1 Political Science and Criminal Justice Student Learning Outcomes Assessment, Criminal Justice Program June 1, 2014 Objectives & Curriculum Objective Mapping Criminal Justice Assessment Mapping Tool (revised Spring 2014) Objective Assessed (AACJ: Spring 2014; BACJ: Spring and Summer 2013) AA - Criminal Justice Objective 1: Knowledge of Criminal Justice (via CRIM 295: Criminal Justice Ethics) o 1a. Administration of Justice o 1b. Corrections o 1c. Criminological Theory o 1d. Law Adjudication o 1e. Law Enforcement BA - Criminal Justice Objective 1: Knowledge of Criminal Justice (via CRIM 500: Seminar in Criminal Justice) o 1a. Administration of Justice o 1b. Corrections o 1c. Criminological Theory o 1d. Law Adjudication o 1e. Law Enforcement Direct Assessment AA Criminal Justice To assess Objective 1, a 50-question objective exam that covers the three components of the criminal justice system, applied ethics, and causes and measures of crime (N=) was administered at the end of the semester. Students were informed via the syllabus that the exam was part of the grade for the class. Students were provided 60 minutes to complete the exam. Note: This exam serves as a baseline assessment for Objective 1 for the AA-CJ program. Two sections of Criminal Justice Ethics (CRIM 295) were taught online in Spring Results are provided in aggregate for both sections. The base average score set was a 75%, which is consistent with the criminal justice major requirement of a C or better in courses and a 2.5 GPA.
2 BA Criminal Justice To assess Objective 1, a comprehensive, 100-question objective exam was provided at the end of the semester over the three components of the criminal justice system, juvenile justice system, applied ethics, causes and measures of crime, and research methods (N=44). Students were informed via the syllabus in what sections the exam was part of the grade for the class. Instructors agreed that students were to be provided 90 minutes to complete the exam. Note: A comprehensive exam has been administered to students in previous years. That exam included 175 questions in various criminal justicerelated areas. The current assessment used the previous questions, went through rounds of evaluation, and utilized those questions thought most pertinent to the criminal justice major and program. In evaluating the questions, those that contained broad, major concepts, ideas, and areas in which the program assessment committee believed were relevant to the program s goals were used. The base average score set was a 75%, which is consistent with the criminal justice major requirement of a C or better in courses and a 2.5 GPA. Three sections of Seminar in Criminal Justice (CRIM 500) were taught both face-to-face and online in Spring 2013 and Summer Results are provided in aggregate for all sections, and then by section, and a comparison of results by course method (traditional face-to-face and online). Indirect Assessment AA Criminal Justice Course Grade (n =44 ) BA Criminal Justice Course Grade (n = 48) AA Criminal Justice - Analysis of Results Analysis is based on a cumulative exam administered Spring The total number of student exams for two online ethics courses (CRIM 295) was 44. Results are provided in aggregate for both sections. See caveat in Overall Evalaution.
3 Direct Assessments Overall Score Knowledge of Criminal Justice Class average for two online sections: 85.09% (n=44) Section 1: 86.10% (n=20) Section 2: 84.08% (n= 24) Average Scores Total Section 1 Section 2 by Categories Category Administration 95.5% 95.0% 96.0% of Justice Corrections 86.23% 86.0% 86.46% Criminological 75.97% 78.0% 73.96% Theory Law 79.93% 81.0% 78.85% Adjudication Law Enforcement 84.61% 89.0% 80.21%
4 Political Science I. Department Mission Statement The Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice provides students a rigorous and supportive learning environment that emphasizes multi-disciplinary study, responsible citizenship, practical application of knowledge, and commitment to lifelong intellectual growth. The Department further contributes to university and community life through relevant and timely scholarship, public events, and community service. A. Degree programs offered in the Political Science and Criminal Justice Department Bachelor of Arts, Political Science Bachelor of Arts, Political Science Legal Studies Concentration Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice Associate of Arts, Criminal Justice B. Learning objectives for the B.A., Political Science Objective 1: Knowledge of politics. Students possess a sophisticated understanding of politics as manifested in the major fields of Political Science: a) Comparative politics, b) Political theory, c) International relations, and d) American politics Courses: 1a. Comparative politics: POLI 100, 102 (required); 305, 329, 340, 341, 342, 345, 346, 544, 547, 548 (electives) 1b. Political theory: POLI 100, 101, 102, 103, 370, 372 (required); 204, 311, 463, 465, 550, 560, 573, 574 (electives) 1c. International relations: POLI 103 (required); 303, 349, 350, 351, 550 (electives) 1d. American politics: POLI 101 (required); 204, 302, 305, 306, 307, 310, 311, 315, 320, 322, 328, 330, 335, 351, 409, 463, 465, 469, 508, 510, 511, 512, 567, 574 (electives) Objective 2: Critical analysis. Students possess the ability to interpret, analyze, and critique political phenomena. Students facility in critical analysis is enhanced by the following: a) Critical thinking skills: Students have developed critical thinking skills; b) Normative analysis and critique: Students are able to engage in rigorous normative analysis of political phenomena; c) Research skills: Students have developed research skills, including question formulation, research design, data gathering, and data analysis and interpretation. Courses: 2a. Critical thinking skills: Every course in the POLI curriculum is designed to develop critical
5 thinking skills. 2b. Normative analysis and critique: Every course in the POLI curriculum is designed to develop students skills in normative analysis and critique. Courses particularly useful for this student learning objective are POLI 100, 370, 372 (required); 303, 311, 463, 560, 573, and 574 (electives). 2c. Research skills: POLI 100, 300, 507; ENGL 102; MATH 260. All are required courses. Objective 3: Practical application of knowledge. Students possess the ability to use their knowledge and research skills to address real-life problems. Courses: Every course offered in the POLI curriculum may be used to develop and assess the practical application of student knowledge. Objective 4: Effective communication skills. Students are able to communicate clearly, effectively, and persuasively orally and in writing. Courses: Every course in the POLI curriculum is designed to develop effective communication skills. Objective 5: Preparation for the workforce and responsible citizenship. Students are prepared to enter the workforce and serve in roles of responsibility within the community. Courses: Courses that focus particularly on workplace readiness include POLI 300 and 507 (required) and POLI 395 (elective); ENGL 101 and 102 (required); CSCI 104 (required); and MATH 260 (required). All courses in the POLI curriculum are designed to inculcate a sense of responsible citizenship.
6 C. Summary of Assessments for B.A., Political Science Assessment Objective Direct and indirect assessment methods Where and when data are collected Criteria used to measure level of performance Who is assessed Dates of assessments 1. Knowledge of politics 2. Critical analysis 3. Practical application of knowledge 4.Effective communicati on skills a. Comprehensive examination b. Student exit survey (evaluation of the Political Science program: indirect assessment) a. Students POLI 300 research designs and POLI 395 internship papers: Research and critical thinking skills b. POLI 370 and 372 papers: Normative analysis skills c. Student exit survey (evaluation of the Political Science program: indirect assessment method) a. Students term papers b. POLI 395: Internship papers c. Student exit survey (evaluation of the Political Science program: indirect assessment method) a. Students term papers b. Student exit survey (evaluation of the Political Science program: indirect a. Every semester that POLI majors graduate (starting in Fall 2014) b. Each semester that POLI majors graduate, starting in Spring 2014 a. POLI 300 (Political Analysis: every spring); POLI 395 (Internship: Every semester students serve in internships) b. POLI 370 and/or POLI 372: Every semester they re offered c. Each semester that POLI majors graduate, starting in Spring 2014 a. Each semester. Selected level courses for each major who has taken more than 75 credits b. Every semester that students serve in internships: POLI 395 paper c. Each semester that POLI majors graduate, starting in Spring 2014 a. Selected level course for each major who has taken more than 75 credits, every semester a. Threshold grade for each Political Science subject area tested; scoring scale b. Objective questions with Likert scoring scale and open-ended questions a., b. Political Science rubric c. Objective questions with Likert scoring scale and open-ended questions a. Political Science rubric b., c. Objective questions with Likert scoring scale and open-ended questions a. Political Science rubric b. Objective questions with Likert scoring scale and open-ended questions a., b. Each Political Science major who is scheduled to graduate will take this exam and exit survey a. Every POLI major who takes POLI 300 and POLI 395 b. Every POLI major who takes POLI 370 and 372 (each major is evaluated once) c. All graduating seniors a. Every major who has taken 75 credits will be assigned an application-based project b. Every major who serves in an internship c. All graduating seniors a. Every major with more than 75 credits will be assigned a major a. Every spring, starting in Spring 2015 b. Every spring, starting in Spring 2014 a., b. Spring 2013 report c. Every spring, starting in Spring 2014 b. Spring 2013 report c. Every spring, starting in Spring 2014 a. Spring 2012 report b. Every spring, starting in Spring 2014
7 5. Preparation for the workforce assessment method) a. Agency supervisors ratings of interns performances b. Student exit survey (evaluation of the Political Science program: indirect assessment method) b. Each semester that POLI majors graduate, starting in Spring 2014 a. Every semester that students serve as interns: POLI 395 survey b. Each semester that POLI majors graduate, starting in Spring 2014 a., b. Objective questions with Likert scoring scale and open-ended questions D. Summary of the data and strengths and concerns evident in the data paper and oral presentation b. All graduating seniors a. Every major who conducts an internship b. All graduating seniors a. Spring 2011 report b. Every spring, starting in Spring 2014 Assessment Objective Summary of data Strengths/concerns evident in the data 1. Knowledge of politics June 1, 2014: 1. Because the Department did not offer its required capstone course, POLI 507, in the academic year because the capstone requirement was only recently added to the curriculum, there is currently insufficient demand for the course-- we did not gather direct measures of student learning regarding knowledge of politics. 2. Instead, the Department obtained an indirect measure of student learning regarding knowledge of politics by conducting an online survey of graduating seniors. Several of the questions in the survey asked students about their perception of how much they learned in their courses. Four of the six graduating seniors responded to the survey. 3. Findings: (a) Two students strongly agreed and two agreed that their Political Science coursework was appropriately challenging and intellectually rigorous. (b) Three of four responding seniors strongly agreed, and one agreed, that they had learned a lot in their Political Science courses. June 1, 2014: 1. From the small sample obtained, students appear to be satisfied regarding the degree of knowledge about politics they have gained from the political science program. 2. The Department is engaging in a (PASSHE) required five-year selfassessment regarding the political science program (that covers much of the same territory as SLOA but goes beyond it, as well). As a result, the professors in the political science program are discussing ways to enhance the quality of content provided to students in their courses and through other means, like extracurricular activities. 2. Critical analysis [From the June 2013 report]: 1. The Department only just finished obtaining approval for curricular changes to the political science program in May This prevented the political science professors from collecting data as outlined in our planned four-year cycle. 2. In the interim, Professor Jim Fisher analyzed final projects from Professor Bridget Jeffery s POLI 480 section to assess the state of student research skills. Professor Fisher also examined analytical essays submitted by political science majors in his POLI 343 (Law and Legal Systems) course from spring 2013 to analyze student [From the June 2013 report]: 1. Main conclusion: While students, based on the data analyzed, appear to possess general proficiency in critical analysis, it is not clear that the program s courses, as taught by the professors in the Department, are systematically developing critical analytical skills. The political science program, in other words, could likely enhance the work it is doing with students in developing critical analysis skills by consciously and systematically assigning work, across a range of courses, to develop and assess these skills. 2. Regarding critical thinking skills: Critical thinking skills are being constantly developed and practiced across courses and assignments. In
8 ability to engage in critical analysis. Finally, Professor Fisher examined essays from his fall 2012 POLI 372 (Political Thought II) course to assess student skill in normative analysis and critique. the assignments analyzed, in which students analyzed the practice of actors in the criminal justice system (i.e., how the law works in the real world ), students overall demonstrated proficiency in a) recognizing the various contexts (political, cultural, institutional, etc.) in which actors form opinions and make decisions, b) identifying and discussing various empirical and normative issues present in the political phenomenon being analyzed, and c) using evidence from analyzed texts (in this case, two non-fiction narrative books) to demonstrate and discuss established political dynamics (here, the application of the criminal law in the United States). 3. Practical application of knowledge [From the June 2013 report]: Please refer to the notes in the Critical analysis section, above, as these two objectives (critical analysis and practical application of knowledge) are assessed in the same year of the four-year assessment cycle. There were no formal assignments this semester that directly assessed student ability to apply their knowledge of politics to address real-life problems. 3. Regarding research skills: Research skills are being developed in POLI 480; students demonstrate proficiency overall in constructing a literature review, developing hypotheses, gathering data, etc. What is less clear is how much research skills are being developed and assessed in other political science courses. Furthermore, because of POLI 480 s high-level designation, students are waiting to take the course until they are almost graduated, thus preventing them from applying the skills learned there to their work in other major courses. The department has already made some relevant changes to the curriculum in this regard; for example, POLI 480 is now POLI 300, to be taken by students at the end of their second year or the beginning of their third year. Still, the Department could do more to ensure that students are developing and practicing research skills in the program s bank of introductory courses and in the courses they will take after POLI Regarding skills in normative analysis and critique: Almost all political science courses, in particular upper-level elective courses, ask students, through written assignments and class discussion, to take a normative position on policy issues. In POLI 370 and POLI 372, as well as in several other courses, students are exposed to the normative views of great thinkers (for example, comparing different philosophical views of justice ) and are asked to articulate those views to demonstrate understanding of the contours of major normative issues in politics. In the assignments analyzed, students overall demonstrated proficiency in identifying, articulating, and comparing alternative viewpoints regarding major normative questions in politics. [From the June 2013 report]: As with skills in critical analysis (see comments in the critical analysis section, above), it is not clear that the program s courses, as taught by the professors in the Department, are systematically developing student ability to practically apply their knowledge. In 2011, when the Department analyzed workplace preparedness (see below), students who conducted internships demonstrated general proficiency; the fact that student interns generally impressed their employers suggests that those students possessed the ability to practically apply their knowledge of politics to real-world situations. Furthermore, students practice the practical application of their knowledge of politics in almost all courses, informally, through class
9 4. Effective communication skills 5. Workplace preparedness [From the April 2012 report]: 1. The Department has not yet finished the curricular changes to the political science degree programs necessary to collect data as outlined in our four-year cycle. These curricular changes should be completed and implemented by the spring 2013 semester. Once those curricular changes are completed, we will be able to assess communication skills, as planned, through review of capstone projects by senior students. Those capstone projects will include a) a written paper that includes the use of professional sources (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles) and data, and b) an oral presentation of the student s project and findings. Students will also complete a survey. 2. In the interim, professors in the political science program assessed a) policy analysis papers written by political science majors from a fall 2011 semester Politics of Russia class (a 300-level course), and b) research papers written by political science majors from a fall 2011 American Presidency class (a 300-level course). Students in these courses should be at or approaching competency in their written communication skills ( competency indicating here performance that would equal what is expected of a B.A. graduate in the workforce.). The three current political science professors separately assessed each paper using a written assessment tool developed by the Department (see Appendix 1). 3. The professors in the program also reviewed collectively the types of written papers that are regularly assigned to students across the political science curriculum. 4. While most major courses (especially at the upper levels) encourage the development of oral communication skills through classroom discussion, the program does not have many formal requirements for developing oral communications skills and therefore do not currently have a means for assessing them. This will be addressed in part through planned curricular changes to the political science programs, which will require, as part of a student s capstone project, an oral presentation. [From the April, 2011 report]: Due in part to poor collection of data, and due in part to the relatively small number of political science majors, only three agency evaluations were collected over the year (fall 2010, summer 2010, spring 2010). Still, agency evaluators were very positive. Student interns were given the highest (5) or next-to-highest (4.5) score on questions regarding discussion. Still, the lack of formal assignments directly developing and assessing student application of knowledge indicates a need to incorporate these kinds of assignments into the curriculum consciously and systematically. [From the April 2012 report]: 1. Student papers were assessed on their context, mechanics, content, formatting, and research (see Appendix 1 for definitions of each performance area). In the areas of context and content, on average political science majors appear to be at or slightly above competency (i.e., performance equaling what would be expected of a B.A. graduate in the workforce). In the areas of mechanics, formatting, and research, on average political science majors appear to be just slightly below competency (i.e., approaching but not meeting what would be expected of a B.A. graduate in the workforce). 2. A review of the political science curricula as implemented indicates that the political science professors a) do not consciously and consistently have students use and cite research from professional resources in several courses, at several levels (i.e., across 100-, 200-, 300-, and 400-level courses); b) do not consciously and consistently have students engage in oral communication-building exercises that can be assessed. 3. On the other hand, a review of the political science curricula as implemented does indicate that written assignments are consciously and consistently required of students in several courses and several levels. Written work tends to be assigned as a) written components on exams, b) textual analysis, policy analysis, opinion pieces, and other content- and critical thinking-building assignments that don t require much or any research using a wide range of professional, secondary sources. [From the April 2011 report]: Based on the limited data collected and analyzed, there appear to be no concerns regarding the preparedness of political science students to succeed in the workplace. The data, of course, measures the preparedness of a small subset of political science students; these students a) were motivated (and skilled) enough to secure an internship, and b) met the minimum GPA
10 dependability, interpersonal/relationship skills, initiative, flexibility, and critical thinking and creativity. The interns met or exceeded supervisor expectations; their appearance, attitude, and character ranked either as exceptional or good ; and their punctuality, attendance, and responsiveness was ranked as exceptional or good. Agency supervisors indicated that they would definitely consider two of the interns for a position in their department if they were in a position to hire someone; the third intern was a possibility. Based on a new evaluation instrument, one supervisor was asked if he/she would consider having another Edinboro University intern with his/her agency; the supervisors indicated definitely. Finally, that supervisor was asked to compare Edinboro interns with interns from other schools. The supervisor indicated that the Edinboro intern was comparatively better prepared. requirements to secure an internship for academic credit. Therefore, while the data is promising, the department cannot assume that all political science students are well prepared to enter the workforce and succeed. E. Action items regarding enhancing student knowledge of politics (program learning objective 1) 1. The Department will again offer POLI 507, Seminar in Political Science, every year. This course will serve as a capstone experience for students. POLI 507 students will write a research paper incorporating professional secondary sources and data, and will deliver an oral presentation of their findings. In addition, students will complete an exit survey similar to the one that graduating seniors majoring in Political Science took in May 2014 as well as a comprehensive examination that will include questions about the four major subfields in political science (comparative politics, political theory, international relations, and American politics). Political science faculty members will collect data on POLI 507 students papers, survey responses, and examination results for assessment purposes. 2. Political science faculty members will discuss and evaluate the extent to which the content in various POLI courses build on the content students learn in other POLI courses (for example, the degree to which students in an upper-level international relations course are expected and challenged to retain and apply information from their required Introduction to Global Politics course). 3. To produce an additional direct measure of student learning regarding knowledge of politics, political science faculty members will consider selectively assessing research assignments in upper-level (300+) political science courses. 4. As the political science program closes its first four-year cycle of assessment, political science faculty members will evaluate their assessment process and alter some details to reflect changes in the program s curriculum and changes in specific courses.
11 5. Professors in the political science program plan to develop new courses to enhance the content of the curriculum. For example, Dr. Jeffery will develop an introduction to public policy analysis course. This course will assist students who choose careers in the public sector (in local, state, or federal government) or plan to attend graduate school in Public Administration, Public Policy, or Political Science. In addition, Dr. Jeffery will develop a course on women and politics. Drs. Matthews, Fisher, and Gendlin are all considering the creation of new courses. As these courses are added to the curriculum, courses that have not been offered in a long while will be placed on moratorium. 6. Professors in the political science program will better advertise the wide range of politics-related extracurricular activities available on campus and encourage student involvement in those activities.
12 II. Students undergraduate research and other student accomplishments 1. Patrick Walker, political science major, presented a paper, The Development, Control, and Enforcement of Legalized Marijuana, at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Justice Educators, March 28, Samuel Rosenthal, political science major, was The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS) representative for Edinboro University during the Spring 2014 semester. 3. Nine political science majors participated in the Model U.N. Club and attended Model U.N. s national conference in New York City in April The Edinboro University Model U.N. Club represented Austria and earned an Honorable Mention. 4. Political science majors Anna Berch-Norton and Lauren Pierson were accepted into the 2014 National Education for Women (NEW) Leadership Pennsylvania program, held at Chatham University in June NEW Leadership Pennsylvania is an intensive, week-long, residential leadership and public policy institute designed to educate and empower young women for future political participation and leadership. 5. Political science majors who take POLI 300, Political Analysis (a required course that is offered each spring), write a research design that describes a research project that they would conduct if they had sufficient time and funding. 6. All political science majors who conduct internships for academic credit are required to conduct a research project for their employers.
13 III. The Political Science program s special projects 1. Honoring Constitution Day, 2013, on Sept. 18, three faculty members in the Political Science program (J.D. Fisher, Gerry Gendlin, and Rhonda Matthews) offered their expertise about and answered audience members and panelists questions as they appeared on a panel that discussed National Security Agency spying. 2. The Department organized and hosted Edinboro University s annual Law, Government, and Criminal Justice Day, held every April. Events include speakers, demonstrations, panels, and a job and internship fair, staffed by many Edinboro alumni representing their agencies and companies. Five alumni of the Political Science and Criminal Justice Dept. were honored at the April 14, 2014 Law, Government, and Criminal Justice Day, including Pennsylvania State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D-3 rd District). In addition, law school representatives from Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law, West Virginia University School of Law, and Villanova University discussed law school admissions at this year s Law, Government, and Criminal Justice Day. 3. Dr. Gerry Gendlin developed a new concentration in international studies for the B.A. in political science, which the Department will submit for approval and start to offer in fall Professor J.D. Fisher taught a new First Year Experience seminar in Fall 2013, FYE 103, Reproductive Politics. He will teach a new upper-division course, POLI 375, Reproductive Politics, in Fall Professor Gerry Gendlin taught a new course, POLI 350, Terrorism, in Spring Professors Gerry Gendlin and J.D. Fisher are working on a special event for POLI majors at the University, an international crisis simulation, in which students play the role of international actors attempting to negotiate the end to a hypothetical crisis. The simulation will be played out over the course of a Saturday during the Fall 2014 semester. 7. Professors in the political science program administer a Facebook page, Politics.Edinboro.
14 IV. Political science faculty members community service and scholarly activities Faculty Member Publications Presentations Lectures and Panels Community Service J.D. Fisher Fisher, James Daniel Rev. of The Street Politics of Abortion. Law and Politics Book Review 24(1): Moderator, panel on National Security Agency Spying, Edinboro University (Sept. 18, 2013, honoring Constitution Day) 2 Edinboro s Future Forum, presented by the Edinboro University Political Awareness Club, with Rhonda Matthews (Oct. 13, President, Board of Directors, Villa Maria Elementary School, Erie, PA 2. Provides political analysis for WJET-TV, Erie, PA Gerry Gendlin 1. Toward an Ethic of Cyber Espionage. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Las Vegas, Nevada, Feb. 8, Toward an Ethic of Cyber Espionage. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southwestern Social Science Association, San Antonio, Texas, April 12, 2014 Panelist, panel on National Security Agency Spying, Edinboro University (Sept. 18, 2013, honoring Constitution Day) 1. Provides analysis of international affairs for WICU-TV, Erie, PA 2. Board of Directors, Ready 4 Life, a nonprofit that enhances learning opportunities for underserved communities. Bridget M. Jeffery Local Government Regulation of Off-Campus Housing in Pennsylvania. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association, Harrisburg, PA, April 11, 2014 Chair and discussant, annual meeting of the Northeastern Political Science Association, Philadelphia: Panel on Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Policy and Politics (Nov. 15, 2013) and panel on Judicial Decision-making (Nov. 16, 2013) 1. Political director, Northwest Pennsylvania chapter of National Organization for Women (NOW) 2. Democratic Party Precinctwoman, Edinboro, PA, District 2 3. Member, Northwest PA chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union Rhonda A. Matthews They Came in Like a Wrecking Ball: The Public Transformation of Disney Girls, a presentation for Edinboro University Women s 1. Panelist, panel on National Security Agency Spying, Edinboro University (Sept. 18, 2013, honoring Constitution
15 History Month, March 5, 2014 Day). 2 Edinboro s Future Forum, presented by the Edinboro University Political Awareness Club, with J.D. Fisher (Oct. 13, 2013) APPENDIX Closing the Loop: Action Items in Response to SLOA Findings, AYs 2011, 2013, report The report assessed the program goal of critical analysis skills. Changes proposed (from the report): 1. Change: The professors in the political science program have been working on changes to the BA curriculum and individual courses since April Those changes were subject to modification and approved through the University curricular process in May 2013 and will go into effect in the academic year. Some of these changes will address concerns discussed above. These changes include the following: a. Action item: Making POLI 507, Seminar in Political Science, a required course. This course will serve as a capstone experience for students. In POLI 507, students will write a research paper that will use professional secondary sources and data and give an oral presentation of their findings. Students will also be required to complete a survey and conduct something like an exit interview. i. Result: Mostly completed. POLI 507 has been added to the political science curriculum as a required course. The course itself, however, needs to be modified (course description, objectives, methods of assessment) to reflect its updated purpose. ii. Supporting documentation: BA in political science curriculum sheet. b. Action item: Changing POLI 480, Research Methods, to POLI 300, Methods of Political Analysis. Students will be advised to take the course earlier in their careers at Edinboro, so that students can use what they have learned in POLI 300 in their upper-level elective courses. POLI 300 also has MATH 260 (introductory statistics) as a prerequisite. i. Result: Completed. ii. Supporting documentation: POLI 300 course proposal; BA in political science curriculum sheet.
16 c. Action item: Changing POLI 200, Introduction to Government, to POLI 100, Introduction to Politics. This course will now serve as an introduction to the field of political science and will be used to start the development of several student-learning objectives (for example, basic research skills, practical application of knowledge, and normative analysis and critique). i. Result: Mostly completed. The course is now POLI 100 and, in its objectives, serves the goals outlined above. Professors Fisher and Matthews are starting to teach the course for the first time and are working together to design course content, assignments, etc., that will meet the above-stated objectives. ii. Supporting documentation: POLI 100 course proposal; POLI 100 syllabus. 2. Change: The professors in the political science program must create a variety of formal assignments that consistently and repeatedly develop and assess the student-learning objectives discussed above, and incorporate those assignments across courses a) at the lower level (POLI 100, 101, 102, and 103), and b) at the upper-level (major electives taken after students have completed their lower-level courses, POLI 370 or 372, and POLI 300). a. Action item: Examine critical thinking development across all political science courses and develop a variety of formal assignments to be implemented in a variety of courses consistently. Modify the content and learning objectives of specific courses, if necessary. b. Result: In process. Political science professors will meet after the spring 2014 semester to consider changes to their courses for the upcoming academic year. c. Supporting documentation: NA 3. Change: Some of the details of the four-year assessment cycle should be changed to reflect changes in the political science program curriculum and changes in specific courses. a. Action item: Review and revise the four-year assessment cycle (by which all five program objectives are assessed over four years), if necessary. b. Result: In process. The academic year represents the first repeat of the four-year cycle, so political science professors will meet after the spring 2014 semester to consider adjustments to the SLOA process report The report assessed the program goal of effective communication skills. Changes proposed (from the report): 1. Change: As noted, the Department is currently revising the B.A. programs in political science and planning to add a new concentration in international studies (in addition to the plain major and the concentration in legal studies). All three B.A. programs will require students to complete a capstone project in one of their 300+ level courses. That capstone project will
17 consist primarily of a research paper that uses professional secondary sources and data and an oral presentation of the student s findings. Students will also be required to complete a survey. This new capstone project requirement will allow the department to assess students written and oral communication skills at the point at which those students are expected to be demonstrating competence in those skills. a. Action item: Create a capstone project. b. Result: Completed, but in a different way. The Department revised the BA in political science, but added a required capstone course, POLI 507, rather than a floating capstone requirement. The capstone course can serve several program objectives. c. Supporting documentation: Curriculum sheet for the BA in political science. 2. Change: The professors in the political science program should develop a holistic and coordinated plan for building written communications skills across the political science curriculum. The political science professors require a lot of writing, so the issue is not one of volume. Instead, the professors should coordinate the types of writing assignments that political science graduate are expected to master (e.g., normative analysis, policy analysis, political analysis, research papers) as well as where and when those writing assignments are required (at what levels of the major and in what subject areas). a. Action item: Coordinate the types of writing assignments used in various required and elective political science courses. b. Result: In the process of being implemented. c. Supporting documentation: Minutes from a political science SLOA meeting; syllabi from various courses that contain writing assignments. 3. Change: Similarly, the professors in the political science program should develop a coordinated plan for developing oral communications skills across the curriculum, so that students are guaranteed to be given oral communication skill-building exercises in several courses and at several levels of the major. a. Action item: Ensure that assignments emphasizing oral communications skills are regularly offered in required and elective political science courses. b. Result: In the process of being implemented. c. Supporting documentation: Minutes from a political science SLOA meeting; syllabi from various courses that contain writing assignments report The report assessed the program goal of preparation for the workforce. Changes proposed (from the report):
18 1. Change: While the (limited) data is quite positive, the department thinks that it can improve on its performance. In particular, the department is going to work to increase the number of political science majors conducting internships, both as a means of enhancing workplace preparedness (i.e., the internship experience serves this function) and a means of evaluating the department s performance (i.e., more interns means better data on a wider range of majors). This can be accomplished primarily through more active encouragement of students through the regular advising process. Political science majors will also be more directly encouraged to pursue politics-related volunteer and work opportunities, such as working on political campaigns. These kinds of extracurricular activities have a low threshold for entry and provide valuable real world experience for the students that enhance their marketability. a. Action item: Professors, in formal and informal advising, and in program literature, actively encourage all political science majors to conduct internships, especially for academic credit, and encourage students to engage in volunteer political activities (such as working on a political campaign). b. Result: Implemented. c. Supporting documentation: Advising materials and information about the political science program. 2. Change: In addition to more active advising, the department will more actively incorporate workplace-preparedness training into its existing curriculum. In particular, the department will use the First Year Experience (FYE) program and POLI 201, Introduction to American Government, to assist majors in developing, e.g., time-management skills, resume preparation, caution regarding social networks, and proper workplace attire. The department believes that directly enhancing workplace preparedness in this way will bolster student confidence and lead them to be more aggressive in pursuing internship and politics-related volunteer opportunities (like working on political campaigns). a. Action items: Adjust the format of FYE weekly meetings to incorporate more workplace preparedness training. Incorporate workplace preparedness training into POLI 201 (now POLI 101). b. Result: Mixed. i. FYE weekly meetings did incorporate more workplace-readiness skills training. ii. Professors in POLI 201 (now 101) have not incorporated workplace skills training into their courses, as the need to focus on the course content requires most or all of the course semester. The political science program needs to find an alternative vehicle (possibly outside of a formal class) for enhancing workplace readiness, especially if the FYE program changes in the coming years. c. Supporting documentation: FYE schedule of events. 3. Change: One of the changes to the assessment of this student learning objective will be to track the number of political science majors conducting internships over the data collection period (going forward, summer 2011 to fall 2014, for analysis and reporting on March 14, 2015). a. Action item: Track the number of political science majors conducting internships over the data collection period. b. Result: Not yet implemented. This data exists, but will be collected in the year (when this program objective is reviewed again).
19 c. Supporting documentation: NA 4. Change: Another change to the assessment of the student learning objective is to improve on data collection. Every intern will be required to submit an agency evaluation form before receiving a grade for their internship. Faculty members, too, will be required to submit a copy of the agency evaluation to the department chair. Furthermore, every agency supervisor will complete the new evaluation form, which better measures workplace preparedness. a. Action items: i. Develop a new internship evaluation form. Result: Completed. Supporting documentation: Department internship manual. ii. Require all interns to submit an agency evaluation form before receiving a grade for their internship. Result: Completed. Supporting documentation: Agency evaluation forms that are packaged with internship materials. iii. Submission of agency evaluation forms to a common repository. b. Result: Unclear we have not tracked to see if this rule is being followed. c. Supporting documentation: If it is being done, then there should be a repository of agency evaluation forms. 5. Change: The department developed a student evaluation form that measured internship performance and student preparedness (an indirect assessment measure). It is not well designed, however, for actually scoring and analyzing workplace preparedness. Therefore, the form will be redesigned and implemented starting fall a. Action item: Redesign the student evaluation form. b. Result: Completed. c. Supporting documentation: Redesigned student evaluation form in the Department internship manual. 6. Change: Finally, the department will be using a student survey to (indirectly) assess a number of student learning objectives. We will incorporate questions on workplace preparedness into the survey (e.g., On a scale of X-X, how well prepared do you feel to enter the workforce? In your opinion, how might the political science program better prepare you for the workplace? ). a. Action item: Design and implement a student survey. b. Result: Incomplete. We are still working on developing and implementing a survey as an indirect measure of student learning outcomes (including workforce preparedness). c. Supporting documentation: NA