Program Assessment Plan

Mission

The Department of History is committed to the implementation and maintenance of a system of evaluation that will provide an effective framework for faculty to make intelligent and informed judgments about the strength and direction of the Bachelor of Arts program in History. The steps outlined below seek to provide a coherent process for assessment of student performance in achieving the program’s learning outcomes to ensure continued improvement of instructional efforts and innovation in instruction processes.

Procedures

1. HIST 490: Senior Seminar: Historical Writing and Research

  • Every regular semester, the instructor of each section of HIST 490 will assess the level of student mastery of the Student Learning Outcome (SLO) that the department has designated for evaluation. Each instructor will decide on the methods for evaluation in this process, including use of the History Department’s writing assessment rubric.
  • At the department assessment meeting each semester, the instructors of HIST 490 from the prior semester will provide a summary of the results of the assessment of student mastery of the SLO under evaluation.
  • Each semester, the instructors of HIST 490 will administer an exit questionnaire that among its questions asks students in each section of this class to assess how effectively the Bachelor of Arts in History program has prepared them to demonstrate mastery of all SLOs.

2. Assessment Committee

  • Each history major when enrolled in HIST 490 must complete an exit questionnaire assessing the effectiveness of the program in achieving its goals. The Assessment Committee will examine these questionnaires and present a summary of the results at the department assessment meeting at the beginning of each semester.
  • Beginning in spring 2009, the Assessment Committee will select a sample representing the full grade spectrum of papers (a minimum of 7) that students completed in HIST 490 for comparison with the papers these same students wrote for HIST 290. After assessment, it will report to the department biannually in May of odd years on the extent of the progress these majors achieved toward mastery of all of the program’s SLOs.
  • Once each year, the department will mail an alumni questionnaire to each history major who graduated three years earlier. Questions will ask for an assessment of how well the program prepared respondents for their post-baccalaureate careers. The Assessment Committee will examine these questionnaires and present a summary of the results at the department assessment meeting each May.

3. Undergraduate Advisors

  • The social science credential advisor will administer an exit survey to majors in this option that asks them to assess the quality of courses and instruction in the concentration. He/she will examine these questionnaires and present a summary of the results at the department assessment meeting at the beginning of each academic year.
  • The undergraduate advisors will monitor closely student progress toward program completion. Each May, they will report to the department on the average number of semesters required for graduation, identifying any barriers to completion of the major academic plans for both options.
  • The undergraduate advisors will track majors to determine rates of retention, reporting results at the department assessment meeting.

4. Clio Seminars

  • Each spring, history faculty will meet to share information about the experiences of instructors teaching HIST 290, HIST 295, and HIST 490. These informal seminars will focus on developing strategies to improve student learning in these classes and achieve programmatic goals. Also, there will be assessment of the characteristics of those students majoring in history, as well as their needs, experiences, and levels of satisfaction.