Student Outcomes Assessment Plan Graduate Programs in Modern Languages I. Departmental Philosophy of Student Outcomes Assessment The Student Outcomes Assessment plan for graduate programs in the Department of Modern Languages will serve several purposes. It provides a benchmark against which the efficacy of each of the graduate programs can be measured, it insures that degree candidates are making appropriate progress toward the relevant degree, and establishes the basis of a "profile" telling prospective employers or other graduate programs what can be expected of someone who holds an M.A. degree from the University of Northern Iowa in the areas represented by the Department of Modern Languages. The Assessment Plan for M.A. candidates in Spanish is meant to insure that the program fulfills its multiple purposes of honing the candidates' ability in the four language skills-reading, writing, understanding, and speaking--, providing in-depth training in the literature and linguistics of the Hispanic language communities, and in their cultures. The distribution requirements for this program (1 civilization or culture course, 8 credits of literature, 8 credits of linguistics/grammar and/or translation) assure that none of these essential areas is overlooked. In addition, graduate students need to be able to carry out research independently. Courses and seminars at the 200-level insure that the students have those experiences as part of their graduate work. Each non-thesis candidate is also required to have a research paper approved by a committee and filed in the department in order to complete the M.A. program, so that there is evidence of the student's ability to carry out research and present the findings in the target language. Furthermore, comprehensive examinations, both written and oral, are required, in part demonstrating the students' ability to use the target language both orally and in writing to express themselves. II. Outcomes and Competencies Outcome 1 Students will be able to communicate in the target language, both orally and in writing. Competency 1.1 Students will understand the spoken language in its major dialects. Competency 1.2 Students will be able to make their ideas clear--on both a conversational and a scholarly level--in speaking with target-language speakers who know no English. Competency 1.3 Students will be able to read and comprehend non-literary material written in the target language at both a conversational and a scholarly level. Competency 1.4 Students will be able to express themselves clearly in writing in the target language on both a conversational and a scholarly level. Outcome 2. Students will be knowledgeable about the culture of the target language communities. Competency 2.1 Students will know the history and geography of the target-language areas. Competency 2.2 Students will be aware of regional differences within the target-language communities. Competency 2.3 Students will recognize manifestations of the culture of the target-language areas in literature. Outcome 3 Students will be knowledgeable about literature written in the target language. Competency 3.1 Students will be acquainted with the literary history of the target language. Competency 3.2 Students will recognize authors and titles of works written in the target language. Competency 3.3 Students will be able to analyze and criticize literary works written in the target language. Outcome 4 Students will be able to answer in writing analytical and synthesizing questions dealing with the target-language literature, language and culture spontaneously in the target language. Competency 4.1 Students will write in-class essay exams entirely in the target language. Competency 4.2 Students will write comprehensive examinations in the target language. Outcome 5 Students will be able to answer orally analytical and synthesizing questions dealing with the target-language literature, language and culture spontaneously in the target language. Competency 5.1 Students will have literary, linguistic, and cultural discussions in the target language in classes and seminars. Competency 5.2 Students will have oral comprehensive examinations in the target language. Outcome 6 Students will be able to carry out independent research, reporting the results in the target language. Competency 6.1 Students will write research papers in target language as part of classwork. Competency 6.2.a Students on a non-thesis program will be required to have a research paper written in the target language approved by their M.A. committees and filed in the Department of Modern Languages. Competency 6.2.b Students on a thesis program will write the thesis and defend it in the target language. III. Frequency of Assessments Assessments will occur at mid-program (when the student has completed 9 to 12 credit hours in the program), in the final semester prior to graduation, and five years after graduation. IV. Methods of Assessment Assessments will occur through class discussions, tests, and required papers in the target language. A. At mid-program 1. departmental summary checksheet for each student (copy attached) 2. completion of form GF-1 3. graduate GPA B. At program completion 1. written and/or oral comprehensive exams in target language 2. a) submission of approved research paper in target language for students on nonthesis plan, or b) in the case of students on the thesis plan, the successful defense of an M.A. thesis and its acceptance by the Graduate College C. Post-Graduation 1. departmental survey taken every other year of graduates 5 years out. V. Analysis-Interpretation and Reporting of Results A. Every May a list of candidates who have completed the program, along with the titles of their research papers or theses, will be submitted to the Head of the Department of Modern Languages. B. Results of the every-other-year survey of graduates will be analyzed and retained in the Department of Modern Languages.