P U R C F I N D...

Program Unit Review Committee
Program/Unit Reviewed: History
Self-Study Chair(s): John Reid
Division: WebCollege
Year of Review: 2014-2015
Date Submitted to VPAA:
Committee findings of self-study strengths:
• Extremely popular faculty members. Sharon Lowe was named one of the Top 25 professors in
the country on Rate My Professors.com.
• Provides courses in history that all students in the NSHE system need.
• All courses transfer to four-year NSHE institutions as General Education, electives or core
requirements for B.A. History
• Several courses offered to allow students to meet Nevada and U.S. Constitution requirements
for graduation.
• 2009 PUR recommendations were reviewed and completed.
• Course assessment, especially in the five survey courses, is in place and being used to make
clearly-identified curriculum changes or changes to student learning outcomes (SLOs) as
• Student learning outcomes and measures for many courses have been recently reviewed and
submitted through CAP and are thus likely to reflect best practices in outcomes assessment.
• History Assessment and Course Standards (HACS) Committee was developed in Fall 2014 to
ensure currency of curriculum and calibration of grading, rigor, content in both online and
traditional history courses. An example of this committee’s work has already revealed
discrepancies in online course sections and has led to a set of required standards and
practices for both online and in-person sections.
• Department seems committed to assessing all courses. A clearly-thought-out plan is in place
for assessment moving forward. Each course is mapped out as to when it will be assessed,
and there are also plans to revise SLOs where appropriate.
Demographics and Enrollment:
• The AA History emphasis degree is fully transferrable to most 4-year institutions in the nation.
• Careful and thorough recognition of low female enrollment was provided along with cited
articles on career and academic choices of women nationwide. Gender enrollment at TMCC
mirrors national trends and is not overlooked by this report.
• Good use of references and national trends to support PUR analysis by author.
• The history program has a good student to faculty ratio, much higher than the college as a
whole. FTE has fallen resulting in fewer sections offered, but the efficiency (as evidenced by
this high SFR) of sections offered has remained very high.
Page 1 of 5; Program Unit Review Committee findings and Recommendations
TMCC is an EEO/AA institution. See http://eeo.tmcc.edu for more information.
Created: 3/16/2015; Rev: 6/23/2015
The history program has a very high rate of retention.
The number of students earning a degree, although low, is rising.
Implementation of new course offerings is to be commended; introduction of online courses
should also serve to increase enrollments.
Students benefit due to the high percentage of history sections that are taught by full-time
History majors attend school full-time at a rate that is much higher than the college as a
Quality Matters, a program to certify high quality design of online courses, has been taken by
all History faculty. This ensures students are getting the best online history courses possible.
• All of the full-time faculty members have a Ph.D. degree, which is above the required
credentials for teaching history.
• There is a high full-time to part-time faculty ratio that exceeds the current institutional goal.
• Current classrooms function for the classes that are taught in the department. Based on
student demand, they offer classes at satellite sites and are foreseeing offering at the Redfield
campus when the Nursing program is relocated.
• Ample office space for faculty members.
• The classified staff is adequately serving the department.
• All faculty use multiple modes of technology to increase student engagement and active
learning. The NBCLearn resources give students access to contemporary news alongside
• The department has a three year timetable for all History courses to be reviewed according to
Quality Matters standards.
• The department’s History Club is proving as a good resource for generating interest in
students who may not initially have an interest in taking History classes and connecting
students to the program for increased enrollment and higher retention rates.
• The current operating budget provides adequate support for the department. Currently, no
student lab fees are collected.
Committee findings on self-study weaknesses:
• PUR mentions learning outcome assessment as a struggle. Several courses do not have a
recent CAR on file and appear to have been taught recently but were not assessed. However,
many of these same courses are now scheduled to be assessed “As Taught”.
• HIST 248/288/289/291 outcomes have not been reviewed since 2007.
Demographics and Enrollment:
• As noted by the self-study authors, women in this program are under-represented relative to
TMCC as a whole and college-going students nationally.
Resources: none noted
Page 2 of 5; Program Unit Review Committee Findings and Recommendations
TMCC is an EEO/AA institution. See http://eeo.tmcc.edu for more information.
Rev.: 6/23/2015
Committee Strategies and Recommendations:
• Continue the efforts of the newly-formed History Assessment and Course Standards
Committee (HACS) and document findings and improvements made as a result. This could
serve as a model for other departments to follow.
• Review and revise if necessary the SLOs/measures for HIST 225, 228, 248, 288, 289, 291,
and 294 as requested by the Office of Assessment & Planning and as self-identified by the
authors in the Strategies section.
• Explore opportunities to offer courses to Washoe County School District (WCSD) students.
For example, explore the possibility of offering history courses in US History and World
towards the Dual Credit program. Washoe County School District students must complete 1
credit in US History and 1 credit in World History/World Geography for a Standard Diploma.
Work with Dean Bowen, who is making efforts to develop agreements for more courses to
count as core curriculum instead of just electives.
• Explore the possibility of offering non-credit/special interest/community interest courses, such
as courses towards a museum docent.
• Apply for Foundation Grants to implement technology such as iPads in the classroom if
determined it will enhance student learning.
• Become familiar with UNR’s Silver Core to determine the impact on the program’s course
offerings and to ensure that smooth transferability of courses between TMCC and UNR
remains unchanged. (The Office of Assessment and Planning can assist with this.)
• Work with Institutional Research Office to begin tracking graduates or transfer students to
gain information for transfer success.
Demographics and Enrollment:
• Better communicate to students that history courses can replace the Core Humanities
requirement at UNR, as a strategy to increase enrollment. Work with Advising and the
Marketing and Communications Office, as necessary, towards this recommendation.
• Work with the office of Marketing and Communications to develop some marketing materials
aimed and increasing enrollment in the history program. Consider marketing materials aimed
at women to reduce their under-representation in the program.
Notes pertaining to misunderstanding of data
On pages 2.22 and 2.23 the author states “Operating on the assumption that ‘declared majors’
refers specifically in this data to those students who have chosen history as their major and are
enrolled in history classes…”. The author should be aware that although it is true that students
on these pages are declared history majors, it is not true that they are taking history courses
(they may be taking zero history). The analysis of the data on page 2.24 is basically correct, as
the author describes the changes in categories between credits attempted and credits earned.
However when the author notes that the number of cases stays the same between the 2 tables
he asserts that “Students may drop classes but evidently stay in their history classes”. This is
not accurate. The students displayed on these pages are History declared majors and as such,
do not vary from table to table within a given term. The graph is displaying the end of term
result of history-majors dropping any of their courses, some of which will be history, some of
which will not.
On page 2.27 there is a misunderstanding of FTE. The author refers to “enrollment of full-time
students”. FTE is defined as “full-time equivalent”. So 15 students taking 1 credit each, and 1
Page 3 of 5; Program Unit Review Committee Findings and Recommendations
TMCC is an EEO/AA institution. See http://eeo.tmcc.edu for more information.
Rev.: 6/23/2015
student taking 15 credits, both equate to 1 FTE. Full-time student is the wrong concept. (page
2.31 bottom paragraph has the same issue)
• Develop a strategy to increase strength and quality of the part-time faculty pool.
• Partner with the Marketing and Communications Office to develop marketing plan for new and
existing courses to attract more students to the program.
• Implement a plan to acquire additional funding for faculty to attend conferences.
• Partner with the Foundation Office to explore grant opportunities for the program.
Page 4 of 5; Program Unit Review Committee Findings and Recommendations
TMCC is an EEO/AA institution. See http://eeo.tmcc.edu for more information.
Rev.: 6/23/2015
PURC Members
Melissa Deadmond
Chair, PURC; Interim Associate Dean of Assessment and Planning
Julia Bledsoe
Program Officer, VPAA’s Office
Gabriela Brochu
Instructor, Foreign Languages
Jody Covert
Director, Nursing
Erin Frock
Counselor, Counseling
Meeghan Gray
Instructor, Biology
Julie Muhle
Professor, Dental Assisting
Cheryl Scott
Assistant Director, Institutional Research
Henry Sotelo
Instructor, Paralegal/Law
Anne Tiscareno
Executive Assistant, Assessment & Planning
By signing, the Self-Study Chair(s) and Dean agree to the stated findings and recommendations
made by the Program Unit Review Committee and, that following VPAA and President approval,
acknowledge that the program must continue to address recommendations until completed through
Annual Progress Reports (APRs).
Self-Study Chair(s):
Page 5 of 5; Program Unit Review Committee Findings and Recommendations
TMCC is an EEO/AA institution. See http://eeo.tmcc.edu for more information.
Rev.: 6/23/2015