Inter American University of Puerto Rico
February 14, 2005
On July 1, 2003, the MSCHE informed Inter American University’s Ponce Campus that its accreditation status had been reaffirmed. In this same communication, a monitoring report related to the written plan for the Campus assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning was also requested by March 2005.
This report includes a description of the progress made in the development and implementation of the assessment plan following the Evaluation Team’s visit and subsequent report.
Development and Implementation of the Assessment Plan
The Campus has continued with the implementation of the Assessment Plan originally submitted as part of the Self Study Report with special emphasis at the Academic Program level. Among the more significant developments are the following:
Assessment plans for each academic program (Goal 3, Objective 1 of Master Assessment Plan) were revised by faculty and academic department chairs to include intended educational outcomes, appropriate data collection measures, and use of results (See examples in Appendix A).
Dr. James Nichols, author of the book A Practitioner’s Handbook for Institutional Effectiveness and Student Outcomes Assessment Implementation and Director of University Planning and Institutional Research at the University of Mississippi has been hired as a consultant in the Campus’s assessment efforts, and the Plans developed are based on Dr. Nichols model.
A Faculty training program has been initiated to develop the skills needed to create the instruments that will be used for data collection and outcomes measurement. To date, ten workshops have been offered including a session on Specification Tables and item construction. The assessment instruments are expected to be completed by September 2005, and validation processes will be initiated in October.
As part of an ongoing Title V grant – Improving Institutional Effectiveness, the Campus has been able to develop an Information System that allows the production of reports important for decision-making processes (See Appendix B).
Also part of the Title V grant, the Skills Laboratory has worked with English, Spanish and Math professors to identify skills, develop skill inventories and administer instruments in order to establish baselines, determine student needs and determine effectiveness of laboratory activities. For example, rubrics were developed to evaluate compositions in English and Spanish, and a comparative analysis of pre and post laboratory tests was realized in order to determine the effectiveness of classroom and laboratory activities. Systemic efforts to develop instructional modules are being based in part on the efforts initiated at the Ponce Campus Skills Lab.
The Teacher Education Program is currently undergoing assessment at the Systemic level. Four faculty members from the Ponce Campus are participating in this process. These professors along with their colleagues from other Campuses are examining the congruence between the General Education courses and the Teacher Certification Exams as well as the congruence of the Education curricula with the Puerto Rico Department of Education’s recently revised regulations for teacher licensing.
As part of the Ponce Campus commitment to the Assessment Process an Academic Assessment Specialist was appointed. This person has attended several workshops including “The Fourteenth Annual Institutional Effectiveness Associates and Agathon Press Intensive Workshop” Assessment Institute in Indianapolis Conference and several Assessment related workshops offered by local educational institutions including Inter American University. This specialist is also attending a series of specialized workshops offered by the College Board of Puerto Rico and Latin America as part of Institutional efforts to develop standardized tests for the General Education Program.
Professors from the Campus are involved in the College Board training program including professors from English, Spanish, Math and Computer and Information Literacy. The second phase of the training program will include professors from Religion, History, Philosophy, Ethics and other General Education areas.
The participation of professors from all Campuses of the Inter American University system, including Ponce, in this project is part of the steps towards developing a systemic Assessment Model for the General Education Program.
By May 2006, the first battery of tests (English, Spanish, Math, Computer and Information Literacy) will be administered and the second battery of tests in May 2007.
The Campus continues to set Assessment as one its priorities, and recognizes the need to maintain an ongoing process of data collection and analysis as an integral part of the decision making processes. As more information becomes available, and faculty and personnel develop knowledge and skills in the area, assessment activities will become more systemic and systematic. The Campus is committed to the achievement of the Goals and Objectives of its Mission Statement and recognizes that accurate assessment of what we do and what students learn is a necessary part of this process.
SAMPLE OF REPORTS GENERATED FOR ASSESSMENT PURPOSES
Number of Students Admitted by Level and Major
This report allows the Campus to view admission tendencies by academic program and level. It is used jointly with a report on graduates by level and program to determine student flow per program.
Comparative Report of Admission Applications Status
This report is used to determine the progress made in processing admission applications by level (graduate, undergraduate, certificate). The information is used to analyze current admissions rate as compared to previous years, and to adjust processes accordingly.
This report is used to determine which students will be placed on academic probation and to initiate appropriate follow-up processes. It is produced biannually. This report is also used in analysis of students in programs with specific GPA requirements such as Education, Nursing and Biomedical Sciences.
Students with GPA of 1.50 or less
Similar to the Academic Progress report, this data is used to determine Financial Aid eligibility and to identify at-risk students.
Graduates by Level and Academic Program
This report provides information on the profile of the student population and the academic programs. This data is used jointly with other information to analyze long-term flow of students per program.
Students in the Honor Program by Year of Study
The information provided in this report is used to observe retention rates in the Honor Program, determine academic offerings needed, and budgeting for Honor Program scholarships.
Grade Frequency in Online Courses
This report is used to follow retention rates and student outcomes in online courses. It is used in comparison with a report on Grade Frequency in Traditional Courses.
Students on Probation
This report is prepared and sent to the Professional Counseling Center . The Center uses this report to follow-up on student progress