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Bowie State University Learning Outcomes

Bowie State University’s strategic plan serves as a road map to advance the University’s mission of providing an excellent education for all students. Through its undergraduate and graduate programs, the University is focused primarily on enhancing the quality and value of its offerings to students, alumni, and the community. In addition, the University’s Core Values of excellence, civility, integrity, diversity, and accountability provide the foundation for decision making and for building a better University.

In addition to the Strategic Plan, the University has several supporting documents that form Bowie’s assessment framework.  These include the Academic Plan, the Enrollment Management Plan, and the Closing the Achievement Gap Plan.  These plans provide the structure for linking Middle States Characteristics of Excellence, Standards 7, 12 and 14.  In addition, external reports including specialized accrediting agency reviews and the USM academic program review cycle are integral components of assessment.

Presently there are two structures addressing assessment of student learning: academic program assessment and general education assessment.  Prior to 2009, there was an informal process of programmatic assessment residing in each department.  In fall 2009, BSU established a University Student Learning and Assessment Committee (USLAC), which received approval as a standing committee of the Faculty Senate. USLAC supports academic departments in the development and revision of program learning goals, assessment plans, assessment reports, and proposed use of results to improve programs.  Based on the review and evaluation of assessment plans and reports, USLAC makes recommendations to the Assistant Vice President of Assessment, who prepares final annual assessment reports in consultation with the deans and the Provost.  Going forward, USLAC will continue to provide permanent, faculty-level support for the assessment of student learning.

An essential component of the structure is the linkage with the General Education Committee and  (GEC).  The Chair of GEC  works in close coordination with the USLAC, the AVP of Assessment, and the departments to ensure that effective measures and an appropriate assessment schedule are in place.

GEC is a committee of the Faculty Senate. Significant revisions were made to the general education student competencies in written communication, oral communications, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, technological competence and information literacy. In 2011, the committee developed a comprehensive framework for general education assessment as part of its work to develop a systematic and sustained general education assessment process (BSU’s Academic Plan Objective-6).  The general education program is designed to meet certain competencies as required by COMAR guidelines, MSCHE guidelines under Standard 12, and BSU’s Strategic and Academic Plans. 

The University is currently using course embedded assessments, course evaluation surveys, and the English Proficiency Examination (EPE) as measures of learning outcomes. GEC is working with faculty with an aim to accomplish the following within each general education course:

1) define student learning objectives in accordance with general education competencies (to be accomplished through a course) in a course syllabus;

2) use both direct and indirect measures of assessments;

3) employ multiple methods of assessment;

4) utilize rubrics for assessment of class presentations, assignments, and participation, and test blueprints for traditional examinations to allow for content analysis of acquisition of general education competencies.

The University is fully committed to its Academic Plan and its efforts to systematize the ongoing process of general education assessment.

In 2016, BSU will submit the MSCHE Periodic Review Report (PRR) highlighting the campus-wide assessment efforts with both student learning outcomes and general education core competencies assessment.




Bowie State University administered the CLA+ in Fall 2014 - Spring 2015.

Bowie State University conducted a Value-added administration of the CLA+ in Fall 2014 - Spring 2015. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on BSU’s process for administering CLA+, please click on the Assessment Process Tab below. For information on the students included in the administration, please click the Students Tested Tab.

Why did you choose the CLA+ for your institutional assessment?

The CLA+ was chosen for the following reasons:

1. Reliability and validity of assessment instrument

2. Ease of test administration and customer service support

3. Assessment instrument measures general education competencies that support institutional learning outcomes

 


Which Bowie State University students are assessed? When?

A minimum of 100 entering freshmen are tested during the fall semesters via the FRSE 101 course (three-credit orientation course).

In the spring semesters, graduating seniors are tested through various senior seminars. A minimum of 100 students are tested.


How are assessment data collected?

Data are identified and collected through an on-line assessment instrument, CLA+, through the Council for Aid to Education that measures  general education competencies, which include critical thinking, reading, writing, and scientific and quantitative reasoning.


How are data reported within Bowie State University?

Data are analyzed and reviewed for learning gains with senior and freshmen cohorts to better understand performance levels in the various general education competencies. Specific interventions are then designed and applied to improve any areas of concern.


How are assessment data at BSU used to guide program improvements?

Assessment results are shared with the General Education Committee and appropriate administrators and faculty members. Action plans are developed as needed.


Of 596 freshmen students eligible to be tested, 87 (15%) were included in the tested sample at Bowie State University.


Of 408 senior students eligible to be tested, 61 (15%) were included in the tested sample at Bowie State University.


Probability sampling, where a small randomly selected sample of a larger population can be used to estimate the learning gains in the entire population with statistical confidence, provides the foundation for campus-level student learning outcomes assessment at many institutions. It's important, however, to review the demographics of the tested sample of students to ensure that the proportion of students within a given group in the tested sample is close to the proportion of students in that group in the total population. Differences in proportions don't mean the results aren't valid, but they do mean that institutions need to use caution in interpreting the results for the groups that are under-represented in the tested sample.

Undergraduate Student Demographic Breakdown

  Freshmen Seniors
Eligible Students Tested Students Eligible Students Tested Students
Gender Female 58% 67% 63% 108
Male 42% 47% 37% 67%
Other or Unknown <1% <1% <1% <1%
Race/
Ethnicity
US Underrepresented Minority 94% 101 94% 169
White / Caucasian 2% 2% 4% 3%
International 1% 3% 2% 3%
Unknown 4% 7% <1% <1%
Low-income (Eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant) <1% <1% <1% <1%


We tested over 100 seniors for the CLA+ in the spring 2015 semester. However, only 61 students were included in the sample because of unavailbe SAT/ACT scores with transfer students.

The VSA advises institutions to follow assessment publisher guidelines for determining the appropriate number of students to test. In the absence of publisher guidelines, the VSA provides sample size guidelines for institutions based on a 95% confidence interval and 5% margin of error. So long as the tested sample demographics represent the student body, this means we can be 95% certain that the "true" population learning outcomes are with +/- 5% of the reported results. For more information on Sampling, please refer to the Research Methods Knowledge Base

The increase in learning on the performance task is at or near what would be expected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.

The increase in learning on the selected-response questions is at or near what would be expected what would be epxected at an institution testing students of similar academic abilities.

Seniors Detail

The charts below show the proportion of tested seniors who scored at each level of the nine subscales that make up the CLA+. The subscale scores range from 1 to 6 with 6 representing a higher or better score. Due to rounding, subscores may not total 100%.

Performance Task
Analysis & Problem Solving
Writing Effectiveness
Writing Mechanics

The table below shows students' mean scores on the three subscales that make up the Selected-Response Questions section of the CLA+. The students subscores are determined by the number of correct responses in each subsection, with those raw numbers adjusted based on the difficulty of the question set the students received. Individual student scores are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Subscale Mean Student Scores
Scientific & Quantitative Reasoning (Range: 200 to 800) 497.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 484.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 500.0
Freshmen Detail

The charts below show the proportion of tested freshmen who scored at each level of the nine subscales that make up the CLA+. The subscale scores range from 1 to 6 with 6 representing a higher or better score. Due to rounding, subscores may not total 100%.

Performance Task
Analysis & Problem Solving
Writing Effectiveness
Writing Mechanics

The table below shows students' mean scores on the three subscales that make up the Selected-Response Questions section of the CLA+. The students subscores are determined by the number of correct responses in each subsection, with those raw numbers adjusted based on the difficulty of the question set the students received. Individual student scores are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Subscale Mean Student Scores
Scientific & Quantitative Reasoning (Range: 200 to 800) 484.0
Critical Reading & Evaluation (Range: 200 to 800) 459.0
Critique an Argument (Range: 200 to 800) 455.0