1 NAU Criminal Justice Department Masters of Science Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan, The Department of Criminal Justice Mission: The mission of the Department of Criminal Justice is to provide undergraduate and graduate students with an education in criminal justice that meets the highest national standards, that prepares them to think critically about the problems of crime and justice as citizens, and that will enable them to perform effectively in the criminal justice arena as workers. Pursuing this mission involves four interconnected activities: education, scholarship, service, and assessment. The Department of Criminal Justice is an academic department in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. It is committed to pursuing the activities of education, scholarship, and public service in a manner that is consistent with the intellectual traditions of social science inquiry, and that fulfills Northern Arizona University's mission of providing "an educational environment which values all kinds of human diversity and encourages independent and critical thought." The Department of Criminal Justice recognizes that crime is a multifaceted phenomenon, involving both traditional crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and theft, newly recognized problem areas such as domestic violence, hate crimes, Technological crimes, and campus crime, and organizational offenses such as environmental crime, corporate crime, and political crime. The department also recognizes that the pursuit of justice involves not only the criminal sanctioning system of police, courts, and corrections, but also matters of social justice and a variety of other institutions and activities such as regulatory systems, civil law and administrative law, alternative dispute resolution, private policing, and informal social control. The Department of Criminal Justice recognizes that the issues of crime and justice are complex, controversial topics that are open to a number of different interpretations and approaches. Consequently the department is committed to an open intellectual environment that encourages teaching and scholarship from a diversity of theoretical perspectives and research methodologies. Assessment of Student Learning Outcome Goals In keeping with the mission of the Department, six student learning outcome goals were developed. These are:
2 Students will demonstrate: 1. The ability to understand social theory relevant to criminology and justice. 2. The ability to understand methodological tools used in criminology and justice. 3. The ability to complete a thesis. 4. The ability to write at an advanced scholarly level. 5. Their oral communication skills. 6. The ability to assess and analyze criminal justice policy. The Department chose to focus on three of these goals for the up-coming year and to assess other goals in future plans. These goals are 1, 4, and 6. For this first year, we plan to assess student learning in three areas: understanding theory, written communication skills, and assessing and analyzing policy. Evidence and Indicators To assess undergraduate student learning, both direct and indirect indicators will be gathered. For assessment of understanding theory, the will assess written work from CJ 605, the Department s graduate theory course, using a rubric already developed by the, which will be refined in consultation with appropriate faculty members. Aggregate data will then be analyzed by the For assessment of written communication, the will review the theses produced by students. Working with faculty, the will refine the existing rubric to assess theses. Aggregate data will then be analyzed by the The third goal to be assessed, assessing and analyzing policy, will also be assessed by the Graduate committee using papers produced in CJ 620, the Department s graduate policy course. The existing rubric will be refined in cooperation with the appropriate faculty members. Aggregate data will then be analyzed by the Both formative and summative measures will be used in the Assessment plan; though, over time, one year of assessment may emphasize one measure over the other. In this first year, two of the goals are measured in beginning courses (CJ 605 and CJ 620) to provide formative measures of student learning. The thesis will provide a summative indicator of student learning. Focus groups with CJ Association will also be held, to get indirect measures of student learning outcomes. See the table. Design and Use: The three-member of the Criminal Justice Department developed this assessment plan in the year. The Committee included external input and information in the development of the assessment plan. Specifically, the NAU Office of
3 Assessment provided plans from other NAU departments and other institutions. The Committee reviewed sample rubrics for written and oral communication (such as from the Chicago Public Schools Bureau of Assessment) and adapted existing measures to suit the goals of Criminal Justice Department assessment. In addition to external input, the Committee received internal feedback on the goals, measures, and the final graduate assessment plan after presentation of each stage of the plan to the whole faculty of the Criminal Justice Department at a series of meetings, and from students via the CJ Association listserve. Data will be analyzed at the end of each school year and the results will be presented by the committee to faculty members at a meeting, and to the CJ Graduate Students via . The Assessment Committee will make recommendations to the faculty and students (via ) concerning curricular changes. Decisions will be made by the faculty as a whole and implemented by the department s Policy and Planning For the feedback loop, the will review the plan at the same time as analysis is being carried out to see if changes are needed. As well, feedback will be requested of faculty and students each year about what goals are priorities for assessment for the upcoming year. By involving all faculty members and selected students in the assessment process, we hope to keep the plan manageable, as well as increase information and understanding about assessment among all faculty members and students.
4 Learning Outcome 1. Understanding of social theory relevant to criminology and justice. 2. Be able to use the methodological tools of justice related research. 3. Be able to assess and analyze criminal justice policy. 4. Be able to engage in professional level oral communication. Where Outcome Learned 1. CJ Thesis proposal. 3. Focus groups. 1. CJ CJ Thesis proposal and thesis. 4. Focus groups. 1. CJ Focus groups. 1. Thesis proposal defense. 2. Thesis defense. Indicators of Learning 1. Final papers in CJ Other written papers/publications by students. 3. Thesis proposal. 4. Focus group 1. Sample of final papers in CJ 610 and CJ Thesis proposal and thesis. 3. Focus groups 1. Sample of final papers for CJ Focus groups Faculty attending will assess each proposal and thesis defense according to established criteria. Collection Methods faculty assessments Analysis Methods... Sample presentation assessments will be. Feedback Procedures
5 5. Be able to complete a thesis. 1. Thesis plan. 2. Thesis proposal. 3. Thesis. Sample of: thesis plans, thesis proposals, theses. relevant writings will be archived for Sample student. 6. Be able to write at an advanced scholarly level. 1. All courses. 2. Thesis process. Sample of theses. theses will be archived for Sample student.