Degree Program Assessment Plan
The major goal of our program is to give students seeking degrees in History a broad understanding of the varieties of ways of examining the past.
Students should have the ability to read and understand primary and secondary sources, including archival documents, journal articles, monographs and textbooks.
Students should have the ability to communicate multiple ways of understanding the past, both in written and verbal form, to others.
Students should have a basic understanding of the workings of historiography.
Students should be able to apply historical reasoning and knowledge of the past to other disciplines.
The Department of History uses several methods to assess students. A major instrument of assessment is the use of student portfolios, containing exams, short essays, and research papers from all levels of History courses. Students also include a resume and an essay assessing their own work and reflecting on their learning experiences as history majors.
Surveys of alumni are also chief instruments of assessment. Periodically, a survey is taken of students who majored in History. We will institute that this survey will occur every three years.
The Department of History meets once a year to analyze the assessment information collected. Faculty members discuss the results of their reading of student portfolios to gain an understanding of what students are learning in their history courses. Attention is paid to both content and skills, especially in regards to analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as writing skills. Starting in the Spring 2007, the Department of History will conduct also an exit interview of graduating Seniors with questions about program requirements, course offerings, advising, etc. Changes to the department’s degree programs, including curriculum and scheduling of courses, are considered in light of the accumulated assessment data. Further, the assessment plan itself is discussed and, if necessary, revised at this meeting.
All full-time members of the department participate in the analysis and discussion of assessment data, as well as the revision of the assessment plan. In the Spring 2007, the department will start to survey all Seniors taking the Proseminar (capstone course) to enable them to participate in assessment. This survey will provide the opportunity to suggest changes to the curriculum or degree programs. As noted above, alumni as well as current students are involved in the assessment process.
Starting in the Fall 2007, the Department of History will keep all the portfolios that students turn in during an academic year until the end of the Spring semester. After the assessment data is discussed by the faculty at the end of the academic year in question, students will be able to get their portfolio back. The Department of History will keep also an archive of the Senior exit interviews, alumni surveys, any other assessment data collected, copies of all assessment reports, and copies of its assessment plan on file in the department office. Copies of the assessment plan and reports will be placed on the departmental web page in a downloadable electronic format.
Revised March 2007.