A Task Force Appointed by the Faculty Senate has been establish to examine the goals of General Education and to facilitate the formal program review of General Education in the 1996/1997 academic year. As a result of the work of that Task Force, this tentative Assessment Plan will likely be modified to reflect changes in the General Education Program that arise as a result of that formal review.

I. Goals and Objectives

The General Education program is designed to assist students in developing:

1. Effective written and oral communication
2. Skills related to critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity
3. Heightened intellectual, cultural, and humane understanding and sensitivity
4. The ability to manipulate symbol systems and use quantitative methods
5. Skills associated with the scientific method including rational inquiry, data collection, analysis, theory formulation and hypothesis testing
6. An understanding of world history, civilizations, and political processes
7. An understanding of economics and social sciences
8. An understanding of the interdependence of humankind and the natural world
9. An understanding of the principles of mathematics and the sciences
10. An understanding of literature, the arts, and systems of human thought

II. Evaluation Instruments and Process

The relative success of the general Education Program will be determined by multiple measures such as the following:

1. Comprehensive Examinations
A faculty committee will develop a comprehensive General Education examination. Questions for this examination will be drawn from a test bank of questions provided by all departments responsible for General Education courses. Students will take a comprehensive pre-test at the beginning of their freshman year and a comprehensive post-test as graduating seniors.

2. Department Criteria
Each department which provides general education courses to the student body will develop its own measures of success for those General Education courses for which it is responsible. Such measures may include student surveys, student portfolios, standardized tests or other measures deemed to be both useful and cost effective.

3. Constituent Surveys
A faculty committee will develop three surveys:
· One for graduating seniors
· One for recent graduates (alumni)
· One for area employers
to determine the extent to which the General Education Program is perceived as being effective.

III. Timetable for Implementation

The General Education Assessment Plan will be implemented in two phases:

1. Development
The comprehensive examination, departmental measures, and surveys will be developed and pilot tested by Spring, 1997.

2. Administration
Instruments and processes will be administered beginning in the 1997-1998 academic year.

IV. Assessing Assessment/Feedback

Assessment will be a continuous process which may lead to suggestions of program and/or course modification OR reevaluation and modification of the assessment instruments developed and/or selected OR reevaluation and modification of the General Education goals and objectives. This task will be performed by the faculty group responsible for the General Education program and will be conducted on a biennial basis.

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