Provost & Academic Vice President

2005 - 2006 Graduate Program Assessment Summaries
College of Business and Technology

Department of Accountancy
Department of Computer Science
Department of Economics
Department of Engineering Technology-Manufacturing Engineering Technology

Department results are reported in alphabetical order.

Computer Science

Learning Outcomes:

  1. For students to develop a knowledge-base appropriate to the master’s level in Computer Science;
  2. For students to obtain leadership, team interaction and professional presentation skills commensurate with their educational level; and to
  3. Enhance our students’ ability to independently and objectively reason and to develop opinions on technology related issues.

Direct and Indirect Measurement: All of the learning outcomes were assessed through the direct measure of monitoring performance in the capstone courses.  These courses include: CS 512 Operating Systems II, CS 522 Database Systems II, CS 548 Artificial Intelligence II, CS 556 Communications and Networks II, CS 561 Architecture II, and CS 566 Graphics II.

Results: Students have been very successful in meeting the learning outcomes set forth in the curriculum.  Once of the best way to measure this success is through academic performance.  The majority of our students graduated with a 3.5 or higher GPA.  Also, several of our students have chosen to continue their education at PhD granting institutions.

Feedback Loop: Changes implemented from the 2003-2005 assessment of student learning data: Changes planned in reaction to the 2005-2006 assessment of learning data: The collection of all assessment data was not complete until the end of the Spring 2006 semester.  Hence, the faculty did not have an opportunity to review the data.  When the 2006-2007 academic commences, the faculty will review the data and, if necessary, they will devise a plan to address any weaknesses.

Major revisions to the computer science graduate curriculum are currently being considered by the graduate committee.  These discussions will continue through the 2006-2007 academic year.  Continued to encourage students to participate in scholarly and discipline related activities and organizations.  Continued to encourage faculty to utilize a variety of teaching delivery techniques and various technologies to accomplish the intended learning outcomes in each course.  Continued to investigate ways to keep our curriculum up-to-date.  Continued to evaluate our current assessment tools and activities so that the best possible feedback is given for our graduate program.  Continued to find ways to make current computer and technology facilities available to our students.


Learning Outcomes:

For Microeconomics:

  1. Know the rules for profit maximization with respect to output;
  2. Know that there is less than optimal output in a market served by a monopolist.;
  3. Know how to apply the concept of opportunity cost.;
  4. Know how changes in the price of substitute goods impact on a market.;
  5. Know the nature of costs in a Anatural monopoly;
  6. Know the rules for profit maximization with respect to inputs;
  7. Know the impact of a change in demand on a market;
  8. Know how changes in the price of a complementary good impact on a market;
  9. Know the relationship between price and marginal revenue when the firm faces a downward sloping demand curve;
  10. Know the impact of a change in supply on a market and on the markets of substitute goods.

For Macroeconomics:

  1. Know what a Areal economic value is and be able to calculate it;
  2. Know impact of a shift in aggregate demand or supply;
  3. Know the impact on the economy of a change in net exports;
  4. Be able to identify the impact on growth of a macroeconomic policy;
  5. Know the impact of monetary policy on the economy;
  6. Know the likely impact of fiscal policy on the economy;
  7. Know the rationale for reserve requirements on deposits;
  8. Know the likely impact of a government deficit or surplus on the economy;
  9. Know how combinations of monetary and fiscal policy can be used to maintain full-employment and price stability; 10) Know the impact of a change in the exchange rate.

Direct and Indirect Measurement: Responses to 20 selected questions from the “Tests of Understanding of College Economics” which was developed by the National Council on Economic Education. There are 10 questions covering microeconomics topics and 10 questions covering macroeconomic topics.

These 20 questions are administered to students entering the MA in Economics in the Fall term. The “Start” results are from these tests. The end results are from examinations taken in Spring term by students who are graduating in either the Spring or Summer terms. Indirect measures include: Economics Department Graduation Survey: This survey is mailed to all graduating students in all three programs in the Spring semester. Alumni Confidential Survey: Every seven years, we mail a detailed survey to our alumni in all three degree programs. This was not done this year because of the high cost. Individual Alumni Input: We have “advisory tracks” which allow students to pursue a variety of different career paths. Periodically, we update each track and one of the steps is to contact our alumni who are working in this career area to gather advice on what courses we should advise students to take. We did not update any “advisory tracks” this year so we did not contact any alumni.

Results: Results are reported in percentage of correct responses to each question by category. “Start” results are from the tests given to entering MA in Economics students in Fall 2005. “End” results are from tests given at the end of the Spring 2006 for those students completing their programs in Spring 2006 or Summer 2006. None of the graduating MA students came in to take the examinations at the end of the year.

Economics Department Graduating Student Survey: This survey is mailed to all graduating students in all three programs in the Spring semester. There were only three responses.

Alumni Confidential Survey: This was not conducted this year because of the cost. We do this as part of the seven-year program reviews. We did collect alumni answers to student questions on Economics Day which was held on April 21, 2006.

Individual Alumni Input: None sought this year. We only seek advice when revising the advisory tracks for economics.

Data on indirect measures provided in report but not summarized.

Feedback Loop: There have been no changes made in the assessment plan for the Master of Arts in Economics for two reasons. First, we do not yet have a new “Test of Understanding of College Economics” to use in making the revisions. Second, AACSB, the international body which accredits business programs, has issued new standards. With regard to assessment, they have mandated “imbedded” assessment. Until it becomes clear what AACSB will accept as “imbedded” assessment, we decided not to revise the current assessment plans.

One feature of our current assessment plans that we intend to keep are our Career Development/Skills meetings for all of our graduate and undergraduate students. One of the major points of these meetings is to make sure all of our students understand the skills that they should be developing and how specific courses and extra-curricular activities can contribute to the development of these skills. Participation in these meetings, by the graduate students, has been good.

Planned changes in courses in response to assessment results: Microeconomic learning outcomes: None. Macroeconomics learning outcomes: Econ 500, Macroeconomic Theory and Policy: Concerned about the difference in preparation of the students, the instructor will be creating a set of notes that will form the basis for a common background of material that students will be expected to know very early in the semester if they have not been exposed to it in the past. These notes will address some important measurement issues in macroeconomics that are often overlooked as well as a review of some basic theories of undergraduate macro. He will give a historical perspective throughout the notes because he has noticed some weakness in this area among our students. He will also be adding some readings on New Keynesian macro since that school of thought is quite prominent in policy circles (for example, many of Greg Mankiw’s papers would be appropriate for this course).

Changes implemented from 2004-2005 assessment of student learning data: A need for improvement in oral and written communication skills and ability to work with computer software were identified last time. With regard to computer software, there has been a substantial increase in applications in Econ 506, Econometrics I, and Econ 507, Econometrics II. Our career development meetings placed more emphasis on internships, international experiences, and participation in student organizations.

Manufacturing Engineering Systems

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Advanced knowledge of the characteristics of industrial materials and process;
  2. Knowledge about world-class manufacturing systems;
  3. Knowledge of manufacturing strategies, agendas, and quality control;
  4. Knowledge of principles of world-class organizations and restructuring of manufacturing practices such as; simultaneous/concurrent engineering practices, just-in-time manufacturing, material requirements/resources planning, product and process simplification with value analysis/value engineering;
  5. Competency in oral, written, and graphic communication;
  6. Awareness of the environmental and social principles which are important in manufacturing settings;
  7. Problem solving skills necessary to compete in industry as engineering technologists and managers.

Direct and Indirect Measurement: 1) A self-assessment paper that is a part of the final paper completed at the end of either the manufacturing systems internship, the thesis or the project in manufacturing systems.  The thesis also requires an oral defense by the candidate; 2) A comprehensive exit exam designed to test retention of manufacturing systems technology material.  The comprehensive exam consists of both oral questions and written (essay) questions in a three hour format; 3) Alumni Assessment: An attempt will be made to contact each alumnus at the end of the first year after graduation and after five years.  The survey used will be the same one used in program evaluation plans in the past.

Results: The strengths of the program remain to be the quality of instruction and especially the quality of software and equipment used in the classrooms and labs.  Weaknesses remain in the department’s lack of financial ability to upgrade equipment and to add new technology.  Budget constraints the past three years have had a significant negative impact upon the program.

The department faculty generally agree that the goals of the programs listed in our assessment plan are being met at this time.  For example, our students, because they were well prepared, were able to obtain quality internships in their respective fields of study.  All graduates of the program reported that they received employment within 90 days of graduation and in their respective manufacturing fields.  A majority of the graduate students taking the Manufacturing Technology Certification test passed and were certified by the Manufacturing Engineering Certification Institute.

Feedback Loop: Student writing preparation has been improved by adding additional writing instruction in the ENGR 592 course.  Student problem-solving and team-building skills were improved by adding exercises in team-building, case studies and utilization of manufacturing management software in graduate level classes.  Graduate faculty have reviewed the content of the Manufacturing Engineering Certification Institute certification exam and have added appropriate content to their specific course as needed to address students’ weaknesses as identified by the certification test.