Submitted Fall, 2004
- Students will have the knowledge of chemical, biological, and physical science concepts necessary for entrance examinations such as the MCAT, DAT, OAT, etc. and for entrance into a health science field.
Standardized entrance exams continue to be an increasingly important component in student applications to medicine, optometry, and dentistry professional schools. The attached data compares UNK average test scores with the national averages for the MCAT, OAT, and DAT exams from 1997 - 2003. The UNK average test scores are very comparable to the results from the 2003-2004 Assessment Report.
The largest area of concern remains the composite MCAT average which continues to be approximately two points lower than the national average. The DAT average is more comparable to national average and remains only a half of a point lower. The OAT test continues to be the test on which UNK students enjoy the most success. This year the UNK average is approximately seven points above the national average.
Examination of individual subsections of these tests show very similar results as compared to the last analysis. On the MCAT and the DAT, students continued to score higher in the Biological Sciences (which includes organic chemistry questions on the MCAT) than they did in the other science portions of those tests. On the MCAT, the Physical Sciences section was the lowest. This section includes questions from both Physics and General Chemistry. For the DAT, General Chemistry was the lowest science score. Physics is not included in the DAT.
Of the sciences examined in the OAT, students again scored the highest in the Organic Chemistry section. Students scored the lowest on the Physics section and this was the only section of the OAT in which UNK students scored below the national average in any significant way.
The placement/acceptance statistics are overall slightly less for this assessment period, but overall the statistics show that UNK students continue to be very successful overall in gaining acceptance to professional schools and clinical programs. The ten year average for all UNK applicants in all Health Science Programs remains ~70%. Every year, UNK is above the national average of accepted applicants for most programs. For example, most pharmacy programs will receive at least three applications for every position available. For the past ten years, UNK has had approximately a 65% acceptance rate to pharmacy schools. Similarly, most medical schools have approximately a 3 to 1 ratio of applicants to available positions, resulting in a ~ 33% acceptance rate nationwide. The UNK acceptance rate to medical school from 1997-2003 is 44% making it well above the average.
The final assessment measure of student knowledge was a survey of professional schools and clinical programs to which our students apply. The professional schools and programs that were surveyed also rated UNK students a 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 in terms of science and math preparation. Most programs to which our students apply also calculate a separate science and math GPA that plays heavily in admission decisions and based on the acceptance success of UNK students; this also points towards sufficient preparation.
Based on these pieces of information, the overall science and math preparation of UNK students appears to continue to be sufficient for acceptance and entrance in a health science professional school.
The courses in which the content of these entrance exams is covered are outside of the Health Programs department, and therefore, it is not possible for this office to make curricular changes in order to improve these scores. However, the purpose of examining these scores is to provide this information to the academic departments at UNK for their review and discussion and to provide this information to the applicants. The Director will continue to use the information to advise students in regards to test preparation and to convince students about the importance of solid preparation. The Health Programs Office also will continue to increase the number of test preparation materials available for student checkout and encourage student study groups and practice testing. The information will also be used to advise students on selecting courses that will best prepare them for entrance exams.
Examination of UNK's acceptance statistics shows that UNK students continue to be very successful overall at gaining admission. Therefore, no changes are being recommended based on this information at this time.
- Students will demonstrate the verbal skills necessary to be successful in their field.
The results of examining the verbal and reading comprehension sections of the standardized exams remain virtually unchanged from the previous assessment period. The Verbal Reasoning scores of UNK students on the MCAT are comparable to the national average as they are with a half of a point of the national average. On the DAT and OAT, UNK students again consistently score higher than the national average on the Reading Comprehension section.
Based on the results of the data analysis above, no changes are being recommended at this time. The department will continue, however, to encourage students to practice test taking strategies and to prepare for those portions of the entrance exams.
Students will continue to be encouraged to take elective courses that will enhance their overall communication skills. This will benefit them in their interview and their overall application to professional school and will continue to benefit them once they enter their profession.
- Students will demonstrate professional conduct.
The following data was included in the 2002-2003 Assessment Report and there have been no changes to the data because the Office of Health Science Programs plans to conduct this survey every five years. However, the data is being included here again for informational purposes.
The Health Programs Office conducted a survey of professional schools and clinical programs to which our students are most frequently accepted during the spring of 2003. Eighteen out of thirty-nine programs responded. On the survey, schools were asked to rate UNK students in seven different areas on a scale from 1 to 5 (1 being poor, 5 being excellent). Following are the average ratings for each of the five areas:
- Overall educational preparation of UNK students upon entering the program: 4.22
- Educational preparation of UNK students in science and math: 4.00
- Overall success of UNK students once they begin the program: 4.00
- Acceptance rate of UNK students into the program: 3.83
- Graduation rate of UNK students from the program: 4.56
- Level of professional conduct demonstrated by UNK students: 4.00
- Work ethic exhibited by UNK students in your program: 4.11
UNK students rated a 4.00 and a 4.11 in the areas of professional conduct and work ethic. This is a "very good" rating on this survey and thus shows that the majority of UNK students do exhibit these qualities and values as they enter their professional school or clinical program.
No programmatic changes are being considered at this time due to the high ratings received by UNK students. The information from the survey will be used to help advise students in ways that continue to meet the needs of the professional schools and clinical programs. Students will continue to be advised to participate in activities that further develop their professionalism and work ethic such as shadowing experiences, volunteer opportunities, community/campus involvement, and other types of medically related experiences.
This information, demonstrating the success of former UNK students, will also be used in the recruitment and retention of new students. The department will continue to periodically conduct this survey in the future.