Family, Consumer, and Human Development
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The Department is committed to continually improving the quality of our programs. The assessment activities outlined in this section help ensure that department goals and objectives for each of the degrees and programs in FCHD are being met. Some of these activities are already in place, others are currently being implemented as a result of our intensive efforts over the past few months to strengthen assessment in the department.
To assess how the department is meeting its objectives for the undergraduate academic programs, data will be collected on student satisfaction, student competencies, and job placement.
Student satisfaction will be assessed with a student survey administered to entering students in the pre-major in FCHD 1100 - Critical Issues in Family, Consumer, and Human Development. The survey will be administered again to majors as students near graduation in their senior practicum experience. Exit interviews in three focus groups of six to eight randomly selected graduating seniors will be conducted each spring. Additionally, satisfaction questions will be part of a survey sent to students two years after graduation.
In addition to the data received from the Advising Center when students fill out an evaluation about their advisor, the departments student satisfaction survey given in FCHD 1100 and in the senior practicum will include items about advising. The post graduation survey will also ask questions about how satisfied the graduate is with the preparation they received through coursework and how helpful the career advising they received was.
Knowledge, Skills, Curriculum
In each class, when students complete the standard university teacher evaluations, instructors will administer an additional assessment about how well the course has met the stated objectives in the course syllabus and how well the course has contributed to the students preparation for future studies and their eventual career. These surveys will be tabulated by the department and given to the instructor. The instructor will submit an annual statement summarizing any changes that have been made in the course to better meet departmental and course objectives.
As the capstone experience in the undergraduate program, each student completes a six-credit (300 clock hour) practicum prior to graduation. The practicums are completed near the end of the course of study after most course work has been completed. The practicums serve as a way for students to integrate what they have learned in the classroom into an applied, professional setting. Prior to undertaking practicums, students complete an application process during their junior year to demonstrate that they have achieved the academic success and maturity necessary to successfully apply their skills and knowledge in a professional setting.
The supervision of the practicum experience is a joint effort between the practicum coordinator and the practicum site supervisor and is directed by a structured system that includes an agency agreement specifying the conditions under which the student may participate in a practicum within their agency, objectives determined jointly by the site supervisor and the student, written assignments completed by the student during the practicum experience, and evaluations completed jointly by the site supervisor and the student during and at the conclusion of the experience.
During the practicum, each student completes written assignments reflecting on the successes and difficulties encountered during his or her internship. The site supervisor completes evaluation forms at midterm and at the conclusion of the student's practicum to provide the student and practicum coordinator with feedback about the students performance. During the practicum, the student, site supervisor, and practicum coordinator meet at the practicum site to discuss the student's experience and how it is influencing the students career goals. At the conclusion of the practicum, the practicum coordinator assigns a final practicum grade to the student based on completion of all of the required paper work completed by the student and the site supervisor, including documentation that the required hours were completed. The student has the opportunity to anonymously evaluate their practicum experience and the data from each student are collectively analyzed to determine the overall success of the practicum program.
The practicum coordinator, through conducting site visits, grading written assignments, and participating in and gathering written evaluations, provides the faculty with updates on the effectiveness of the practicum program, and whether the academic program has adequately prepared students to function in a professional setting from both the students and site supervisors perspectives. This feedback leads to discussions about what might be accomplished in the classroom setting to better prepare students to meet the demands of their professions. There is also statistical analysis of the student evaluations of both the department and the practicum site. How well students perform in their practicums gives the department very useful assessment information about how effectively the program is preparing students to function professionally.
Placement and Career Preparation
In addition to the assessment of students career preparation done through the capstone practicum experience, career preparation will also be assessed two years after graduation through a mailed questionnaire. This will include job placement data, how effectively graduates feel their degrees in FCHD prepared them for their career, how satisfied they are with their degree, and any suggestions they might have for strengthening the program from a post-graduation perspective. Employers will also be surveyed through a questionnaire sent to students for them to give to their employer with a return envelope. Data about FCHDs graduates from the universitys annual placement survey will also be analyzed in assessing the effectiveness of our programs in preparing students for their professional lives.
To assess how the department is meeting its objectives for the graduate academic programs, we will collect data on student satisfaction, student competencies, and job placement or continuing graduate education.
In order to gather information from student perspectives about the program, students will be invited to provide feedback in both written and verbal form. Students will be invited to give written feedback to the department on a yearly basis. This feedback will relate to curricula, resources, assistantships, practical experiences, research, scheduling, and other matters pertinent to the successful completion of students degrees. On occasion, groups of students may be invited to discuss programmatic issues with the graduate coordinator, department head, or other suitable persons. The departmental graduate program committee will summarize the data from the annual reviews for presentation at the departments annual fall retreat. Areas identified for improvement will be assigned to standing or ad hoc committees in the department for follow up at faculty meetings throughout the year.
The supervisory committees will hold annual evaluations of graduate students to assess student progress in the program. The committees, as well as others who have had experience with the student, will evaluate the students progress and recommend any needed remediation. The students major professor, committee, temporary sponsor, and/or the departments graduate coordinator may meet with the student in the spring semester to discuss the evaluation and potential remediation. Data from these meetings will be compiled by the graduate coordinator and submitted to the department head with feedback to the departments graduate program committee. Department policies for working with students who exhibit deficiencies will be followed. Graduate student competencies are assessed through the successful completion of the thesis or dissertation, which is a reflection of how well the program has prepared the student to conduct research. For doctoral students, competencies also include successful completion of written and oral comprehensive exams, demonstration of competence in teaching, research, service, and professional development through meeting the established departmental standards in each of these areas as outlined in the departmental graduate student handbook.
Career Preparation or Continuing Graduate Education of Graduate Students
Two years following graduation from the M.S. or Ph.D., a questionnaire will be sent to graduates to assess their career preparation. The questionnaire will include job placement data, how well alumni feel their graduate degree in FCHD prepared them for their work or for further graduate study, how satisfied they with their degrees and preparation, and any suggestions for strengthening the program from their post-graduation perspective. Employers or current professors will also be surveyed where possible about how appropriately they feel the graduate was prepared. The results of these surveys will be summarized by the graduate program committee and presented at the fall retreat.
Placement Survey (ongoing)
In addition to their post-graduation survey at two years following graduation, students will receive a brief job placement survey at five and ten years after graduation. Data will be collected and maintained by the department heads office. Based on a review of this information, the graduate program committee will make recommendations to the faculty at the annual department retreat for improvements in the graduate programs of the department.