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Learning Outcomes

Department of Political Science
Program Learning Outcomes for all Degree Programs

General Core Course POSI 2310

Outcome 1:

Students analyze governmental institutions, political behavior, civic engagement, and their political and philosophical foundations.

Outcome 1 - Method 1:

Students in 25% of randomly selected POSI 2310 classes will demonstrate their ability to analyze the development of the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution by responding correctly to a 5-question, end of semester quiz composed of objective, multiple choice questions created and approved by faculty members with 2310 teaching responsibilities.  We expect 75% of students to evidence this outcome at a success rate of 80% or better.

Outcome 2:

Students will demonstrate creative thinking innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information.

Outcome 2 - Method 1:

Students in 25% of randomly selected POSI 2310 classes will demonstrate their ability to evaluate and synthesize knowledge of the federal system of government and the relationship between the federal government and state and local systems by responding correctly to a 5-question, end of the semester quiz composed of objective, multiple choice questions created and approved by faculty members with 2310 teaching responsibilities.  We expect 75% of student to evidence this outcome at a success rate of 80% or better.

Outcome 3:

Students will effectively develop, interpret and express ideas through written, oral and visual communication.

Outcome 3 – Method 1:

Students in 25% of randomly selected POSI 2310 classes will demonstrate their ability to interpret and express ideas about the roles of public opinion and the election process both nationally and in Texas by responding correctly to a 5-question, end of the semester quiz composed of objective, multiple choice questions created and approved by faculty members with 2310 teaching responsibilities. We expect 75% of student to evidence this outcome at a success rate of 80% or better.

Outcome 4:

Students will relate choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.

Outcome 4 – Method 1:

Students in 25% of randomly selected POSI 2310 classes will demonstrate their ability to express their knowledge of civic responsibility by analyzing individual behavior and its consequences in the federal and state political systems of government by responding correctly to a 5-question, end of the semester quiz composed of objective, multiple choice questions created and approved by faculty members with 2310 teaching responsibilities. We expect 75% of student to evidence this outcome at a success rate of 80% or better.

Outcome 5:

Students will demonstrate intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage in regional, national, and global communities.

Outcome 5 – Method 1:

Students in 25% of randomly selected POSI 2310 classes will demonstrate their ability to understand the separation of powers and checks and balances in practice at the national level and in Texas, and to engage effectively in regional and national communities by responding correctly to a 5-question, end of the semester quiz composed of objective, multiple choice questions created and approved by faculty members with 2310 teaching responsibilities. We expect 75% of student to evidence this outcome at a success rate of 80% or better.

General Core Course POSI 2320

Outcome 1:

Students analyze governmental institutions, political behavior, civic engagement, and their political and philosophical foundations.

Outcome 1 - Method 1:

Students in 25% of randomly selected POSI 2320 classes will demonstrate their ability to explain the impact of the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution on civil liberties by responding correctly to a 5-question, end of semester quiz composed of objective, multiple choice questions created and approved by faculty members with 2320 teaching responsibilities.  We expect 75% of students to evidence this outcome at a success rate of 80% or better.

Outcome 2:

Students will demonstrate creative thinking innovation, inquiry, and analysis, evaluation and synthesis of information.

Outcome 2 - Method 1:

Students in 25% of randomly selected POSI 2320 classes will demonstrate their ability to evaluate and synthesize knowledge of judicial review and due process at both the federal and state level by responding correctly to a 5-question, end of the semester quiz composed of objective, multiple choice questions created and approved by faculty members with 2320 teaching responsibilities.  We expect 75% of student to evidence this outcome at a success rate of 80% or better.

Outcome 3:

Students will effectively develop, interpret and express ideas through written, oral and visual communication.

Outcome 3 – Method 1:

Students in 25% of randomly selected POSI 2320 classes will demonstrate their ability to interpret and express ideas about the impact of the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution on civil rights by responding correctly to a 5-question, end of the semester quiz composed of objective, multiple choice questions created and approved by faculty members with 2320 teaching responsibilities. We expect 75% of student to evidence this outcome at a success rate of 80% or better.

Outcome 4:

Students will relate choices, actions and consequences to ethical decision-making.

Outcome 4 – Method 1:

Students in 25% of randomly selected POSI 2320 classes will demonstrate their ability to express their knowledge of civic responsibility by analyzing the rights and responsibilities of citizens on individual behavior, ethical decision-making, and its consequences by responding correctly to a 5-question, end of the semester quiz composed of objective, multiple choice questions created and approved by faculty members with 2320 teaching responsibilities. We expect 75% of student to evidence this outcome at a success rate of 80% or better.

Outcome 5:

Students will demonstrate intercultural competence, knowledge of civic responsibility, and the ability to engage in regional, national, and global communities.

Outcome 5 – Method 1:

Students in 25% of randomly selected POSI 2320 classes will demonstrate their ability to understand express how issues and policies in U.S. and Texas politics impact regional, national, and global communities by responding correctly to a 5-question, end of the semester quiz composed of objective, multiple choice questions created and approved by faculty members with 2320 teaching responsibilities. We expect 75% of student to evidence this outcome at a success rate of 80% or better.

B.A. POLITICAL SCIENCE (2015-2016):          

Outcome 1

Students will demonstrate the ability to ask relevant research questions pertaining to Political Science in their research papers and internship experiences. 

Outcome 1 - Method 1:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review randomly selected research papers (with student names and grades omitted) submitted by students enrolled in Political Science capstone course (POSI 4399).  The committee members will use an evaluation grid to assess demonstrated ability to ask relevant research questions pertaining to Political Science by indicating on the grid whether the ability was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated ability as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the papers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 1 - Method 2:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review internship evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors at the completion of a student internship to assess students’ ability to ask relevant research questions.  The evaluation rubric will require the external intern supervisor to indicate whether the ability was demonstrated by the student intern, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated ability as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 80% of the intern evaluation rubrics will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 2

Students will demonstrate the ability to recognize and evaluate assumptions and implications in their research papers and internship experiences. 

Outcome 2 - Method 1:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review randomly selected research papers (with student names and grades omitted) submitted by students enrolled in Political Science capstone course (POSI 4399).  The committee members will use an evaluation grid to assess  demonstrated ability to recognize and evaluate assumptions and implications by indicating on the grid whether the ability was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated ability as either exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the papers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 2 - Method 2:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review internship evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors at the completion of a student internship to assess students’ ability to recognize and evaluate assumptions and implications.  The evaluation rubric will require the external intern supervisor to indicate whether the ability was demonstrated by the student intern, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated ability as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the intern evaluation rubrics will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 3

Students will demonstrate the ability to examine and evaluate different sides of an issue in their research papers and internship experiences. 

Outcome 3 - Method 1:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review randomly selected research papers (with student names and grades omitted) submitted by students enrolled in Political Science capstone course (POSI 4399).  The committee members will use an evaluation grid to assess demonstrated ability to examine and evaluate different sides of an issue by indicating on the grid whether the ability was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated ability as either exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the papers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 3 - Method 2:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review internship evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors at the completion of a student internship to assess students’ ability to examine and evaluate different sides of an issue.  The evaluation rubric will require the external intern supervisor to indicate whether the ability was demonstrated by the student intern, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated ability as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 80% of the intern evaluation rubrics will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 4

Students will demonstrate the ability to state and defend a thesis that is clear, direct, logical, and substantive in the area of Political Science. 

Outcome 4 - Method 1:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review randomly selected research  papers (with student names and grades omitted) submitted by students enrolled in Political Science capstone course (POSI 4399).  The committee members will use an evaluation grid to assess demonstrated ability to state and defend a thesis that is clear, direct, logical, and substantive in the  area of Political Science by indicating on the grid whether the ability was demonstrated and, if so,  indicating the level of the demonstrated ability as either exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the papers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 4 - Method 2:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review final research papers submitted by students in the internship courses (POSI 4380 and POSI 4680).  Committee members will complete an evaluation grid to assess students’ ability to state and defend a thesis that is clear, direct, logical, and substantive in the area of Political Science.  The evaluation grid will require the evaluator to indicate whether the ability was demonstrated, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated ability as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the papers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 5

Students will demonstrate the ability to find and use a variety of appropriately cited sources.

Outcome 5 - Method 1:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review randomly selected research papers (with student names and grades omitted) submitted by students enrolled in Political Science capstone course (POSI 4399).  The committee members will use an evaluation grid to assess demonstrated ability to find and use a variety of appropriately cited sources by indicating on the grid whether the ability was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated ability as either exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 80% of the papers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 5 - Method 2:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review final research papers submitted by students in the internship courses (POSI 4380 and POSI 4680).  Committee members will complete an evaluation grid to assess students’ ability to find and use a variety of appropriately cited sources.  The evaluation grid will require the evaluator to indicate whether the ability was demonstrated, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated ability as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the papers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 6

Students will demonstrate substantive knowledge of concepts and facts relevant to Political Science.

Outcome 6 - Method 1:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review randomly selected research papers (with student names and grades omitted) submitted by students enrolled in Political Science capstone course (POSI 4399).  The committee members will use an evaluation grid to assess demonstrated substantive knowledge of concepts and facts relevant to Political Science by indicating on the grid whether the knowledge was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated knowledge as either exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the papers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the knowledge at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 6 - Method 2:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review internship evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors at the completion of a student internship to assess students’ demonstrated substantive knowledge of concepts and facts relevant to Political Science.  The evaluation rubric will require the external intern supervisor to indicate whether the knowledge was demonstrated by the student intern, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated knowledge as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the intern evaluation rubrics will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the knowledge at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 7: (Teaching Certification Students Only)

Students working toward teacher certification will demonstrate the ability to apply political science knowledge and methodologies within the classroom setting.  (Student teachers are preparing to instruct secondary school students to understand American democratic principles and government, citizenship and political processes, and similarities and differences among major historical and contemporary forms of government). 

Outcome 7 - Method 1:

Specific to political science majors seeking teacher certification, a committee of faculty members having teaching responsibility in the area of American Government reviewed and revised Outcome 7 – method 1 that does not rely on data collected by the Office of Educator Preparation at Texas State University. The new method 1 for Outcome 7 will be as follows:

"Students seeking teacher certification enrolled in POSI 4398 will create a 10-15 minute video presentation demonstrating their ability to impart political science knowledge. The video presentations be assessed by faculty with American Government teaching experience using a rating scale of: advance competence, competence, beginning competence, or needs significant improvement. We expect at least 80% of our students in POSI 4398 will be rated as demonstrating beginning competence or higher."

Outcome 7 - Method 2:

At the end of the year, faculty committee members will review the evaluation rubrics completed by the capstone professor based on a student’s performance on periodic assignments completed by students enrolled in the POSI 4398 course during the year.  The evaluation rubrics will require the evaluator to indicate whether the ability to apply political science knowledge and methodologies was demonstrated by the student, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated skill as exceeding expectations, meeting expectations, or failing to meet expectations. We expect at least 80 percent of our students in POSI 4398 to meet or exceed expectations.

BPA  (2015-2016) :

Outcome 1

Students will demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills. 

Outcome 1 - Method 1:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review internship evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors at the completion of a student internship to assess students’ demonstrated critical thinking and problem solving skills. The evaluation rubric will require the external intern supervisor to indicate whether the skills were demonstrated by the student intern, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated skills as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the intern evaluation rubrics will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the skills at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 1 - Method 2:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review randomly selected final research papers (with student names and grades omitted) submitted by students enrolled in BPA capstone course (POSI 4397).  The committee members will use an evaluation grid to assess demonstrated critical thinking and problem solving skills by indicating on the grid whether the skills were demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated skills as either exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the papers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the skills at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 2

Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in writing.

Outcome 2 - Method 1:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review internship evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors at the completion of a student internship to assess the students’ ability to communicate effectively in writing.  The evaluation rubric will require the external intern supervisor to indicate whether the ability was demonstrated by the student intern, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated ability as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the intern evaluation rubrics will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels. 

Outcome 2 - Method 2:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review randomly selected final research papers (with student names and grades omitted) submitted by students enrolled in BPA capstone course (POSI 4397).  The committee members will use an evaluation grid to assess demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in writing by indicating on the grid whether the ability was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated ability as either exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the paper will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels. 

Outcome 3

Students will demonstrate effective oral communication skills. 

Outcome 3 - Method 1:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review the internship evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors at the completion of a student internship to assess the effectiveness of students’ oral communication skills.  The evaluation rubric will require the external intern supervisor to indicate whether effective oral communication skills were demonstrated by the student intern, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated skills as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the oral paper presentation evaluation rubrics and will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the skills at the good or exemplary levels. 

Outcome 3 - Method 2:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review the evaluation rubrics completed by the capstone professor who observed the oral presentation of final capstone research projects by students enrolled in POSI 4397 courses.  The evaluation rubric will require the evaluator to indicate whether effective oral communication skills were demonstrated by the student, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated skills as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the oral paper presentation evaluation rubrics and will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the skills at the good or exemplary levels. 

Outcome 4

Students will demonstrate a fundamental understanding of key public administration and management concepts related to their internship experience or applied research project. 

Outcome 4 - Method 1:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review internship evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors at the completion of a student internship to assess students’ fundamental understanding of key public administration and management concepts. The evaluation rubric will require the external intern supervisor to indicate whether the fundamental understanding was demonstrated by the student intern, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated understanding as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the intern evaluation rubrics will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the understanding at the good or exemplary levels. 

Outcome 4 - Method 2:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review randomly selected final research papers (with student names and grades omitted) submitted by students enrolled in BPA capstone course (POSI 4397). The committee will use an evaluation grid to assess fundamental understanding of key public administration and management concepts by indicating on the grid whether the fundamental understanding was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated understanding as either exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 80% of the papers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the understanding at the good or exemplary levels. 

Outcome 5

Students will demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues in public administration. 

Outcome 5 - Method 1:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review internship evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors at the completion of a student internship to assess the students’ understanding of ethical issues in public administration.  The evaluation rubric will require the external intern supervisor to indicate whether the understanding was demonstrated by the student intern, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated understanding as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 80% of the intern evaluation rubrics will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the understanding at the good or exemplary levels.  

Outcome 5 - Method 2:

At the end of the academic year, faculty committee members will review randomly selected final research papers (with student names and grades omitted) submitted by students enrolled in BPA capstone course  (POSI 4397). The committee will use an evaluation grid to assess demonstrated understanding of ethical issues in public administration by indicating on the grid whether the understanding was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated understanding as either exemplary, good,  acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 80% of the papers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 50% will demonstrate the understanding at the good or exemplary levels. 

M.A. POLITICAL SCIENCE  (2015-2016)

Outcome 1

Students will demonstrate advanced knowledge of important concepts within the discipline of Political Science. 

Outcome 1 - Method 1:

After completion of MA in Political Science coursework, non-thesis students will complete a comprehensive oral examination conducted by a committee composed of three graduate faculty members.  The committee members will complete an evaluation grid to assess students’ demonstrated knowledge of important concepts within the discipline of Political Science by indicating on the grid whether the knowledge was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated knowledge as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 90% of students’ work on their oral comprehensive examinations will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 70% will demonstrate the knowledge at the good or exemplary level. 

Outcome 1 - Method 2:

Graduate faculty members will review the thesis submitted by thesis students prior to comprehensive oral examination to assess demonstrated knowledge of important concepts within the discipline of Political Science and will record their assessment findings on an evaluation grid.

The evaluation grid will require the evaluators to indicate whether the knowledge was demonstrated by the thesis student, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated knowledge as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 90% of students’ theses will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 70% will demonstrate the knowledge at the good or exemplary level. 

Outcome 2

Students will demonstrate advanced knowledge of specific scholars and their work within the discipline of Political Science. 

Outcome 2 - Method 1:

After completion of MA in Political Science coursework, non-thesis students will complete a comprehensive oral examination conducted by a committee composed of three graduate faculty members. The committee will complete an evaluation grid to assess students’ demonstrated knowledge of specific scholars and their work within the discipline of Political Science by indicating on the grid whether the knowledge was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated knowledge as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 90% of students’ work on their oral comprehensive examinations will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 70% will demonstrate the knowledge at the good or exemplary level. 

Outcome 2 - Method 2:

Graduate faculty members will review the thesis submitted by thesis students prior to comprehensive oral examination to assess demonstrated knowledge of specific scholars and their work within the discipline of Political Science and will record their assessment findings on an evaluation grid.  The evaluation grid will require the evaluators to indicate whether the knowledge was demonstrated by the thesis student, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated knowledge as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 90% of students’ theses will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 70% will demonstrate the knowledge at the good or exemplary level. 

Outcome 3

Students will demonstrate advanced knowledge of the approaches to the study of Political Science, eg., normative v. empirical theoretical approaches, qualitative v. quantitative strategies of inquiry, and classical and contemporary political theories. 

Outcome 3 - Method 1:

After completion of MA in Political Science course work, non-thesis students will complete a comprehensive oral examination conducted by a committee composed of three graduate faculty members.  The committee members will complete an evaluation grid to assess students’ demonstrated knowledge of the approaches to the study of Political Science, eg., normative v. empirical theoretical approaches, qualitative v. quantitative strategies of inquiry, and classical and contemporary political theories by indicating on the grid whether the knowledge was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated knowledge as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 90% of students’ work on their oral comprehensive examinations will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 70% will demonstrate the knowledge at the good or exemplary level. 

Outcome 3 - Method 2:

Graduate faculty members will review the thesis submitted by thesis students prior to comprehensive oral examination to assess demonstrated knowledge of the approaches to the study of Political Science, e.g., normative v. empirical theoretical approaches, qualitative v. quantitative strategies of inquiry, and classical and contemporary political theories, and will record their assessment findings on an evaluation grid. The evaluation grid will require the evaluators to indicate whether the knowledge was demonstrated by the thesis student, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated knowledge as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 90% of theses will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 70% will demonstrate the knowledge at the good or exemplary level. 

Outcome 4

Students will demonstrate advanced knowledge of specific sub-disciplines of Political Science. 

Outcome 4 - Method 1:

After completion of MA in Political Science course work, non-thesis students will complete a comprehensive oral examination conducted by a committee composed of three graduate faculty members.  The committee members will complete an evaluation grid to assess students’ demonstrated knowledge of the specific sub-disciplines of Political Science by indicating on the grid whether the knowledge was demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated knowledge as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 90% of students’ work on their oral comprehensive examinations will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 70% will demonstrate the knowledge at the good or exemplary level. 

Outcome 4 - Method 2:

Graduate faculty members will review the thesis submitted by thesis students prior to comprehensive oral examination to assess demonstrated knowledge of the specific sub-disciplines of Political Science and will record their assessment findings on an evaluation grid. The evaluation grid will require the evaluators to indicate whether the knowledge was demonstrated by the thesis student, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated knowledge as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 90% of students’ theses will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 70% will demonstrate the knowledge at the good or exemplary level. 

Outcome 5

Students will demonstrate advanced competency in review and synthesis of relevant Political Science literature. 

Outcome 5 - Method 1:

After completion of MA in Political Science course work, non-thesis students will complete a comprehensive oral examination conducted by a committee composed of three graduate faculty members.  The committee will complete an evaluation grid to assess students’ demonstrated competency in review and synthesis of relevant Political Science literature by indicating on the grid whether the competencies were demonstrated and, if so, indicating the level of the demonstrated competencies as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 90% of students’ work on their oral comprehensive examinations will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 70% will demonstrate the competencies at the good or exemplary level. 

Outcome 5 - Method 2:

Graduate faculty members will review the thesis submitted by thesis students prior to comprehensive oral examination to assess demonstrated competency in review and synthesis of relevant Political Science literature and will record their assessment findings on an evaluation grid.  The evaluation grid will require the evaluators to indicate whether the competencies were demonstrated by the thesis student, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated competencies as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 90% of students’ theses will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 70% will demonstrate the competencies at the good or exemplary level. 

M.A. LEGAL STUDIES  (2015-2016)

Outcome 1

Students will demonstrate advanced knowledge and comprehension of legal research methodology and be able to conduct effective legal research. 

Method 1

A committee composed of three graduate faculty members, including a 1st Reader who supervised the student during the research and writing phase of the Applied Research Paper, a 2nd Reader who reviewed the Applied Research Paper prior to the oral comprehensive examination, and the 3rd Reader who has not read the Applied Research Paper, conducts a comprehensive oral examination after completion of MA in Legal Studies coursework. The 2nd Reader, based on the review of the Applied Research Paper and the student’s performance in the comprehensive oral examination, completes an evaluation grid assessing demonstrated knowledge and comprehension of legal research methodology and ability to conduct effective legal research using both primary and secondary sources of law.  The evaluation grid will require the evaluator to indicate whether the knowledge, comprehension and ability were demonstrated in the paper and by the student’s performance in the oral examination, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated knowledge, comprehension, and ability as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 100% of the evaluation grids completed by the 2nd readers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 95% will demonstrate the knowledge, comprehension, and ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Method 2

As an external measure of this outcome, internship supervisors at the conclusion of a student internship will complete an evaluation rubric assessing the intern’s demonstrated knowledge and comprehension of legal research methodology and ability to conduct effective legal research using both primary and secondary sources of law.  The evaluation rubric will require the evaluator to indicate whether the knowledge, comprehension, and ability were demonstrated by the student during the internship, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated knowledge, comprehension, and ability as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 80% of the evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 95% will demonstrate the knowledge, comprehension, and ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 2

Students will demonstrate the advanced ability to communicate effectively in writing. 

Method 1

A committee composed of three graduate faculty members, including a 1st Reader who supervised the student during the research and writing phase of the Applied Research Paper, a 2nd Reader who reviewed the Applied Research Paper prior to the oral comprehensive examination, and the 3rd Reader who has not read the Applied Research Paper, conducts a comprehensive oral examination after completion of MA in Legal Studies coursework. The 2nd Reader, based on the review of the Applied Research Paper, completes an evaluation grid assessing demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in writing.  The evaluation grid will require the evaluator to indicate whether the ability was demonstrated in the paper and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated ability as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 100% of the evaluation grids completed by the 2nd readers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 95% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Method 2

As an external measure of this outcome, internship supervisors at the conclusion of a student internship will complete an evaluation rubric assessing the intern’s demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in writing. The evaluation rubric will require the evaluator to indicate whether the ability was demonstrated by the student during the internship, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated ability as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 80% of the evaluation grids completed by the external intern supervisors will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 95% will demonstrate the ability at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 3

Students will demonstrate the advanced ability to present well-researched and well-reasoned legal arguments. 

Method 1

A committee composed of three graduate faculty members, including a 1st Reader who supervised the student during the research and writing phase of the Applied Research Paper, a 2nd Reader who reviewed the Applied Research Paper prior to the oral comprehensive examination, and the 3rd Reader who has not read the Applied Research Paper, conducts a comprehensive oral examination after completion of MA in Legal Studies coursework. The 2nd Reader, based on the review of the Applied Research Paper, completes an evaluation grid assessing demonstrated ability to present well researched and well reasoned legal arguments.  The evaluation grid will require the evaluator to indicate whether these abilities were demonstrated in the paper and, if so, to indicate the level of these demonstrated abilities as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 100% of the evaluation grids completed by the 2nd readers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 95% will demonstrate these abilities at the good or exemplary levels.

Method 2

As an external measure of this outcome, internship supervisors at the conclusion of a student internship will complete an evaluation rubric assessing the intern’s demonstrated ability to present well research and well reasoned legal arguments. The evaluation rubric will require the evaluator to indicate whether these abilities were demonstrated by the student during the internship, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated abilities as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 80% of the evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 95% will demonstrate these abilities at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 4

Students will demonstrate advanced knowledge and comprehension of the American justice system. 

Method 1

A committee composed of three graduate faculty members, including a 1st Reader who supervised the student during the research and writing phase of the Applied Research Paper, a 2nd Reader who reviewed the Applied Research Paper prior to the oral comprehensive examination, and the 3rd Reader who has not read the Applied Research Paper, conducts a comprehensive oral examination after completion of MA in Legal Studies coursework. The 2nd Reader, based on the review of the Applied Research Paper and the student’s performance in the comprehensive oral examination, completes an evaluation grid assessing demonstrated knowledge and comprehension of the American justice system. The evaluation grid will require the evaluator to indicate whether this knowledge and comprehension were demonstrated in the paper and by the student’s performance in the oral examination and, if so, to indicate the level of demonstrated knowledge and comprehension as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 100% of the evaluation grids completed by the 2nd readers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 95% will demonstrate knowledge and comprehension at the good or exemplary levels.

Method 2

As an external measure of this outcome, internship supervisors at the conclusion of a student internship will complete an evaluation rubric assessing the intern’s knowledge and comprehension of the American justice system. The evaluation rubric will require the evaluator to indicate whether this knowledge and comprehension were demonstrated by the student during the internship, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated knowledge and comprehension as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 100% of the evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 95% will demonstrate knowledge and comprehension at the good or exemplary levels.

Outcome 5

Students will demonstrate advanced knowledge and comprehension of ethical guidelines and disciplinary rules of legal practice. 

Method 1

A committee composed of three graduate faculty members, including a 1st Reader who supervised the student during the research and writing phase of the Applied Research Paper, a 2nd Reader who reviewed the Applied Research Paper prior to the oral comprehensive examination, and the 3rd Reader who has not read the Applied Research Paper, conducts a comprehensive oral examination after completion of MA in Legal Studies coursework. The 2nd Reader, based on the review of the Applied Research Paper and the student’s performance in the comprehensive oral examination, completes an evaluation grid assessing demonstrated knowledge and comprehension of ethical guidelines and disciplinary rules of legal practice.  The evaluation grid will require the evaluator to indicate whether this knowledge and comprehension were demonstrated in the paper and, if so, to indicate the level of demonstrated knowledge and comprehension as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement. We expect that 100% of the evaluation grids completed by the 2nd readers will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 95% will demonstrate knowledge and comprehension at the good or exemplary levels.

Method 2

As an external measure of this outcome, internship supervisors at the conclusion of a student internship will complete an evaluation rubric assessing the intern’s knowledge and comprehension of ethical guidelines and disciplinary rules of legal practice.  The evaluation rubric will require the evaluator to indicate whether this knowledge and comprehension were demonstrated by the student during the internship, and, if so, to indicate the level of the demonstrated knowledge and comprehension as exemplary, good, acceptable, or needs improvement.  We expect that 80% of the evaluation rubrics completed by external intern supervisors will evidence this outcome with a rating of at least acceptable; of those, 95% will demonstrate knowledge and comprehension at the good or exemplary levels.

MPA (2015-2016):

Mission Statement:

The Master of Public Administration Program’s Mission is to cultivate practical, research-oriented students for careers as reflective practitioners guided by democratic values, integrity and service.

Outcome 1

Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in writing.

Outcome 1 - Method 1:

External Review: This method uses both the capstone paper of the Master of Public Administration Program (Applied Research Project) and the oral exam where the paper is defended. The oral exam committee is composed of two faculty and a public administration practitioner. The oral committee members receive the Applied Research Project one week before the exam. The oral exam is held the 14th or 15th week of regular classes. The Applied Research Project is completed over a semester and is an empirical research project dealing with a significant public administration or public policy problem. The papers are generally 60 to 100 pages. An assessment grid is filled out while the public administration practitioner reads the paper and is submitted at the close of the oral exam. The public administration practitioner reviewer will use an evaluation rubric to assess quality of the paper’s structure, grammar and punctuation, paragraphs and use of scholarly references. Structure quality is measured through four items: purpose, headings & subheadings, connections between headings & subheadings and transitions between headings and subheadings. Grammar and punctuation quality is measured through three items: grammar, punctuation and capitalization and style. Paragraph quality is measured through five items: key terms, thesis, body of paragraph, coherence and cohesion. The use of scholarly reference quality is measured through four items: citations, quotations, integration of sources and quality of sources. The grid uses a 1 to 10 quality scale where 10 equals top quality and 1 equals unacceptable quality.  Our target is that 80% of the papers will be rated as 8 or above in each of the individual items. In addition, 80 percent of the papers will score between 32 and 40 for paper structure quality (4 items with scores between 8 and 10: 8 * 4 = 32  and 10 * 4 = 40) and ; 80 percent of the papers will score between 24 and 30 for grammar and punctuation quality (3 items with scores between 8 and 10: 8 * 3 = 24 and 10 * 3 = 30); 80 percent of the papers will score between 40 and 50 for paragraph quality ( 5 items with scores between 8 and 10: 5 * 8 = 40 and 5 * 10 = 50) and; 80 percent of the papers will score between 32 and 40 for use of scholarly references quality (4 items with scores between 8 and 10: 8 * 4 = 32  and 10 * 4 = 40).

Outcome 1 - Method 2:

Faculty Review: This method uses both the capstone paper of the Master of Public Administration Program (Applied Research Project) and the oral exam where the paper is defended. The oral exam committee is composed of two faculty and a public administration practitioner. The graduate faculty committee members receive the Applied Research Project one week before the exam. The oral exam is held the 14th or 15th week of regular classes. The Applied Research Project is completed over a semester and is an empirical research project dealing with a significant public administration or public policy problem. The papers are generally 60 to 100 pages. An assessment grid is filled out while the faculty read the paper and submitted at the close of the oral exam. The faculty reviewers will use an evaluation rubric to assess quality of the paper’s structure, grammar and punctuation, paragraphs and use of scholarly references. Structure quality is measured through four items: purpose, headings & subheadings, connections between headings & subheadings and transitions between headings and subheadings. Grammar and punctuation quality is measured through three items: grammar, punctuation and capitalization and style. Paragraph quality is measured through five items: key terms, thesis, body of paragraph, coherence and cohesion. The use of scholarly reference quality is measured through four items: citations, quotations, integration of sources and quality of sources. The grid uses a 1 to 10 quality scale where 10 equals top quality and 1 equals unacceptable quality.  Our target is that 80% of the papers will be rated as 8 or above in each of the individual items. In addition, 80 percent of the papers will score between 32 and 40 for paper structure quality (4 items with scores between 8 and 10: 8 * 4 = 32 and 10 * 4 = 40) and ; 80 percent of the papers will score between 24 and 30 for grammar and punctuation quality (3 items with scores between 8 and 10: 8 * 3 = 24 and 10 * 3 = 30); 80 percent of the papers will score between 40 and 50 for paragraph quality ( 5 items with scores between 8 and 10: 5 * 8 = 40 and 5 * 10 = 50) and; 80 percent of the papers will score between 32 and 40 for use of scholarly references quality (4 items with scores between 8 and 10: 8 * 4 = 32  and 10 * 4 = 40).

Outcome 2

Students will demonstrate comprehension of public policy and program formation as well as the institutional and legal framework of public policy and management.

Outcome 2 - Method 1:

External Review: This method uses both the capstone paper of the Master of Public Administration Program (Applied Research Project) and the oral examination where the paper is defended. The Applied Research Project is completed over a semester and is an empirical research project dealing with a significant public administration or public policy problem. The paper is generally 60 to 100 pages. It is defended in the 14th or 15th week of the semester. This method involves assessment by an external reviewer.  The oral exam committee is composed of two graduate faculty and a public administration practitioner. The committee members review the paper in the week preceding the oral exam examination. At the completion of the oral exam the external reviewer is asked to evaluate the student’s comprehension of public policy and program formation as well as the institutional and legal framework of public policy and management using an evaluation rubric.  The reviewers will rate the student’s demonstration of this outcome in their Applied Research Projects as exceeds standards, meets standards, or does not meet standards. Our target is that 80% of the Applied Research Projects will meet or exceed standards in each of the areas included in this outcome.

Outcome 2 - Method 2:

Faculty Review: This method uses both the capstone paper of the Master of Public Administration Program (Applied Research Project) and the oral examination where the paper is defended. The oral exam committee is composed of two faculty and a public administration practitioner. The Applied Research Project is completed over a semester and is an empirical research project dealing with a significant public administration or public policy problem. The paper is generally 60 to 100 pages. It is defended in the 14th or 15th week of the semester. At the completion of the oral exam the faculty reviewers are asked to evaluate the student’s comprehension of public policy and program formation as well as the institutional and legal framework of public policy and management using an evaluation rubric.  The rubric uses exceeds standards, meets standards, or does not meet standards. Our target is that 80% of the students will demonstrate this comprehension at the meets or exceeds standards levels.

Outcome 3

Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively orally.

Outcome 3 - Method 1:

External Review: This method uses both the capstone paper of the Master of Public Administration Program (Applied Research Project) and the oral examination where the paper is defended. This method involves assessment by an external reviewer. The Applied Research Project is completed over a semester and is an empirical research project dealing with a significant public administration or public policy problem. The paper is generally 60 to 100 pages. It is defended in the 14th or 15th week of the semester. The oral exam committee is composed of two graduate faculty and a public administration practitioner. The committee members review the paper in the week preceding the oral exam examination. The students present their study and are questioned about their research papers over the course of the oral examination. After the oral exam is complete the outside reader will use an evaluation rubric to assess the student’s ability to communicate clearly (organization and professional delivery and content mastery). The grid uses exceeds standards, meets standards, needs some improvement to meet standards and needs substantial improvement to meet standards. Our target is that 80% of the students will demonstrate this ability at the meets or exceeds standards levels.

Outcome 3 - Method 2:

Faculty Review: This method uses both the capstone paper of the Master of Public Administration Program (Applied Research Project) and the oral examination where the paper is defended. The Applied Research Project is completed over a semester and is an empirical research project dealing with a significant public administration or public policy problem. The paper is generally 60 to 100 pages. It is defended in the 14th or 15th week of the semester. The oral exam committee is composed of two faculty and a public administration practitioner. After the oral exam is complete each faculty member will use an evaluation rubric to assess the student’s ability to communicate clearly (organization and professional delivery and content mastery). The grid uses exceeds standards, meets standards, needs some improvement to meet standards, and needs substantial improvement to meet standards.  Our target is that 80% of the students will demonstrate this ability at the meets or exceeds standards levels.

Outcome 4

Students will demonstrate the ability to identify patterns and classify information, concepts, and theories in public policy and administration.

Outcome 4 - Method 1:

External Review: This method uses both the capstone paper of the Master of Public Administration Program (Applied Research Project) and the oral examination where the paper is defended. The oral exam committee is composed of two faculty and a public administration practitioner. The Applied Research Project is completed over a semester and is an empirical research project dealing with a significant public administration or public policy problem. The paper is generally 60 to 100 pages. It is defended in the 14th or 15th week of the semester. At the completion of the oral exam each public administration practitioner reviewer is asked to evaluate the student’s ability to identify patterns in the paper and classify information, concepts, and theories in public policy and administration. The evaluation instrument does this by asking about the student’s ability to combine the research purpose, conceptual framework, methodology and results sections in a way that achieves a unified whole. The grid uses exceeds standards, meets standards, needs some improvement to meet standards, and needs substantial improvement to meet standards. Our target is that the public administration practitioner will rate the students’ ability as either meets or exceeds expectations in 80 % of the papers.

Outcome 4 - Method 2:

Faculty Review: This method uses both the capstone paper of the Master of Public Administration Program (Applied Research Project) and the oral examination where the paper is defended. The oral exam committee is composed of two faculty and a public administration practitioner. The Applied Research Project is completed over a semester and is an empirical research project dealing with a significant public administration or public policy problem. The paper is generally 60 to 100 pages. It is defended in the 14th or 15th week of the semester. At the completion of the oral exam each faculty reviewer is asked to evaluate the student’s ability to identify patterns in the paper and classify information, concepts, and theories in public policy and administration. The evaluation instrument does this by asking about the student’s ability to combine the research purpose, conceptual framework, methodology and results sections in a way that achieves a unified whole. The grid uses exceeds standards, meets standards, needs some improvement to meet standards, and needs substantial improvement to meet standards. Our target is that the faculty will rate the students’ ability as either meets or exceeds expectations in 80 % of the papers.

Outcome 5

Students will demonstrate the ability to use reasoned arguments to judge evidence in public policy and public management.

Outcome 5 - Method 1:

External Reviewer This method uses both the capstone paper of the Master of Public Administration Program (Applied Research Project) and the oral examination where the paper is defended. The oral exam committee is composed of two faculty and a public administration practitioner. The Applied Research Project is completed over a semester and is an empirical research project dealing with a significant public administration or public policy problem. The paper is generally 60 to 100 pages. It is defended in the 14th or 15th week of the semester. At the completion of the oral exam each public administration practitioner reviewer is asked to evaluate the student’s ability to use reasoned arguments to judge evidence in public policy and public management. The evaluation instrument does this by asking about the students’ ability to use the literature review and results chapters to demonstrate their ability to use reasoned arguments to judge evidence in public policy and public management. The grid uses exceeds standards, meets standards, needs some improvement to meet standards, and needs substantial improvement to meet standards. Our target is that 80% of the papers either exceed or meet standards.

Outcome 5 - Method 2:

Faculty Review: This method uses both the capstone paper of the Master of Public Administration Program (Applied Research Project) and the oral examination where the paper is defended. The oral exam committee is composed of two faculty and a public administration practitioner. The Applied Research Project is completed over a semester and is an empirical research project dealing with a significant public administration or public policy problem. The paper is generally 60 to 100 pages. It is defended in the 14th or 15th week of the semester. At the completion of the oral exam each faculty reviewer is asked to evaluate the student’s ability to use reasoned arguments to judge evidence in public policy and public management. The evaluation instrument does this by asking about the student’s ability to use the literature review and results chapters to demonstrate their ability to use reasoned arguments to judge evidence in public policy and public management. The grid uses exceeds standards, meets standards, needs some improvement to meet standards, and needs substantial improvement to meet standards. Our target is that 80% of the papers either exceed or meet standards.