee (faculty chair and committee members)
7 IV. Assessment Infrastructure Assessment Personnel A committee consisting of the Graduate Program Director and the instructors of record in four required courses ( 7001, 7007, 7041, 7042) will conduct the annual program assessment. The Graduate Program Director and instructors of record will collect data on student performance in the required courses. The Graduate Program Director will also collect data on student performance on thesis and praxis projects from their faculty advisers. The committee will analyze and interpret assessment data, and the Graduate Program Director and committee will prepare an annual report by the beginning of the next academic year. The Graduate Program Director will disseminate the report to the Communication Graduate faculty as well as complete any University reporting necessary in regards to program assessment. Assessment Schedule At the beginning of each semester of the academic year, the Graduate Program Director will contact all faculty teaching required courses in which assessment date will be collected, as well as faculty advisers of graduate student thesis and praxis projects. Faculty will be asked to submit appropriate data electronically to a Blackboard site (or some other secure on-line site) by no later than one week after final grades are due to the Registrar. The Graduate Program Director will organize the data according to the program outcomes and their level of assessment (E/D/A). Summary reports of these data will be produced by the Graduate Program Director and distributed to members of the assessment committee. The committee will meet at the beginning of each semester to assess review data collected during the previous semester. So, the committee will meet at the beginning of Spring Semester to review Fall Semester data, and will meet at the beginning of Summer Semester to review Spring Semester data (so as to complete the annual report by the beginning of the next academic year). The Graduate Program Director and assessment committee will prepare an annual report that will include key findings from the data, as well as recommendations for change as needed. This report will be finalized by the beginning of the next academic year, and will be presented and discussed at a Graduate faculty meeting early in that academic year. At that meeting, faculty will also discuss any feedback received from the College or Graduate School, and will act on recommendations as they see fit. Reports and associated data will be stored by the Graduate Program Director and departmental program coordinator staff.
8 Annual assessment reports will be made available as part of the Graduate Program Review cycle conducted by the Graduate School on a 7-10 year rotation (Communication Graduate program was reviewed in 1994, 1999, 2005, and 2009). These reports will inform the larger Graduate Program Review, but will not be used as the sole basis for that review. V. Findings Here you will describe and explain in this section any multi-year patterns and trends that your assessment efforts have identified, including a description of any relevant relationships to national standards. VI. Use of Findings In this final section, you will describe how your program intends to make use of the program-level assessment data it has gathered. How will this information be presented to and discussed among the faculty? How might this data or these discussions result in review and possible revision of course or program learning outcomes and pedagogical strategies?
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