Results of Assessment
2002-2003 (submitted 10/06/03)
Although previous meetings of the assessment committee had outlined a method for collecting and evaluating data for assessment, the program experienced difficulty in maintaining continuity for its assessment plan because of an unfortunate succession of secretaries. The part time nature of the coordinator and the dispersal of faculty across campus makes the secretary especially important for the collecting and filing of student work. Thus the number of papers available from students was small. Nonetheless, we have analyzed those papers that we did have.
- Samples of student writing from two core courses
- Graduating students’ essays analyzing the program (capstone)
Analysis of the Data:
A committee, consisting of Diane Krantz, Maria Parrilla de Kokal, and Sandra Powell, met in October of 2003 to analyze the data collected. We had papers from Feminist Theories, the Women’s Studies Internship, and the Senior Seminar. The essays of graduating seniors provided the richest data concerning the program.
- Sample essays from Feminist Theories, WS 3050, reveal students’ ability to apply theory to analysis of literature and current international/cultural practices with respect to women. In so doing they manifest not only a mastery of the theories but a knowledge of major social, economic political, and psychological issues in contemporary women's lives, globally and locally. While not all of the same caliber, the overall caliber of the work is good. The papers simultaneously meet program assessment goals 1 and 2.
- The two papers from a single student who did a Women’s Studies Internship demonstrate the ability of the student to focus on a narrow topic (in this case women’s reproductive health), thereby meeting goal 4 for program assessment. The student attests to not only learning new information but also to gaining new attitudes about feminist activism and class issues.
- The Capstone papers which served in place of exit interviews extolled the faculty. One student noted that faculty had provided her with "networks, knowledge, mentors, and …friendships." She claimed that the Research Methodologies course was "the most beneficial class" she has ever taken. Her major reservation was that the Introduction to Women’s Studies course was too basic and didn’t prepare her for Feminist Theories: her next core course. The second student attested to her pride in being a Women’s Studies minor. She noted her gratitude for finding her place as a feminist. Her negative responses dealt with finding the dynamics of team-taught courses not conducive to her learning style.
- In addition to getting specific comments about our program from the Capstone, we assessed the caliber of the writing samples themselves. As has occurred in previous writing samples, we continued in our appreciation of the students that we attract in Women’s Studies. Although our quantity may be small, the quality of our students continues to be amazing. The students were articulate and insightful. They supported their ideas with evidence, and their grasp of the English language was sound. They therefore met goal 6 for the program. Just as important, like their predecessors these women were attuned to the world around them and wanted very much to make it a better place for all to live.
Program changes to be implemented in 2003-2004 are as follows:
- Train and assist the new secretary in collecting data from both core and cross-listed courses.
- Complete the outcomes grid for several cross-listed courses and for goals 3, 5, and 7.
- Meet and complete the 2003-2004 data in a timely manner (Spring, 2004).