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.
Standardized testing (ETS Proficiency Profile), program-level assessments, and NSSE surveys.
Results are mixed. ETS testing indicates senior knowledge levels slightly below national median of doctoral research universities (TAMUK average 439, national average 441). Program-level assessments indicate acceptable levels of ability to integrate knowledge. NSSE results related to the integration of knowledge show generally acceptable results for TAMUK seniors relative to the Southwest Public peer group. For examples, of 11 NSSE items related to the integration of broad knowledge, the mean TAMUK score was below the peer group score for only one item (2b, connecting learning to societal problems or issues), tied with the peer group on five items (2a, 4c, 4e, 17c, and 17e) and exceeded the peer group on five items (6a, reached conclusions based on numerical analysis; 6b, used numerical information to examine issue; 6c, evaluated others' conclusions; 17i, solving complex real world problems; and 17j, being an informed and active citizen).
Faculties are continually encouraged to raise expectations for student learning. Many initiatives, including the QEP "Culture of Writing," (new for 2015) and an instructor coaching program are expected to improve the integration of knowledge.
Prior use of general education pre- and post-test data was discontinued for the present report. A new system for assessing core curriculum learning outcomes will be implemented for Spring 2018. In administering the ETS instrument to senior students, TAMUK scores are compared to those from the national population of doctoral research universities. TAMUK scores fall below the national average; however, TAMUK's overall ETS scores have steadily increased from 435 in 2015, to 437 in 2016, to 439 in 2017. The NSSE instrument compares TAMUK responses to those of the Southwest Public institutions, to which responses from TAMUK seniors compare favorably.
General Education course pre- and post-tests; standardized testing (ETS Proficiency Profile), program-level assessments, and NSSE surveys.
Results are mixed. Pre- and post-testing indicate an acceptable level of knowledge in most cases; whereas, ETS testing indicates knowledge levels below national averages. Program-level assessments generally indicate acceptable levels of ability to integrate knowledge. NSSE results aligned with integration of broad knowledge consistently show higher means for TAMUK seniors than for the Southwest Public peer group. For examples, among those NSSE items directly related to the integration of broad knowledge the mean TAMUK score tied with the peer group on two items (6c and 17c) and exceeded the peer group on all others (2a, 2b, 3b, 4c, 4e, 6a, 6b, 6c, 17c, 17e, 17i. and 17j).
Program coordinators are continually encouraged to raise expectations for student learning. In addition, the new core curriculum may address present deficiencies. Assessments aligned with the new core to be performed in the next few years will determine whether or not improvements have been realized.
Recognizing that TAMUK is an access-based university, the faculty set a standard below the national mean as a minimally acceptable overall mean for ETS test results. The TAMUK mean exceeds this acceptable level. The increase in TAMUK’s mean scores from freshman to senior exceeds the national increase. TAMUK’s NSSE scores related to the topic compare favorably to the Carnegie peer group and very favorably to the southwest public peer group.