Submitted Fall, 2003
The MBA Program Assessment Plan calls for the use of both direct and indirect measures of outcomes.
All MBA students must take a capstone course (BMGT 892 - Administration Policy) at the end of their program. In the course, the students will be required to complete a paper analyzing business situations. The Assessment Plan requires these papers to be copied prior to grading by the instructor and given to the Director of the MBA Program. Following the end of the semester, twenty percent of the papers are to be randomly selected and evaluated by an Assessment Sub-Committee of the MBA Program Committee using the Written Paper Rubric.
Unfortunately, the students in the capstone course did not complete a paper in the 2002-03 capstone course due to extenuating circumstances. As it turned out, the person teaching that course experienced major personal problems during the semester. Unfortunately, it was learned late in the semester that the course was not being handled properly. And, as a result, the teacher was replaced by another professor. However, there was not sufficient time for the students to complete a paper at that time.
MBA Student Survey
A survey (.pdf) was given at the end of the spring 2003 semester to students in the capstone course.
Student Outcome 1
Twenty students completed the MBA Survey (.pdf) in the capstone course in the spring. All were asked to indicate their agreement (or lack of) with 28 statements covering the knowledge, skills and values they should have obtained in the Program.
Findings - In general, the students agreed that they had acquired the knowledge and skills in all of the areas except for three. Their responses were 'neutral' with respect to being able to effectively perform financial planning. In addition, their perceptions were between 'neutral' and 'agreement' concerning their ability to analyze financial information and to perform statistical analysis. See Table 1 (.pdf).
Recommendations - At a glance, it would appear that the course and/or the cases studied need to have more financial and statistical experiences. However, it must be noted that these results, due to the problems encountered in the capstone course this spring, may not represent the norm.
Student Outcome 2
The students were also asked to indicate those abilities and skills that they felt were very important for success on the job. They were told to circle any of the 28 numbers that applied.
Findings - As would be expected, communication skills along with problem solving and critical thinking topped their list. The use of statistical analysis and the need to demonstrate cross-cultural sensitivity were rated lowest. See Table 2 (.pdf).
Recommendations - There is a very high correlation between those skills students believed they had obtained in the program when compared to those skills that they believe will be necessary on the job. Perhaps some more time could be spent on problem solving skills.
MBA Alumni Survey
A survey, which was basically identical to the MBA Student Survey (see Appendix B), was sent to MBA alumni that graduated three years ago (all MBA alums who graduated in the year 2000). A total of 30 surveys were mailed to alumni who whom addresses were available. Only seven of the surveys were returned.
Alumni Outcome 1
The same objectives were covered and the same scale was used. And, they were asked to respond the same way that students were. That is, they were asked to indicate their agreement (or lack of) with 28 statements covering the knowledge, skills and values they should have obtained while in the MBA program.
Findings - All alums agreed that they had acquired the knowledge and skills in all of the areas, except that their responses were more towards 'neutral' with respect to five statements (see Table 3 - .pdf). Those were:
- Deliver a visual presentation.
- Analyze financial information.
- Analyze competitors and markets.
- Negotiate and manage conflict.
- Understand global markets and trade.
Recommendations - Although this information will be passed on, a sample of only one year coupled with the fact that only seven alumni responded, could very well not be a valid sample. More data needs to be collected next year to see if similar results are obtained.
Alumni Outcome 2
The alumni were also asked to denote those abilities and skills that were important for success on the job. Again, they were asked to circle the number for any of the 28 statements that applied to them.
Findings - Much like the MBA students, alumni see communications and problem solving of major importance on the job. At the bottom of their list was the use of financial planning. See Table 4 (.pdf).
Recommendations - As before, this is too small of a sample to use as a basis for change. Results of the next survey will be compared to these results to see if there are areas to be addressed.
Use of the Results
Given the lack of direct measures (as noted above) and the one-year sample data for the indirect measures, probably not much action will be taken with respect to the results at this time. However, the results will be distributed and discussed with the appropriate parties in the College.
Assessment of the Assessment Plan
The assessment plan will be reviewed by the MBA Program Committee following the acceptance of this report. The objectives will be reviewed. And, probably, a few of the statements on the survey instruments will be reviewed and/or rewritten. However, major changes in the assessment plan are unlikely pending the gathering of further data next year.