Submitted Fall, 2004
Based on the 2003-04 assessment results, the existing learning goals, objectives, and measurement tools successfully serve the department's needs. The only modification that will be implemented for the 2004-05 assessment period is the addition of the following question to the graduate survey:
What was your level of activity in the department Chemistry Club? (circle one)
This will allow the department to determine if student values regarding the chemistry club simply reflect their level of participation or are a true value assessment of the role of the club in the department.
The General Studies objectives over which CHEM 145, 150, 160, and 161 student are surveyed could be said to establish minimum levels of exposure to and proficiencies in Chemistry content and methodology for all UNK students. True fulfillment of these objectives would be most accurately assessed using data from non-science majors. Unfortunately, this audience makes up a very small portion of chemistry General Studies classes.
All UNK students must choose science courses from two out of four science departments -at least one of the two courses must include a laboratory component. As the table below shows, very few students choose a chemistry course as a General Studies elective.
2002-03 Major Distribution for Students Enrolled in Natural Science General Studies Courses
| Gen. Studies Courses
|% degree students*
|% "elective" students**
|% undeclared majors
*those taking a department's general studies course because it is required for their academic program
**those taking a course to meet a requirement for general studies, minor, or 2nd major
With such a small percentage of non-science majors (who come from the General Studies "elective" students group) in chemistry General Studies courses, data collected by the Chemistry Department for General Studies assessment is of very limited use. If administrative steps were taken to equalize non-science major enrollment across the four natural science departments, much more meaningful General Studies assessment could be conducted.
Collaborative student/faculty research has become an increasingly essential component in the undergraduate chemistry curriculum delivery. There are a number of positive outcomes that are often discussed in anecdotal and qualitative fashions. Development of meaningful assessment tools has been an issue of national debate due to issues such as complicated control factors, small student numbers (per discipline), and the great breadth and paradigm variety among academic disciplines. The department is interested in exploring the development of undergraduate research assessment in cooperation with the Coordinator of Assessment.