SACS Principles of Accreditation
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Section III: COC Comprehensive Standards

3.3.1 The institution identifies expected outcomes for its educational programs and its administrative and educational support services; assesses whether it achieves these outcomes; and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of those results.



JUDGMENT OF COMPLIANCE

Partial Compliance.

NARRATIVE/JUSTIFICATION FOR JUDGMENT OF COMPLIANCE

The University identifies expected outcomes for its educational programs and its administrative and educational support services; assesses whether it achieves these outcomes; and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of those results. Although Texas A&M International University has always required assessment of its programs and an analysis of its institutional effectiveness, in the last two years the faculty and administration have been working toward establishing a culture of continuous assessment. This process has meant a restructuring of academic program and administrative/educational support assessment. The University has been successful in transforming its accountability requirements and in implementing processes and procedures that make assessment a priority for all academic programs and administrative units. However, additional effort is needed to ensure that faculty distinguish between learning processes and learning outcomes, evaluate the data they receive, and use the results for fundamental change in their academic programs. Most administrative units already had assessment instruments in place that provided information on their effectiveness. The dialogue between academic programs and administrative units has increased, largely due to increased awareness of the value of continuous assessment.

On the academic side, each program generally employs three means of assessment, both direct and indirect, as measures of its success. Each semester the program faculty meet to discuss goals for academic success, confirm or alter the means of assessing those goals, gather and assess the data, and then make appropriate recommendations for programmatic change. On the administrative side, all units use survey data to analyze the efficacy of their support functions and determine their responsiveness to the needs of students, faculty, and community members. All academic, administrative and educational support services align their goals with the Institutional Mission.

Assessment of academic programs is conducted every semester with the results being used to improve the programs in the following semester. Examples of this process include:

  • In nursing, concern about the effect of changing national standards on pass rates for the nursing licensure examination (NCLEX-RN) resulted in nursing faculty raising the standard for passing on the Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) exit examination.
  • In psychology, the Senior Practicum (PSYC 4321) was modified to include five mini-workshops that address deficiencies in subject knowledge areas for the Area Concentration Achievement Test (ACAT).
  • All undergraduate degree programs in the College of Education were reconfigured using the new Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES).
  • In response to lower than expected results on a graduate comprehensive examination given by the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, the courses in accounting ethics and taxation have been revised for content and coverage.

Each administrative and educational support unit conducts assessments on an annual basis with results used to improve services. Examples of this process include:

  • The Office of Human Resources implemented an automated time-keeping system for vacation and sick leave to alleviate the record-keeping burden on employees.
  • To improve accessibility and visibility of police officers, the University Police Department purchased patrol bikes and golf carts to promote access in all areas of the campus.
  • In response to high demand for library orientation and training in the use of databases, the Texas A&M International University Killam Library instituted and published a schedule of orientation sessions at the start of each semester.

At the present time, the majority of academic programs and administrative/educational support units have issued reports on their activities. All academic, administrative and educational support unit assessment reports may be found on the Office of Institutional Effectiveness web page. (Assessment Reports)

Plans for Compliance
The institution is still in a transitional phase with regard to continuous assessment. The assessment program was established in 2002 and is now completing its second full year. Within the next two years, TAMIU’s system of gathering, evaluating, and reporting measurable data will be more integrated and mature. Furthermore, the newer degree programs should have sufficient students and graduates to generate adequate data and make constructive recommendations for program change.

Measures to promote increased participation will include the following:

  • A committee of faculty members from both the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences will analyze the teaching certificate programs, in which the means of assessment for program success lie in both colleges.

  • The University Assessment Committee (UAC) will not only review and evaluate academic assessment reports, but also provide suggestions for departments who experience difficulties in submission of reports. Moreover, faculty members will be rotated on the UAC so that faculty members have more input into assessment policies and procedures.

  • The results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and other assessment instruments will be integrated with course and program specific assessment data in the processes for course and program revision at all levels.

  • All data will be made accessible to the entire campus community and a means provided for electronic feedback by faculty, students, administrators, and staff, expediting the exchange of information among all campus stakeholders.




SUPPORT DOCUMENTATION


SOURCE

LOCATION/Special Instructions

Institutional Mission http://www.tamiu.edu/general.shtml
Assessment Reports http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/ie/assessment.shtml
University Assessment Committee http://www.tamiu.edu/archives/uac-2003.pdf Adobe Acrobat File
National Survey of Student Engagement http://www.tamiu.edu/adminis/ie/nsse/NSSE2003.htm


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