Seniors need test in order to graduate

Mandi Steele

Assessment time is here again.

Students who plan to graduate in May will take the Academic Profiles assessment test either Wednesday, Feb. 19 or on Thursday, Feb. 27. The second date is for those students who have a problem with Feb. 19. The rest of the students will get a short break, since day classes will be dismissed during assessments Feb 19. Evening classes will still be held, however.

Anywhere from 600-700 seniors will have to take the 50-minute test, which covers a variety of general education concepts like communication skills and critical thinking skills.

“It’s a matter of putting your general ed skills together that you have acquired over your college career,” said Dr. Delores Honey, assistant vice president for assessment and institutional research.

She said Missouri Southern uses the results to see how the students are doing and how they rank compared to other seniors across the nation.

During an administrative council meeting, College President Julio León said the real payoff from the assessments comes with how the data is used. Many look at the assessments as a way to measure how well the College is educating its students.

“Everybody is concerned with accountability,” León said.

He urges faculty to have detailed discussions over assessment results so there can be a link drawn between assessments and improvements.

“What we’re really assessing are the programs, the general education programs,” Honey said.

Southern also offers a meal for seniors before they take their test. The location of the test and meal depends upon each student’s major.

Casey Highland, senior criminal justice major, said he doesn’t mind taking the test if it helps out the College.

“It’s really no big deal,” he said.

Highland doesn’t plan to study for the test, since it basically covers common knowledge concepts.

Honey said surveys are normally given to the seniors during their testing hours and many of the departments also give their own assessment tests on the same day.

If he does well enough on his assessment tests, Highland said he won’t have to take his criminal justice finals.

“I think it’s kind of like a bonus,” he said.

Working on 22 credit hours, Highland said it would be nice if he could get out of his seven criminal justice finals.