Submitted Fall, 2004
Department Learning Goal #1 - Upon completing the course work for a Physics/Physical Sciences degree, students will have developed the ability to critically evaluate and solve problems through the application of appropriate physical principles.
Department Learning Goal #2 - Physics/Physical Sciences graduates will be able to coherently organize and present information through written and oral presentation.
Department Learning Goal #3 - Physics/Physical Sciences graduates will have the necessary skills and knowledge to acquire entry-level positions in the field (including industry and high school teaching) or for admission to their graduate or professional schools of choice.
During the 2003-2004 Academic Year, the Department of Physics and Physical Sciences underwent its 5-year Academic Program Review. Two physics majors graduated, Two junior-level physics major completed the Field Experience by being awarded NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates.
In response to the APR, the Department has taken the following actions:
- canceled offering writing-intensive versions of our introductory physics courses;
- canceled offering activity-based introductory courses for the 2005-2006 academic year;
- the NSS Dean and the Department must approve changes before activity-based introductory physics courses are offered again:
- started planning a strategic plan for the Department;
- have chosen three short-term goals that will be implemented this (2004-2005) academic year (they are implementing a new assessment exam for the introductory physics classes and comparison of results with ACT scores, develop and circulate a survey of our constituencies-both faculty and students, and develop and implement an exit interview for our graduates);
- will start evaluating all our introductory physics/physical sciences classes not just the introductory physics classes;
- started implementing the other recommendation of the APR committee found in the APR committee recommendations. During the 2003-2004 school year, we had two senior physics/physical science students. One physics major, has start graduate work in computer science. The other physics major had a dual major in Industrial Distribution, and is employed in North Platte. Both declined to take the subject specific GRE. Alumni surveys will be mail to these two graduates at the end of the school year.
We also had two junior-level physics students awarded REU grants for summer research experience the University of Michigan's and University of Washington's Physics Departments. Both of these students gave presentations on their research projects to the Department Faculty. The results indicate that the Field Experience is successful in implementing the three Department Learning Goals.
|Oral Presentation Evaluation (2 students)
|Understanding/application of principles
|Appropriate level for audience
|Depth of analysis
Student self-evaluation of summer research experience is reported in the Student Self-Evaluation document
Because of the career choices of our graduating seniors, we were not able to obtain Physics GRE scores for evaluative purposes.
Nevertheless, the Department has recommended the following changes to our Assessment plan.
- We are adding to item #3 of the Outcome Measures of our Assessment Plan. The addition concerns our implementation of standardized exams to evaluate all our introductory physics/physical science classes. See Appendix C for our revised Assessment Plan with the changes highlighted for easy reference.
- Because of the citizenship and competitive restrictions of the NSF summer REU program, the Department will make the Physics Research Project either the REU summer experience or an in-house requirement. We will continue to encourage students to apply for REU positions.
- Last year we evaluated the introductory physics class using the Optometry Graduate School Entrance Examination in Physics. We have reported the results in the OAT Standardized Test Results.