2017 Chemistry B.S. Degree Program Wins the First Annual Provost’s Assessment Award

The Chemistry B.S. degree program has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Provost’s Assessment Award.

Established this year by Provost Kevin Whitaker in conjunction with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, the annual award recognizes excellence in academic program-level assessment and improvement of student learning. The Chemistry B.S. degree program was identified by the University Assessment Council as the degree program whose 2015-16 assessment report most strongly exhibited the award criteria: meaningful, measurable, manageable, and innovative.

Members of the University Assessment Council said they selected the Chemistry B.S. program report because of its specificity in the analysis of data, the clear quantitative support for that analysis, and the fact the assessment process was obviously a collaborative approach. The program incorporated a variety of assignments from classrooms as well as laboratory courses.

As one reviewer put it, “Although each [of the nominees] has some good qualities, the top choice has the best balance of all qualities used in this determination.” It was “the strongest of the three nominees in terms of being measurable and manageable”.

An additional stand-out feature of the program’s assessment activities spoke to their commitment to the improvement of student learning. Even though the Chemistry B.S. program met or exceeded expectations on several measures of achievement, “the report described a process for assessing sample student work that ‘drilled down’ into the data to address an additional issue that had emerged.”

Department of Chemistry faculty, including the B.S. degree program assessment coordinator Dr. Patrick Frantom, and department chair Dr. Kevin Shaughnessy, were invited to a celebratory luncheon.