Graduating seniors participate in annual assessment

Senior assessment day, Feb. 22, is mandatory for seniors, students with 90 or more credits; however, all other students have the day off. Night classes will still be held that day.

The assessment test aims to measure how much a student has learned in his or her field of study. Designed for students seeking a bachelor’s degree, the test also covers the core curriculum.

Each department compiled a list of seniors and sent letters in early February containing details. This annual test is for students who plan on graduating in the spring, summer or fall semester 2006. The faculty members in each department design their own sets of tests.

Students are encouraged to perform their best. The results are used to measure achievement and to fulfill the requirement the state requirements for high education institutions.

Each department tailors its test.

“The senior art students participate in senior assessment,” said Nick Kyle, head of the art department. “To take advantage of the open day, the faculty of the Art Department conducts junior review, our departmental assessment for art majors who have completed at least 21 hours of art and have completed the foundation classes. The faculty will review and evaluate 12 students on senior assessment day and 12 more on March 31. Each session lasts 30 minutes.”

The sessions are individualized for each student, but must follow the general format.

“The student writes a comprehensive paper, exhibits 10 or more art works and answers questions from the faculty committee concerning their participation in the department, the international mission, the quality of their work and commitment to graduation,” he said. “Art majors must pass the junior review in order to enroll in senior exhibit, a required class for all majors.”

The communication department simulates a professional interview to review the student’s readiness to enter the workforce. The students are required to bring their resume, cover paper and supportive materials.

Faculty reviews the material and discusses the position with the student.

After the simulations, the student receives their review. Students are also given the opportunity to evaluate the assessment process.

Student’s views of the assessment day vary.

“I think it is worthwhile, but half the people who take the test don’t remember half the stuff they learned,” said T.M. Bryant, senior criminal justice major. “If I get into the seven percentile, I don’t have to take the finals for criminal justice.”

Bryant finds doing well on the test to his benefit. However, some students recognize all students do not put forth their best effort.

“Although some people really don’t care about the test, they also didn’t care on the freshman assessment test,” Alex Vassilev, senior mathematics, CIS and Spanish major.

“It’s not a waste of time,” he said. “The University should know if they are changing anything by providing a four-year education. There is merit in it, in the sense that it is for the school itself to evaluate itself to see if education is worth it.”

Although seniors have differing opinions about the test, all seniors are required to take the test before graduation.