© 1999 by Dr. Thomas W. MacFarland -- All Rights Reserved
General format for an Institutional Effectiveness (IE) report 1 Goal and context (A) What is the primary goal for participants in this major and is this goal articulated in the catalog and other public documents? (B) What is the target population for participants in this major, specifically in terms of age, employment and/or other prior expectations, proximity to campus, etc? (C) Are GPA, SAT or GRE scores, or portfolio submissions used in the admission review process? Are there other admission requirements for participants in this major and do these processes allow for consideration of applicants who do not meet these requirements? (D) Is it possible to identify tracking information on inquiries and applicants? 2. Expected results of core topics to address for each major Graduation Rates and Persistence (A) What are the overall graduation rates for students in this major? Additionally, what are the graduation rates for breakout subpopulations in this major: (1) Graduation rates by race/ethnicity. (2) Graduation rates by gender. (3) For majors that offer instruction through distance education modalities, it is also useful to examine: graduation rates by place of class attendance (i.e., campus-based students v. their distance education counterparts), graduation rates by teaching modality (i.e., students who generally attend courses offered by lecture v. students who generally attend courses offered by compressed video v. students who generally attend courses offered through Internet-based utilities). (B) Related to graduation rates, what are the rates of persistence for students in this major, overall and by breakout groups? If you use a cohort methodology to track students from program entry to graduation, it is important to note students who are still persistent but not yet graduated. Learning Outcomes (A) Does the major have a declared terminal knowledge base, set of competencies, and skills for its graduates and did students gain these constructs by graduation? (B) What evidence will you use to demonstrate these outcomes? (C) If you use a survey or some other similar instrument, what is the composition of the sample and is the sample representative of the overall population? Sample size (N) is important, but it is also important to consider sample representation. (D) Is it possible to identify tracking information on other indicators of student success that relate to demonstrated learning outcomes: results of standardized tests administered by professional associations and other external constituencies, results of government and other licensing examinations, employer evaluations, alumni evaluations, evaluations by students engaged in practica and/or internships at external institutions. Continuation After Graduation (A) What happens to students in the major after they graduate and do administrators have an adequate tracking system to maintain occasional communication with graduates? (B) What number and percent of total of all graduates gain "in-field" employment within a reasonable period of time after graduation? (C) What number and percent of total of all graduates go on to advanced study within a reasonable period of time after graduation? (D) Is there evidence that the major is structured so that students have the professional and other competencies needed for career success and advancement? Note: For each expected result, there should be a formal statement of assessment method and the results of this research-based assessment activity. The assessment method(s) and subsequent result(s) should follow standard practice in terms of social research in terms of sample size and representation. #1 Expected Result #1 Assessment Method #1 Data Resource #1 Result of Assessment #2 Expected Result #2 Assessment Method #2 Data Resource #2 Result of Assessment #3 Expected Result #3 Assessment Method #3 Data Resource #3 Result of Assessment 3. How assessment results were used to structure changes that provide improvements to the major (A) What is the outcome of the findings gained from the above section? Did you determine that the overall graduation rate is acceptable, but that there are breakout groups (such as distance education students, minority students, etc.) who are not in parity with summative results? If so, how can you work with other administrative departments, faculty, and students to restructure the major and remedy this concern? (B) Did the assessment process identify strengths and weaknesses in how the major is structured? If so, what can you do to build on the strengths and minimize the weaknesses? (C) Did you determine that external factors, such as professional accrediting associations, have an increasing impact on students as they matriculate through the major? Discuss the impact of external influences and how the curriculum is changed, or needs to be changed, to reflect these external groups. (D) Is it possible that you found that changes are not needed? If so, be sure to highlight assessment findings that support this position.