Missouri S&T Assessment Policy
All students at Missouri S&T are required to participate in appropriate student learning outcomes assessment activities. The requirement to assess student learning originates from the directives of the Governor and General Assembly of the State of Missouri. Public universities are accountable to the state, and are expected to prove their value by demonstrating student learning outcomes to show that MS&T is a good steward of Missouri State funding.
The coordination of assessment processes is housed within the Office of the Provost under the guidance and support of the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment. In addition to working closely with colleges, programs and non-academic support units, the Director has regular contact with the Student Success Committee and the University Assessment Committee.
General Education Assessment
All students who have completed between 45-75 credit hours will be scheduled to take the ETS’ Proficiency Profile test, which measures general education skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and critical thinking. Students will be notified the semester they qualify to take the test. Students who have earned a total of 45 or more credit hours and who fail to test will have a HOLD placed on their academic account. This HOLD will prevent students from registration of future semester courses. Information on how to tell if the test is available can be found at http://ira.mst.edu/ets/.
Major Field Assessment
Seniors are scheduled to take the major field assessment test before being cleared for graduation. Engineering students are required to take the Fundaments of Engineering (FE) test, and non-engineering majors are required to take the Major Field Test (MFT). Some departments administer faculty developed tests in lieu of the FE examination or MFT.
Information about the FE test and requirements are available through the engineering departments. The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment along with the Testing Center administers the Major Field Test. Students receive the MFT notification from their department. Information about MFT test dates and sample questions are available at http://ira.mst.edu/mfat/.
General Education Program Learning Goals
The General Education program is designed to help students acquire sufficient general knowledge and intellectual versatility to enable them to become informed and resourceful members of society. The seven broad learning goals of the general education program have been that students will develop:
1. an ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing
2. an ability to think critically and analyze effectively
3. an ability to apply disciplinary knowledge and skills in solving critical problems
4. an ability to function in diverse learning and working environments
5. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities
6. an awareness of national and global contemporary issues
7. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
General Education Course Distribution
The general education program defines a comprehensive and balanced distribution of six content areas and requires that a student take courses from each area:
English/Composition, 4-6 credits
Western Civilization, 6 credits
Foreign Languages, 12-16 credits
Sciences, 12 credits
Humanities, 12 credits
Social Sciences,12 credits
Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering must fulfill all courses in the Common Freshmen Year program as listed under the Freshman Engineering Program. The degree program shall include a minimum of 21 credit hours in the following subjects: English, History and Economics with the remaining courses chosen from the list of approved humanities/social sciences courses, published on the website for the Office of Undergraduate Studies (http://ugs.mst.edu). Departments may further specify the requirements for these electives.
In addition to the direct measures of assessment outlined above, student learning outcomes are also assessed indirectly through various surveys. For example, freshmen and seniors are scheduled regularly to complete the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), which obtains information about student engagement and participation in degree programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development.
Use of Assessment Results
In this integrated assessment process, the evidence gathered through assessment activities are used in several ways:
· Students use evidence to improve their own learning processes and outcomes.
· Faculty use evidence to update and improve curricula, either in content or methodology.
· Degree programs use evidence in periodic program reviews and ongoing curriculum development to ensure that the program outcomes for student learning are being met.
· Colleges use evidence to set priorities for resource allocations and to monitor the contribution of degree programs to the college mission and goals.
· Professional staff members use evidence to modify existing services and to create new approaches for delivering services to students.
· University administrators use evidence to assess the quality of the degree programs and support services provided to students and the effectiveness of the university in carrying out its mission