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3.5.1 General Education Competencies

 

The institution identifies college-level general education competencies and the extent to which students have attained them. 

 

_X_  Compliance           ___  Partial Compliance          ___  Non-Compliance

 

Narrative

 

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (MABTS) identifies college-level competencies in general education courses and provides evidence of student attainment of competencies in the undergraduate degree programs (Associate of Divinity, Associate of Christian Education, Associate of Applied Science, and the Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies).

 

Identification of College-Level General Education Competencies

 

The general education competencies of college-level programs are best understood as a process of attaining proficiencies during the student’s experience in general education coursework. All four competencies are based upon the principles of moving from comprehension to practice and involve reading, thinking, writing, and applying learning to life. The criteria the institution uses to set an acceptable benchmark for student attainment of competencies may be found in the rubrics for papers and projects, which are part of the larger process of institutional academic assessment built upon the Program Learning Outcomes Assessment Model (PLOAM) in table 1 below.

 

The college-level competencies for the general education courses are displayed in figure 1:

Figure 1. MABTS General Education Competencies

 

Reading. While reading, listening, observing, and assimilating data are all among the primary competencies necessary to excel in the thought processes involved in learning, reading is the competency that is most measurable due to the process of interaction with sources through research papers and projects. Thus, the first general education competency involves students in developing the ability to read material critically and begins the process of research, writing, and ultimately application of course content. Measurement of such cognitive skills are demonstrated later in a sampling of student work product in the Program Learning Outcome Assessment Models (PLOAMs) for undergraduate programs as scored via the “research and support” criterion of the MABTS paper rubric [1] and the “sources” criterion of the project rubric [2].

 

Thinking. The second general education competency involves students in developing the ability to think logically and coherently, as the process continues. Measurement of this skill is demonstrated later in a sampling of student work product in the PLOAMs for undergraduate programs. The MABTS paper rubric provides the criteria “presentation of ideas,” and “organization and flow” to score measurable results of student work product, and the project rubric provides the criteria “quality of information” and “organization.”

 

Writing. The third general education competency involves students in developing the ability to write clearly and persuasively, as the process continues. Measurement of this skill is demonstrated later in a sampling of student work product in the PLOAMs for undergraduate programs as scored via all four criteria in the paper and project rubrics.

 

Applying. The final general education competency involves students in applying relevant learning to praxis. Measurement of this skill is demonstrated later in a sampling of student work product in the PLOAMs for undergraduate programs as scored via the criterion “organization” in the project rubric as it relates to practical solutions.

 

The seminary’s use of PLOAMs give evidence of the attainment of college-level competencies and the benchmarks for student attainment are found in program PLOAMs, which are peer reviewed at the end of each semester. In the following narrative, an identification of educational program learning outcomes is demonstrated, including the extent to which students have attained them.

 

Evidence of Student Attainment Measured through the PLOAM Process

 

The evidence of attainment of college-level general education competencies (reading, thinking, writing, applying) is best understood by evaluation drawn from rubric criteria (papers and projects). Criteria derived from rubrics become subjects of assessment in the undergraduate PLOAMs (column 3) and are judged as to whether or not the target goal was met (column 4).

 

The institution uses an assessment methodology with an appropriate balance of direct and indirect assessment measures built upon the PLOAM [3]. The seminary’s plan to continuously improve the model is illustrated below according to the mission of the institution (column 1), the student learning outcomes based upon its mission (column 2), the assessment criteria based upon student learning outcomes (SLOs) (column 3), the assessment results based upon assessment criteria (column 4), and the use of results based upon assessment results (column 5). This model, below, is effective in the identification of expected learning outcomes in that it provides differentiation and accessibility of SLOs, diversity of program assignments other than course assignments and test results, variety of assessment measurements, and greater reliance upon other means of assessing learning outcomes.

 

Program Learning Outcomes Assessment Model (PLOAM)

 2014-2015 Sample

Purpose & Goals

 

Mission Statement

 

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary is to provide undergraduate and graduate theological training for effective service in church-related and mission vocations through its main campus and branch campuses.

 

Goal Statement

 

Expected Outcome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment Criteria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use of Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1. Sample PLOAM

 

At the end of each academic year, the purpose and goals (column 1) in the five-column model are reviewed, including the mission statement and the goal statement of the seminary. These are reexamined by the executive administration and trustees of the school during summer planning meetings and reaffirmed or changed. The expected outcomes (column 2) are reviewed by program coordinators for each degree program, and are evaluated based upon performance from the previous academic year. Program coordinators then formulate departmental assessment criteria (column 3) and show results of assessment (column 4) at the end of the academic year. The use of results (column 5) closes the loop in presenting student learning outcomes as it informs the purpose and goals (column 1) for the upcoming academic year. The assessment criteria in this model (column 3) for college-level general education competencies are based upon the attainment of the abilities to read, think, write, and apply.

 

Competency 1 - Reading. The measurement of reading as a competency is demonstrated in a sampling of student work product in the undergraduate PLOAMs (table 2). Research papers for CH 3001 (History of Christianity) and EN 4913 (English Composition) were used to assess the level of attainment for “research and support” and “sources” demonstrated on rubric row 3 of the MABTS paper rubric [1]. Students did not meet the target. Within the PLOAM process, column 5 (use of results) serves as a basis for planning for the following academic year.

 

Competency 2 - Thinking. The measurement of thinking as a competency is demonstrated in a sampling of student work product in the undergraduate PLOAMs (table 2). A project for CE 4484 (Introduction to Christian Education) and a paper from CN 4103 (Ministerial Counseling) were used to assess the level of attainment for “quality of information” (project rubric row 2) “organization” (project rubric row 3), “presentation of ideas” (paper rubric row 1) and “organization and flow" (paper rubric row 2) [1, 2]. All students met the specified targets. Within the PLOAM process, column 5 (use of results) serves as a basis for planning for the following academic year.

 

Competency 3 - Writing. The measurement of writing as a competency is demonstrated in a sampling of student work product in the undergraduate PLOAMs (table 2). A paper for CN 4103 (Ministerial Counseling) and a paper from EN 4913 (English Composition) were used to assess the level of attainment for “presentation of ideas” (paper rubric row 1), “organization and flow” (paper rubric row 2), “research and support, and Turabian” (paper rubric row 3) and “style and mechanics” (paper rubric row 4) [1]. The targets were not met for all students. Within the PLOAM process, column 5 (use of results) serves as a basis for planning for the following academic year.

 

Competency 4 - Applying. The measurement of applying as a competency is demonstrated in a sampling of student work product in the undergraduate PLOAMs (table 2). A project for CS 4950 (Introduction to Computers) and a project from PM 4235 (Financial Management) were used to assess the level of attainment for “organization” (project rubric row 3) [2]. The targets were not met for all students. Within the PLOAM process, column 5 (use of results) serves as a basis for planning for the following academic year.

 

Competencies

Rubric Criteria

Assessment Criteria

(PLOAM Column 3)

Assessment Results

(PLOAM Columns 4)

 Read

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper Rubric – “Research & Support” and “Sources” (Row 3).

 

 

 

Paper Rubric – “Research & Support” and “Sources” (Row 3).

 

History of Christianity (CH 3001) Research Paper. Target: 75% of students will make a 3 or higher on rubric and 3.

 

English Composition (EN 4913) Paper. Target: 75% of students will make a 3 or higher on rubric row 3.

Target not met, all students.

 

 

 

 

 

Target not met, all students.

 

 

 

Think

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Rubric – “Quality of Information” (Row 2) and “Organization” (Row 3).

 

 

 

 

Paper Rubric – “Presentation of Ideas” (Row 1) and  “Organization and Flow” (Row 2).

 

Introduction to Christian Education (CE 4484) Portfolio Project. Target: 75% of students will make a 3 or higher on rubric rows 2 and 3.

 

Ministerial Counseling (CN 4103) Paper. Target: 75% of students will make a 3 or higher on rubric rows 1 and 2.

Target met, all students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Target met, all students.

 

 

 

 

Write

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paper Rubric –  “Presentation of Ideas, Organization and Flow, Research and Support, Turabian, and Style and Mechanics” (Rows 1-4).

 

Paper Rubric – (Rows 1-4).

 

 

 

Ministerial Counseling (CN 4103) Paper. Target: 75% of students will make a 3 or higher on rubric rows 1-4.

 

 

 

English Composition (EN 4913) Paper. Target: 75% of students will make a 3 or higher on rubric rows 1-4.

Target met for rows 1, 2, and 4. Target not met for row 3 for all students.

 

 

 

 

Target met for rows 1 and 2, all students. Target not met for row 3 and 4, all students.

Apply

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Rubric – “Organization” (Row 3).

 

 

 

Project Rubric – (Row 3).

 

 

 

 

Introduction to Computing (CS 4950) Project. Target: 75% of students will make a 3 or higher on rubric row 3.

 

Principles of Financial Management (PM 4235) Project. Target: 75% of students will make a 3 or higher on rubric row 3.

Target met for ADiv students. Target not met for ACE students. Target met for BACS students.

 

Target met for all students.

 

 

 

 

Table 2. Evidence of Attainment of College-Level Competencies

 

The seminary’s use of PLOAMs gives evidence of the attainment of college-level competencies and the benchmarks for student attainment are found in program PLOAMs, which are peer reviewed at the end of each semester. In the narrative above, an identification of college-level general education competencies is demonstrated, including the extent to which students have attained them.

 

Documentation

 

1. MABTS Paper Rubric

2. MABTS Project Rubric

3. 2013-14 Undergraduate PLOAMs

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