Program review bachelor of Arts in History & Bachelor of Science in History Fairmont State University



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PROGRAM REVIEW
Bachelor of Arts in History

&

Bachelor of Science in History


Fairmont State University
2009

Summary
The History Program draws upon a broad curriculum that encompasses regional, national and international history, as well as special topics such as the revolutions in history and diplomatic history. The History Program offers two types of majors. The Bachelor of Arts Degree has the traditional emphasis on language skills, especially through study of a foreign language. It is a good choice for students thinking about postgraduate study. The Bachelor of Science degree develops basic capabilities in statistics and computer science. It is a good choice for students interested in the modern science approach to historical understanding.
The history program has grown over the past five years. The number of majors has increased from 39 to 65. The number of graduates has increased from 7 to 13 over the past five years.
Unfortunately, with the growth of the program there are some concerns. The program has two faculty members that are classified as temporary. Also, the fourth faculty member is actually employed by Pierpont Community College even though he teaches 10 courses for the University per academic year. Therefore, there is only one full-time tenured faculty member for a program that provides numerous services courses and has 65 majors. The program is hopeful that the two temporary positions will be advertised and filled as tenure-track positions next academic year. The program also would like the Pierpont Community and Technical College position to become a tenure-track faculty position with the University.
Another area of concern is about the off-campus courses offered. Even though the University shares four of the history courses with Pierpont Community and Technical College (American History I and II, World Civilizations I, II, and III), Pierpont Community and Technical College hires instructors to teach courses in the off campus branches. This is not coordinated with the College of Liberal Arts or the full-time faculty members.
The history program has made and continues to make great strides in the assessment area. The history program and Fairmont State University now document assessment materials on a computer program known as TaskStream. This program provides an archive for program documentation, and a database for program analysis and improvement. A review of the programs’ outcomes and assessments along with all course outcomes and assessments has occurred over the past two years.


Program Review
Fairmont State University
Program: Bachelor of Arts in History

Bachelor of Science in History

College: Liberal Arts

Date: April 30, 2009
Program Catalog Description:

Every person, every place, everything on earth has a history, a story of its past, that can help us understand human existence and human behavior. The History Program’s major and minor draw upon a broad curriculum that encompasses regional, national and international history, as well as special topics such as the revolutions in history and diplomatic history. The History Program offers two types of majors. The Bachelor of Arts Degree has the traditional emphasis on language skills, especially through study of a foreign language. It is a good choice for students thinking about postgraduate study. The Bachelor of Science degree develops basic capabilities in statistics and computer science. It is a good choice for students interested in the modern science approach to historical understanding.

The great advantages of historical study are:


  1. Emphasis on developmental and evolutionary aspects of human experience.

  2. Examination of many different fields of human activity.

  3. Use of insights and methods of many other fields.

Students completing a bachelor’s degree in history may enter professional practice in academic history (teaching and writing), public history (archives and special research, consultancy) or publishing (print, electronic, film and television documentary). The history major also provides excellent preparation for careers in law, government, politics, foreign service, historical preservation and journalism.
VIABILITY (4.1.3.1)
ENROLLMENTS
Applicants, Majors, and Graduates

Admission requirements for history majors are the same as those for all bachelor’s degree programs. Applicants must be graduates of approved high schools who have a 2.00 high school grade point average (GPA) and a minimum composite score of 18 on the Enhanced American College Test (ACT) or 870 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or at least a 3.0 high school GPA and SAT or ACT test scores. Applicants must also satisfy the following minimum high school requirements:

Required Units (years)

4 English (including courses in grammar, composition, and literature)

3 Social Studies (including US History)

4 Mathematics (three units must be Algebra I or higher)

3 Science (all courses to be laboratory science)

1 Arts


2 Foreign Language (two units of the same foreign language)

Please See Appendix A for enrollments of History majors and graduates.


Program Courses

The Bachelor of Arts degree and Bachelor of Science degree requires 128 semester hours with a 2.0 grade-point average for graduation.

All B.A. students must complete 45 semester hours of history courses, 42 semester hours of general studies requirements, 12 hours of foreign language requirements, 26 hours of free electives, and an additional requirement of 3 hours.

All B.S. students must complete 45 semester hours of history courses, 42 hours of general studies course requirements, 12 hours of additional requirements, and 29 hours of free electives.

The History program has 18 hours of required history courses for both the B.A. and B.S:

HIST 1107 United States History I

HIST 1108 United States History II

HIST 2211 World Civilizations I

HIST 2212 World Civilizations II

HIST 2213 World Civilizations III

HIST 4498 Senior Seminar

Majors are also required to take 27 hours of advanced level (3300/4400) electives from the following:

HIST 3301 History of Intelligence and National Security

HIST 3320 West Virginia History

HIST 3310 Diplomatic History of the United States

HIST 3315 Colonial America

HIST 3316 The Early Republic

HIST 3317 Civil War and Reconstruction

HIST 3318 Gilded Age to the Great Crash

HIST 3319 Recent America

HIST 3333 Social History of the American Woman

HIST 3344 African American History and Culture

HIST 3351 History of England

HIST 3352 History of Russia

HIST 4405 History of Africa

HIST 4410 History of Asia

HIST 4420 History of Latin America

HIST 4425 Medieval Europe

HIST 4428 Renaissance and Reformation

HIST 4429 Age of Absolutism

HIST 4430 19TH Century Europe

HIST 4431 Recent Europe

HIST 4455 Revolutions in History

HIST 4475 Philosophy of History

HIST 4499 Special Topics

Additional requirement for BA and BS in History (3 hours)

ENGL 3322 Narrative and Descriptive Writing

OR

ENGL 3333 Writing Non-Fiction



Additional Requirements for BS in History (3 hours)

SOCY 2240 Nonparametric Statistics

OR

PSYC 2240 Statistics



AND

Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 Hours of Electives)

Please see Appendix B for information on history program course enrollments.
Service Courses

The history program serves the B.A. and B.S. curriculum by offering the following service courses: US History I, US History II, World Civilizations I, World Civilizations II, and World Civilizations III. The National Security and Intelligence Major requires five history courses including US History I, US History II, World Civilizations III, History of Intelligence and National Security, and Diplomatic History. In addition, a number of History courses are either required or recommended as electives in a number of other programs such as Education, Nursing, Criminal Justice, and National Security and Intelligence.


Please see Appendix B for enrollments of service courses.

Off Campus Courses

During the past five academic years, 164 sections of history have been offered in off-campus locations. They were introductory-level service courses (US History I ⅈ World Civilization I, II, III). Most were presented at the Caperton Center and the remainder was offered at other sites in the service area (Barbour, Monongalia, Lewis, and Randolph). The full-time faculty recognizes the necessity of offering off campus courses; however, there is concern about the coordination of the instruction. The faculty would like to have direct input concerning the credentials of the adjunct faculty who teach off-campus.

Please see Appendix C for information on enrollment of off-campus History courses.


Cost/Student Credit Hour
The direct cost to the institution per instructional credit hour averaged for all programs in the College of Liberal Arts is $196.76. This is the lowest of all academic units in the University. Data is not available as to the cost per individual program credit hour.
The History program, as a component of the Department of Social Sciences, shares with its sister programs (Criminal Justice, National Security and Intelligence, Political Science and a minor program in Philosophy) in the department’s financial resources. The facilities needed by a history program (beyond adequate library resources) are traditionally modest: lecture halls, chalk boards, maps and LCD projectors. Because of the “information age”, the classrooms used by the Social Sciences Department are equipped with wireless internet access. A laboratory with twenty-one multi-media computers is now available as a classroom. There is also a “mobile lab” available that can transport twenty computers into any classroom. All history faculty offices are equipped with desktop computers and printers. The history faculty are “computer literate” and use the computer via email and BlackBoard Vista Learning to communicate with students.

Please see Appendix D for Instructional Costs per Unit compared to Total Institution Costs.


General Studies Requirements Met
Please see Appendix E for General Studies Requirements. It should be noted that the General Studies Curriculum at FSU is currently under revision.
Assessment Requirements

Since the last Program Review process, the History Program has worked toward developing a sound assessment plan and, although far from complete, much progress has been made. The Desired Profile of a FSU History Graduate has been agreed upon (See Appendix F), Core History Program outcomes(see below) and individual course outcomes, assessments and satisfactory performance standards have been developed for the two U.S. History courses and the three World Civilizations courses (See Appendix G.



Core History Program Outcomes

Students who complete the degree will be able to:

1) Demonstrate a general knowledge of United States and World History.

2) Demonstrate the ability to think critically and analyze primary and secondary historical materials.

3) Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in both written and oral forms. Possess the ability to understand historical debate and controversy.

4) Possess an understanding that although the past tends to be viewed in terms of present values, a proper perception of the past requires serious examination of values of that time.

5) Demonstrate a knowledge of geography as it relates to history.

6) Possess an understanding of how society, economics, international relations, culture and politics combine to have an impact on history and its creation.

The educational goals of the program, while ultimately humanistic, employ methods that are objectively measurable, reflecting a position that factual knowledge and analytical skills are prerequisite to any broader application of historical study. Students regularly receive reading assignments in the textbooks, and they meet for 150 minutes per week for lectures or discussions about instructor-selected subjects that arise in their readings. During both textbook readings and lecture-discussion, students are encouraged to take concise, summary-style written notes to use in preparing for written examinations which are administered about every third to fourth week.

This meets the goal of offering an effectually analytical approach to the rapid, massive flow of historical information in both text book and lecture, so that students understand by explanation, discussion, and review how to identify theses and major arguments, principle personages, and key events, as distinct from supportive argumentation, illustration, ovation, or embellishment. Students also begin the lengthy process of developing sensitivity to the evidential sources of historical knowledge and the textual-rhetorical character of historical exposition-sensitivity that emerges as a principal focus in advanced courses. The more advanced courses are supplemented with an introduction to the use of historical authorities, documents, and other evidence, and the acquisition of bibliographical skills.

The outcomes are measured through written examinations, quizzes, essay-style questions, critical book essays, written text book summaries, oral questions, and exploratory papers. Part of the assessment rests on an assumption that both factual knowledge and its analysis are being tested in “objective “questions, while opportunities for essay are also afforded so that students can demonstrate their insights in written form. It is unlikely that “canned” multiple choice questions can suffice because of their failure to reinforce individual course content and because simplistic judgments they typically require. In the objective sections, structured arrays of true-false, multiple choice, association, and completion questions, constructed by each course instructor, are plainly preferable. The essay sections of hourly and final examinations normally present a question that cannot be fully answered with a memorized recitation but requires reference to analytical principles employed in the course textbook or lectures.
For advanced survey courses emphasis is placed on proof of research, writing and oral reporting capabilities. Instructors in such courses often find that interactive demonstration of historical problem solving is an excellent way to teach factual materials while developing students’ skills at analysis and written or verbal presentations.
The history program continues to make strides in the assessment area. The history program and Fairmont State University now document assessment materials on a computer program known as TaskStream. This program provides an archive for program documentation, and a database for program analysis and improvement. A review of the program outcomes and assessments, along with course outcomes and assessments, has occurred over the past two years.
The history program is considering the adoption of a history major field test developed by ETS. This is a nationally developed test that will provide objective evidence that students majoring in history are indeed meeting the student learning outcomes for the program. This test will also assist the history program in measuring and demonstrating the educational quality of the program.

Adjunct Use
The History program on the main campus at Fairmont State University had twenty two adjunct courses taught over the past five years.
Please see Appendix H for adjunct usage both on and off campus.
Retention Rates

History program has made strides in increasing retention as evidenced by the increased number of majors and graduates.

Please see attached appendix A.
Previous Program Review Results

The results of the history five year program review submitted on March 25, 2004 resulted in a recommendation to continue the program with corrective action. The corrective measure specifically focused on assessment. The program now has the program outcomes, assessments and completion standards identified, and individual course outcomes, assessment methods, and successful completion criteria identified and stored in TaskStream. The program’s mission statement is in place as is the Profile of a FSU History Graduate. The program is currently working to establish an advisory board, which should be in place for Fall 2009.


ADEQUACY 4.2.4.2
Program Requirements:
General Studies (32-42) 38 hours
Major (32-65) 45 hours
Electives (min 21)

BA 30 hours

BS 33 hours
Foreign Language BA 12 hours
Additional requirement

BA 3 hours

BS 12 hours
TOTAL (max 128) 128 hours
Please see Appendix D for specific requirements.
Faculty Data

Please see Appendix E for faculty data.


Accreditation/National Standards

Fairmont State University is accredited by The Higher Education Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, 30 North Lasalle Street, Ste. 2400, Chicago, Illinois 60602.


NECESSITY 4.1.3.3
Placement

The history major is primarily intended as a service program, leading to professional and post-graduate education, or to personal development, rather than to employment. The necessity of having a history program is established by its interaction with other programs in the University curriculum, both inside and outside the liberal arts, and by its role in fulfilling the liberal and cultural aspects of the Fairmont State University Mission Statement. Nevertheless, Career Services in the Office of Student Affairs focuses on the development of career paths and employment needs for all students including history majors; information and assistance in obtaining internships and part-time employment is available as early as the beginning of a student’s freshman year. When they are seniors, students are contacted to inform them of job placement services that can assist them in their career search. Such services include: job placement classes, computerized job referral, career resource libraries, on-campus recruitment for employment or graduate and professional schools, and resume and interview preparation.



Similar Programs in West Virginia

The existence of a history program at West Virginia University is a strengthening factor, making specialized courses that Fairmont State University would find too expensive to match. Smaller institutions such as Salem University, Alderson –Broadus, West Virginia Wesleyan, Glenville, and Waynesburg (Pennsylvania) supply historical study in the same primarily service-based manner as Fairmont State University. Fairmont State University’s students usually have a different socioeconomic background from private college students; they are reluctant or financially unable to seek a major in history elsewhere.


CONSISTENCY WITH MISSION 4.1.3.4
The Mission Statement at Fairmont State University states that the institution “is to provide opportunities for individuals to achieve their professional and personal goals and discover roles for responsible citizenship that promote the welfare of all.” The cultural and intellectual aspects of regional development are rooted in history and require the kind of multicultural understanding to which historical study is essential. As a core discipline in the liberal arts curriculum, history contributes to the “responsible citizenry”. It also belongs to a wide range of programs without which the talents of non-traditional and first-generation university students “achieve their professional and personal goals” and “promote the welfare of all.”

(See APPENDIX I for History Mission Statement)



HISTORY
APPENDIX A
MAJORS AND GRADUATES BY ACADEMIC YEAR

(Available data)

AY 2004-2005 to AY 2008-2009






AY 04-05

AY 05-06

AY 06-07

AY 07-08

AY 08-09

BA MAJORS

9

25

27

28

31

BS MAJORS

30

23

19

25

34

TOTAL MAJORS

39

48

46

53

65

GRADUATES

7

5

9

7

13



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