Graduate School Program Review
All undergraduate and graduate degree granting programs at the University of Utah are subject to regular review. These reviews are characterized by a general approach: They are collegial in the broadest sense of the term and are based on the concept of peer review; they are scholarly in that they seek to define questions whose answers will increase understanding of the programs; they are comprehensive in that they view the programs under review as being connected both to other programs within the university and to the intellectual issues of the discipline at large; and finally, they are dynamic in that they result in actions that will improve undergraduate and graduate education.
Program review involves the participation of external consultants, who are professors of national reputation in the discipline under review, as well as an internal review team consisting of faculty members drawn from other departments of the University of Utah. Reviewer reports are synthesized by the Graduate Council into a summary report that includes commendations and recommendations. Following preparation of the summary report, a wrap-up meeting with key participants is held to create a memorandum of understanding identifying specific actions to be taken to address review recommendations. Regular follow-up reports are submitted to assess progress made in addressing review recommendations. In addition, a 3-year post-review meeting will now be included as part of the review follow-up process.
LEAP Learning Communities are a suite of fifteen different academic programs, varying in length from one to eight semesters. There are approximately 800 to 1,000 students enrolled in LEAP courses each year.
The LEAP Program is meant to encourage and enhance a students success and facilitate their timely graduation. This is accomplished through multiple approaches from smoothing their transition into the University from high school, another college, or a stopping-out experience to quickly connecting students to their majors, faculty, other students and the campus in general. The LEAP program also fulfills several general education requirements with offerings range from the Fine Arts and Engineering to Health Sciences.
One of the distinguishing features of LEAP is that students move through the program as a cohort which includes their instructor and peer advisors. We believe this aspect of the program contributes greatly to the high retention and persistence rates that have been observed in the LEAP program over the past ten years.
Assessment of the program has included:
- A matching study which isolated the effect of participating in LEAP on students compared to other students that were demographic twins (same gender, ethnicity, age, and similar Admissions Index scores and more). This study examined approximately 1500 matched pairs over eight cohorts (years).
- Ongoing observation of retention and six-year graduation rates for LEAP vs. non-LEAP students using institutional data.
- A survival study that used event-history analysis to study retention and graduation rates among 21,000 students at the University of Utah, 15% of whom participated in LEAP.
- Educational Benchmarking Incorporated (EBI) surveys delivered to LEAP students each spring since 2010, which allow us to compare LEAP to similar programs across the country.
For more information about the LEAP program please visit leap.utah.edu. Annual reports and the 2015 LEAP assessment report can be found on the LEAP webpage locate at http://leap.utah.edu/research-assessment/index.php
The Honors College
The Honors College provides an innovative educational environment, where students are challenged to think, ask questions, take risks and explore the full scope of the world around them. Students acquire the intellectual tools that will enrich their lives and enable them to become engaged citizens and thrive in a rapidly changing global community.
Consistent with its mission, the Honors College provides intellectually curious, motivated students with the foundations of a rigorous liberal arts education within the context of a world-class research university. Honors students complete a demanding undergraduate curriculum that includes both depth and breadth of study. The Honors curriculum consists of four Honors core courses, three Honors elective courses tailored to the interests of the student, and an undergraduate thesis completed under the supervision of a faculty member.
Learning outcomes for students graduating with an Honors Bachelors Degree from the University of Utah include:
- Demonstrate a broad literacy across the liberal arts and sciences, as well as possess expertise in their major field;
- Identify, critically analyze and assess information from a variety of sources and perspectives;
- Formulate an argument clearly and cogently both orally and in writing;
- Apply research methods in their discipline, complete a significant research capstone project and demonstrate intellectual independence;
- Prepare for graduate study in an academic or professional school, or be prepared for positions in the public, private or nonprofit sectors.
For more information:
The Honors College
"University of Utah Honors College Undergraduate Council Review 2010-2011”
Honors College on-going and future assessment plans
Hinckley Institute Internship Model
The Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah runs one of the nation’s oldest internship programs. Each year, the Hinckley Institute places nearly 400 students locally, nationally, and globally in a wide range of government, nonprofit, think tank, and business organizations. For five decades, the Institute has championed the learning outcomes of engaging multidisciplinary students in civic processes and practical politics.
Over the past ten years, the Hinckley Institute’s internship program has experienced significant expansion and refinement. The Institute has actively adjusted its internship model to tie academic theory to practice, to offer substantive placements in the most salient areas, and to provide students with career-launching networks and experiences. Over the last two years, the Hinckley Institute has further honed its internship model, curriculum, and assessments in response to significant published research. Data from various studies has revealed the importance of internships in preparing university students to enter the workforce. However, additional data has demonstrated student difficulty in articulating experiential learning outcomes in relation to their academic path and future career prospects.
Mission: Housing & Residential Education (HRE), a team of dedicated student leaders and staff, serves
the University community by encouraging, facilitating, and supporting the learning and
development of all residents while creating an inclusive and safe living environment.
HRE has a robust assessment plan to align with the University ofUtah’s Big Goal of Promoting Student Success. As a key contributor to student engagement, HRE utilizes a range of assessment strategies to ensure mission fulfillment. Key metrics include occupancy and demographics, retention and GPA, the Resident Feedback Survey and other survey data.
In order to understand the impact of co-curricular learning, Project CEO (Co-curricular Experience Outcomes) was administered through Student Affairs. This survey was developed as a partnership between the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and Stephen F. Austin University. In spring 2015, a total of 57 institutions participated. The outcomes measured were skills that employers find most desirable when hiring college graduate students. These skills including the following: the ability to communicate verbally, work in a team structure, make decisions and solve problems, plan and organize work, obtain and process information, analyze quantitative data, use software programs, write and edit written reports, and sell or influence others. They also expected them to have some technical knowledge related to their future career. Students were asked to indicate if they had gained these skills from their classes, co-curricular experiences, both or not at all.
Graduating Student Survey
The Graduating Student Survey is a collaborative institutionally-developed survey to understand graduation related outcomes related to time to degree, barriers to degree completion, demographics, involvement and satisfaction. The survey is administered by Student Affairs Assessment, Evaluation and Research with the collaborative input from Career Services, Enrollment Management, the Graduate School, Office of Budget and Institutional Analysis, Office of Equity and Diversity, and Undergraduate Studies.
This survey is administered to all students who have applied for graduation during spring semester and includes undergraduate, graduate students and first professional students. The survey contains skip logic to streamline the experience for students and length of the survey varies based upon response patterns. The survey is administered during the three-week window before commencement and two weeks following. Results are used by stakeholders from Academic Affairs and Student Affairs as a key assessment measure.
Student learning is the focus of everything we do at the University of Utah. All of our programs are designed to enhance what students know, believe and are able to do in the world around them. In this way, student success is measured not only by how efficiently students attain their degrees but how much they learn along the way.
Expected Learning Outcomes by College
The goal of the Office of Learning Outcome Assessment is to work with colleges and departments to develop learning outcomes assessment plans and provide resources for collecting, analyzing and reporting data. This will help the University document students' attainment of targeted learning outcomes and to use those data to improve programs.
Learning Outcomes Assessment