15 departments volunteer selves for assessment

Dr. Delores Honey - Assistan Vice President for Assessment and Institutional Research

Dr. Delores Honey – Assistan Vice President for Assessment and Institutional Research

Jessica MacIntosh

While the seniors were participating in Senior Assessment Day Feb. 22, the faculty members took part in their own assessment day.

“We thought it was extremely successful,” said Dr. Delores Honey, assistant vice president for assessment and institutional research.

As part of Senior Assessment Day, the faculty participated in an assessment department display viewing fair, a faculty luncheon, an award presentation and an address by guest speaker Dr. John Gardner, liaison to the first year Foundations of Excellence project.

Honey said 15 of the 23 departments at Missouri Southern volunteered for the event.

“We thought that was outstanding,” Honey said.

The departments who volunteered were biology and environment health, business departments, communications, computer aided drafting and design, computer information sciences, criminal justice administration, dental hygiene, foreign languages, kinesiology, music, nursing, psychology, radiologic technology, respiratory therapy, teacher education and theatre.

She said each of the departments had to have an assessment, which they used as a result of assessment activities for instruction and student services improvements.

“Most of them focused on improving their curriculum or improving their teaching or improving some of their activities that they did within their department to promote learning,” Honey said.

She said the quality of the presentations and the professionalism they presented them was “nice.”

“This was a new step for us,” Honey said, “taking assessment day to a different level because we had not focused on the departments showing what they were doing as a department.”

During the award presentation, the accounting department won the first Closing the Assessment Loop Award. The department also received $1,000 for future assessment activities next year.

“That was a separate competition,” Honey said. “It also, we think, will lead to more recognition of efforts that the departments are putting out.”

Dr. David Smith, associate professor of accounting, said he is pleased the department won.

“The department is pleased,” Smith said. “We were fortunate to win.”

Senior Assessment Day has been going on since 1991 and is a day planned in the spring calendar by the University president. Honey said Southern is one of the few educational institutions across the nation which participates in an assessment.

“It’s a very important message to students the faculty that they know are out there monitoring, proctoring, administering the senior assessment test in which they are participating,” she said.

During the day, a general education and core curriculum test is given to the seniors. Honey said major departments can choose to give their major field assessments on the same day or they may choose another day. University President Julio León speaks to the students before the assessment begins to discuss the importance and to thank them for their participation, Honey said.

Honey also said assessment day is required by the state and looks to the improvement and integrity of Southern.

“It’s in our mission statement that we will continue to assess our programs to ensure that their quality and they are appropriate for our mission,” she said.

Honey said assessment day plays a part in the accreditation process.

“It is extremely important,” she said.

She said they are trying to arrive at the last step of making it an improvement process and documenting the improvements of the programs.

“That’s what the term closing the loop is all about,” Honey said. “You finally come to the end of the cycle of assessment by actually documenting it, showing you have improved and then how that improvement works.”