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.
Alumni Survey Results: Every four years, A&M-SA alumni are asked to provide feedback on their educational experience here by rating A&M-SA's contribution to their integration of broad knowledge and the importance of this knowledge in the workplace.
Results on NSSE item: Coursework emphasized: 1) Applying facts, theories, or methods to practical problems or new situations and 2) Forming a new idea or understanding from various pieces of information.
The percentage of students who reported that A&M-SA's contribution to their integration of broad knowledge was 'significant' or 'very significant' declined from 76.2% in 2013 to68.7% in 2017. A similar decline occurred in the importance of these skills in the work place, which declined from 78.4% in 2013 to 72.5% in 2017.
Among first year students, 68% reported that A&M-SA emphasized applying fact, theories of methods to practical problems or new situations quite a bit or very much; among seniors, this percentage increased to 81%.
Among first year students, 81% reported that A&M-SA emphasized forming a new idea from various percentages quite a bit or very much; among seniors, this percentage remained relatively constant at 80%
Although alumni ratings of A&M-SA's contribution to the development of skills in this area are down from the last alumni survey, this may be a reflection of the large number of transfer hours students have when they enroll at A&M-SA.
As expected, students responses about A&M-SA's emphasis on applying facts, theories or methods to practical problems or new situations indicated an increased emphasis on these skills over time. This would be expected based on their exposure to material in the core curriculum and the application of skills within courses focused on the students' major and career path.
On the second NSSE item, both first-year and senior students reported similar levels of emphasis on forming new ideas from various pieces of information.
A&M-SA will continue to monitor students feedback on these items. Given the major changes that have taken place on this campus over the past several years, these data are still considered baseline information.
A&M-SA admitted its first class of freshmen in Fall 2016 and began teaching core curriculum courses at the same time. It could be that the NSSE results reflect a difference between A&M-SA's own students (enrolled in their first year) and transfer seniors (who may have completed the majority of their coursework elsewhere.
While the alumni survey and NSSE responses provide some information about students' perceptions of their experience at A&M-SA, there are a number of factors that may influence this self-reported data, including the length of time since graduation and the changing demographics of A&M-SA's student body.
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.