The Department of Geography’s assessment plan is focused on the teaching mission of the Department, which states in part:
As a discipline of study, Geography is considered both a Social and Natural Science. In a sense, Geography is a "bridge" discipline that synthesizes and integrates the knowledge of the physical sciences as they relate to the earth and those disciplines dealing with the human condition. Geography is the discipline that treats the inter-relationships of people and the land. The Department of Geography strives, within the tripartite nature of a university, to promote integrated research and various teaching approaches that lead to an array of academic courses serving curricula at all levels of the institution by providing the geographic perspective to the Baccalaureate degree.
The Department plays a major role in the General Studies Program of the University offering diverse courses in both the Natural and Socials Sciences. The Department also offers four (4) baccalaureate degrees/majors (BA, BS, BS with GIS/Spatial Analysis Option, and BS with an Environmental Option), a 7-12 Teaching Endorsement, and two (2) Minors (Geography and Spatial Analysis). The Department’s Assessment Plan assesses both the Major/Minor components and the General Studies component, but with different emphases and assessment tools.
A variety of active, student centered mission components are derived from the Department's mission:
- Students will demonstrate regular progress towards and attainment of professional levels of communication of geographic data and analysis, including writing, oral presentations and/or poster presentation skills;
- Students will be competent in the presentation and interpretation of geographic information through the use of maps and other media. Geography Majors and Minors will be able to produce quality maps in one or more of the following production methods: Computer drafting, computer cartography, or applying Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to map production and spatial analysis;
- Students will demonstrate critical thinking and analytic skills through the ability to locate, assimilate, organize, and critically review appropriate geo-spatial information.
- Students will understand and demonstrate basic knowledge of the distinctiveness of places and regions at various scales of generalization;
- Students will be able to describe and explain the earth's basic physical and atmospheric processes, and how they affect the spatial distributions of landforms, climates, soils, vegetation and/or hydrologic features;
- Students will be able to describe and explain the basic characteristics, distribution and interconnectedness of human and cultural features on the Earth’s surface;
- Students will be able to describe and explain various human-land interactions as they relate to both the effects of human activities upon the landscape and landscape processes, as well as the effects of the landscape and landscape processes on human activities.
- Students will demonstrate the set of civil and professional values and conventions that serve to enhance communication and encourage cooperation with and among colleagues;
- Students will demonstrate responsible and professional work habits and ethical standards in their coursework and subsequent careers.
Previous Mission, Replaced Spring 2007