Assessment Report for the Department of Political Science PROGRAM ASSESSED: Assessment Coordinator:

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Assessment Report for the Department of Political Science
July 1, 2007-June 30, 2008
PROGRAM ASSESSED: Department of Political Science, B.A. Program
Assessment Coordinator: Donna M. Schlagheck, Chair, PLS
Year 4 of a 5 Year Cycle
1. Assessment Measures Employed:
-all graduating majors (32) and minors (13) were surveyed anonymously;
-all majors and minors participated in exit interviews with the Chair;
-selected employers of our graduates were interviewed;
-samples of student writing (PLS 367,370, 454, 460, and 486) were evaluated
to assess whether they demonstrate the analytical writing and critical thinking which are
central goals of the program.
2. Assessment Findings
-Objective One: Students will secure employment in their chosen field.
Findings: Seniors and new alumni report mixed success due to economic conditions in
the Miami Valley. Three reported converting internships to fulltime employment upon
graduation. Graduates who have relocated to Washington, DC report a high level of
success finding work in their chosen field. Other placements include law firms,
commissioned officers in the armed services, the US Foreign Service, and employment in
the office of a member of Congress.
-Objective Two: Students will gain admission to law or graduate school.
Findings: 1 of 3 was admitted to graduate school; 6 of 8 applicants were admitted to law
school, including Case Western Reserve.
Objective Three: Graduates will be prepared to assume their roles as effective and
informed citizens.
1
Findings: All exit interviewees confirmed they were registered to vote. One is currently
running for the Ohio legislature. Three others work in a local Member of Congress’
district office. One is heading a local Obama campaign office.
Learning Outcome #1:
Students will be effective writers.
Findings: Employer interviews at NASIC and a local attorney’s office confirm the
critical nature of this skill, and how central it is in hiring decisions. Evaluation of papers
written in upper-division political science classes indicates that effective writing is
produced by students in these advanced classes.
Learning Outcome #2:
Students will be able to produce policy analyses.
Findings: NASIC and Congressional employers affirm that our graduates possess and
can apply this skill. Evaluation of student writing in policy analysis courses also affirms
this skill has been achieved.
Learning Outcome #3:
Students will have strong critical thinking skills.
Findings: Employers and intern supervisors have offered high praise of student alumni
analytical writing and critical thinking.
3. Program Improvements
Expansion of student internships has occurred, primarily due to the presidential election
year and the work of our faculty member centrally responsible for these active learning
field experiences.
The department also plans to re-invigorate its student honorary society, Pi Sigma Alpha,
to deepen alumni/student networking.
4. Assessment Plan Compliance
No deviations from plan.
5. New Assessment Developments
Assessment data will be reviewed at the department’s winter 2009 strategic planning
workshop.
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