METROPOLITAN COLLEGE. Goals and Student Assessment Outcomes Measures. Graduate Degree Programs

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1 METROPOLITAN COLLEGE Goals and Student Assessment Outcomes Measures for Graduate Degree Programs

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Overview... 3 Degrees Master of Arts in Human Resource Management Human Resource Generalist Track Federal Human Resource Track Master of Science in Management Leadership Track Professional Communication Track

3 METROPOLITAN COLLEGE Graduate Studies Goals and Student Assessment Outcomes Measures In 1979, The Catholic University of America created Metropolitan College (originally University College ) to bring the university s resources to adult learners. The College offers master's degrees, bachelor s degrees, certificates, and non-credit preparation for professional certification in high-demand careers. Its applications-oriented programs focus on preparing working adults to advance in their professional careers with courses designed and delivered specifically for an adult student population. Metropolitan College regards its service to non-traditional students as a special part of The Catholic University of America s overall educational mission. Individual programs are designed with maximum flexibility to accommodate the schedules of adult students. Its faculty, in large part academician-practitioners, welcomes the rich experiences adult learners bring to the table, and, as such, conducts classes in a way that emphasize applications of knowledge and draw upon students professional experience to position them as co-creators of knowledge in the classroom. Metropolitan College offers the following graduate degrees: Master of Arts in Human Resource Management (M.A.-H.R.M.) with the following "tracks": Human Resource Generalist Federal Human Resource Management Master of Science in Management (M.S.M.) with the following "tracks": Leadership Professional Communication The Master of Arts in Human Resource Management degree program enables HR professionals to pursue their academic goals while balancing professional and personal demands. Its emphasis is on developing an academic foundation that provides current and aspiring HR professionals with the skills and knowledge to perform their jobs more effectively and to understand better the organizational context within which they operate. The M.A.-H.R.M. program offers an extensive array of evening courses each semester, making it easy to complete on either a part- or full-time basis. The Master of Science in Management degree program provides working adults with the skills, knowledge, and credentials necessary to progress in their management careers. It represents a unique opportunity for current and aspiring managers who are seeking an applications-oriented program that will enable them to pursue their academic goals while balancing professional and personal demands. The M.S.M. is primarily a part-time, evening program. 3

4 Master of Arts in Human Resource Management (M.A.-H.R.M.) I. Program Description The Master of Arts degree in Human Resource Management (M.A.-H.R.M.) is designed for aspiring and current Human Resource professionals. The role of human resource management continues to expand in both the public and private sectors, especially in large organizations and government. Many factors are driving this expansion and the need for graduate education in this area. These factors include the increasing complexity of laws that impact both the human resources function and employee benefits; the importance of effective employee recruitment, placement, training, and retention; the increased use of arbitration and negotiation in management-labor relations; and the impact of globalization and internationalization on the workforce. This program helps meet the demand in the HR community for knowledgeable, welleducated HR professionals. Students who enroll in this 12-course degree complete 36 credit hours of graduate course work, including a capstone course that incorporates a research-based project. There is no foreign language requirement, nor is there a comprehensive examination. Courses enable students to develop and/or enhance both management capabilities and the technical skills essential for professional success. All courses foster the kinds of critical and creative thinking that a human resource manager must have in order to be successful in the workplace. The M.A.-H.R.M. has two versions ( tracks ): the HR Generalist track and the Federal HR track. These two tracks share a core set of six courses. Six additional courses in each track share the same themes but are tailored to the particular track. Each sequence equips students with a solid knowledge base, which they can call upon as they practice applications of theories and concepts in the more specialized courses. Core Courses are the following: Organization Theory and Behavior, MBU 510 Labor-Management Relations, MBU 543 Human Resource Information Systems and Communications, MBU 627 Human Resource Training and Development, MBU 566 Leadership and Organization, MBU 663 Master s Capstone: Research, Synthesis, Applications, MBU 673 Track Courses are the following: Course Subject HR Generalist Federal HR Introduction Management of Human Resources, MBU 530 Management of Human Resources in the Federal Sector, MBU 630 Legal Environment Legal Environment in Human Resources, MBU 523 Legal Environment of Human Resources in the Federal Sector, MBU 633 4

5 Compensation/Benefits Compensation and Benefits, MBU 564 Organizational Conflict Resolution, MBU 512 Communication Specialty Course Human Resource Budgeting and Metrics, MBU 653 Human Resource Strategic Planning for Human Strategy Resource Managers, MBU 629 Benefits and Compensation in the Federal Government, MBU 632 Performance Management in the Federal Sector, MBU 635 Strategies and Practices in Federal Staffing, MBU 637 Strategic Human Capital Management in the Federal Sector, MBU xxx (pending) Offered part-time in the evening, as well as full-time, the M.A.-H.R.M. is particularly well-suited for working adults. Students typically take two courses per term, each meeting one evening per week. Most students elect to complete the program as part of a cohort, although this is not required. (In a cohort model, students complete all courses with the same group of colleagues.) The benefits of this approach include enhanced collegiality among students, common academic preparation and backgrounds, and a fixed course schedule for the duration of the program that enhances students ability to balance their school, professional, and personal schedules. Students seeking admission to the program are asked to submit a CUA Graduate Application for Admission, the application fee, three recommendations, statement of purpose (essay), résumé, official transcripts from universities attended (evidencing completion of a bachelor s degree), and, if applicable, evidence of English proficiency. Recommendations, writing content and ability, professional/managerial experience and relevance to the graduate degree being pursued, undergraduate field and grade point average, relevance of the graduate degree to career objectives, and competitiveness of the applicant pool are all considered when making admission decisions. CUA s M.A.-H.R.M. students are afforded many co-curricular opportunities for professional growth in the field of human resources. The university maintains a student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world s largest professional association devoted to human resource management. The chapter is sponsored by the Human Resource Association of the National Capital Area (the SHRM chapter of Washington, D.C.), which also affords students the opportunity to participate in its professional growth and networking events. Students who graduate with the M.A.-H.R.M. are in an excellent position to assume professional roles or advance into higher-level positions in government, corporate, or non-profit arenas. II. Goals for Student Learning Students who graduate with a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management degree will: 1. Demonstrate an expert understanding of the key theoretical concepts that inform the discipline of Human Resource Management, including theories of leadership, organizational behavior, and arbitration; 5

6 2. Exhibit a high level of competency and facility with the skills essential to effective organizational management, including leadership, team building, negotiation, communication, and problem-solving; 3. Demonstrate an expert understanding of the Human Resource Management knowledge base and the significant issues both historical and contemporary that inform the discipline; 4. Communicate effectively in writing and orally with clarity and self-confidence in clear, concise, and accurate language and use a variety of media to convey thoughts and findings to others; 5. Synthesize and apply an advanced level of theoretical knowledge in an ethical and appropriate way in professional settings; 6. Demonstrate an ongoing commitment to self-directed learning and on-going professional growth and development; 7. Access and use technology to locate and interpret information in a human resources knowledge universe that is fluid and complex. III. Student Assessment Outcome Measures 1. Admission: Students seeking admission to the M.A.-H.R.M. program are asked to submit a CUA Graduate Application for Admission, the application fee, three recommendations, statement of purpose (essay), résumé, official transcripts from universities attended, and, if applicable, evidence of English proficiency. In general, applicants are expected to have an undergraduate grade point average of at least a 2.5 (out of 4.0) for admission. When determining admission, all items in the application are balanced against one another vis-àvis the competitiveness of the overall applicant pool. 2. Student advising/tracking: As students work through their coursework, appropriate benchmarks of students progress and areas of strength and weakness are assessed by the Associate Dean and the Manager of Academic Programs. Specifically, student performance is monitored in core and track courses both during each academic semester and at the conclusion of each semester. During the academic semester, the Associate Dean works with individual faculty members to identify academically-at-risk students so that individual advisors can intervene where necessary and create a plan for student success (e.g., referral to student support services, adjusting course schedule, etc.). At the conclusion of each semester, the Associate Dean examines the courses the student has taken, student performance in each course, overall GPA, and, if applicable, student readiness for the capstone experience. If appropriate, the Associate Dean makes recommendations to the Dean regarding students who have earned academic probation or academic dismissal. 3. GPA: Students must earn a cumulative GPA of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in course work applied toward the degree. This may include no more than one course completed with a grade of C. Students may retake, no more than one time each, up to two courses for which they have earned less than a B. The grade from the second enrollment replaces the original grade for the purpose of calculating the GPA. Any student who earns less than a B- in more than three courses, or whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 for two consecutive semesters, may be subject to dismissal from the program. The Associate Dean and the Manager of 6

7 Academic Programs monitor the grades of all students in graduate courses. 4. Course work: Typically, the first course in which students enroll is Management of Human Resources (MBU 530), which provides the academic foundation for graduate studies in the discipline. Focused on inculcating fundamental concepts and theories, its two principal methods of assessment are: o A paper on assigned topics that afford students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of theory, as applied to specific human resource situations. The papers are assessed using traditional criteria, based on academic and professional o expectations, and assigned letter grades. In-class discussions and presentations that provide students with opportunities to demonstrate that they comprehend what they have read and can discuss the implications for real-world situations and develop solutions grounded in theory. As professionals employed in positions related to the courses and programs in which they teach, instructors are able to use their own professional experience and expertise to assess the quality of student comments. They typically record their assessments of students contributions using self-devised rating systems grades, numeric ratings, etc. Subsequent courses focus on the acquisition of both knowledge and skill sets. They provide practical, applications-oriented learning experiences and use pedagogical techniques and styles suited to this approach (e.g., team work, group projects, simulations, and field research). The evaluation of knowledge acquisition is the most important task of the course instructor. These evaluations are comprehensive each student must demonstrate in written projects and presentations/performances his or her intellectual mastery of the subject and also targeted to individual applications each student should demonstrate an ability to apply the acquired knowledge in specific field settings and simulated work situations. In assessing student work, instructors draw on their own professional experiences and expertise (to assess, e.g., applied projects and group work), as well as on traditional assessment methods (e.g., test keys). A traditional grading rubric is used to record instructors assessments of student work. Because communication skills are so critical to effective human resources management, all instructors monitor and evaluate the modes and methods of expression that students use in a variety of work-simulated settings, including but not limited to team projects, formal presentations, and group discussions. Instructors evaluate oral communication proficiency using observation assessments of individual presentations (including the use of appropriate technology/media), peer evaluations of group leading activities, and video-tape of interview techniques. In assessing student work in this regard, instructors draw on their own professional experiences and expertise. They typically assign individual, traditional grades or include assessments of these areas in grades assigned to larger projects of which these skills are one component. Measures for evaluating written communication proficiency include standard measures of effective writing, which take into account mechanics, as well as clarity of message. Instructors also use workshop and writing-as-process instruments to assist 7

8 students in developing personal editing skills. In assessing student work in this regard, instructors draw upon their own professional experiences and expertise. They typically assign individual, traditional grades or include assessments of these areas in grades assigned to larger projects of which these skills are one component. To measure students skills at interacting effectively with people at every level of an organization, instructors throughout the program integrate assessments of the development and demonstration of these interactive skills leadership, team building, and problem-solving as they are used in classroom activities, discussion groups, and field projects. In assessing student work in this regard, instructors draw upon their own professional experiences and expertise. They typically assign individual, traditional grades or include assessments of these areas in grades assigned to larger projects of which these skills are one component. 5. Capstone project: The program culminates in a capstone seminar course (MBU 673 Master s Capstone: Research, Synthesis, and Applications) that affords each student-practitioner the opportunity to demonstrate graduate-level knowledge and skill at synthesizing the material, skills, and concepts from the entire program through the completion of a major, individual, applied project. A faculty member directs the process, working closely with each student as s/he develops a research-driven project. Primary objectives of the capstone course are to help students (a) acquire an appreciation for and gain experience in applied research as a methodology, and (b) encourage students to apply research and problem-solving skills to a specific business/organization situation in the field of Human Resource Management. Students are expected to share their research with other students, thus expanding the range of knowledge for all enrolled. The instructor assesses performance in this course based on the student s ability to apply research to an HRM-related topic of the student s choice. The assessment is based on the student s demonstration of an ability to identify a problem or situation, review and apply appropriate research, develop alternatives, and suggest a logical application of the research to improve the initial condition from a managerial perspective. Traditional grades are assigned based upon the quality of research applied and the coherency (defined as internal logic and writing skill) displayed in the paper. The presentation of the paper is not assessed separately. 6. Student course/faculty evaluations: Student outcomes are also measured through university student evaluations, which are administered at the conclusion of each course and not only ask for student feedback on course-related matters (e.g., course organization, instructor effectiveness, etc.), but also invite students to share their perspectives on learning and course objectives. Additionally, more informal feedback on courses and instructors is gathered from students through advising appointments with the Associate Dean or the Manager of Academic Programs. 7. Alumni measures: The College is currently developing quantitative and qualitative assessment procedures to gather formative and summative feedback for all its programs, as follows: It has piloted the quantitative aspect via an assessment administered online to over 100 Metro program graduates. The instrument asked alumni to provide feedback on issues such as: (a) the degree program s contribution to their career advancement, (b) 8

9 satisfaction with instructors and curriculum, (c) satisfaction with academic advising, and (d) satisfaction with student support services. The Associate Dean, the Manager of Academic Programs, and the Assistant Dean are reviewing the survey s results and effectiveness to determine subsequent steps for implementing a similar, ongoing assessment of current students and graduate. The College will also implement qualitative measures patterned on the successful design and facilitation of alumni focus groups spearheaded by Metropolitan College s Paraeducator Certificate program. IV. Use of Results to Improve Student Learning 1. The Associate Dean in collaboration with the Dean of the Metropolitan College reviews all graduate degree programs on an on-going basis through the use of student assessment data provided by student grade reports, student course evaluations, and through informal sessions with students and faculty. The data from Metropolitan College student outcomes measures are used by the Dean and Associate Dean to measure the effectiveness of each program s curriculum in terms of helping students achieve the student learning objectives. If the Dean and Associate Dean ascertain that a single course is not effective, both parties, with the assistance of the course faculty will use student course evaluations, informal student and instructor feedback, and academic resources (similar courses at other universities, textbooks, etc.) to revise the course to promote the specified goals. Once the revision is made, the new course content is delivered and publicized via the course syllabus. If the Dean and Associate Dean ascertain that a major course sequence is not effective, both parties propose changes (identified via market research, student interests, and course evaluations) to the Metropolitan College Academic Council. If the modification to the major course sequence is approved by the Academic Council, the new sequence is put into practice by the College. However, the College is consistently mindful of the impact revising a major course sequence will have on students who have begun the major courses in the old sequence. Every effort is made to minimize the inconvenience and upheaval for students by allowing for course substitutions. ***Note: The Academic Council is chaired by the Dean of Metropolitan College and is composed of Metropolitan College faculty, the Associate Dean, and the Assistant Dean. The Council is a decision-making body for Metropolitan College and serves as an approval mechanism for major changes in curriculum or program offerings. While not all changes approved by this body can be immediately implemented, the Academic Council s approval is necessary for proposal of curriculum changes to decision-making bodies external to the College. These external bodies, as per the Faculty Handbook, include: the Undergraduate Board, the Graduate Board, the Academic Senate, and the Board of Trustees. 2. At the end of each semester, the Associate Dean and the Manager of Academic Programs review student evaluations and student progress toward benchmarks as determined by their grades. Students who have not attained the minimum cumulative GPA are evaluated closely, and the Associate Dean, Dean, and the Manager of Academic Services collaborate to determine the appropriate action (e.g., academic probation or dismissal). The Dean communicates the action to students via a letter and the Associate Dean works with advisors 9

10 to counsel students impacted regarding any changes in their academic plans. 3. The Associate Dean and the Manager of Academic Services pay particular attention to the evaluative measures available for the capstone course because the ability to research, synthesize research findings, and apply those findings to real world situations is critical to graduates future success. Achievement of capstone course objectives is indicative of students learning within the larger context of the program. Therefore, given the summative and reflective nature of the capstone course, university-wide student course evaluation results, informal feedback from students, and the results of the Associate Dean s meetings with capstone faculty provide both qualitative and quantitative data to ensure that the program is teaching the HR professional competencies promoted by national associations (e.g., SHRM) and the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council. Assessment of the capstone course also ensures that Metropolitan College stays responsive to student and business and government needs. These needs are identified through market research and through meaningful consultation with the program faculty who are practitioners in the field. ***** Master of Science in Management [M.S.M.] I. Program Description Launched in Fall 2008, the Master of Science in Management [M.S.M.] degree program provides working adults with the skills, knowledge and credentials necessary to progress in management careers. It focuses specifically on the discipline of management to help students enhance their knowledge and skills at managing organizational resources more effectively. Within the D.C. metropolitan area, management, business, and financial occupations represent 22.5% of employment more than double the share for the U.S. economy as a whole. This degree has relevance to anyone who has or is assuming managerial responsibilities. For those who earn the M.S.M., it should improve their marketability significantly. Students who enroll in this 12-course degree program complete 36 credit hours of course work, including a capstone course that incorporates a research-based project. There is no foreign language requirement, nor is there a comprehensive examination. Courses develop and/or enhance both students management capabilities and the technical skills essential for their professional success. While the program incorporates theoretical concepts, its primary focus is on providing a practical, applications-oriented education. Courses also foster the kinds of critical and creative thinking that an effective manager must display in the workplace. Metropolitan College offers two versions ( tracks ) of the M.S.M. program: (a) The Leadership track, which provides students with a foundation in leadership principles and practices and helps to develop their leadership skills, and (b) the Professional Communication track, which addresses the broad repertoire of communication skills that successful managers and their organizations use. These two tracks share a common core of eight courses. The four additional courses in each track share some of the same themes but are tailored to the particular track. Courses were developed and sequenced to ensure that all students acquire the specific body of knowledge and 10

11 concrete skills they will need for professional and academic success in the field of Management. Core Courses (common to both tracks) are the following: Communicating Effectively as a Manager, MBU 501 Managing People and Performance, MBU 516 Human Resource Management and Strategy, MBU 533 Managerial Decision-Making: Tools and Techniques, MBU 652 Leadership Foundations, MBU xxx (pending) Project Management, MBU xxx (pending) Strategic Planning and Implementation, MBU xxx (pending) Master s Capstone: Research, Synthesis, Applications, MBU 673 Track Courses are the following: Course Subject Leadership Professional Communication External Environment Ethical Leadership, MBU xxx (pending) Public Relations: Managing External Relationships, Internal Environment Effectiveness Individual Interest Leading Organizational Change, MBU xxx (pending) Developing Leadership Competencies, MBU xxx (pending) Track Elective, MBU xxx (varies) MBU xxx (pending) Integrated Organizational Communication, MBU xxx (pending) Advanced Managerial Communication, MBU xxx (pending) Track Elective, MBU xxx (varies) Offered part-time in the evening (a full-time option will launch in Fall 2009), the M.S.M. is particularly well-suited for working adults. Students typically take two courses per term, each meeting one evening per week. The College anticipates that most students will elect to complete the program as part of a cohort, although this is not required. (In the cohort model, students complete their courses with the same group of colleagues.) The benefits enjoyed by completing the program as part of a cohort include enhanced collegiality among students, common academic preparation and backgrounds, and a fixed course schedule for the duration of the program that enhances students ability to schedule professional and personal obligations. Students seeking admission to the M.S.M. program are asked to submit a CUA Graduate Application for Admission, the application fee, three recommendations, statement of purpose (essay), résumé, official transcripts from universities attended (evidencing completion of a bachelor s degree), and, if applicable, evidence of English proficiency. Recommendations, writing content and ability, professional/managerial experience and relevance to the graduate degree being pursued, undergraduate field and grade point average, relevance of the graduate 11

12 degree to career objectives, and competitiveness of the applicant pool are all considered when making admission decisions. Students who graduate with a Master of Science in Management degree will be in an excellent position to advance their careers and assume or advance in managerial roles in the government and corporate settings. II. Goals for Student Learning Students who graduate with a Master of Science in Management will: 1. Demonstrate an expert understanding of the key theoretical concepts that inform the discipline of Management, including theories of leadership and organizational behavior; 2. Exhibit a high level of competency and facility with the skills essential to effective organizational management, including leadership, team building, negotiation, communication, and problem-solving; 3. Demonstrate an expert understanding of the Management knowledge base and the significant issues both historical and contemporary that inform the discipline; 4. Communicate effectively in writing and orally with clarity and self-confidence in clear, concise, and accurate language and use a variety of media to convey their thoughts and findings to others; 5. Synthesize and apply an advanced level of theoretical knowledge in an ethical and appropriate way in professional settings; 6. Demonstrate an ongoing commitment to self-directed learning and on-going professional growth and development. III. Student Assessment Outcome Measures 1. Admission: Students seeking admission to the program are asked to submit a CUA Graduate Application for Admission, the application fee, three recommendations, statement of purpose (essay), resume, official transcripts from universities attended, and, if applicable, evidence of English proficiency. In general, applicants are expected to have an undergraduate grade point average of at least a 2.5 (out of 4.0) for admission. When determining admission, all items in the application are balanced against one another vis-à-vis the competitiveness of the overall applicant pool. 2. Student advising/tracking: As students work through their coursework, appropriate benchmarks of students progress and areas of strength and weakness are assessed by the Associate Dean and the Manager of Academic Programs. Specifically, student performance is monitored in core and track courses both during each academic semester and at the conclusion of each semester. During the academic semester, the Associate Dean works with individual faculty members to identify academically-at-risk students so that individual advisors can intervene where necessary and create a plan for student success (e.g., referral to student support services, adjusting course schedule, etc.). At the conclusion of each semester, the Associate Dean examines the courses the student has taken, student performance in each 12

13 course, overall GPA, and student readiness for the capstone experience. If appropriate, the Associate Dean makes recommendations to the Dean regarding students who have earned academic probation or academic dismissal. 3. GPA: Students must earn an overall GPA of at least a B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in all course work applied toward the degree. This may include no more than one course completed with a grade of C. Students may retake, no more than one time each, up to two courses for which they have earned less than a B. The grade from the second enrollment replaces the original grade for the purpose of calculating the GPA. Any student who earns less than a B- in more than three courses, or whose cumulative GPA is lower than 3.0 for two consecutive semesters, may be subject to dismissal from the graduate program. The Associate Dean and the Manager of Academic Programs monitor the grades of all students in graduate courses. 4. Course work: Typically, the first course students take in the program sequence is Managing People and Performance (MBU516), which provides the academic foundation for graduate studies in the discipline. Focused on inculcating fundamental concepts and theories, its two principal methods of assessment are: An extended written paper on assigned topics that afford students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of management and communication theory as applied to specific work situations. The papers are assessed using traditional criteria, based on academic and professional expectations, and assigned letter grades. In-class discussions and presentations that provide students with opportunities to demonstrate that they comprehend what they have read and can discuss the implications for real-world situations and developsolutions grounded in theory. As professionals employed in positions related to the courses and programs in which they teach, instructors are able to use their own professional experience and expertise to assess the quality of student comments. They typically record their assessments of students contributions using self-devised rating systems grades, numeric ratings, etc. Subsequent courses build on the foundation course and focus on the acquisition of both knowledge and skill sets. They provide practical, applications-oriented learning experiences and use pedagogical techniques and styles suited to this approach (e.g., team work, group projects, simulations, and field research). The evaluation of knowledge acquisition is the most important task of the course instructor. Because the M.S.M. emphasizes the application of knowledge, these evaluations are comprehensive each student must demonstrate in written projects and presentations/performances his or her mastery of the subject and also targeted to individual applications each student should demonstrate the ability to apply the acquired knowledge in specific field settings and simulated work situations. In assessing student work, instructors draw on their own professional experiences and expertise (to assess, e.g., applied projects and group work), as well as on traditional assessment methods (e.g., test keys). A traditional grading rubric is used to record instructors assessments of student work. Because communication skills are so critical to effective management, all instructors monitor and evaluate the modes and methods of expression that students use in a variety of work-simulated settings, including but not limited to team projects, formal 13

14 presentations, and group discussions. Instructors evaluate oral communication proficiency using observation assessments of individual presentations (including the use of appropriate technology/media), peer assessment of group leading activities, and videotaping or recordings of interview techniques. In assessing student work in this regard, instructors draw on their own professional experiences and expertise. They typically assign individual, traditional grades or include assessments of these areas in grades assigned to larger projects of which these skills are one component. Measures for evaluating written communication proficiency include standard measures of effective writing, which take into account mechanics, as well as clarity of message. Instructors also use workshop, peer review and writing-as-process instruments to assist students in developing personal editing skills. In assessing student work in this regard, instructors draw on their own professional experiences and expertise. They typically assign individual, traditional grades or include assessments of these areas in grades assigned to larger projects of which these skills are one component. To measure students skills at interacting effectively with people at every level of an organization, instructors throughout the program integrate assessments of the development and demonstration of these interactive skills leadership, team-building, strategic planning, and problem-solving as they are used in classroom activities, discussion groups, and field projects. In assessing student work in this regard, instructors draw upon their own professional experiences and expertise. They typically assign individual, traditional grades or include assessments of these areas in grades assigned to larger projects of which these skills are one component. 5. Capstone project: The program culminates in a capstone seminar course (MBU 673 Master s Capstone: Research, Synthesis, and Applications) that affords each student-practitioner the opportunity to demonstrate graduate-level knowledge and skill at synthesizing the material, skills, and concepts from the entire program through the completion of a major, individual, applied project. A faculty member directs the process, working closely with each student as s/he develops a research-driven project. Primary objectives of the capstone course are to help students (a) acquire an appreciation for and gain experience in applied research as a methodology, and (b) encourage students to apply research and problem-solving skills in the field of Management in a specific corporate or organizational setting. Students share their research with other students, thus expanding the range of knowledge for all enrolled. The instructor assesses performance in this course based on the student s ability to apply research to a Management-related topic of the student s choice. The assessment is based on the student s demonstration of an ability to identify a problem or situation, review and apply appropriate research, develop alternatives, and suggest a logical application of the research to improve the initial condition from a managerial perspective. Traditional grades are assigned based upon the quality of research applied and the coherency (defined as internal logic and writing skill) displayed in the paper. The presentation of the paper is not assessed separately. 6. Student course/faculty evaluations: Student outcomes are also measured through university student evaluations, which are administered at the conclusion of each course and not only ask 14

15 for student feedback on course-related matters (e.g., course organization, instructor effectiveness, etc.), but also invite students to share their perspectives on learning and course objectives. Additionally, more informal feedback on courses and instructors is gathered from students through advising appointments with the Associate Dean or the Manager of Academic Programs. 7. Alumni measures: The College is currently developing quantitative and qualitative assessment measures to gather formative and summative feedback for all programs, including the Master of Science in Management, as follows: It has piloted the quantitative aspect, an assessment administered online to over 100 Metro program graduates. The instrument asked alumni to provide feedback on issues such as: (a) the degree program s contribution to career advancement, (b) satisfaction with instructors and curriculum, (c) satisfaction with academic advising, and (d) satisfaction with student support services. The Associate Dean, Assistant Dean, and the Manager of Academic Programs are reviewing the survey s results and effectiveness to determine subsequent steps for implementing an ongoing assessment of current students and graduates. The College will also implement qualitative measures of student learning patterned on the successful design and facilitation of alumni focus groups spearheaded by Metropolitan College s Paraeducator Certificate program. IV. Use of Results to Improve Student Learning 1. The Associate Dean in collaboration with the Dean of the Metropolitan College reviews all graduate degree programs on an on-going basis through the use of student assessment data provided by student grade reports, student course evaluations, and through informal sessions with students and faculty. The data from Metropolitan College student outcomes measures are used by the Dean and Associate Dean to measure the effectiveness of each program s curriculum in terms of helping students achieve the student learning objectives. If the Dean and Associate Dean ascertain that a single course is not effective, both parties, with the assistance of the course faculty will use student course evaluations, informal student and instructor feedback, and academic resources (similar courses at other universities, textbooks, etc.) to revise the course to promote the specified goals. Once the revision is made, the new course content is delivered and publicized via the course syllabus. If the Dean and Associate Dean ascertain that a major course sequence is not effective, both parties propose changes (identified via market research, student interests, and course evaluations) to the Metropolitan College Academic Council. If the modification to the major course sequence is approved by the Academic Council, the new sequence is put into practice by the College. However, the College is consistently mindful of the impact revising a major course sequence will have on students who have begun the major courses in the old sequence. Every effort is made to minimize the inconvenience and upheaval for students by allowing for course substitutions. ***Note: The Academic Council is chaired by the Dean of Metropolitan College and is composed of Metropolitan College faculty, the Associate Dean, and the Assistant Dean. The Council is a decision-making body for Metropolitan College and serves as an approval 15

16 mechanism for major changes in curriculum or program offerings. While not all changes approved by this body can be immediately implemented, the Academic Council s approval is necessary for proposal of curriculum changes to decision-making bodies external to the College. These external bodies, as per the Faculty Handbook, include: the Undergraduate Board, the Graduate Board, the Academic Senate, and the Board of Trustees. 2. At the end of each semester, the Associate Dean and the Manager of Academic Programs review student evaluations and student progress toward benchmarks as determined by their grades. Students who have not attained the minimum cumulative GPA are evaluated closely, and the Associate Dean, Dean, and the Manager of Academic Services collaborate to determine the appropriate action (e.g., academic probation or dismissal). The Dean communicates the action to students via a letter and the Associate Dean works with advisors to counsel students impacted regarding any changes in their academic plans. 3. The Associate Dean and the Manager of Academic Services pay particular attention to the evaluative measures available for the capstone course because the ability to research, synthesize research findings, and apply those findings to real world situations is critical to graduates future success. Achievement of capstone course objectives is indicative of students learning within the larger context of the program. Therefore, given the summative and reflective nature of the capstone course, university-wide student course evaluation results, informal feedback from students, and the results of the Associate Dean s meetings with capstone faculty provide both qualitative and quantitative data to ensure that the program is teaching the management competencies that are consistent with the curricula of peer institutions, faculty-practitioner expertise, etc. Assessment of the capstone course also ensures that Metropolitan College stays responsive to student and business and government needs. These needs are identified through market research and through meaningful consultation with the program faculty who are practitioners in the field. 16

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