Annual Report for 2014

College of Humanities and Public Affairs

Annual Report 2014 – Prepared by Victor H. Matthews, Dean

  1. A. Assessment Efforts:
    1. 1. External Program Review

Because Economics and Sociology/Anthropology hired new department heads in 2014, they were allowed to postpone their external review procedures. During 2014-2015, History and Sociology/Anthropology prepared their self-study in preparation for the visit of their external reviewers in fall 2015. Economics will write their self-study during 2015-2016 in preparation for the visit of their external reviewer in fall 2016. The external review process continues to prove beneficial to the departments and the college and serves as an opportunity for self-assessment and dialogue among faculty about their curriculum and future plans. Discover more details on the review process.

The MPA program in PLS prepared an accreditation self-study and hosted a team of reviewers from NASPA in fall 2013. The team identified a number of concerns primarily to do with assessment rubrics for MPA courses and a perceived lack of attention to diversity in student and faculty recruitment efforts. A follow up visit occurred spring 2014 that resulted in a final report in July 2014 that determined that accreditation of the MPA program would be renewed for a period of six years.

  1. 2. Assessment Revisions and Results in the College

After completing revisions of their assessment plans in spring 2012, each Department in the college implemented or in some cases continued to revise their plan during 2014. A college-wide assessment committee assisted in coordinating this effort to create a revised and realistic set of Student Learning Objectives for each program, which would address disciplinary goals as well as the University’s Public Affairs Mission (the latter also a reflection of the efforts to revise the University’s General Education Program that was implemented in fall 2014). Conclusions drawn in the process include expected variations based on discipline, the previous forms of assessment measures, and the desire to take advantage of this opportunity to make better use of the data produced by the newly shaped assessment methods. What has emerged is a more systematic assessment structure with rubrics tied to specific learning outcomes, especially for General Education courses in the light of the revision of that entire program. Review a summary of the plans for each department.

The individual departmental assessment reports for 2014 appear in Appendix A to this general report.

  1. 3. Curricular Changes

During 2014 several Departments in CHPA conducted curricular assessments and made revisions to their curriculum. In every case, the impetus for these efforts was to (1) bring the curriculum into line with disciplinary standards, and (2) to contribute to student success through a more focused set of courses or new certificate options.

  1. Two new certificates were created by CRM in 2014. The first is a Correctional Leadership certificate which was created following Dr. Garland’s meeting with the education section of the American Probation and Parole Association. This graduate certificate will be launched in fall 2015. Several new graduate courses were created. The second certificate is in Conservation Law Enforcement and was created in response to Dr. Suttmoeller’s meeting with executives from the Missouri Conservation Department. One new CCJ course was created for this certificate and the department is working closely with the Biology and Agriculture Departments on the certificate. This certificate will be launched in spring 16.
  2. In response to a suggestion by their external reviewer in 2011, ECO created a new class (ECO 101) that provides instruction for non-majors in financial responsibility and basic economic principles. The course was approved for inclusion in the new General Education curriculum.
  3. In response to shrinking numbers in its BA degree, History developed and submitted for approval a new BS degree.
  4. REL in spring 2014 designed and approved a new REL 499 Internship course that has since been added to the catalog. This curricular change has helped to formalize the department’s internship program for majors and minors, as well as facilitate its development. Further, in spring 2014, the department regularized its Holocaust course and deleted the “Basic Issues” MA courses from the catalog. In fall 2014, the department proposed a revision to the REL Minor, by adding a minor program for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree. In addition, the department changed the prerequisite for REL 344: New Religious Movements to a “recommended prerequisite.” This curricular change should make it easier for students to register for this course when it is offered by the department.
  5. The table below contains curricular changes in SOC/ANT.

2014 Curricular Changes

Course(s) Nature of Change Reason

326 Plains Indians Culture

New course

Replaces History course no longer offered

355 Environmental Archaeology

Update course description

New instructor

360 North American Archaeology

Update course description

Changes in approach to topic

500/600 Applied Anthropology

Replaces ANT 700, opening course to seniors

Public affairs course* and required course in master’s program

514/614 Anthropology of Development

New course

Public affairs* and applied master’s

516/616 Anthropology of Tourism

New course

Has been offered twice as special topic course**

700 Applying Anthropology

Deletion

Changed to 600

720 Quantitative Methods in Anthropology

Remove from core requirements

Not able to offer

751 Graduate Field Archaeology

New course

Provide supervisory experience for grad students

Change in MS requirements

Separate tracks for archaeology and cultural anthropology

Allows greater specialization

Addition of skills requirement to MS

Replaces ANT 720

Recognizes a broader range of skills

SOC 485 (Soc of the Future)

Deleted

Instructor retired

SOC 375 (Social Forces and Aging)

Optional course included in “cultural competence” requirement of degree

Provide more options to majors to complete degree

SOC 341 (Medical Sociology)

Optional course included in “community engagement” requirement of degree

Provide more options to majors to complete degree

  1. Enrollment Management Analysis
  1. Total SCH:
    Six years of total SCH in CHPA by calendar year continues to demonstrate fluctuations in enrollment with lower division continuing to show a growth pattern while upper division has declined (primarily due to a reduction in the number of majors and minors), and a set of peaks and valleys for graduate SCH. With the decline in majors, the steady pattern of growth in overall SCH from 2009 to 2012 ended in 2013 and continued with a further slight decline in 2014. Overall SCH in 2014 did have a 1.6% increase over 2013, reaching its highest level in the period under review. The College’s SCH continues to be heavily dependent on General Education and with the introduction of a new General Education program in fall 2014 these figures will need to be watched carefully in the future.
Calendar Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Course Level

Credit Hours

Credit Hours

Credit Hours

Credit Hours

Credit Hours

Credit Hours

Value

Value

Value

Value

Value

Value

Lower Division

51,970

52,116

54,105

55,862

56,536

57,991

Upper Division

17,904

17,936

18,311

18,912

16,838

16,648

Graduate

4,135

5,072

4,634

4,366

4,831

4,834

Total

74,009

75,124

77,050

79,140

78,205

79,473

Efforts to improve recruiting for graduate programs and the Department of Defense contract with the National Defense University have helped to stabilize graduate enrollments and increase applications. The MPA courses in health care policy have also added a cohort of physicians from Mercy Hospital to that program’s overall productivity. Dedicated academic advisors in CRM, HST, and PLS continue to assist current, new, and transfer undergraduate students with their scheduling and contribute to both retention and departmental planning for future offerings.

  1. General Education:
    As noted above, CHPA is heavily dependent upon its General Education course offerings. As much as 62% of the college’s SCH comes from this source. The revised GE program that was implemented in fall 20143 is likely to have an impact on ECO, HST, PHI, PLS, REL, and SOC/ANT. Noteworthy is the fact that some of our GE courses have shifted into new categories and will be competing with courses in other colleges and that ECO has added two new courses to the GE program: ECO 101 and 165. It should also be noted that many students are taking advantage of the A+ program with local community colleges or are participating in dual credit in their high schools. As a result many have credit for CHPA General Education courses prior to coming to MSU. Still the enrollments in American History and in Political Science continue to be strong. The chart below compares the census enrollment figures of fa13 and fa14. Individual course fluctuations from one year to the next are caused in part by the number of sections offered, but a 9.1% increase in SCH in fall 2014 may be due in part to the revision of the Gen Ed program.
Course Enroll - Fa13 Sections Fall 13 Enroll - Fa14 Sections Fall 14 %Enroll Fa14/Fa13   Course Enroll — Fa13 Sections Fa13 Enroll — Fa14 Sections Fa14 %Enroll Fa14/Fa13

AAS 100

150

3

135

3

-1%

 

PHI 105

95

2

142

3

+49.7%

ANT 100

372

8

336

8

-1.1%

 

PHI 110

327

7

509

11

+55.7%

ANT 125

93

2

149

4

+16%

 

PHI 115

374

8

337

9

-1.1%

ECO 101

21

1

96

2

+45.7%

 

PLS 101

1,502

21

1,642

24

+9.3%

ECO 155

863

12

837

12

-.3%

 

REL 100

567

14

624

14

+1%

ECO 165

535

12

564

12

+.54%

 

REL 101

138

5

123

3

-1.2%

HST 103

251

6

331

9

+3.2%

 

REL 102

94

4

148

3

+5.7%

HST 104

335

10

199

6

-6.8%

 

REL 131

205

5

220

5

+7.3%

HST 121

667

13

710

16

+6.4%

 

REL 210

275

6

284

6

+3.3%

HST 122

809

18

903

20

+11.6%

 

SOC 150

640

9

777

11

+2.1%

         

Totals

 

CHPA

8313

 

9066

 

9.1%

  1. Graduate Programs:
    One concern for the College has been the inability to maintain steady growth in its graduate programs. Some of that decline is attributable to a shift in emphasis in the College of Business that no longer requires ECO 600 and ECO 710 for their MBA students. However, that drop has been mitigated by the addition of the ECO 604 (Health Care Economics) to the new health care doctorates in CHHS. In other cases the drop is based on fewer graduate students being recruited into the college’s programs and that is being addressed with new energy coming from new graduate directors in CRM, HST, and the MPA program appointed in 2013 and new recruitment publications and refreshed websites. Only CRM has shown significant growth while ANT, CRM, PLS, and REL have remained relatively steady.
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Term

Dept

Credit Hours

Credit Hours

Credit Hours

Credit Hours

Credit
Hours

Credit Hours

Value

Value

Value

Value

Value

Value

Fall

TOTAL

2,379

2,260

2,058

2,122

2,187

2,088

 

CRM

0

0

259

276

243

390

 

DSS

495

591

543

708

663

504

 

ECO

276

225

180

123

66

63

 

HST

349

369

318

249

261

273

 

PHI

0

3

0

0

0

3

 

PLS

672

510

549

549

735

579

 

REL

140

145

110

124

120

135

 

SOC/ANT/CRM

447

417

99

93

99

141

Spring

TOTAL

1,501

2,257

2,149

1,809

2,100

2,212

 

CRM

0

0

0

206

304

315

 

DSS

312

489

561

501

633

573

 

ECO

96

222

135

60

72

42

 

HST

196

325

329

299

328

278

 

PHI

0

0

0

3

0

0

 

PLS

573

645

615

549

542

770

 

REL

84

129

149

114

125

114

 

SOC/ANT

240

447

360

77

96

120

  1. Access:
    CHPA has made concerted efforts to increase accessibility through a number of measures including the redesign of departmental websites that are more intuitive and attractive to students and the introduction of a range of teaching modalities. That includes the presentation during 2014 of a MOOC on “Ozark Studies” by Brooks Blevins (HST) and the addition of new online courses (especially in General Education and graduate courses). Another MOOC dealing with the civil war in Missouri is currently under production.

    Although the vast majority of students are still enrolled in traditional seated classes during the day, there has been steady growth in the number of students enrolled in online and blended courses. That is evidenced by the steady increase in online enrollments from 765 to 15,108 from 2007 to 2014.
    CHPA SCH Growth in INET Courses
  CY CY CY CY CY CY CY CY
 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

 

SCH

SCH

SCH

SCH

SCH

SCH

SCH

SCH

CHPA

765

1,659

3,048

4,752

7,065

8,248

11,327

15,108

The total number of on-line course offerings reached a temporary plateau in 2012, but rose quickly in 2013 and took another significant jump in 2014. Since 2008, departments other than CRM have joined the trend toward offering online classes and that suggests additional growth in the future. CRM’s placement of their entire undergraduate and graduate program online has been completed and is complemented by numerous on-line offerings in the summer session each year.

Number of On-Line Sections offered by CHPA Departments

Dept FA06 SP07 FA07 SP08 FA08 SP09 FA09 SP10 FA10   SP11 FA11 SP12 FA12 SP13 FA13 SP14 FA14

ANT

                           

1

1

1

3

CRM

2

3

5

4

2

4

7

7

10

 

12

13

12

10

15

17

28

31

DSS

                       

1

1

0

1

0

1

ECO

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

 

1

2

1

2

1

1

2

3

HST

2

1

3

4

3

2

4

4

4

 

5

5

6

3

6

7

14

11

PHI

                     

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

PLS

2

3

2

2

2

4

4

5

6

 

12

6

8

5

10

8

10

10

REL

                     

1

2

2

2

3

3

3

SOC

   

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

 

2

1

2

4

5

3

5

4

TOTAL

7

7

12

11

9

11

17

18

22

 

32

29

33

28

41

42

64

67

Despite a recent decline, CRM continues to be the most popular undergraduate major in CHPA, growing from 311 majors in fall 2008 to 460 in fall 2014. However, the decoupling of the CRM major from the SOC/ANT Department has contributed to a significant decline in SOC majors from 140 in fall 2008 to 61 in fall 2014. The SOC faculty and their new Department Head continue to make efforts to advertise their “Public Sociology” emphasis, but it is expected that it will take several years for them to significantly increase the number of their majors. One other program is worth noting: ECO increased from 64 to 83 majors. No other undergraduate degrees have seen positive changes and in fact most have sustained a downward trend during this time period.

In terms of graduate programs, DSS continues to benefit from its placement in the Washington, DC area. They have grown from 54 to 80 majors in the period from fall 2008 to fall 2014. This growth is due in part to their ability to draw on adjunct faculty to teach technical courses and most recently the contract with the Defense Department in cooperation with the National Defense University. Over the next five years it will bring cohorts of up to 24 students per semester, on top of current student numbers. CRM is also showing signs of growth and should be able to increase their graduate majors over the next few years.

CHPA Fall 2009 Fall 2010 Fall 2011 Fall 2012 Fall 2013 Fall 2014

DEPT

Program

Headcount

Headcount

Headcount

Headcount

Headcount

Headcount

Value

Value

Value

Value

Value

Value

   

1,549

1,628

1,638

1,650

1,529

1,442

CRM

 

0

0

532

563

525

460

 

CRIM-BS-COMP

0

0

0

1

0

 
 

CRIM-MS

0

0

28

31

13

18

 

CRIM-MS-X

0

0

0

0

14

24

 

CRMA-MS

0

0

1

3

6

9

 

CRMN-BA

0

0

38

49

62

54

 

CRMN-BS

0

0

455

468

360

371

 

CRMN-BS-E

0

0

0

0

7

6

 

CRMN-BS-X

0

0

0

0

52

29

 

HSAD-GRCT

0

0

10

11

11

8

DSS

 

62

74

71

93

92

80

 

DEGE-MS

0

0

0

28

42

41

 

DEST-GRCT

2

1

0

2

1

2

 

DEST-MS

60

73

71

46

21

3

 

DEWM-MS

0

0

0

17

28

34

ECO

 

64

67

60

74

77

83

 

ECOC-BS

27

21

24

27

20

22

 

ECON-BA

5

6

6

6

7

6

 

ECON-BS

32

40

30

41

50

55

HST

 

372

397

391

353

284

261

 

HIMA-MA

0

0

0

1

3

3

 

HIST-BA

119

133

135

115

90

74

 

HIST-MA

57

53

54

40

43

42

 

HITC-GRCT

0

0

0

1

1

3

 

HSTE-BSED

189

202

190

187

143

130

 

IDHI-BA

0

1

1

1

0

0

 

SEHI-MSED

4

5

6

4

4

1

 

SESS-MSED

3

3

5

4

0

8

PHI

 

39

43

37

35

31

28

 

PHIL-BA

26

24

15

18

14

9

 

PHIL-BS

13

19

22

17

17

19

PLS

 

258

254

235

220

207

190

 

GLBA-MGS

0

0

1

1

0

0

 

GLBS-MGS

30

16

22

16

25

22

 

IAAD-MIAA

0

7

5

0

0

0

 

POLC-BS

38

17

4

0

0

0

 

POLI-BA

54

56

36

36

30

26

 

POLN-BS

97

130

137

139

121

109

 

PUBA-MPA

0

2

1

1

3

1

 

PUMG-BA

5

1

0

0

0

0

 

PUMG-BS

6

3

2

1

0

0

 

PUMG-MPA

28

21

24

25

13

20

 

PUMG-MPA-E

0

0

0

0

13

7

 

PUMT-GRCT

0

1

3

1

2

3

REL

 

99

96

90

82

82

82

 

IDRE-BS

0

1

0

1

1

1

 

RELA-MA

2

4

6

6

3

2

 

REPR-GRCT

1

0

0

1

0

1

 

REST-BA

61

39

33

28

23

26

 

REST-BS

9

28

34

29

37

33

 

REST-MA

26

24

17

17

14

16

 

REST-MA-E

0

0

0

0

4

3

SOC/ANT

 

655

696

222

230

231

199

 

ANTH-BA

44

46

54

54

55

52

 

ANTH-BS

68

70

82

88

83

64

 

APAA-MS

0

0

0

0

4

5

 

APAN-MS

16

22

20

14

14

17

 

CRIM-BS-NONC

0

2

0

0

0

 
 

CRIM-MS

32

30

0

0

0

0

 

CRMC-BA

6

9

0

0

0

0

 

CRMC-BS

39

11

0

0

0

0

 

CRMN-BA

27

36

0

0

0

0

 

CRMN-BS

307

371

0

0

0

0

 

HSAD-GRCT

5

7

0

0

0

0

 

IDSO-BS

0

2

0

0

1

0

 

SOCI-BA

5

9

15

18

13

10

 

SOCI-BA-PRE

4

6

0

0

0

0

 

SOCI-BS

75

56

48

54

61

51

 

SOCI-BS-PRE

27

19

3

2

0

0

 

1,549

1,628

1,638

1,650

1,529

1,442

A further measure of undergraduate student success in CHPA is its graduation rate. Over the five year period from 2010 to 2014 the college has averaged 302 degrees conferred. Only PHI has fallen below the mandated 5/year average of 10 during this period at 8.4, but it is actually serving more students than any other Philosophy program in the state except the one at MU-Columbia. The largest number of undergraduate degrees conferred by far is in CRM, averaging 105.2 each fiscal year. As a result of this success, a number of resources have been shifted to support CRM, including the addition of two full-time instructors and four new Assistant Professors.

  FY2010 FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014

Degree

DEPT

Program

Headcount

Headcount

Headcount

Headcount

Headcount

Value

Value

Value

Value

Value

 

Totals

 

233

337

340

340

261

BA

   

50

89

105

58

35

 

CRM

 

1

4

0

3

0

 

ECO

 

1

1

0

0

0

 

HST

 

15

31

51

24

16

 

PHI

 

1

10

6

4

1

 

PLS

 

2

16

7

8

1

 

REL

 

20

10

13

6

4

 

SOC/ANT

 

10

17

28

13

13

   

ANTH-BA

9

14

25

11

11

   

SOCI-BA

1

3

3

2

2

BS

   

164

221

209

248

194

 

CRM

 

68

108

105

132

105

 

ECO

 

22

18

17

18

16

 

PHI

 

2

3

5

8

2

 

PLS

 

20

21

21

34

21

 

REL

 

3

10

20

13

8

 

SOC/ANT

 

49

61

41

43

42

   

ANTH-BS

13

13

18

26

22

   

IDSO-BS

0

3

0

0

0

   

SOCI-BS

36

45

23

17

20

BSED

HST

 

19

27

26

34

32

 

233

337

340

340

261

The number of graduate students in each program has been addressed above. The chart below provides data on the number of graduates from each program. The CRM degree has exceeded the five/year average. The MS in Applied Anthropology began to produce graduates in 2011 and is still having difficulty in attracting students. All other programs in CHPA exceed the necessary graduation success rate of 5/year (with the MSED in HST counted as part of the department’s overall graduation rate). Of course, the number of graduates fluctuates from year to year depending on the backlog of students who finally complete their theses or seminar papers after exceeding the normal two year period of instruction.

  FY2010 FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014

Degree

DEPT

Headcount

Headcount

Headcount

Headcount

Headcount

Value

Value

Value

Value

Value

   

56

88

86

75

64

GRCT

 

17

13

11

18

14

 

CRM

4

11

10

16

11

 

DSS

12

0

0

0

1

 

HST

0

0

0

1

0

 

PLS

0

0

1

1

2

 

REL

1

2

0

0

0

MA

 

8

27

17

11

10

 

HST

4

19

13

6

5

 

REL

4

8

4

5

5

MGS

PLS

0

8

7

8

2

MIAA

PLS

7

4

1

0

0

MPA

PLS

4

3

13

7

9

MS

 

20

31

36

30

29

 

CRM

7

5

8

11

5

 

DSS

13

24

23

19

22

 

ANT

0

2

5

0

2

MSED

HST

0

2

1

1

0

 

56

88

86

75

64

Minors are another factor in the success of CHPA Departments, especially in terms of the enrollment in upper division courses. They contribute an interesting mix to the discussion in these courses and in some cases they become majors. The chart below tracks minors in CHPA Departments over a six-semester period. These numbers tend to fluctuate but are usually higher in the spring semester. Heads have been encouraged to increase the number of minors in their departments.

Number of Minors in CHPA Departments/Programs

Depts/Programs SP 11 FA 11 SP 12 FA 12 SP 13 FA 13 SP 13 FA 14

ANT

37

39

31

30

25

31

26

27

CRM

74

92

105

111

116

108

119

118

ECO

77

73

75

73

80

81

80

102

HST

102

106

114

102

112

94

112

80

PHI

38

31

37

37

32

30

32

22

PLS

41

55

50

48

39

38

39

35

Public Admin

8

4

2

2

2

3

2

3

Public Law

11

14

17

19

20

13

21

17

REL

86

111

106

90

77

74

79

86

SOC

142

139

140

124

115

96

118

66

Area Studies minors in CHPA take advantage of a diversity of courses in CHPA and other colleges. Although these programs do not have a large number of minors, they contribute to the goals of cultural competence and community engagement. Two additional programs have now been approved and will be administered by CHPA. The minors in Diversity Studies and in Disability Studies begin being offered in fall 2014.

Area Studies Minors

Minors SP 11 FA 11 SP 12 FA 12 SP 13 FA 13 SP 14 FA 14

African American

3

1

4

7

8

6

6

4

Asian Studies

20

22

26

23

21

24

20

14

Disability Studies

             

4

Diversity Studies

           

1

8

Gender Studies

17

16

17

18

14

14

13

12

Latin American

3

8

10

9

10

9

8

8

Law & Society

10

11

10

9

5

5

3

2

Middle Eastern

6

9

5

7

7

9

10

10

Native American

3

1

3

2

2

1

1

3

Ozark Studies

2

3

5

0

1

1

2

1

  1. Faculty Productivity
  1. Delaware Study Analysis: (no update of data is available for 2013; see 2012 report and charts)

    An examination of the Delaware Statistics over the past five years for CHPA indicates that all of the Departments in the College are making efficient use of their faculty and are being productive in producing SCH. There is no comparable data for DSS. No CHPA Department uses Graduate Assistants to teach their own course section. Some Departments, like PHI, PLS, and ECO use very few per course faculty, while others like CRM, HST, and REL are more dependent on per course faculty to teach multiple sections of required or General Education courses. The number of Instructors, especially during 2012, also fluctuates based on such factors as sabbaticals or unpaid leaves and the retirement of faculty. In some cases the College has hired Instructors to fill the gap temporarily in order to insure continuity of instruction in courses in the major and in General Education. In some instances, however, Instructors have been added to departments on an ongoing basis in order to maintain the necessary number of General Education or required courses. While preference is given to hiring regular, tenure-track faculty whenever possible, budgetary concerns have resulted in some cases in the hiring of a lower-cost Instructor instead. To be sure that does put a strain on faculty advising, service load, and the support of graduate programs, and therefore it is an option that is exercised with great care.
  2. Scholarly Activity:
    Based on faculty activities during 2014 recorded in Digital Measures, CHPA had a productive year. This can be attributed to projects completed during sabbatical leaves, the hiring of new faculty who are working toward promotion and tenure, and an active research agenda on the part of the majority of faculty in the College. Scholarly production by newly hired tenure-track faculty is generally at acceptable levels, and full professors have been incentivized by the introduction of the PSIP award that was given for the first time in 2014. Department mentors are employed to assist probationary faculty to improve their teaching and expand their research activities. Faculty members are encouraged to attend advisement workshops, the fall and spring Showcase presentations, and workshops on promotion and tenure sponsored by the Dean’s office and the Provost’s office. Second year probationary faculty are asked to present their current research in the CHPA Research forum.
Year Journal Articles Book Chapters Books Papers Read

2007

35

17

11

125

2008

32

17

7

116

2009

27

17

10

109

2010

35

27

5

127

2011

56

13

13

152

2012

45

19

17

156

2013

35

37

6

122

2014

40

22

9

181

Research activities of particular note include:

  • B. Garland (CRM), C. Saxon (CRM), K. Payne (DSS), J. Chuchiak (HST), B. Oyeniyi (HST), B. Walker (HST), E. Foreman (PHI), P. Sailors (PHI), B. Calfano (PLS), D. Hickey (PLS), D. Johnson (PLS) published at least three journal articles or book chapters in 2014.
  • Scholarly monographs published during 2014:
    • Keith Payne and J. Schlesinger. (DSS), Minimum Deterrence: Examining the Evidence. London: Routledge.
    • Jamaine Abidogun (HST) and F. Toyin. Education, Creativity, and Economic Empowerment in Africa. New York, NY: Palgrave.
    • David Gutzke. Women Drinking Out in Britain since the Early 20th Century. Manchester & NY: Manchester University Press (UK) & Palgrave (US).
    • Brian Robert Calfano (PLS) and Abdelhak Azzouzi. Assessing MENA Reform: Mediators and Microfoundations. Lexington/Rowman and Littlefield.
    • David Romano. (PLS). Conflict, Democratization and the Kurds in the Middle East. NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Ender, M. G., Rohall, David E. (SOC/ANT), Rohall, M. G. The Millennial Generation and National Defense. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Faculty External Grants Funded:

Name Project Agency Amount

Liz Sobel (ANT)

Osage Culture Traveling Trunk and Website

Missouri Humanities Council

$2,450

Brett Garland (CRM)

Evaluation of You Only Live Once St. Louis- Reentry Program, Second Chance Act

Department of Justice

$50,202

Brett Garland (CRM)

Evaluation of a Face Forward – Serving Juvenile Offenders

U.S. Department of Labor

$30,000

Jamaine Abidogun (HST)

Nigeria Public Affairs Grant

U.S. State Department

$13,000

Holly Baggett & Kathleen Kennedy (both HST)

Internships in Public History

OLGA Archives

$4,500

Bukola Oyeniyi (HST)

Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship

Institute of International Education and Carnegie Corporation of New York

$15,951

Bethany Walker (HST)

Local Dynamics of Globalization in the Pre-modern Levant

Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

$40,000

Dennis Hickey (PLS)

South China Sea Dispute

Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for Scholarly International Exchange

$6,000

Dennis Hickey (PLS)

Taiwan and the South China Sea

Taiwan Foundation for Democracy

$5,000

David Johnson (PLS)

Animal Rescue Supplies

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

$5,000

Gabriel Ondetti

Tax Policy in South America

Franklin Research Grant - American Philosophical Society

$5,000

Christina Ryder, Mike Stout, Lorene Stone (all SOC)

Community Innovations Grant Evaluation

Community Foundation of the Ozarks

$2,451

Christina Ryder (SOC) & Lisa Hall (SOC)

Doula Services Evaluation: The Degree of Impact on High Risk, Low-Income Women’s Birth Experience and Parenting Styles

DFMA/Missouri Foundation for Health

$3,000

Center for Archaeological Research Grants Funded in 2014:

Client Project Amount

Miami County, KS

Geological Survey, Adair Cabin Site, Osawatomie

$4,460.76

U.S. Embassy - Trinidad

Heritage Management Seminar and Public Training

$8,720

Southeast Missouri State University

Geological Survey

$4,794.89

Van Meter Quarry

Testing at Potatoe Hill Locus

$2,999.92

Polk County, MO

Test Excavation of a Probable Mima Mound

$1,954.66

Phelps County, MO

Survey for Borrow Pit

$1,982.06

Mark Twain National Forest

Pre-contact Theme Study

$67,635.88

Benton County, AR

Archaeobotany of 3BE634 & 3BE756

$5,647.20

Mayes County, OK

Testing at Fort Gibson Reservoir

$139,000.04

Wright County, MO

Phase I Survey of Stairstep Road Bridge

$1,790.81

Joplin Parks Board

Phase I Mountain Bike Area, Ozark Park

$1,490.86

Joplin, MO

Intensive Phase I Cultural Resources Survey

$2,978.26

Lafayette County, MO

Baltimore Bottoms Geophysical Steamboat Wreck Survey

$37,870

Vernon County, MO

Realignment of Stokes Road

$2,255.86

Wright County, MO

Phase II Testing of 23WR2124

$6,541.19

University of Kansas

Odyssey 2014, Coffey Site

$5,882.24

Bentonville, AR

Phase I Survey of 15 Acres along McKisick Creek

$3,854.71

 

Hall Property Testing

$3,161.63

Rogersville, MO

Intensive Survey 23WB222

$5,867.08

  Total $303,020.97
  1. Teaching:
    The quality of instruction in CHPA has always been one of the college’s strengths. Innovations such as online and blended teaching have been readily adopted by many of our faculty, several have made good use of the services and workshops provided by the FCTL, including Blackboard “black-belt” training, and the Blackboard teaching software has become a standard that assists both instructors and students with course management. Internships, service-learning experiences, and field schools provide students with real world training and have contributed to a better understanding of the university’s Public Affairs mission, their specific academic studies, and job preparation. One means of assessing the success of our teaching is found in nationally normed tests used by several of the departments (MFAT, TUCE, LSAT, and CATS) and the acceptance rate of our undergraduate and graduate students into law schools, medical schools, and doctoral programs in their disciplinary area. For example, 15-20% of PLS graduates have been admitted into law school.

    Among the College’s efforts to provide as rich an educational program as possible has been the research forums developed by various departments (ANT, ECO, SOC). During 2014, these forums provided students the opportunity to present the results of their research (oral presentation and poster presentation) and to showcase their faculty mentors. These included the Anthropology Research Forum (open to both undergraduates and grad students) and the Public Sociology Research Forum. Students were also assisted (financially and through mentoring) in making presentations at regional meetings in all of our disciplinary areas.

    CHPA faculty who were recognized for their outstanding efforts in the area of teaching include:

    -- John Chuchiak (HST) received a foundation award for excellence in teaching

    -- Ivy Yarckow-Brown (CRM) received the Master Online Course Recognition Award for 2014. She was awarded the “Best in All Categories” distinction

    -- John Harms (SOC) and Bill Wedenoja (ANT) received the 2014 Heartland Conference Excellence in Community-Based Teaching and Scholarship Award for Missouri for their efforts at service-learning and community engaged research and teaching efforts

Service:
Faculty service activities take a wide variety of forms. Of course, there is an expectation that faculty share the advisement, service and governance load in the Department and accept election or nomination to College or University committees. Some also function as advisers for departmental and university student organizations. In addition, and as an expression of the university’s Public Affairs mission, a number of faculty members also serve on community boards, perform as pro bono consultants, serve as officers of disciplinary organizations, and perform editorial duties for journals and book series in their field.

Among the faculty most heavily engaged in outstanding service activities in 2014 are:

-- George Connor (PLS) organized the inaugural Alice Bartee Speaker series with UMKC-Law Professor, Nancy Levitt.

-- Paula Rector (CRM) received the Faculty Excellence in Community Service Award.

-- Dan Kaufman (PHI) has become an active participant in the past year on Blogging Heads TV online, which reaches a national, even international, audience. He has filmed the following programs: five on philosophy, with Massimo Pigliucci of the City University of New York.

-- Aida Hass (CRM) served on the Board of Restorative Justice for Greene County and continued her program evaluation for the Missouri Department of Corrections focused on their Pathways to Change rehabilitation program.

-- Caryn Saxon (CRM) served as the Administrative Director for the Conflict and Communication Center of the Ozarks, engaged in domestic violence education, prisoner visitation and support at the Greene County Jail and was a member of the Center for Diversity and Reconciliation.

-- Lora Hobbs (REL) co-organized MSU’s “Stomp Out Hunger All-collegiate Shoe Drive,” which involved five area colleges and resulted in 11,000 pairs of shoes being donated to Sole Food and Shoeman Water Projects. She also helped to coordinate MSU’s involvement in the “Meals a Million” food-packaging event in November 2014.

-- John Schmalzbauer (REL) served as president of the Greene County Historical Society and as a board member for the German-Austrian-Swiss Society of the Ozarks.

-- Steven McIntyre (HST) served as President of the Faculty Senate.

-- Keith Payne (DSS) presented numerous invited briefings at Congressional Hearings and to Senators and other policy makers in Washington, D.C.

-- Jim Kaatz (PLS) was appointed to the Springfield-Branson Regional Airport Board.

Space considerations prevent the citation of all of the activities by our faculty and students during 2014, but many have also been recorded in the CHPA Newsletter published on-line each semester:

Spring 2014

Fall 2014
 
D. Anticipated Activities in 2015

History and SOC/ANT will host external reviewers in fall 2015.

Several faculty hires were successfully completed in 2014-2015 with new faculty joining departments in fall 2015:

  • CRM hired two new Assistant Professors (Court System and Statistical Analyst)
  • ANT hired an Assistant Professor (Ethnography)

During 2015-2016 four tenure-track faculty searches are currently planned:

  • HST will hire two new Assistant Professors (Medieval History; Middle Eastern History)
  • REL will hire a new Assistant Professor (Islam)
  • SOC/ANT will hire a new Assistant Professor (Family/Gender)

Additional initiatives beyond normal procedures:

  • Increase the number of majors and minors in each department
  • Incorporate new marketing efforts with the assistance of the V.P. for Marketing
  • Increase external grant proposals
  • Continue to improve Assessment Efforts in each department
  • Increase development efforts, enhance scholarship accounts, and provide additional sources of travel and research funding for faculty
  • ECO will write their self-study in anticipation of their external review visit planned for fall 2016

Appendix A: Departmental Assessment Reports

Criminology Assessment Report:

In 2012, the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice established six learning outcomes (SLO) and began to establish the methods by which we would collect data to analyze how well our SLO’s were being met. At that time, the department focused on improving writing skills. In 2014, the department formed an assessment committee and Dr. Suttmoeller was elected to chair the committee.

A crosswalk of SLO’s and the courses that were designated as the primary data collection courses was created and each instructor was asked to submit the assignment and assessment strategy for the assignment to Dr. Suttmoeller. Drs. Suttmoeller and Salinas met and gathered the assignments and assessment methods for each SLO. These were distributed to all faculty and at a department meeting the adequacy of our assessment strategy was discussed. From this meeting, it was determined that additional courses were needed to adequately assess our data analysis SLO. Additionally, MSU exit exam short answers will be used to assess our PA SLO.

Scores on assignments have been collected for assessment.

A mini grant for assessment will be used to fund assessment activities in the upcoming semesters.

Two curriculum changes have been made as a result of our assessment:

CRM 415- Race, Class, Gender and Crime has been added to our required courses which will be our primary PA (cultural competency) source for data.

CRM 598- Senior Seminar (our PA capstone) has been changed to include 16 hours of volunteer work and a paper on ethical leadership. These will be our primary sources of data for ethical leadership and community engagement.

Faculty members are still working on standardized rubrics that will be used in all sections of required courses.

Economics Department Assessment Report:

The department’s assessment plan consists of five student learning outcomes (SLO) that are measured in the ECO 590 Senior Research Seminar class as well as exit surveys and interviews completed by all graduating seniors. The assessment plan is presented in Appendix A at the end of this report. Data for the 2011-2014 calendar years for each SLO and discussion are presented below.

SLO 1: Know how to make a rational choice using economic principles.

SLO 1 is assessed by student performance on the Microeconomics portion of the Test of Understanding in College Economics (TUCE). The TUCE test recently went through a revision, and the department began using the revised version of the test in the spring 2012 semester. Therefore, the following table only shows scores for 2012-2014.

Assessment of SLO 1: Microeconomics TUCE Scores

Year Average Percentile

2011

   

2012

23

98

2013

20

93

2014

19

91

The test consists of 30 questions. The ‘Average’ column gives the average class score for students taking the exam in 2012-2014, and the ‘Percentile’ column gives the percentile of the class average score against a nationally normed sample of 3,255 students.

Overall, the MSU Economics Students’ performance is very good with students scoring above the 90th percentile over the entire time period. It is clear, though, that performance has been slightly worsening over this time period. With students performing well overall and given the relatively small sample from year-to-year, the downward trend is not necessarily a cause for concern as of yet. Nonetheless, it will be important for the department to continue monitoring performance over time to determine if any adjustments need to be made to the curriculum to address the worsening performance.

SLO 2: Be able to perform basic quantitative analysis using tools appropriate for the discipline.

SLO 2 is assessed by evaluating competence in quantitative analysis in the ECO 590 class using an appropriate rubric. The department began using its new assessment plan in spring 2013, so rubric scores are only shown for 2013-2014.

Assessment of SLO 2: Ability to Perform Basic Quantitative Analysis

Year Data Model Estimation Analysis of Results Tables/Charts

2011

         

2012

         

2013

2.75

2.39

2.31

2.64

2.64

2014

3.65

3.39

3.36

2.68

3.05

From 2013 to 2014, student scores improved in every area evaluated. The lowest score in 2014 and the area with the least improvement from 2013 to 2014 was related to the students’ ability to analyze quantitative results. There are a number of possible reasons for this, but with only two years of data available it is too early to have a complete understanding of the issue. Nonetheless, a move to a more intuitive approach in our ECO 409 Applied Econometrics course followed by an increased focus on the analysis of quantitative results in the ECO 590 course may help to improve the students’ ability to analyze their econometric results.

SLO 3: Be able to conduct a literature review appropriate for the discipline of economics.

SLO 3 is assessed by evaluating the students’ ability to conduct a literature review in the ECO 590 class using an appropriate rubric. The department began using its new assessment plan in spring 2013, so rubric scores are only shown for 2013-2014.

Assessment of SLO 3: Ability to Conduct a Literature Review

Year Choice of Material Organization Analysis Language

2011

       

2012

       

2013

2.83

2.64

2.69

3.17

2014

3.20

3.75

2.80

3.70

From 2013 to 2014, student performance improved in each area evaluated. As with SLO 2, though, the lowest score in 2014 and the area with the least improvement from 2013 to 2014 was the students’ ability to consistently and correctly use economic concepts when discussing the material. Again, however, with only two years of data, small samples, and a clear improvement in all areas, it is too early to know if any specific areas need to be addressed.

SLO 4: Analyze articles on economic issues in the popular press using standard economic tools.

SLO 4 is assessed by evaluating the ability of students to provide an economic analysis of an article in the popular press using an appropriate rubric. The department began using its new assessment plan in spring 2013, so rubric scores are only shown for 2013-2014.

Assessment of SLO 4: Ability to Provide Analysis of Popular Press Article

Year Choice of Article Analysis Language

2011

     

2012

     

2013

3.03

2.69

3.25

2014

3.83

3.33

3.96

From 2013 to 2014, student performance improved in every area evaluated. The ability to provide analysis of the article was the lowest scoring area in both 2013 and 2014. It should be noted, though, that this area saw significant improvement from 2013 to 2014. Again, with only two years of data and the small samples, it is too early to make any recommendations. Nonetheless, the year-over-year improvement here is encouraging.

SLO 5: Understand the basic functioning of the national and global economy.

SLO 5 is assessed by student performance on the Macroeconomics portion of the Test of Understanding in College Economics (TUCE). The TUCE test recently went through a revision, and the department began using the revised version of the test in the spring 2012 semester. Therefore, the following table only shows scores for 2012-2014.

Assessment of SLO 5: Macroeconomics TUCE Scores

Year Average Percentile

2011

   

2012

24

96

2013

22

92

2014

20

86

The test consists of 30 questions. The ‘Average’ column gives the average class score for students taking the exam in 2012-2014, and the ‘Percentile’ column gives the percentile of the class average score against a nationally normed sample of 2,789 students.

Overall, the MSU Economics Students’ performance is very good with students scoring above the 85th percentile over the entire time period. It is clear, though, that performance has been slightly worsening over this time period. With students performing well overall and given the relatively small sample from year-to-year, the downward trend is not necessarily a cause for concern as of yet. Nonetheless, it will be important for the department to continue monitoring performance over time to determine if any adjustments need to be made to the curriculum to address the worsening performance.

Exit Surveys

A new exit survey was developed and first administered in the spring 2013 semester. Average scores for students completing the survey for the 10 survey questions are shown in the table below. Each question is scored on a 5-to-1 scale with 5 being the best score. In addition, a ‘heat map’ coloring has been applied to the scores to easily identify overall trends.

Year Courses More Challenging Faculty Knowledge Quality Instruction Advisor Knowledge Interaction with Faculty Preparation for Life Availability of Courses Variety of Courses Overall ECO Quality Overall MSU Quality

2011

                   

2012

                   

2013

4.28

4.72

4.67

4.56

4.67

4.67

4.11

3.83

4.28

4.06

2014

4.39

4.67

4.33

4.39

4.72

4.22

3.83

3.50

3.72

3.50

The first six questions on the survey ask students about their level of agreement with statements regarding the quality of the courses, faculty, advising, and preparation for life after college provided by the Economics Department. The overall scores are very good with all scores falling between ‘Strongly Agree’ and ‘Somewhat Agree’ for all of the statements. On four of the six questions, the students’ level of agreement dropped by a small amount, but given the small sample size and only two years of data it is not clear if this is a significant change. We will continue to watch this and pair these scores up with student comments on the open-ended questions to identify areas for improvement, if necessary.

The last four questions on the survey ask students to rate the availability of courses, variety of courses, overall experience in the Economics Department at MSU, and overall experience at Missouri State University. The scores on these four questions are clearly lower than those on the first six questions. In addition, the scores on all four questions fell from 2013 to 2014.

Follow-up interviews with students reveal a bit more detail about their low grades for a couple of these questions. Concerning the ‘availability of courses,’ students noted that the department’s core courses for majors, ECO 365 Intermediate Microeconomics, ECO 385 Intermediate Macroeconomics, and ECO 409 Applied Econometrics were traditionally only offered once per year. If for any reason the student was unable to take one of these classes at the recommended time (possibly due to a conflict with a required course in a second major or minor, poor performance the first time through, etc.) the student’s graduation would be delayed by a year until they could take the course again. This both created scheduling difficulties for students and created undue stress with planning out course completion. Some students were taking these required courses at other schools and transferring them back in order complete their program of study, and more than one student noted other students who left the major due to these scheduling difficulties. Concerning the ‘variety of courses,’ students noted that there was a limited selection of courses offered from year-to-year in the department with the same courses being offered year after year.

To deal with these two issues, we are planning two changes to the scheduling of classes. First, beginning with the fall 2015 semester we will begin offering the ECO 365, ECO 385, and ECO 409 courses every semester. Students were made aware of this change in the fall 2014 semester so that they could better plan out their schedules for the remainder of their studies in the Economics Department. During exit interviews in the spring 2015 semester graduating seniors noted that this was a welcome change. It will, of course, take some time to see how this change impacts the perception students have regarding the availability of courses. Second, we are beginning to make changes to the year-to-year scheduling to offer a wider variety of courses. For example, in the fall 2015 semester we are planning to offer courses in economics history, game theory, and public finance – courses which have not been offered for a while. Again, during exit interviews with graduating seniors in the spring 2015 semester, students indicated this was a welcome change and a number of students commented that they wished some of these courses had been offered during their time in the Economics Department. However, we will have to wait a few years to see how these changes impact the students’ perception of the variety of courses offered by the department.

History Department Assessment Report:

As part of our recruitment and retention efforts we measure how well students are mastering the skills outlined by our department’s learning objectives. Better communicating these objectives to students and noting their successes in meeting them may keep students invested in their education.

We have implemented our assessments in these courses to meet the new general education requirements. As of now, we have results for one semester and they suggest that the majority of students are meeting our learning objectives (see public affairs section for the results in History 121 and 122). We still need to implement full assessment in History 104. The results for History 103 were lower than were the results for 122 and 121. We will watch this trend as lower results may have been the result of one instructor whose scores were lower than others.

We also collect assessment data that measures the success of our major. The assessment data we collect this year will serve as a baseline as it will measure the success of the old major. It will be three years before we have sufficient data to measure the new major because students are just now beginning their sequence of classes. We will also be collecting data from the praxis exam to compare how well students have mastered content in the new major. We will use this data to make any necessary adjustments in course requirements.

Academic Year 2012-2015

Topic 5 (Excellent) 4 (Good) 3 (Average) 2 (Poor) 1 (Unsatisfactory)

Historical Awareness

21

11

4

1

 

Thesis

20

8

10

1

 

Argument

19

7

12

1

 

Primary Source Use

15

15

7

1

2

Secondary Source Use

12

17

9

1

 

Format

16

13

4

0

2

Style and Grammar

20

13

5

3

 

Academic Year, 2014-2015

Topic 5 (Excellent) 4 (Good) 3 (Average) 2 (Poor) 1 (Unsatisfactory)

Historical Awareness

13

2

1

   

Thesis

13

2

1

   

Argument

11

3

2

   

Primary Source Use

9

3

4

   

Secondary Source Use

8

4

4

   

Format

9

7

     

Style and Grammar

10

6

     


This data is drawn from six semesters of History 598 papers. It is based on a common rubric that provides detailed instructions on how to evaluate each category.

The data suggests that:

  • The majority of students obtain excellent or good scores in all categories.
  • Students are especially strong in historical awareness.
  • Thesis and argument were the weakest categories in 2012-2013, but evidence seems to be the weakest in 2013-2015.
    • The Junior Seminar is designed to help students with using primary source materials and we should see some improvement as more students take that seminar before history 598.

Praxis Scores:

Average Test Score 2011 2012 2013

MSS

175.50

192.00

 

BSED

169.17

163.85

166

Number of Students

     

MSS

2

1

0

BSED

24

33

38

Assessment data suggests:

  • Our average praxis exam score remains well above the requirements to teach in Missouri. In order to teach in Missouri, a student must obtain a 152; our undergraduates average over ten points higher suggesting that they are mastering the content necessary to teach.
  • Since BSED students take less content than do BA, we can expect that BA students would have similar scores.
  • Students are learning the necessary content to teach in high school.
  • We do not have data for 2014 due to changes in the state exam. We may need to develop a new assessment measure for content knowledge.

Philosophy Assessment Report:

Our primary instrument is the Exit Interview. We have graduating students fill out a questionnaire in which they give their opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of philosophy instructors and courses. Also, these students meet with the department head for half an hour or so to elaborate on their questionnaire answers and discuss their plans for the future. The insights that we gather from these exit interviews provide a terrific basis for an annual discussion amongst ourselves as to the quality of our offerings, which then informs everything from curricular reform to discussions of pedagogy.

In the fall of 2014, we began using common final exam assessment questions across sections/instructors of each of our gen-ed courses. Discussions of the answers helped us clarify areas in which we’d like to see students learn more deeply and how we might modify questions in the future to get more revealing information. For example, those of us who taught PHI 115 (Ethics and Contemporary Issues) concluded that our students were generally grasping “the basics,” but not achieving as thorough an understanding of ethical principles/theories as we would like. As a result of these discussions, Prof. Foreman added a section on ethical theory to her Ethics and Contemporary Issues course, and I decided to spend more time in class on applying principles to case scenarios. As for PHI 105 and PHI 110, it was decided that more demanding assessment questions would be used in the future.

Political Science Assessment Report:

Year Subscore 1 US Govt & Politics Subscore 2 Comparative Govt Subscore 3 Internat’l Relations Assessment Indicator 1 Analytical & Critical Thinking Assessment Indicator 2 Methodology Assessment Indicator 3 Political Thought Total Test

Spr14

47

54

47

57

47

54

149

Fa 14

56

56

57

65

53

59

157

NATIONAL SCORES FOR MFAT 2014 52.3 52.4 52.2 59.3 44.9 53.1 152.2

Trend has been slightly downward but still above national mean on every measure. MFT continues to reflect major GPA in that the “best” students get the highest scores and the “worst” students get the lowest scores. As opposed to higher scores on the MFT, the tracking of MFT scores with major GPAs demonstrates the value of this assessment tool.

Positive results in that the Political Thought indicator has rebounded; a reflection, we believe, of adding PLS 330 to the required core.

Since dropping the SOC 302 requirement, we continue to monitor the Methodology indicator. While above the national average, previous semester declines coupled with changes in this section of test to include epistemology, research design, formal modeling, qualitative methods, as well as quantitative methods, may warrant the reexamination of the content of PLS 576 and, perhaps, additional methodology offerings.

Exit survey/interview response rate has fallen dramatically; so much so that we will consider adding exit survey questions to the MFT itself.

Religious Studies Assessment Report:

The department has expressed satisfaction with its revised assessment plan, which came into operation in Spring 2014. The department collected assessment data from its majors by requiring students to submit short papers at the beginning and end of their careers on “my understanding of religion,” by administering an online survey to each graduating REL major, by giving graduating REL majors a self-report survey about their experiences in the major, and holding an exit interview with each graduating REL major.

Based on the forms filled out by students prior to their exit interviews and the forms filled out by faculty during exit interviews, anecdotal evidence suggests a good deal of satisfaction on the part of majors with the Religious Studies program. Numerous students in 2014 indicated their belief that they have become better writers and more critical thinkers through their coursework in Religious Studies classes. Likewise, they uniformly express the belief that they have become more aware and accepting of diversity through the materials and occasional field experiences in Religious Studies courses. Although there was less of a consensus about developing their oral communication skills, several graduating majors affirmed that these assignments helped them to conquer their fears of public speaking and to become more confident about making presentations. A few others either did not feel that they had enough opportunities to give oral presentations or did not have much to say about them. One of the key points that emerged from the exit interviews is a widespread appreciation for the support and expertise that the faculty offers to students.

The department’s full-time faculty held a meeting to examine and discuss the results of the new assessment plan in Fall 2014. The faculty concluded that the assessment of the program showed positive results, with every major indicating satisfaction and appreciation for the program. The Department’s Curriculum and Assessment Committee examined the data generated under the new plan, and led a discussion of its results during the faculty retreat. We observed that greater clarification was needed for the listing of written papers and oral presentations completed in REL courses, and changes were made to the self-report survey. The assessment data also revealed that the department could do more to help prepare its students for careers. The department resolved to schedule some programming with the Career Center for its majors in 2015.

The revised Gen Ed plan led the faculty to review and revise its assessment procedures for REL 100, REL 101, REL 102, REL 131, and REL 210. Since the new Gen Ed curriculum went into effect in Fall 2014, the faculty has begun collecting data for these courses to be reported to CGEIP in upcoming semesters.

The department also developed and published the following learning goals for its MA students:

  • Students will develop advanced knowledge in one or more scholarly fields in the study of religion.
  • Students will utilize theories and methods appropriate for graduate research in the study of religion.
  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking, analytical, and interpretive skills appropriate for graduate research in religion.
  • Students will communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Religious Studies has been a campus leader in developing an assessment plan that will improve its courses and support efforts in the recruitment and retention of students. A blog post on “Collaborative Assessment of Student Learning in Comprehensive Religious Studies Graduate Programs” was posted on Missouri State University’s “Assessment in Action” web page in December 2014. This post highlighted the department’s efforts to secure external funding and lead an effort to assess the teaching and learning of students in stand-alone MA programs across the country.

Sociology/Anthropology Assessment Report: 
Both programs participate in the general education assessment process. In addition, several new methodologies have been initiated to assess student learning for sociology majors since the implementation of the public sociology program several years ago. These assessments include:

- Civic Attitudes and Skills Questionnaire (CASQ) – Assesses students awareness
and participation in the community

- The SOC Exit Exam – Assesses student knowledge of sociology

- The Sociology Curriculum Survey – Assesses majors’ perceptions of the program

- Sociology Course Interest Survey – Assesses students interest in current and

- proposed courses in the program

While comprehensive, these instruments have only been implemented over the last two years. Hence, there are no longitudinal findings from any of them. The core component of the public sociology program is to help students apply what they are learning in the classroom to society. We try to measure how well they are able to make those connections with the Civic Attitudes and Skills Questionnaire (CASQ). The CASQ is a 32 item instrument with 5 categories of questions: Civic Action, Interpersonal and Problem-Solving Skills, Political Awareness, Social Justice Attitudes, Diversity Attitudes.

Only graduating sociology seniors take the CASQ. To date, only 23 students have taken it but preliminary analysis suggests that our students are going into the community with a very positive attitude toward community service and are open to cultural diversity. For instance, 87 percent of our graduating seniors indicated that they agree that they plan to volunteer after they graduate and 100 percent said that they believe that cultural diversity within a group makes the group more interesting and effective.

The SOC assessment instrument includes 77 items designed to test majors’ knowledge of the field of sociology. An earlier version of the instrument (pre-2013) was 78 items, but one item was dropped because we determined that it was not useful to assessing student development in the department. Topics include general sociological concepts, theory and research methods but also topics related to race, class and gender.

Results are provided by semester in Table 5. Though the number of students graduating any given year varies from as little as 1 in a summer graduation ceremony to more than a dozen in the spring, most cohorts answer at least 70 percent correctly.

Table 5. SOC Assessment Percent Correct by Semester

Semester n Percent Correct

SP 2012

13

75.9

FA 2012

5

78.5

SP 2013

9

72.2

FA 2013

1

80.5

SP 2014

12

74.4

FA 2014

2

72.0

The findings of these assessments suggest that our program in sociology provides students a venue to learn public sociology but it does not address satisfaction with the program itself. The Sociology Curriculum Survey is designed to assess majors’ perceptions of the program. It includes items that assess students’ perception of how well courses in the program prepare them their futures, ratings of advising and teaching, and whether they intend to go to graduate school. The most recent form of the instrument was initiated in spring of 2012.

Table 6. Responses to the Sociology Curriculum Survey by Semester

Semester % Reporting major courses ‘well prepared’ them for the future (n) % Reporting advisor was ‘most helpful’ (n) % Reporting faculty were ‘very effective’ (n)

SP 2012

92% (13)

100% (13)

92% (13)

FA 2012

100% (4)

100% (4)

100% (4)

SP 2013

90% (10)

77% (9)

70% (10)

FA 2013

100% (2)

50% (2)

100% (2)

SP 2014

66% (12)

83% (12)

75% (12)

FA 2014

100% (2)

50% (2)

100% (2)

Given the small number of students who filled out these questionnaires, it is difficult to assess trends in students’ opinions of the program. It appears that students are satisfied with their courses and believe that they will be helpful in their future. Our curriculum survey was supplemented by a focus group of 11 undergraduate graduating seniors. Both assessments revealed that students would like more career development in the program. As a result, we will be converting sociology 492 from a 0 credit to a 1 credit course in the fall of 2015.

A new survey of student interest in sociology courses (current and prospective courses) was initiated this year (fall 2014). Our findings generally revealed that students are most interested in our family, diversity-related courses (race, class, gender, and sexuality), deviance and delinquency, and mental health. We decided to emphasize these courses in the 2015-2016 year including two variable topics courses on sexuality and mental health. If these courses do well, we plan to make these courses into regular courses.

Like sociology, the anthropology has a general education assessment as well as a major’s assessment. ANT 100 World Cultures was assessed according to the new goals for General Education for the first time in December 2014. The instructors produced a nine-page report, written by Margaret Buckner. They felt the results demonstrated that the course is addressing the goals. They recommended a small change in their scoring rubric. ANT 125 Exploring Our Human Ancestry was assessed according to the new goals for General Education for the first time in December 2014. The instructors produced a ten-page report, written by Elizabeth Sobel. Comparison of pre- and post-test results show a statistically significant increase in knowledge over the course of the semester. Results of an opinion survey have not yet been analyzed.

Students in the fall ANT 595 capstone course took a 50 question multiple-choice exam at the beginning of the semester on basic four-field anthropology knowledge, which they should have acquired in the required courses ANT 226, 227, 240 and 280. There were 11 questions on each of the four fields and six general anthropology questions. There was a wide range of results, from a low of 48% to a high of 94%, the average being 73%. Eighty percent got the general questions correct, 79% the archaeology questions, 76% the cultural ones, 66% the biological ones, and only 56% the linguistic questions.

Students in the capstone course are also required to give at least two presentations during the semester, which are evaluated by the instructor and by the TA. They do quite well on this task overall. Students in the capstone course write thirteen essays during the semester. There is greater variation in writing than speaking ability. Finally, students in the capstone course take a multiple-choice final with sixty quotes. They are asked to identify the theoretical paradigm reflected by the quote or the author of the quote. Students do surprisingly well on this, suggesting they have learned to identify different theoretical perspectives and have acquired a good knowledge of the history of anthropology.

Assessment of the major in ANT 595 allows us to identify improvement or deterioration in the performance of our seniors from semester to semester in terms of: 1) general knowledge of the four fields, 2) knowledge of the history of anthropology and anthropological theory, 3) ability to give an oral presentation, and 4) ability to write essays. If we can see a decline in an area, then we can address it.

Here is a list of major curricular changes during 2014. Most of these changes were produced in the fall of 2014 and in the anthropology program.

Table 7. 2014 Curricular Modifications

Course(s) Nature of Change Reason

326 Plains Indians Culture

New course

Replaces History course no longer offered

355 Environmental Archaeology

Update course description

New instructor

360 North American Archaeology

Update course description

Changes in approach to topic

500/600 Applied Anthropology

Replaces ANT 700, opening course to seniors

Public affairs course* and required course in master’s program

514/614 Anthropology of Development

New course

Public affairs* and applied master’s

516/616 Anthropology of Tourism

New course

Has been offered twice as special topic course**

700 Applying Anthropology

Deletion

Changed to 600

720 Quantitative Methods in Anthropology

Remove from core requirements

Not able to offer

751 Graduate Field Archaeology

New course

Provide supervisory experience for grad students

Change in MS requirements

Separate tracks for archaeology and cultural anthropology

Allows greater specialization

Addition of skills requirement to MS

Replaces ANT 720

Recognizes a broader range of skills

SOC 485 (SOC of the Future)

Deleted

Instructor retired

SOC 375 (Social Forces and Aging)

Optional course included in “cultural competence” requirement of degree

Provide more options to majors to complete degree

SOC 341 (Medical Sociology)

Optional course included in “community engagement” requirement of degree

Provide more options to majors to complete degree

Historical Investigation: Reggae Island

Jamaica

David Mitchell (ECO)

Economics of Euro-Zone

Germany

Jason Shepard (ANT)

Ethnographic Field Experience

Guatemala

Jim Kaatz/Brian Calfano (PLS)

Gov’t Systems survey

Belgium/Netherlands