STUDENT OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT PLAN
Professional Science Masters – Biotechnology
Department of Biology
University of Northern Iowa
Section I.
Departmental Philosophy of Student Outcomes Assessment
The intent of the Department of Biology’s Professional Science Masters (PSM) Program in
Biotechnology is to prepare highly trained professionals that are able to provide scientific and
technical leadership in the field of biotechnology. The PSM program integrates meaningful
practical experiences along with classroom teaching to prepare students to be critical thinkers
and creative and competent professionals. The PSM program has a strong real-world
component. The ultimate aim of our program is to educate our students for work outside
academia and consists of advanced training in biotechnology content, requires an industrial
internship instead of a research thesis, and provides training in problem-solving, team building,
business fundamentals and communication skills.
Section II. Outcomes, Competencies and Assessment methods
Outcome I: Graduates from the PSM Biotechnology program will demonstrate the
theoretical knowledge and practical skill sets necessary for a position in
industry.
Competency 1:
Students will demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and ideas
appropriate for the field of biotechnology including: the broad spectrum of the
field, an overview of wide ranging regulatory issues, a general understanding of
quality analysis/quality control regulations as well as having a strong skill set in
regards to relevant laboratory techniques.
Competency Assessment Methods:
a. Demonstration of the knowledge, data analysis and practice of basic
molecular biology techniques such as cloning, PCR analysis, gene
expression analysis and vector construction will be attained from the
required and elective PSM courses that have an associated laboratory
component; grades will be used as a supplement to reports, papers and
presentations for assessment.
b. Demonstration of knowledge of basic regulatory requirements including
QA/QC issues will be attained from the PSM seminar courses.
c. Internship mentor evaluation.
d. Employer post graduation survey.
Competency 2:
Students will have introductory-level familiarity with basic business
organizational management principles.
Competency Assessment Methods:
a. Term paper as well as oral presentations in the Business Management for
Science Professionals course will demonstrate an understanding of a key
business principle with regard to a specific example of biotechnology.
b. Internship mentor evaluation.
c. Employer post graduation survey.
Outcome II: Graduates from the PSM programs will be able to effectively use both oral
and written communication skills.
Competency 3:
Students will effectively communicate scientific observations, analyses, and
arguments in a written format typically required by professionals in their fields
Competency assessment methods:
a. Scientific writing samples from each required PSM course (Advanced
Analytical Techniques, Advanced Cellular and Molecular Biology, Team
Project Problem Solving, PSM Seminar, PSM Internship) will be
maintained by the student in a Work portfolio at the start of their
program.
b. Internship mentor evaluation.
c. Alumni survey.
d. Employer post graduation survey.
Competency 4:
Students will effectively communicate scientific observations, analyses, and
arguments orally in group interactions and presentations
Competency Assessment methods:
a. Presentations in several of the required PSM courses (Team-Problem
Solving, Advanced Cellular and Molecular Biology, Advanced Analytical
Techniques and PSM Seminar). Hard copies of these presentations will be
included in the student Work portfolio.
b. Alumni post graduation survey.
c. Employer post graduation survey.
Outcome III: PSM Biotechnology graduates will be effective problems-solvers and team
workers.
Competency 5: Individual problem-solving skills
Students will be familiar with modern problem solving techniques and
creative thinking methods. Lateral thinking, critical thinking, and innovative
thinking methods (based on the ideas of the De Bono School and others) will
be applied to develop solutions for typical real-world problems encountered
in biotechnology companies such as market analysis, target identification,
product development, process optimization, and strategic development.
Competency Assessment Methods:
a. Frequent discussions will be used to develop and cultivate each student’s
critical thinking capabilities. Written evaluation reports for each student,
provided by the instructor, will reflect on the development of such skills
and added to the student’s portfolio.
b. Advancements made in developing critical thinking and problem-solving
skills will be assessed from materials generated by the student. Examples
of flow-charts, concept maps, mind maps, as well as other written
documentation generated during relevant course work will be added to
the student’s portfolio.
Competency 6: Teamwork development skills
PSM students will learn to work in diverse teams consisting of students with
different skill sets and backgrounds. They will gain experience in leading
small teams in reaching a common goal and successfully integrate varied
opinions into a final solution. While learning to elucidate, identify, and
manage interpersonal problems that will occur during group work, students
will strengthen their oral communication skills to become better team
workers capable of reaching consensus solutions.
Competency Assessment Methods:
a. The outcomes of weekly team meetings will be reflected by oral
presentations and written communications given by the students.
Examples of such reflections will be added to the student’s portfolio.
b. Personal self-reflection essays will be collected from each student at the
beginning of the project, in the middle, and at the end of the second
semester and added to the student’s portfolio.
c. Student teams will write formal summary reports about their work by the
end of the term and add those reports to their portfolio.
Section III. Analysis-Interpretation and Reporting of Results
At the start of the PSM program each student will be responsible for maintaining a Work
Portfolio of their academic progress. This portfolio will include a representative sample of the
student’s work from the required PSM courses including: Advanced Analytical Techniques,
Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology, Team Project Problem Solving, Business Management for
Science Professionals, PSM Seminar and PSM Internship. The portfolio will be used by the PSM
Biotechnology committee to evaluate the student’s progress towards the completion of their
program after the Fall and Spring semester.
After graduation of the student, portfolios will be maintained by the PSM Biotechnology
coordinator. Program assessments will be performed every two years where the PSM
Biotechnology coordinator meets with members of the department’s Outcomes Assessment
Committee to determine if PSM Biotechnology students are meeting the outcomes and
competencies outlined in the Outcomes Assessment plan. They may also evaluate feedback
from alumni and industry about the program's adequacy in preparing the students for industry
careers. All potential program modifications will be reviewed by the PSM Biotechnology
committee and any changes will be forwarded to the Graduate Committee for review and
ultimately passed on to the departmental Curriculum Committee.
Findings that exemplify the program goals will be shared with the national PSM initiative and
will be used in marketing the program to students and to potential internship providers.
Negative findings will be used to drive curriculum/program revisions.
Download

STUDENT OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT PLAN Professional Science Masters – Biotechnology Department of Biology