TAMU System Student Learning Outcome–Integration of Broad Knowledge
The Texas A&M University System delivers a common set/embraces a common view of important outcomes and is accountable for sustained measurement.
For all TAMU System universities, the rationale for assessing student learning outcomes (SLOs) originates primarily from efforts to maintain institutional effectiveness, which is defined as a process of identifying outcomes, assessing the extent to which they are achieved, and providing evidence of improvement based on their analysis.
Upon completion of their degree program, students will be able to synthesize knowledge from general and specialized studies.
All criteria met and results exceed expectations with little room for improvement.
Most criteria met and results indicate mastery of objective with some room for improvement.
Acceptable number of criteria met and results meet expectations with room for improvement.
Some criteria met and results indicate need for improvement.
Few criteria met; results indicate need for significant improvement or no/insufficient results reported to measure performance of objective.
ETS Proficiency Profile subscores for Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences is required of all new transfer students at A&M-SA; NSSE item: Coursework emphasized: Synthesizing and organizing ideas, information, or experiences into new, more complex interpretations and relationships.
An additional indicator comes from a co-curricular program, Jaguar Tutoring, which offers academic student support services in all three colleges. Primarily in writing and mathematics/statistics sessions.
ETS‐PP scores have remained relatively stable over time, and are slightly below the national average, as detailed in the table below.
In Spring 2012, seniors who completed the NSSE had an average score of 3.26 while juniors averaged 3.06. NSSE scores indicate that seniors were slightly more likely to have reported that they had to integrate information into more complex relationships in their coursework than were juniors.
Between January and September 2014, Jaguar Tutoring provided 245 appointments, with 150 sessions for Writing and 85 for Mathematics / Statistics. The courses for which the most students sought Writing support fell under English, Psychology, Curriculum & Instruction, and Criminology. The data for Mathematics / Statistics visits is less clear, although the vast majority of student sessions were for Statistics courses.
Devise a campus‐wide method for assessing integration of broad knowledge through the university assessment committee that takes into account the upper‐division student population and that addresses both juniors and seniors.
The NSSE will next be administered in Spring 2015, and additional data will be available in September 2015.
Jaguar Tutoring hired its first Writing director starting in Fall 2014, a tenure-track English Composition faculty member with a half-time reassignment. It is also in process of hiring a Director of Student Success. In addition, the program moved into its first dedicated space in August 2014. This combination of increased space and administrative support should allow for greater outreach to students and faculty, and improved programming and record-keeping.
There are several limitations to these assessment measures. First, both the ETS-PP and the NSSE are meant to be administered to both freshmen and seniors to measure the “value‐added” by students’ experience at the institution. TAMU‐SA administers the ETS‐PP to incoming transfer students, so it is probably a measure of knowledge that students’ have gained at previous institutions. The ETS‐PP scores also do not measure the amount of integration of these different content areas.
The NSSE is administered to students enrolled in senior‐level courses, so it is possible to see growth from reported values for students classified as juniors versus seniors. Neither assessment is a direct measure of students’ integration of broad knowledge.
As an upper-division institution, A&M-San Antonio has limited opportunities to assess this outcome.