Data-based Decisions Correlated to Direct Measures 2020-2021
Based on the Student Measures in the Outcome Data gathered students are achieving mastery of program objectives in all ASTE Graduate Programs with an average grade of 90% across coursework. As always there were areas for improvement in each course and some coordination that needed to take place to lessen the overlap of content. At the fall 2021 graduate faculty meeting program overlap regarding textbooks and content was discussed. As a result, these areas needing improvement should be addressed in the 2021-2022 school year.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Master’s of Education (MEd) Program
In the spring of 2020 graduates from the CTE MEd program were contacted with a survey to capture the experiences of graduates. There was a 28% response rate among 132 graduates. Statistical analysis was conducted on each question of the survey to find the frequency, mean, and standard deviation. Interviews were also conducted amongst CTE leaders on to gather their insights in what makes someone successful in this field. Along with statistical analysis, a separate qualitative analysis was conducted on open ended responses by the graduates in the survey. A focus group was conducted for three CTE leaders to gather information on what three qualities a graduate from the CTE MEd program should have when they enter the work force. The program evaluation focused on three questions:
- Did the CTE MEd program increase salaries among the graduates?
- Did the CTE MEd program improve the teaching practice of graduates?
- Did the CTE MEd program prepare graduates for career advancement?
Only 55% of the respondents noted increasing salary as an important motivator for earning the MEd However, all stated they had received increased compensation for completing their degree.
Addressing research question two, the survey found 61% agreed the coursework in the MEd program had a positive effect on their teaching.
On career advancement, research question three, respondents placed increasing salary as either moderately important, very important, or extremely important as an outcome to the CTE MEd program while only 84% of respondents valued increasing eligibility for new career. This suggests the MEd was needed and used to advance or at least consider career advancement.
Other Learning Outcomes included these findings:
- 83% of the respondents felt that the CTE MEd program had a positive effect on their teaching practices.
- 89% agree that because of completing the program, that they are a better overall educator.
- 80% or more of the graduates reported that they either somewhat agree, or strongly agree that the program led to increased skill in teaching
- 92% of respondents agreed that they are more informed about the use of educational research in the classroom
- 89% of respondents agreed that they are more skilled at assessing student learning
- 84% of respondents agreed that they now use a wider variety of teaching strategies, and
- 89% of the respondents stated they were more skilled at curriculum development.
- 84% of respondents agreed that as a result of completing the CTE MEd program, they have improved critical thinking skills, and
- 76% of respondents agree that the program improved their writing skills.
As for skills gained as a result of completing the CTE MEd program, the majority of graduates who responded to the survey reported that the program increased skills necessary for highly effective teaching. As a result of completing the CTE MEd program, all of graduates who responded to the survey reported that increasing salary was of some level of importance as an outcome of completing the program, while 84% of respondents reported that increasing eligibility for a new career was important as an outcome. This data coupled with the course outcome data regarding mastery indicates the program has achieved desired goals.
ASTE Master’s of Science Programs (MS)
ASTE offers three MS degree programs, Agricultural Extension & Education, Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Extension, and Technology and Engineering Education. Course delivery was changed in 2019 to accommodate working professionals in the field who wish to retain full-time employment while pursuing a graduate degree. This decision allows students to complete this degree 100% online, removing the synchronous broadcast courses and summer campus-based short courses. The broadcast courses were expensive and student feedback indicated online learning was preferred to broadcast session in regional offices. In addition, participation fell dramatically in summer short-session courses as competition from other institutions with online offerings increased. Students may now choose the online option or engage in a campus-based program. Campus-based students are eligible for teaching and research assistantships.
Based on student feedback concerning course content and the “differences” between courses, course syllabi links were added to the website for every MS course. This enables students to make more informed decisions related to course load and the content they need to fulfill their degree goals. In addition, course objectives and assessment activities for each course is available publicly on the course syllabi further documenting the type of required performance and competency assessments (peer-reviews, papers, proposals, portfolios, collaboration projects, curriculum development projects, course delivery projects, online tool demonstrations, discussions, tests, etc.) to meet the program objectives (https://elearn.usu.edu/syllabus/).
Student exit interviews in the spring of 2020 indicated a disconnect between department forms, graduate school forms, degree process timelines, and the degree completion requirements. In the fall of 2020, a student program guide was developed and made public on the degree website to better explain the degree program, the coursework, the thesis, and degree completion requirements. In addition, a Canvas course title “Master of Science Trek” was developed to further aid in the submission of forms, clearly outline program expectations, and to improve communication between faculty and students.
As most students were able to retain their employment they have continued with their jobs. 100% of those that came to campus to complete their MS Degree, and were seeking employment after graduation, are employed.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
In July of 2020, the ASTE Department received approval to begin a new Career and Technical Education Ph.D. program. Complete program details are found in the CTE Ph.D. Program Guide. This degree continues to be designed to prepare students for careers in:
- curriculum specialists
- coordinators and supervisors in public or private school systems
- educators or administrators in higher education
- leaders working in communications or as educators in formal and nonformal settings, and
- educational evaluators or researchers in various settings
USU graduate students are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA in their coursework. The Learning Objectives for this program have been aligned with program coursework. Students who do not meet this GPA requirement in each semester are placed on probation and asked to work with their advisor to address remediation to achieve at least 80% addressing course content objectives. The first cohort maintained a 96% average in their courses, meaning they have demonstrated competency regarding the program outcomes.
As most students were able to retain their employment they have continued with their jobs. 100% of those that came to campus to complete their PhD Degree, and were seeking employment after graduation, are employed.
Outcome data is being collected over the coming year to include completed dissertation titles. All students complete the five residency requirements noted below complementing their coursework and ensuring the completion of the program learning objectives.
- All Ph.D. candidates are required to present once at a state, regional, or national conference. The professional conference must be one in which there is a call for papers and a systematic process used to select the presentations/papers that will be presented. Please attach a photocopy of the meeting program documenting participation. (Note the name of meeting, location: date, title of presentation.)
- Publishing your scholarship is an expectation of the Ph.D. program. All candidates must have submitted a manuscript as an author or co-author to a peer reviewed professional journal, research conference, or practitioner journal at the time of their dissertation defense. Please attach a screenshot of the editor’s receipt of the manuscript and the APA citation of the manuscript.
- Document research and creative endeavors such as serving as an officer or conference chair for a major professional organization, publishing an article in a professional organization’s newsletter, publishing a book review, or working/co-authoring on a grant.
- Immersion in the culture of graduate education. Document items such as participating in scholarly discussion or writing groups; engaging in graduate student organizations and events such as Graduate Student Senate, club advising, or USU Research Week; committee or service work within the department, college, or university; coursework or immersion in literature beyond requirements.
- Document engagement in professional activities of the discipline such as teaching a college course; working as a research or teaching assistant at the college level; conducting a guest lecture or workshop; attending local, regional, or national scholarly professional meeting; organizing informal seminars, consortia, or orientation programs; serving as a reviewer for a professional conference or journal).
Data-based Decisions Correlated to Indirect Measures 2020-2021
Based on IDEA evaluation and student feedback in their annual reviews, adjustments within course content and delivery were made by each faculty member. Student exit interviews in the spring of 2021 indicated a disconnect between department forms, graduate school forms, degree process timelines, and the degree completion requirements. In the fall of 2020, a student program guide was developed and made public on the degree website to better explain the degree program completion requirements.