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Indiana University Northwest

Strategic Planning Committee

Outcome 2

December 2005 Strategic Planning Outcome 2 Final Report

Date: December 15, 2005
Chair: Dorothy Ige-Spg & Sum. 2005; Margaret Skurka beginning Fall (Sept.-Dec.) 2005
Support: Anna Rominger
Other Committee Members: Arlene Adler, George Assibey-Mensah, Sharese Dudley, John Gibson, Stephen McShane, & Scooter Pegram
Contributing Members: Cabinet, Deans Council/Directors, Faculty Organization Executive Committee, Students
Outcome Number: 2

2005 Outcome: Academic programs and relevant support programs have identified criteria to assess student preparation for lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers, and effective citizenship.

2006 Outcome: Academic programs and relevant support programs have assessed student preparation for lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers, and effective citizenship to collect baseline data.

2010 Outcome: All academic programs and relevant support programs have implemented teaching and learning experiences that ensure they will prepare their 2014 graduates for lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers, and effective citizenship.

Deliverable: Criteria to measure student preparedness on the four student outcomes by academic program and relevant support program.

Definitions of Programs:

Academic Program
Definition - (Credit Bearing and Non Credit Bearing) – An academic or degree-granting program, academic center or institute or one largely headed by faculty to advance academic disciplines. Examples include Master in Business Administration or Center for Cultural Discovery and Learning.

Support Program
Definition - Any campus unit that is not an academic program.

Relevant Support Program
Definition - Functional or co-curricular units at IU Northwest that offer specific expertise or contribute to students’ development and preparation for lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers, and effective citizenship. Examples of Relevant Support Programs are: Career Services, Assessment Center, etc.

Definitions of Strategic Planning 2 Student Outcomes:

Lifelong Learning

Definition - Life long learning is continued professional development, the pursuit of a course of study, and/or other experiences that promote personal growth.

Operational Definition (measurement) - To be prepared for lifelong learning, students are given the opportunity to engage in learning activities and are provided learning strategies that inspire the ability and willingness to learn throughout their lives.

Ethical Practices

Definition – Ethical practices are behaviors that are aligned with organization codes of conduct that stress honesty, responsibility, accountability, and reliability.

Operational Definition (measurement) - To be prepared to use ethical practices, students are given opportunities to gain knowledge and engage in learning activities that enable them to develop awareness and concern for how their actions affect other people.

Successful Careers  

Definition - A successful career is a person’s progress within an occupation or series of occupations. However, a career is more than just a job, working, or one’s occupation. It includes professional and personal progress and development in vocational areas of life.

Operational Definition (measurement) - To be prepared for a successful career, students are offered degree programs and career support services that prepare them for employment, and enable them to pursue continuing professional development.

Effective Citizenship

Definition - Effective citizenship is engagement in the community through volunteerism or public service.

Operational Definition (measurement) - To be prepared for effective citizenship, students are provided opportunities to become active citizens in their community, through volunteerism or public service.

Criteria to Assess Student Preparation

Improving undergraduate and graduate education is avidly sought after. The four Student Outcomes are measured through the criteria and criteria measurements that follow. The criteria represent ability-based measurements to develop the whole person. The criteria are derived from a combination of literature review (especially works such as Marcia Mentkowski at Alverno College and Trudy Banta at Indiana University-Purdue University) and survey findings of what has previously been used as measuement criteria at Indiana University Northwest. Attachment 1 contains the criteria also known as student learning experiences.


Academic Programs

All academic programs should use criteria below to measure student preparation for lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers, and effective citizenship.

Relevant Support Programs that should collect, share, and use criteria below to measure student preparation for lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers, and effective citizenship include:

Alumni Office
Assessment Center
Career Services
Institutional Research Office
Leadership Institute
Student Services Administration

(See separate list for the names of all Academic Programs and Support Programs)

Lifelong Learning

Criteria Measurements

Data Collection & Methods

Frequency of Assessment

Percentage of students/alumni engaged in adult education

Data about Professional development of Alumni/Graduates

Method - Alumni/graduate/exit surveys of Alumni Office, Continuing Studies & Leadership Institute

 

Usually annually. Unit determined. Depending on purpose (AQIP, NSSE, accreditation requirements, disciplines’ or units’ national association recommendations, course requirements, etc.)

Percentage of students/alumni engaged in academic study

Data about Alumni/Graduates Continuing their Education

Method- Alumni/graduate/exit surveys of Alumni Office, Leadership Institute and Deans’ Annual Reports

(As noted above)

Percentage of students/alumni engaged in professional development

Data about Enrollment of students/alumni/graduates in Further or other Degrees or Certificates

Method - Alumni/graduate/exit surveys; students’ electronic portfolios evaluated through capstone courses or exit interviews; surveys of Alumni Office, Leadership Institute and Deans’ Annual Reports

(As noted above)

Percentage of students/alumni engaged in activities that enhance their lifelong learning

Data about students/alumni/ graduates engaged in experiences that promote individual growth

Method - Alumni/graduate/exit surveys; students’ electronic or traditional portfolios evaluated through capstone courses or exit interviews

(As noted above)

Ethical Practices

Criteria Measurements

Data Collection & Methods

Frequency of Assessment

Percentage of students completing and earning a “C” grade or better in course work in ethics.

Data about grades students earned in ethics courses

Method - Students grades reported by Faculty/Deans in Annual Reports

Usually annually. Unit determined. Depending on purpose (AQIP, NSSE, accreditation requirements, disciplines’ or units’ national association recommendations, course requirements, etc.)

Percentage of students meeting ethics learning outcomes embedded in other courses

Data about students’ performance on ethics learning outcomes embedded in other courses, clinical/field placements, etc.

Method - Dean/Faculty Annual Reports on clinical/field placement behavior, ethics self-assessment surveys/units in courses, etc

(As noted above)

Percentage of students charged with ethics complaints

Data about number of ethics complaints on students

Method – Annual Report of VC of Student Services Administration

(As noted above)

Student engagement in activities that promote ethical behavior or development

Data about students’ engagement in activities that promote ethical behavior or development

Method - Student Services Administration surveys and Annual Reports, and Faculty/Dean’s Annual Reports; students’ electronic portfolios

(As noted above)

Utilization of services to students that promote ethical behavior or development

Data about the number and kinds of services provided for students that promote ethical behavior and development

Method - Student Services Administration surveys and Annual Reports; students’ electronic portfolios; student exchange programs

(As noted above)

Developing Successful Careers

Criteria Measurements

Data Collection & Methods

Frequency of Assessment

Level of Alumni salaries

Data about salaries of alumni

Method – Alumni Office & Career Services surveys of alumni and employers, and academic unit follow up letters to graduates in Major; Deans’ Annual Reports

Usually annually. Unit determined. Depending on purpose (AQIP, NSSE, accreditation requirements, disciplines’ or units’ national association recommendations, course requirements, etc.)

Alumni job position and rank

Data about job positions/ranks of alumni

Method – Alumni Office and Career Services surveys of alumni and employers, and academic unit follow up letters to graduates in Major; Deans’ Annual Reports

(As noted above)

Job placement percentages for graduates

Data about job placement upon graduation

Method – Alumni Office and Career Services surveys of alumni and employers, and academic unit follow up letters to graduates in Major; Deans’ Annual Reports

(As noted above)

Percentage of Graduates pursuing professional development

Data about Enrollment of students/alumni/graduates in further or other Degrees or Certificates

Method - Alumni/graduate surveys; academic unit survey results in Deans’ Annual Reports; students’ electronic or traditional portfolios

(As noted above)

Time period taken to secure employment

Data about beginning employment

Alumni Office and Career Services surveys of alumni and employers, and academic unit follow up letters to graduates in Major; Deans’ Annual Reports

(As noted above)

Percentage of Graduates employed upon graduation

Data about employment of graduates

Method - Alumni Office and Career Services surveys of alumni and employers, and academic unit follow up letters to graduates in Major; Deans’ Annual Reports

(As noted above)

Percentage of Students engaged in Internships

Data about the success of internships and service learning

Method – Deans’ Annual Reports of enrollment in internships; students’ electronic portfolios evaluated through capstone courses or exit interviews

(As noted above)

Student engagement activities that prepare students for success in their career or vocations

Data about the success of internships and data about student engagement in activities that prepare tem for successful careers or vocational development

Method – Sr. Projects and Shows, clinical/practicum/capstones; students’ electronic or traditional portfolio evaluations; Graduate/Alumni surveys, and graduate class enrollment; Summarized in Annual Reports of Faculty/Deans/Career Services/ Student Services

(As noted above)

Utilization of services to students that prepare students for successful careers or vocations

Data about the number, type, or kind of services provided for students that prepare them for successful careers or vocational development

Method – students’ electronic or traditional portfolios evaluated through Career Services and Student Services Administration

(As noted above)

Effective Citizenship

Criteria Measurements

Data Collection & Methods

Frequency of Assessment

Percentage of students/alumni engaging in volunteer activities

Data about student/alumni volunteerism

Method – Alumni Office, Career Services and Student Services Admin. Surveys; students’ electronic or traditional portfolios

Usually annually. Unit determined. Depending on purpose (AQIP, NSSE, accreditation requirements, disciplines’ or units’ national association recommendations, course requirements, etc.)

Percentage of students/alumni engaging in civic or public activity

Data about students/alumni engagement in civic or public service

Method – Surveys of: Alumni Office, Career Services, Ctr. for Cult. Discov. & Learning, Leadership Institute, Student Services Admin., students’ electronic or traditional portfolios, international student exchanges, students in American Democracy and Global Citizenship projects, etc.

(As noted above)

Percentage of students engaging in service learning

Data about students/alumni engaging in service learning

Method – Academic unit and surveys through Faculty and Deans’ Annual Reports; students’ electronic or traditional portfolios, international student exchanges, etc.

(As noted above)

Percentage or numbers of students involved in student life including clubs, organizations, or other activities that support the campus

Data about student involvement in campus life/activities and/or Co-curricular student clubs

Method –. Student Services Admin. Surveys; Academic unit and surveys through Faculty and Deans’ Annual Reports; students’ electronic or traditional portfolios

(As noted above)

Recommendations:

  • The criteria and criteria measurements recommended should be considered by next year’s Outcome 2 or Gen Ed Committee
  • Outcome 2 for the year 2006 should be completed—“Academic programs and relevant support programs have assessed student preparation for lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers, and effective citizenship to collect baseline data.”
  • The data, report of results, and recommendations from this IU Northwest Outcome 2 study should be considered for use in other strategic campus initiatives such as the Academic Quality Improvement Process (AQIP), Lilly Grant, Strategic Outcomes 1 and 6, and the General Education initiative. Appropriate Vice Chancellors and Deans/Directors should work to merge criteria into existing evaluation mechanisms such as Faculty and Divisional Annual Reports, AQIP, NSSE, etc.
  • Further development of the IU Northwest Assessment Center campus wide and an Institutional Research Officer should assist units in criteria measurements. Data survey collection and results will be more frequent and IU Northwest may need more professional help locally either locally and/or from IU-Bloomington. Assessment should also include planned and systematic focus on externality (business and professional persons from the community that serve as volunteer assessors to observe and give feedback on students’ performances for successful living in the 21 st century world of work, family, civic, and global life).
  • More education and development on student outcome assessment is needed for the campus (through brown bags, speakers, etc.)

Conclusion

This document identifies criteria and criteria measurements for assessing student preparation for lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers, and effective citizenship in academic and relevant support programs at IU Northwest. The report contains definitions of the four student outcomes as well as types of campus programs, and the results of a campus survey of what is already being done. The document also makes recommendations for further institutional development of student outcome measures, and provides references for further study.

According to the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE), assessment criteria must be part of a larger set of conditions that promote change through improved educational performance. Assessment is reflected in the institution’s planning, budgeting, and personnel decisions. Student outcomes and criteria measurements must be aligned with the campus Mission and Vision. Based on strategies used at Alverno College, clearly stated learning goals and the resources to support them must be understood at the levels of the Board of Trustees, entry level employees, students, librarians, student affairs, external communities, etc. The assessment criteria should provide evaluative feedback about students’ preparation to actually demonstrate educational learning goals and measurable accountability that all stakeholders find credible, suggestive and applicable to decision-making and effective educational change.

References

American Association for Higher Education, Assessment Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning (Washington, D. C.: AAHE, 1992).

Association of American Colleges and Universities, Greater Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College ( Washington D. C.: AACU, 2002).

Astin, A., Banta T., Cross K., El-Khawas, E., Ewell, P., Hutchings, P., Marchese, T., McClenney, K., Mentkowski, M., Miller, M., Moran E., & Wright B., “Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning.” AAHE Bulletin, 45 (4). . (1992).

Bledsoe, T., Engaging Our Metropolitan Students: Orienting and Connecting Students in the Learning Environment , (Metropolitan Universities: An International Forum, July 2005) 16, 11-16. Boyer, E. College: The Undergraduate Experience in America ( New York: Harper & Row, 1987).

Mentkowski, M. for the Alverno College Office of Research and Evaluation and the Research and Evaluation Committee Institutional and Program Assessment at Alverno College . In W. Rickards (Chair), Institutional Assessment Across the Educational Spectrum. Symposium Conducted at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans. (Printed Milwaukee, WI: Alverno College Institute, 1994, revised 1995).

Mentkowski, M., & Doherty, A., Careering After College: Establishing the Validity of Abilities Learned in College for Later Careering and Professional Performance, (Final Report to the National Institute of Education: Overview and Summary). Milwaukee, WI: Alverno Productions. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. E 239 556). (1983, revised 1984).

Mentkowski, M., & Loacker, G. Assessing and Validating the Outcomes of College. In P. Ewell (Ed.), “Assessing Educational Outcomes,” New Directions for Institutional Research , 47, 47-64. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985).

Mentkowski, M., “Creating a Context Where Institutional Assessment Yields Educational Improvement.” Journal of General Education, 40, 255-283.

Paul, R. and Elder, L. A Guide for Educators to Critical Thinking Competency Standards: Standards, Principles, Performance Indicators, and Outcomes With A Critical Thinking Master Rubric, (Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2005).

Rominger, A. “Assessment of Student Preparation Survey,” Instrument for Strategic Planning Team Outcome 2, Indiana University Northwest, Summer 2005

Strange, C. and Banning J. Educating by Design: Creating Learning Environments that Work ( San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001). DI 8/05

Appendix

Summary of 2005 IU Northwest Campus Survey Results on Measuring Student Outcomes

A survey was developed to assess which academic and relevant support programs have already identified and use criteria to assess students’ preparation for lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers, and effective citizenship. Vice Chancellors and Deans/Directors campus wide at Indiana University Northwest (IU Northwest), or their designee faculty/staff, responded to the survey. Twenty three academic and support units responded. Although individuals within divisions and departments participated in the survey, they were asked to respond based on general practices within their units. Nine questions were asked with multiple sub-questions, making for 150 questions total. The survey gathered information about the type and frequency of data collection, and about specific methods used to gather data (surveys, reports, etc).

Overall at IU Northwest, academic programs understandably use criteria and collect data much more extensively than do relevant support programs (with the exception of Career Services. With regard to using criteria to measure student outcomes in academic programs, the most emphasis is placed on criteria measuring student preparation for careers and to a lesser extent, life long learning. Very little emphasis is placed on student preparation for ethical practices and effective citizenship.

Of the respondents, both professional schools and some departments in the College of Arts and Sciences collect data on student preparation for lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers, and effective citizenship. The professional schools that responded included Allied Health, Business, Nursing and Social Work. The College of Arts and Science (COAS) office as well as some departments responded (Biology, Chemistry, Fine Arts, M3.athematics, Minority Studies, and Psychology). Alumni surveys and clinical/field performance represent the predominant methods for gathering data to measure student outcome criteria in professional schools. Some units rely heavily on course assessments (such as capstones, senior projects, and grades). This is particularly true in COAS units.

Respondents from the following support programs participated in the survey: Career Services, Information Technology, Child Care Center, and Student Support Services. These programs were among those identified by the Strategic Outcome 2 Committee as being “Relevant Support Programs.” Of these programs, only Career Services gave non-negative responses to any of the questions. That is, the other support programs answered negative to all questions. This indicates that with the exception of Career Services, support program units are not collecting data on student outcomes of lifelong learning, ethical practices, developing successful careers, and effective citizenship.

Question 1 – Which Outcomes are you or could you measure student preparedness?

This was a general question. In academic and relevant support units combined that responded at IU Northwest, approximately half of the units are performing some measures of student preparation for lifelong learning. These are predominantly in the academic programs. Approximately one third of the responding units (mostly academic) are measuring preparation for ethical practices. Two thirds are measuring student preparation for careers. Approximately one third of the academic units are measuring student preparation for effective citizenship.

Most criteria measurements are based on data collected either by semester, annually, or every 2-5 years. The data usually takes the form of alumni/graduate/exit surveys; practicums such as clinical labs, internships, field experiences; and course grade data, respectively.

Unfortunately, suggested methods of data collection and assessment found in the literature on effective student outcomes that was very rare or non-existent at IU Northwest include: electronic or traditional print portfolios, self-assessment instruments, attitudinal surveys, longitudinal studies and analyses, learning style inventories, and study group interactions.

Lifelong Learning

Question 2 – What criteria are you using to measure lifelong learning?

For units that report measuring student preparation for lifelong learning, the criteria used by most consists of percentages of student/alumni engaged in academic study and percentages of student/alumni engaged in activities that enhance lifelong learning, respectively. Based on this representative campus sample, it appears that most units campus wide do not use criteria to assess student preparation on lifelong learning at all.

Question 3 – What data are you collecting that you are using or could be used to measure student preparedness for lifelong learning?

For units that did use criteria, the data collected on lifelong learning mostly consists of information about professional development of students/graduates, next was a tie between data on continuing studies and data on enrollment of graduates in further or other degrees, and finally, data on student/graduate experiences that promote individual growth. Most units do not collect data on the criteria indicated for lifelong learning.

Ethical Practices

Question 4 – What critera are you using to measure ethical practices?

Approximately a fourth of the responding academic units at IU Northwest use criteria to measure student preparation for ethical practices. Of the few that do, most use percentage of students engaged in activities that promote ethical behavior or development. Even fewer academic units use percentages of students who complete course work with a grade of “C” or better, percentages of students who meet learning outcomes in ethics, or percentages of students who meet ethics learning embedded in other courses. Most units, campus wide, overwhelmingly do not use criteria to measure ethical practices.

Question 5 – What data are you collecting that you are using or could be used to measure student preparedness for ethical practices?

Business, Health Professions, Minority Studies, and Social Work report evaluating ethical practices through students’ practicum course work and clinical field work. However, based on this representative sample, it appears that most units, campus wide, overwhelmingly do not use criteria to measure ethical practices.

Developing Successful Careers

Question 6 – What criteria are you using to measure student preparation for developing successful careers?

Criteria existed for career success more than for the other three student outcome indicators. Yet, not even half of the units that answered are using criteria to measure the development of successful careers. Of units that do use these criteria, Alumni/graduate surveys about job placement and enrollment in graduate courses are most often used to measure career success of students.

Question 7 – What data are you collecting that you are using or could be used to measure student preparedness for developing successful careers?

Graduate positions and internship/class data was used toward measuring development of successful careers. The Health Professions, Business, Career Services, and Social Work dominate in this data collection. Minority Studies and Psychology collect course data on developing successful careers.

Developing Effective Citizenship

Question 8 – What criteria are you using to measure student preparation for effective citizenship?

Other than including criteria for volunteerism, almost no criteria were reported for students’ developing effective citizenship.

Question 9 – What data are you collecting that you are using or could be used to measure student preparedness for effective citizenship?

Practicums and clinical course data dominate in information collected on student preparation for effective citizenship. This was true in units such as Allied Health, Business, Minority Studies, and Social Work.

DI-8/05
Rev. MAS 9/05