Political Science Goals and Assessment

B. S. in Political Science

Program Goals 

Program Goal 1: Increase enrollment in the program by 10% over the next five years

Program Goal 2:The Department of Sociology and Political Science will be staffed with a faculty committed to excellence in the areas of:teaching; research; and, service.

Program Goal 3: To better prepare students for real world experience the program will increase the percentage of majors pursuing internships to at least 20% by 2018 .

Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcome 1: Majors in Political Science will understand fundamental issues in American Government, as reflected by performance equal to or above the national average on the ETS Major Field Exam Subscore 1:United States Government and Politics.

Student Learning Outcome 2: Majors in Political Science will understand fundamental issues in International Relations, as reflected by performance equal to or above the national average on the ETS Major Field Exam Subscore 3:International Relations.

Student Learning Outcome 3: Majors in Political Science will learn to think critically, as reflected by responses equal to or above the national average on enrolled student survey items related to Critical Thinking and on the relevant sections of the ETS Major Field Exam Assessment Indicator:Analytical and Critical Thinking.

Assessments

Monitor the number of majors each year - Program Goal 1:The chairperson of the department will monitor the number of majors each year.Results are included in the Department's Annual Report, and the Institutional Effectiveness Report.

Faculty Annual Report and Evaluation Process (Conducted annually in the spring semester) – Program Goal 2: Each faculty member will submit an annual report to the chairperson of the department discussing their efforts for the previous calendar year in the areas of teaching, research, and service.The report will address the following indicators:

  • Teaching - number of courses taught including on-campus courses; on-line courses; and independent studies; enrollment in each course; and, appropriate teaching evaluations.
  • Research - publications; grants funded or continuing; presentations at international, national, regional, or state professional organizations; manuscripts submitted for publication; grant applications submitted; and, research in progress. 
  • Service - service activities for the department, college, university, and community. The annual report is the basis for the Faculty Annual Evaluation.

Monitor number of internships taken by majors – Program Goal 3:The coordinator of the political science major will monitor the number of students taking internships each year and report the results to the department chairperson.

ETS major field examination (Administered each fall and spring semester) - Student Learning Outcomes 1, 2, & 3.Majors in political science with senior classification will take the ETS major field examination in political science.

IDEA Student Evaluation results – Student Learning Outcome 3.The chairperson of the department will monitor the percent of political science instructors identifying Critical Thinking as a key course objective, and the percent of students who report citing progress on Critical Thinking in the related course.

Rational for Outcomes and Assessments 

The chairperson of the department will Monitor the number of majors each year in political science.The results are included in the Department's Annual Report to the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and included in the Department's annual Institutional Effectiveness Report for the political science major.

Each individual faculty member’s progress in their Faculty Annual Report will be discussed with the chair, and an overall summary of the department’s progress will be included in an annual report from the chair to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Committed to Excellence is measured by at least 75% of the faculty receiving a rating of “Outstanding” or, “High” (the two highest ratings on the five point scale used in the evaluations) on their annual faculty evaluation.

To better prepare students for real world experience the coordinator of the political science major will Monitor the number of internships taken by majors.The results are reported to the department chairperson and included in the Department's annual Institutional Effectiveness Report for the political science major.

For the purposes of the assessment of understanding fundamental issues in American Government, performance equal to or above the national mean on the ETS Major Field Exam Subscore 1 United States Government and Politics is operationalized as Tennessee Tech students having a mean score above or equal to the national mean, or a score no lower than one standard deviation below the national mean.

For the purposes of the assessment of understanding fundamental issues in International Relations, performance equal to or above the national mean on the ETS Major Field Exam Subscore 3 International Relations is operationalized as Tennessee Tech students having a mean score above or equal to the national mean, or a score no lower than one standard deviation below the national mean.

For the purposes of the assessment of learning to think critically, performance equal to or above the national mean on the ETS Major Field Exam Assessment Indicator:Analytical and Critical Thinking is operationalized as Tennessee Tech students having a mean score above or equal to the national mean, or a score no lower than one standard deviation below the national mean.As an additional indirect means of assessment the chairperson of the department will monitor percent of instructors selecting Critical Thinking as a Key Course Objective, and the percent of students citing Progress on Critical Thinking from the IDEA Student Evaluation Results.The goals are for at least 50% of the faculty to select Critical Thinking as a key objective, and at least 50% of the students citing progress on Critical Thinking.

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