Submitted Fall, 2003
Five objectives were assessed by the Criminal Justice Department faculty to better evaluate the learning of students majoring in Criminal Justice.
||Were CJ graduates able to gain employment in criminal justice career fields. The assessment tool was the 5 year survey which was conducted during the summer of 2002 and included all graduates from the fall of 1997 to the summer of 2002. The performance criteria stated that 60% of the graduates should have been able to find work in the criminal justice field within the past 5 years.
The survey results indicated that 61% had found full time employment in the CJ field, 1% had found temporary CJ employment, 19% were attending or planned to attend graduate or law school and 18% were working in a non-criminal justice career field.
Analysis by the CJ faculty determined that while we did meet the proposed criteria, we should also consider it successful if students were attending graduate or law school because most would end up in a criminal justice profession.
||In this area, we were looking to see if our students would be able to demonstrate professional conduct in the actual criminal justice field. The assessment tool we chose were the intern evaluation completed on 65 students who performed internships in the field from the Spring of 2002 through the Summer of 2003, with outside (external sources of the university) supervisors rating them. To verify the student's ability in this area, Dr. Sasse did a statistical analysis of questions 4,5, and 6 from the evaluation. Results indicated that for question 4 the mean was 9.0 with 96.9% of 65 students receiving above an 80% average for this question. Question 5 had a mean of 9.0 with 95.3% of the students receiving above an 80% average, and on question 6, the mean was 9.18 with 98.5% of the students receiving above 80%.
Analysis by CJ faculty was that the students doing their internships appear to be prepared in this area. It is anticipated that these numbers will fall next year when we reduce the requirement for students to have a 2.5 g.p.a to do an internship to only having a 2.0.g.p.a.
||This objective looked at student's demonstrated ability to relate to diverse groups of clients with the criminal justice system. We chose the intern evaluation question 8 as our assessment tool. On this measurement 56 students were evaluated and 9 were not observed by the supervisor. The mean was 8.77 with 92.8% receiving above 80%.
Analysis by faculty indicated that we had met this goal, but again it will probably drop within the next few years.
||Internship evaluation questions 11 and 13 were used to determine the students written abilities and initiative, respectively. In writing ability 46 were evaluated with a mean of 8.87 and on question 13 regarding initiative the mean was 8.81 with 89% of the students scoring above 80%.
Also in this area to determine writing ability, the monograph CJUS 471 was reviewed by both the teacher and one additional faculty member using a rubric. After reading the papers, and filling out the rubric, it was determined by all of the faculty that the concept of writing a monograph in lieu of taking an internship was detrimental to the students. It was the unanimous decision after utilizing the rubric for one semester to discontinue the requirement of having a monograph required for graduation if the student did not take an internship. Those students desiring to do research and write papers in lieu of a monograph may do so, but they will take CJUS 499 Independent Study. This portion of the original assessment report will be deleted from the assessment plan as soon as the proposed changes to our program curriculum have been approved and published. It was the opinion of the faculty that an internship would be much more valuable to the student than the monograph.
Analysis of the intern evaluations done by outside supervisors will be continued to be used and we feel that writing skills are probably lower than what was reflected. Since this was the first time it was measured, this will be the base that we will use for future reference.
||Objective 5 indicates that students would be able to demonstrate that they understand the basics of criminal justice systems. Results from the mandatory test (identical to the one used at our sister institutions of UNO and UNL) as compiled by Dr. Sasse, indicated that the mean was 66.56 and the median was 68. We only had 32% pass above a 70. While we were below the initially stated goal of 70% passing (which we established as a goal before we started offering this test) we were approximately 2 points above our sister institutions of UNO and UNL. UNO's program is supposed to be one of the best in the country. Dr. Sasse also developed an additional 6 pages of statistics as a result of this measurement tool which he presented to all of the faculty for discussion.
The second of the three assessment tools used to determine this was question 4 from the 5 year survey in which the respondents indicated their satisfaction with the criminal justice program at UNK. The alumni results indicated 53% were very satisfied, 43% satisfied, and only 2% dissatisfied. No specific reasons were given, except in some of their remarks they did not like a particular teacher. As CJ faculty we were pleased with these results and plan on increasing their satisfaction with the program by modifying the CJ program in the Fall of 2004.
The third assessment tool used was question 12 from the intern evaluation. Results indicated that all students were evaluated on this criteria and received an 8.8 for a mean score, with 92.3% receiving 80% or above.
Analysis: It was the opinion of the CJ faculty that based on the above 3 criteria, our students are as well prepared for the work force and understood the criminal justice system as well as students from our sister institutions. Based on the alumni survey, our graduates have a high opinion of our program, and from the information received from supervisors of our interns, it is apparent they are very satisfied with the quality of our graduates. While all of this is gratifying information, we are aware that we need to constantly work with our students and insure that they receive quality education and that our program is both progressive and meets the needs of our future students. We are doing this through updating our required curriculum and constantly monitoring our own teaching techniques and working on scholastic endeavors.
In the 5 year study completed in the spring of 2002, it was recommended that the department faculty reevaluate the current curriculum offered for a major in criminal justice and update it. The CJ faculty met during the summer of 2003 after considering changes to the program and submitted a proposal for adding 7 new courses and merging or inactivating 6 courses. It also adopted the recommendation for a capstone course in which the mandatory test for assessment evaluation (see objective 5) will be given. These proposed changes were presented to the college's education policy committee for review in Sept. 2003 to be adopted in the Fall of 2004.
The assessment process takes time. It was discussed in the Fall and Spring CJ faculty meetings. It was found that in our case, two special meetings had to be called in the Spring of 2003 and Summer 2003 to come up with a new and better program curriculum. The basic reason we moved to change the program was the recommendation from the 5 year program review. All indications from alumni surveys and intern evaluations indicate that our students are well prepared for the work force. We want to stay strategically ahead in our planning.
The assessment process in regards to the rubric on monographs and evaluation of writing, did indicate to us the questionable value of the concept of a monograph. We inactivated this course and incorporated this course's content into CJUS 499 Independent Study to better foster independent research.. We also now allow more students to take internships.
We did note as a faculty that we felt the 5 year alumni survey was best performed on a 5 year basis. We recommend that a newsletter be included with the letter that goes out to the alumni and that there is a stamped self addressed return letter included to insure a high return rate.
Giving the mandatory test indicated to us that our students were at least as well prepared, if not better prepared than their peers at our sister institution. We will continue to monitor this and to make comparisons with them.
Outcomes Assessment Statistics