Program Overview and Mission

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1 PhD in Nursing Science Plan Graduate Program Review, Program Overview and Mission The PhD program is an integral part of the CON programs. The overview section provides a good description, showing that Denton and Houston are the homes of the doctoral program. The Denton program is 100% on-line, while the Houston program is hybrid with some face-to-face courses. This document includes good description of the goals, including mission of the program. Since many faculty participate across the various degree programs, it is difficult to tease out the exact PhD-involved faculty. The program cannot grow however, without additional faculty dedicated to the PhD program. Salaries offered seem to be the major problem with faculty recruitment. Response: In 2010, the board of Regents for TWU approved a tuition differential for all NURS courses. This money was set aside to address the faculty salary issues. In the fall 2011, faculty salaries were address with a stipend that brought fulltime faculty up to 90% of the AACN Nursing faculty means. The CON is hopeful that this will aid in attracting qualified and experience nursing faculty from the higherpaid healthcare services arena. In addition, the CON supports faculty practice, allowing nursing faculty to work in a clinical facility one day per week. This practice is essential for maintaining the certification and/or licensure of our advanced practice nurses and has the added benefit of augmenting salaries. This is a benefit that is not available at all academic settings. Additional faculty lines are needed to keep up the increasing numbers of students in all programs on all campuses. A request has been sent to the provost to increase the number of faculty lines so that additional students can be accommodated without undo stress on the current faculty. Student Learning Outcomes There are 3 student learning outcomes presented in the Self-Study and these are assessed every academic year. There is a CON Program Evaluation Committee (PEC) in place that oversees monitoring of student achievement of learning outcomes. There are 3 Institutional Effectiveness (IE) assessment activities described in this section that relate to specified goals but it is unclear how these goals and assessments are related to the 3 student learning outcomes. The second IE activity related to the percentage of PhD Nursing students who have publications and presentations does assess Student Learning Outcome #2, but the other IE assessments described are programmatic goals rather than student learning goals. The Program reviewers make the following suggestions for improvement: 1. Develop goals and assessments that relate to how well students and graduates of your program achieve the 3 Student Learning Outcomes. For each of the Learning Outcomes, an assessment measure should be determined as well as a criterion to judge success.

2 2. You may need to develop a scoring rubric as a measure to judge success on the student learning outcome(s). For example, a rubric could be developed to assess the student s candidacy paper and oral presentation that is described on page 80. Response: The CON PhD program coordinators worked with Dr. Senne and the PhD faculty, during the academic year , to develop the new Academic Institutional Improvement Assessment Plan for the CON PhD in Nursing Science. This plan has 3 student learning outcomes (SLO) that have indirect and direct measures. The direct measures utilize rubrics, while the in directs measures are surveys. These SLO, along with the measures and implementation plan, are listed below. These SLO will be implemented in the fall 2012 and data collection will start in the spring By the end of the academic program, students will be able to: 1. Synthesize knowledge of theory and research to articulate a cohesive plan for research. a. Direct Measurement - Dissertation Proposal Defense Rubric i. Measurement criteria the following categories will be measured as exceeds expectations, meets expectations or below expectations. 1. Problem selection 2. Theoretical/Philosophical Frame of Reference 3. Literature Review 4. Research Methodology 5. Format 6. Writing mechanics ii. Based on the following criteria, the student can earn a 1-4 score on the defense 1. Unqualified Approval (4) a. An Exceeds Expectations in all categories will result in a committee decision of unqualified approval and if student follows the proposed plan, the research design will not be later challenged. 2. Qualified Approval (3) a. Any combination of categories marked Meets or Exceeds Expectations will result in a committee decision of a qualified approval which means minor changes are needed and will be made under the supervision of the chair with no further committee action. 3. Qualified Disapproval (2) a. If any category is marked Below Expectations, it will result a decision of a qualified disapproval and the student must revise the proposal and meet again with the whole committee. 4. Unqualified Disapproval (1) a. If a majority of categories are marked Below Expectations, it will result a decision of an unqualified disapproval and the student must prepare a new proposal or withdraw from the program. iii. Criterion for success target value is a 3 or 4 from the rubric. iv. Goal would be that 90% of the students will receive either an Unqualified Approval or a Qualified Approval. b. Indirect Measure - Alumni survey (PEC). i. Measures level of satisfaction with abilities after graduation to design and conduct research studies. 1. This item is rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from Very satisfied to Very dissatisfied.

3 2. Goal would be that 90% of graduates from the past academic year would be satisfied or very satisfied with their attainment of the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in research activities. c. Indirect Measure - Alumni survey (PhD). i. Measures level of satisfaction with abilities after graduation to design research studies. 1. This item is rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from Very satisfied to Very dissatisfied. 2. Goal would be that 90% of graduates from the past academic years would be satisfied or very satisfied with their attainment of the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in research activities. d. Direct measure Alumni Survey (PhD) i. Measures number of studies that have been written and conducted since graduation. 1. This item is a fill in the blank. Would receive a number count. 2. Goal would be that 50% of graduates from the past academic years have written and conducted a research study (this is new information; therefore we would need several years to determine %). 2. Synthesize knowledge of theory and research to implement a research plan and articulate findings. a. Direct Measurement - Dissertation Defense Rubric i. Measurement criteria the following categories will be measured as exceeds expectations, meets expectations or below expectations. 1. Research Design 2. Analysis 3. Interpretation of findings 4. Conclusions 5. Format ii. Based on the following criteria, the student can earn a 1-4 score on the defense 1. Unqualified Approval (4) a. An Exceeds Expectations in all categories will result in a committee decision of unqualified approval and if student follows the proposed plan, the research design will not be later challenged. 2. Qualified Approval (3) a. Any combination of categories marked meets or exceeds expectations will result in a committee decision of a qualified approval which means suggested changes are made under the direction of the chair without another meeting of the committee and the committee will then recommend that the Dean of the Graduate School approve granting the degree. 3. Qualified Disapproval (2) a. If any category is marked below expectations, it will result a decision of a qualified disapproval and the research must be repeated or modified, or rewritten extensively and resubmitted for another meeting of the committee. If a second formal defense of the major study is, two such meetings may not be scheduled in the same semester. 4. Unqualified Disapproval (1)

4 a. If a majority of categories are marked below expectations, it will result a decision of an unqualified disapproval and the student will be advised to withdraw from the program without completing the degree. iii. Criterion for success target value is a 3 or 4 from the rubric. iv. Goal would be that 90% of the students will receive either an Unqualified Approval or a Qualified Approval. b. Indirect Measure - Alumni survey (PEC). i. Measures level of satisfaction with abilities after graduation to 1. Design and conduct research studies. 2. Utilize research methods and techniques of data analysis ii. These items are rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from Very satisfied to Very dissatisfied. iii. Goal would be that 90% of graduates from the past academic year would be satisfied or very satisfied with their attainment of the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in research activities. c. Indirect Measure - Alumni survey (PhD). i. Measures level of satisfaction with abilities after graduation to design and conduct research studies, and to utilize research methods and techniques of data analysis 1. These items are rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from Very satisfied to Very dissatisfied. 2. Goal would be that 90% of graduates from the past academic years would be satisfied or very satisfied with their attainment of the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in research activities. d. Direct Measure Alumni survey (PhD). i. Measures number of studies that have been written and conducted since graduation. 1. This item is a fill in the blank. Would receive a number count. 2. Goal would be that 50% of graduates from the past academic years have written and conducted a research study (this is new information; therefore we would need several years to determine %). 3. Disseminate results of scholarly activity in oral and written contexts. a. Direct Measurement - Student Scholarly Production Report i. A count would be taken annually related to presentations and publications of students. ii. Goals 1. 80% of students will have a manuscript submitted to a scholarly journal (peerreviewed) prior to graduation % of students will have a manuscript in press or published in a scholarly journal (peer-reviewed) prior to graduation % of students will have a presentation at a regional/national/international conference. b. Indirect Measure - Alumni survey (PhD). 1. Measures level of satisfaction with abilities after graduation to prepare and submit articles for publication and to prepare and submit abstracts for conference presentation consideration? 1. These items are rated on a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from Very satisfied to Very dissatisfied.

5 2. Goal would be that 90% of graduates from the past academic years would be satisfied or very satisfied with their attainment of the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in scholarly activities. c. Direct Measure Alumni survey (PhD) i. Measures number of manuscripts prepared and submitted since graduation, of the manuscripts accepted for publication, of abstracts prepared and submitted for conference presentations, and of professional presentations. a. This item is a fill in the blank. Would receive a number count. b. Goal would be that 50% of graduates from the past academic years have prepared and submitted manuscripts since graduation, had manuscripts accepted for publication, prepared and submitted abstracts for conference presentations, and did professional presentations (this is new information; therefore we would need several years to determine %). Faculty Productivity The faculty are identified as a major strength of the PhD program in nursing, numbering on average 20 which is a healthy number for a program of this size. The faculty includes a majority of senior faculty with 79% holding the associate or full professor rank; 15 of 18 hold the PhD degree, 2 hold an EdD degree, and one holds the DPH degree. They are a fairly well-published faculty averaging 20 articles in refereed journals per year, with 1 article per faculty on average, exceeding their stated goal of increasing faculty publications. An additional strength is the involvement of the faculty in 100 different professional organizations with leadership positions in 20 organizations, an important component of professional service. The report indicates that semester credit hours have increased significantly. Faculty salaries have increased slightly, as have travel funds in recent years, but other funds have dipped. Faculty efforts at securing grant support, however, have yielded consistent funding support. Every year the department has exceeded the goal of averaging $65,000 per year in total internal and external funding. They report the greatest success in obtaining external program proposals (69% success rate) and internal research grants (53% success rate). Quality and Quantity of Graduate Students and Graduates CON PhD students are predominantly women, 71% of which are Caucasian and the remaining percentage a combination of ethnic minorities (primarily African American, Hispanic, and Asian). Only 2 International students were admitted and enrolled in the program in the last 5 years. The CON is currently engaged in scholarly exchanges with health care professionals in a number of countries and has proposed a Center for Global Nursing Scholarship that if approved, will serve as an extension of quality nursing education to promote world health. A secondary gain for the proposed Center would be to provide increased opportunity to recruit international students to the TWU Nursing PhD program. Overall, the CON has strong enrollment in the PhD program, averaging 24 newly admitted and enrolled students each year over the 5-year evaluation period. The CON averages 21.5 graduates per year, with the majority of these becoming employed in faculty positions (41%), hospital administrative positions (19%), or Nurse Practitioner/clinical role positions (17%). Areas of weakness include lack of financial support available for Nursing PhD students. This is due in large part to the type of students enrolled in the PhD program. Most students do not qualify for financial

6 support because they work full-time and attend university courses part-time. A suggestion for improvement is to encourage faculty to apply for external research funding that would enable them to employ students as research or graduate teaching assistants. This can be especially useful for recruiting international students who may not have the option of working and having a Graduate Research Assistant position at.5 FTE allows them to pay in-state tuition. Another suggestion for improvement is to develop a criterion to judge career success of graduates. Response: While we agree that adding GRA positions may increase the level of PhD student funding, there needs to be a philosophical discussion within the CON regarding the recruitment of additional international students as a means to increase the funding students through the GRA funding mechanism. International students in the US cannot be enrolled in 100% online programs as is offered in Denton. The Houston campus, a hybrid program is already admitting the maximum number of students each semester a mixture of US-born and international students. Do we deny admission to US students to increase the number of international students simply to increase the number of potential GRA s? In regard to the development of a criterion to judge career success of graduates, this has previously been presented under Student Learning Outcome 3.C which discusses the incorporation of an alumni survey to address this issue. Curriculum and Programs of Study This review provides a comprehensive picture of the PhD program in the TWU CON. They have provided a significant number of academically prepared nurses to Texas. The committee, however, noted several problems with the Curriculum and Programs of Study sections of this review: 1. The degree has a large number of required courses 60 credit hours plus 12 hours of research tools courses. The review document does not include information on how the curriculum meets the CON Student Learning Outcomes (SLO), that are listed on p. 9. The information provided on p. 12 under Alignment of Courses focuses on the student s personal goals, without addressing the CON SLOs. This is a deficiency that needs to be addressed. 2. The review is not clear about the qualifying exam. After 3 of the required courses, the student can take the preliminary exam - a written exam covering the topics in these required courses. For candidacy, the student must submit a 5 page written document outlining the proposed research topic; then the student does a complete graduate school prospectus after that. Only then does the student register for dissertation. It is not clear from this review exactly what the CON considers to be the qualifying exam is it the candidacy document, the preliminary exam or both? 3. There are no courses that provide the student with time for research related to their dissertation topic lots of theory, philosophy, foundations, scholarship, women s health, etc. Although we were unable to assess how well the courses in the curriculum align with student learning outcomes regarding scholarship and research, similar nursing PhD programs have research time built into the curriculum, either as research residency or research practicum - any place from 6 9 credits. This provides guidance for the student for developing a research agenda. The Less Than review is due mainly to the absence of a description of alignment of curriculum to SLO, a very important component in evaluating the curriculum and program an study.

7 Response: The follow response was sent to reviewers on 5/6/12: The CON PhD program in Nursing Science does not have a Qualifying Exam. The PhD program has a preliminary exam and a candidacy defense. Preliminary Exanimation The Preliminary Examination presents questions that integrate and synthesize knowledge gained from required preliminary doctoral course work, including the statistics research tool. The goals of this examination are to assess students ability to: integrate and synthesize required preliminary doctoral course work, critically synthesize knowledge to articulate meaningful conclusions, and clearly and logically communicate in written text. Students are eligible to take this examination if they have completed the statistics research tool and the following courses: NURS 6004: Theory and Foundations of Nursing Research, NURS 6023: Philosophy of Nursing Science and NURS 6053: Exploring Scholarship. The examination is given during the semester following NURS Students must pass the Preliminary Examination in order to progress in the program. The examination can be repeated one time only. If the student is successful, the student can then take NURS 6014: Quantitative Research, NURS 6024: Qualitative Research and NURS 6034: Research/Theory Synthesis. Admission to Candidacy Admission to candidacy occurs following completion of all doctoral work, except dissertation, and recommendation of the Research Committee. Students, who have an unconditional admission to the Graduate School, are in good academic standing, have successfully completed the preliminary exam and have completed all pre-dissertation course work, including electives and research tools, are eligible to be considered for candidacy. Admission to candidacy is based on the student s demonstration of depth of knowledge within an identified area of research interest, expertise of theoretical and methodological issues related to the area of research interest and ability to successfully propose and potentially implement the dissertation process. The initial step of formally applying for candidacy is the selection of a doctoral research committee. The student initiates this by contacting and obtaining the consent of potential committee members. Following research committee appointment, the student will: 1) Arrange a candidacy meeting with the Research Committee. 2) Prepare and submit a five page candidacy paper to the committee at least 10 days prior to the meeting. The candidacy paper will: a) Describe the purpose of the proposed dissertation study. b) Delineate the importance of the study. c) Indicate a theoretical framework. d) Outline an appropriate research methodology. 3) At the candidacy meeting, the student will critically discuss the need for, and conduct of, the proposed study. 4) The student s candidacy paper and oral presentation are evaluated by the following criteria: a) Relevance of research area and its significance for nursing. b) Evidence of evaluation and synthesis of relevant literature. c) Evidence that the methodological approach is feasible and conceptually sound. d) Logical development of the research idea -- demonstrating intellectual creativity and the ability to conceptualize. e) Evidence of scholarly writing.

8 If the Research Committee finds that the student meets these criteria, the student will be recommended for advancement to candidacy. The Research Committee sends this recommendation to the Doctoral Program Coordinator who forwards it to the Dean and the Graduate School. If the student does not meet the criteria, the committee will suggest remediation to address problem areas. When the student has completed remediation, the Research Committee will reconvene to consider the student s reapplication for candidacy. Facilities and Resources The PhD program has a dedicated space for research activities in each of its locations. In addition, the program has a new half-time position of Associate Dean for Research and Clinical Scholarship (who also teaches half time). The Denton program has one graduate research assistant and increasing research support staff is identified as a program need. The program boasts the usual library and information technology resources. Conclusion In summary, the reviewers assign an overall rating of to the CON Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science Program. The main deficiency is the lack of goals and assessments regarding student learning outcomes. This deficiency however, makes it difficult for reviewers to assess other areas such as the curriculum and career success of graduates.

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