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 graduation, students will demonstrate mastery of the depth of knowledge required for their respective degrees.
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.
Exemplary-Proficient. Employment rates for TAMIU undergraduate students for FY17 was 78%. The Nursing program solicits employability from graduates six months after graduation.
Nursing: Of the 72 Spring/Summer graduates, 68 obtained employment. Three students moved out-of-state; as such, they were unable to verify employment. One student was not employed. Thus, the employment rate for this cohort was 94.5 %.
The Career Center continues to offer more opportunities and workshops for students to be "interview-ready" for potential employment. The Nursing program faculty will continue to monitor employment rates of Nursing graduates.
Exemplary. Two programs, Education, and Nursing provide summative evaluations on their students in their culminating field placements.
Seventy Education students were assessed on a 5-point scale during the 2016-2017 academic year. All but 2 of the 70 obtained a score of "Proficient", which was the expected benchmark on the Clinical Teacher Evaluation form. Two areas of students' strength were noted: 1) The clinical teacher uses content and pedagogical expertise to design and execute lessons aligned with state standards, related content and student needs; and 2) The clinical teacher meets TAMIU and district expectations for attendance, professional appearance, decorum, procedural, ethical, legal and statutory responsibilities. Three areas of weaknesses were uncovered as well: 1) The clinical teacher differentiates instruction, aligning methods and techniques to diverse student needs; 2) Uses activities, resources, technology, instructional materials aligned to instructional purposes; and 3) Provides student opportunity to take initiative of their own learning. Sixty Nursing students were evaluated on a 5-point scale during the 2016-2017 academic year by their preceptor on 10 criteria. The average score on the instrument was 4.73. The highest criterion (mean score of 4.83) was: During the preceptor experience the student: communicates in an effective, professional manner. The lowest criterion (a mean score of 4.58) was: During the preceptor experience the student: utilized appropriate resources to address ethical/legal issues. Individual scores ranged from 3.4-5, with half (30 students) receiving a score of 5.
Education faculty will continue to use the data to improve areas needing attention. Faculty in the Nursing program will continue to triangulate data from the Preceptors Survey, Graduate Senior Survey, and Employers Survey. Additionally, program faculty will continue to monitor the feedback from the preceptors to strengthen both the clinical experience and individual students who fall below expectations.
Exemplary. The Nursing program solicits feedback from employers one year after Nursing students graduated. The survey is comprised of nine questions, related to the preparation obtained from the College of Nursing on various standards, practices, and roles. Employers rate the Nursing graduates on a five-point scale with zero meaning "Never" to a five meaning "Always."
Data from 33 employers of Nursing graduates indicated an average rating of 4 on a 5-point scale across all 9 questions related to the preparation obtained. Employers' average scores on any one individual ranged from a 3 to a 5; where the majority of the responses (one-third) rated graduates from the Nursing program a 5, "Always." Findings from the individual questions noted that overall graduates of the Nursing program were strongest (average score of 4.15 out of 5) with the following criterion: The CSON prepared the employee to evaluate the impact of evolving technological, socioeconomic, political and demographic changes on nursing practice and health care systems. The overall weakest criterion (average score 3.96) was: The CSON prepared the employee to assess, diagnose, plan implement and evaluate evidence-based and culturally appropriate safe nursing care with patients, families, populations and communities.
The College of Nursing is implementing a new curriculum with the FY18. Faculty are scrutinizing evidenced-based best practices used in coursework. Additionally, intentional clinical placements (e.g., rural areas) are developing to expose students to culturally appropriate nursing care.
Senior Exit Examinations
Exemplary-Proficient. Three programs utilized Senior Exit exams as noted on their 2016-2017 annual reports. These were Business, Communication Science and Disorders (CSDO), and Nursing.
The Business program utilizes a Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK) exam across all its undergraduate programs. The 60-question exam covers 10 general Business topics (i.e., Accounting, Business Statistics, Legal Environment, International Business, Economics, Finance, Management, MIS, Marketing, Production, and Operations Management), with an established benchmark that 70% of the students in a program will pass 70% of the questions. Of the 188 Business majors who took the exam, 82 students in the Accounting program met the benchmark, as did the 16 students in the Finance program, 7 students in International Economics, and 24 students in the Marketing program. The students in the Business Administration program ( 59 students) did not meet the benchmark in the areas of Accounting, Business statistics, Legal Environment, MIS, production, and Operation Management. Other programs did not identify the CBOK as part of their annual report. Students in the CSDO program complete a 50-question exit exam on the breadth of CSDO knowledge. All 61 students who took the exit exam passed, meeting the benchmark of obtaining a score of 80% or higher. Besides the NCLEX noted above, Nursing students also take the Texas Board of Nursing (TBON) Jurisprudence exam. One-hundred percent of the students passed the TBON which is the benchmark established for the Nursing program.
Faculty in the Business Administration program will intentionally incorporate more application of business statistics, MIS, and general production and management knowledge into coursework. The CSDO program faculty will continue with the same benchmark, monitoring the contents and pedagogy as aligned with standards in the discipline. The Nursing faculty will continue to cover the rules and regulations governing the practice of nursing in Texas.
Sufficient. Students in two programs complete achievement exams as part of their program requirements: English and Psychology. English students take the ETS English Field Test, which assesses four areas (i.e., Literature before 1900, Literature after 1900, Literary Analysis, and Literature Identification) liked to eight assessment indicators. During the capstone course, students in the Psychology program complete the Area Concentration Achievement Test (ACAT) assessment, an assessment of varied bodies of knowledge relevant to psychology: Abnormal, Developmental, Experimental Design, Human Learning/Cognition, Personality, and Social.
Regarding the ETS English Field Test, the overall score for the 36 English students who took this exam in FY17 was 142 out of a possible score of 200. The overall gain of 69% on the ETS exam, across 8 assessment indicators, was highest in the Theory area, 5% higher than the national average. Students were weak in Literary Identification (30% correct response), falling below the national average of 41% correct responses. Results on the ACAT exam uncovered that none of the 60 Psychology students who took the ACAT met the benchmark of a score of 550 for each content area. Average scores for each of the 6 areas were: Abnormal 386.5, Developmental 425, Experimental Design 444, Human Learning/Cognition 423, Personality 385, and Social 418.5.
Faculty in the English program will incorporate a set of Identification questions on mid-term and final exams. Actions from the faculty in Psychology include: adding quizzes on content, holding review sessions, transitioning to the online version of the ACAT, and developing a required capstone course that integrates and applies learning from the Psychology program.
Emerging. The Multidisciplinary Studies degree (MDS) is a personalized degree comprised of three concentrations.
Of the 41 students who completed the MDS degree during the 2016-2107 academic year, 20 different disciplines were selected across three colleges as areas of concentration. The most sought after areas of concentration were Education, Liberal Arts, Spanish, and Psychology. Students in the MDS program completed the degree with an Institutional GPA between 2.4 and 3.9.
During the 2016-2017, faculty in University College identified several certificates available on the campus that ranged from 12-18 SCHs that could be embedded into the MDS, including a new Civic Engagement Certificate. Further, faculty developed a capstone experience that provides a civic engagement placement so that students apply two of three areas of concentration to that setting.
Proficient-Sufficient. Two programs included the use of case analyses of partial programmatic SLOs: Business and Special Education in their annual program reports for FY17.
Sixty-two Business students involved with the Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, International Economics, and MIS programs completed case analyses on respective topics as noted in the programs' annual review. For example, some case analyses dealt with global settings to determine the benefits and deficits of economic theory or human violations by a fictitious company; others dealt with developing an information systems solution for a business problem or the development of database solutions, as well as to synthesize business concepts and knowledge as applied to multicultural issues; or financial calculations, ratios to develop a risk assessment based on financial analysis and the company's background. All benchmarks for the case analyses were similar in that 70% of the students would score a 2 or 3 depending on the program and its 3- or 4-point rubric. Special Education students completed a case law analysis involving pertinent special education laws and procedures, whereby 80% of the students completing the case law will achieve a score of 2 or higher on 4-point rubric; all 9 students involved met the benchmark.
Business students overwhelming met the benchmark for their specific program. However, programs established improvements for the future. These included: moving from a 3-point scale to a 4-point scale; continuing to embed more critical thinking and communication skills throughout the curriculum; dividing the assignment into four tasks in order to provide formative assessment to students; and expanding the analyses skills across more courses. Faculty in the Special Education program will continue to develop knowledge of laws and procedures, as well as to provide various applied learning scenarios for students.
Proficient. Students in both the Art and Music programs participate in Senior Juried venues.
Students in the Art program participate in a Senior Show, whereby they created a series of art pieces to be displayed and judged by faculty. Ninety-four percent of the students who displayed their work during the Senior Show in FY17, met the benchmark of at least 70% of the students scoring a 2 or higher from the judges. Music students performed during a Senior Recital in front of 3 judges, whereby 70% of the students in MUAP 3213 were expected to score a 4 or higher on a 5-point scale. Ninety-two percent of the students met the benchmark.
The Art program faculty will raise the benchmark score obtained by 70% of the students from a 2 to a 3, on the 4-point scale. Additionally, Art students will meet with the professor teaching ARTS 4333 to discuss the media used for the Senior Show. Given that the Music Jury form was first used in the 2016-2017 academic year, program faculty will continue its use for another year.
Exemplary. Education: The EPP pass rate for 133 students in 2016-2017 was 95%.
All certification and ethnic groups performed well above the 80% required by TEA for FY17. The pass rate for all females completing a TExES exam (111 students) was 96%; males (22 students) was 91%. Of the two ethnic groups, 96% of Hispanics (127 students) passed the TExES exam; whereas 88% of Caucasians (6 students) passed the TExES. Both the Mathematics and Special Education programs noted TExES passing rates as an SLO on their annual program reports. Regarding the Mathematics 7-12 program, 70% of the students (6:7) taking this TExES exam met this program's benchmark. Areas of strength were communication and teaching; areas of weakness were knowledge and proof finding skills. Special Education program faculty noted that out of 10 students taking the TExES exam, 90% passed the exam; well beyond the set benchmark of 80%.
The Mathematics program faculty will examine the re-sequencing of courses, potentially adding pre-requisites to some courses. Additionally, program faculty should consider adjusting their expected percentage of students passing the certificate exam to State expectations, which was 80% for FY17. Special Education program faculty will maintain the current benchmark. Further, in programs where TExES data is available, program faculty should use the annual TExES certification results for program improvement, especially with disaggregated data on exam domains.
The 2014 TExES EPP score was 96%.
Exemplary. Nursing: The NCLEX pass rate score for FY 2017 was 94.4%, across a single attempt.
The NCLEX pass rate score for FY17 was 94.4%, across one attempt. The target set on the 2016-2017 annual program report was that 90% of the graduates (N=71) would pass the NCLEX. Four students (5.6%) who did not meet this benchmark, were involved with development plans which included 72 hours of structured remediation.
The Nursing program faculty will continue to use the Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) exam at the end of six courses (i.e., Medical Surgical Nursing, Fundamentals of Nursing, Maternity Nursing, Pediatrics, Community, and Mental Health Nursing). The exit HESI is a predictor of NCLEX (the national licensure exam given to all registered nurses in the US), as a way to determine students' readiness to sit for the NCLEX. This exam is tied to a course and the score to pass the exam is 900. The HESI also has an overall score as well as scores on specific areas of nursing to address weakness as a benchmark for evaluating the course, and for identifying at-risk students. Further, the HESI exam allows students to build an individual remediation plan in order to address weaknesses. As an example, of the students in the FY17 cohort, the lowest subsection on the HESI was: Nursing concepts: Advocacy/ethical/legal issues, with a score of 878, below the 900 score to pass the NCLEX. All students have two attempts to pass the exam; if after the second attempt students are unsuccessful, they then must complete 72 hours of structured remediation.
The 2014 NCLEX score was 95%.
Graduating Student Survey (Note: Data for the FY17 Graduating Student Survey is currently inaccessible. However, a few programs included data on Graduating Senior Surveys, as part of their annual program reviews for 2016-2017, noted herein.)
Proficient-Sufficient. Two programs included graduating surveys as part of their annual program report: Business and Nursing. Business solicits feedback from graduates at the end of their program through an Attitudinal questionnaire, comprised of 15 questions, that assesses graduating students' judgment on whether or not the program improved skills in the following areas: Critical Thinking, Communication, Multicultural issues, General Business concepts, and Ethics. The Nursing survey is given twice: just prior to graduation and then again one year after graduation; the same survey is given to employers 6-12 months after graduation. (See information below on the Nursing Employer Survey.) Graduates are surveyed on their perceptions of Nursing knowledge/mastery based on a 5-point scale, where a 1 means "No mastery" and a 5 means "Almost always have mastery."
While many of the responses from Business students indicated satisfaction on a 5-point scale, there were areas that stood out more than other areas. Of the Business programs reporting on the specific criteria from the End of Program (Attitudinal) Survey, 70% or more of the students responded very favorably to their program's ability to improve communication skills (i.e., Students' responses indicated a range of 85.7% (International Economics) to 74.4% (Management Information Systems (MIS)), well above the 70% benchmark desired. Additionally, positive responses were above the expected benchmark for the following criteria as evidenced on program reports: Multiculturalism (International Economics reported 81% "Agreed" or "Strongly agreed"); Ethics (Accounting, 82.9%; International Economics, 76.2%); and Critical Thinking (International Business, 71.4%). Criteria that did not meet the 70% agreement on improved skills included: Critical Thinking (Business Administration, 67.8%; Marketing, 58.3%, and Accounting, 51.6%); and Business Theories (MIS, 61.5%). Students in the Nursing program were surveyed on the same nine questions as were employers. Of the 21 graduates completing the survey on how well the College of Nursing prepared them in areas related to standards, practices, and roles, the average score of 4.8 met the benchmark of 4, on a 5-point scale. Students self-reported total scores on the 9 questions ranged from 4.6 to 5. All the responses from each criterion were extremely high (from 4.76-4.95), with the strongest (4.95) criteria: The CSON prepared me to assess, diagnose, plan implement and evaluate evidence-based and culturally appropriate safe nursing care with patients, families, populations and communities. Though very high results prevailed, three areas were reported as weaker (4.76) by students: The CSON prepared me to--1) develop professional nursing practice frameworks and roles; 2) evaluate the impact of evolving technological, socioeconomic, political and demographic changes on nursing practice and health care systems; and 3) synthesize knowledge from the arts, humanities, science and other disciplines in development of a framework for nursing knowledge and practice.
The Business program plans to increase critical thinking skills across all programs. The Nursing program faculty will continue to monitor the self-reported perceptions in order to compare them to those obtained from employers, since the same survey is used for both entities.
(1) Academic degree program annual assessment reports; (2) National Survey of Student Engagement; (3) Licensure examination pass rates, internship placement rates, and job placement rates.
Proficient. Increase in NCLEX passing rate from 79.6% to 95%. Increase in College of Education exit exam pass rate to 96%.
(1) Academic degree programs conduct and report annual assessments of student learning outcomes through a structured and established process and timeline. A complete compilation of reports is housed on campus. Examples of assessment activities are provided here: BSN-Nursing student pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam was 79.6% in 2013. Program faculty took action by way of faculty development, review and mapping of curriculum, student specific remediation programs, end of course review guides and use of simulation labs. The pass rate for 2014 increased to 95%; The College of Education academic degree programs implemented strategic processes to address student difficulties in exit exam pass rates by way of increased focus on students’ demonstration of readiness, enhanced preparation through review sessions and changes in curriculum to mimic testing tasks, as well as a system of checks and balances with faculty oversight.
The institutional passing score increased to 96%, well above the required 80%; The Sanchez School of Business examined every degree program as part of their AACSB accreditation and determined that individual discipline-specific capstone courses were not effective; thus, curriculum changes during 2014 led to the creation of a single capstone course to be taken by undergraduate BBA students during the last semester; Faculty in the graduate Criminal Justice program addressed unsuccessful attempts at passing two out of three portions of the comprehensive exam (Criminology and Research Methods) by creating a standard exam format, re-sequencing the course offerings, and holding review sessions for each section every semester.
2) Seniors (n=260) completing the National Survey of Student Engagement reported participating in at least one high impact practice such as learning community, service learning, research, internship, study abroad or culminating senior experience within their academic major as indicated below: Arts & Humanities (75%), Biological & Natural Sciences (93%), Social Sciences (85%), Business (69%), Education (87%), and Health Professions (88%). Additionally seniors reported that their academic experience prepared them to think critically & analytically: Arts & Humanities (82%), Biological & Natural Sciences (85%), Social Sciences (93%), Business (89%), Education (85%), and Health Professions (80%) as well as acquire work related knowledge & skills: Arts & Humanities (68%), Biological & Natural Sciences (50%), Social Sciences (71%), Business (80%), Education (70%), and Health Professions (72%).
(3) The most current institutional data indicates the following: Student pass rates = 95% of first-time test takers passed the Board of Nursing Exam and 96% passed the teacher certification exams; Internships = Over the course of two years, 85 students secured internship opportunities. In addition, based on the most recent Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board data, 79% of undergraduate students who have completed a degree at TAMIU are working full-time in the state.
(1) Assessment activities are conducted for each academic degree program every year. Faculty in each discipline evaluate assessment data to identify strengths and challenges and address identified issues through curricular reform, faculty development, and continued assessment. (2) Student feedback is requested on a regular schedule through a variety of methods including nationally normed instruments such as the National Survey of Student Engagement as well as locally developed instruments. Data is disseminated to the University community for review and identification of future actions and initiatives. (3) Continue to monitor outcomes on licensure exams, develop assessments of student learning within internship opportunities, and drill down on data reflecting placement within the field of study.