History and Activities

History of Assessment in the Cameron School of Business

Program Assessment

The Cameron School of Business has a long history of program assessment through a strategic planning process. Until 2004, this process manifested itself through both a top-down and bottom-up approach to strategic planning. The CSB Executive Committee (consisting of department chairs, program chairs, the Dean and Associate Dean) developed strategic goals for the school. These goals were vetted throughout the faculty and were ultimately voted on by the entire faculty. During the annual fall faculty retreat, school goals were developed by departments, programs, and the faculty at large into objectives, strategies and tactics. This joint effort constituted the strategic plan for the CSB and all its programs. These goals, objectives and strategies were then forwarded to appropriate standing committees or departments and programs for action. Periodically (about every three months) the plan was reviewed for progress. Beginning in 2004, a new standing committee named the Strategy Committee was developed to continue to set the vision, mission and goals for the school. The membership of this committee consists of all department chairs and one member from each department voted on by the department faculty. The purpose of the Strategy Committee is to have a representative body serve to develop the strategic plan for the CSB. Outcomes of this committee are voted on by the entire CSB faculty. Reviews of goals and accomplishments occur annually by this committee and are communicated to the CSB faculty through the Dean's newsletter.

Learning Assessment

During the 2005-2006 academic year, the CSB formed its first Assurance of Learning (AOL) Committee, which led the faculty through the process of evaluating and articulating specific learning goals. Those goals were approved by the CSB faculty in the spring of 2006. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (the committee charged with the overall responsibility for curriculum content) worked closely with the AOL Committee to assess the current state of alignment between the learning goals for CSB students and the curriculum.

Learning goals for CSB students were completed after feedback from students, faculty and outside stakeholders (employers, advisory boards, benchmarking tools such as EBI, etc.). During the 2006-2007 academic year, a CSB director of assessment and Assurance of Learning was appointed to ensure process continuity. Additionally, a carefully chosen team of faculty members with exceptional teaching and technical expertise was appointed to develop a long-term plan and provide oversight for plan implementation. The learning goals and their subsequent objectives were refined so that rubrics could be used to measure attainment of the objectives. The resultant work culminated in an Assurance of Learning Plan in 2007. All faculty reviewed and confirmed the plan through faculty vote. Data gathering began in the 2007-2008 academic year.

The 2008-2009 academic year began the feedback loop for direct assessment data gathered in 2007-2008. The CSB already uses EBI data, senior surveys (surveys of graduating seniors asking questions relevant to CSB learning goals), professional training from accreditation agencies such as the AACSB and from assessment professionals brought to the UNCW campus, etc. The CSB sends faculty and administrators to professional conferences targeting assessment as well as campus-sponsored events and speakers.

From 2004 to 2009 the Cameron School of Business has invested more than $70,000 dollars in the education of its faculty and administrators in AOL. This investment has included bringing experts to campus and sending CSB administration, AOL team members, and faculty to AACSB assessment seminars and workshops. In addition, summer stipends were provided to all AOL team members in 2007. The purpose of this investment, beyond continuous improvement and reaffirmation with AACSB, has been a true dedication to improving the learning experience and educational acumen of all CSB students. Intentional in this commitment has been thoughtful and careful development of faculty to better understand the educational improvement possibilities through assessment.

In fall 2008, the recognition of this work manifested itself in an invitation to present CSB activities related to AOL with international partners at the AACSB's first conference on Assurance of Learning.

Current Procedures

Program Assessment

Program goals are assessed on a revolving timetable that generally runs from five to seven years. The CSB monitors its performance against peer schools and aspirant schools on an annual basis. Such analysis leads to revisions that are processed through the CSB Strategy Committee (consisting of administrators as well as faculty), the Executive Committee (consisting of the dean, associate deans, department chairs, and several other key administrators), and finally by the CSB faculty in open votes. Where action is needed, these suggested actions are forwarded to the appropriate faculty committee for deliberation and action if needed.

Program Assessment Changes

As a part of the ongoing strategic planning and review processes within the school several outcomes are highlighted below:

  1. Two major changes to CSB programs in the last three years were the addition of an International MBA track to the MBA program and also the addition of an MS degree in Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS).

    CSB has an undergraduate dual-degree program with the TransAtlantic Business School Alliance (TABSA) and has a 10-year history with these schools. At the time the CSB became associated with TABSA, we had a SACS team visit the schools in the alliance because we grant dual degrees with these partners. The decision to offer the International MBA track came after vetting the program though all CSB and campus communities. It is in its second year. By building on the 10 years of mutual curriculum strengths, long-standing partnerships, and dedication to expanding international programs within the CSB, the IMBA program has been very successful.

    The M.S. in CSIS was the result of a multiyear process of needs assessment, curriculum development, resource requirements assessment and implementation. The standard processes for vetting such a change were followed for this degree. The program began in 2006-2007 and has attracted a steadily increasing number of very qualified students. Its graduates have been placed in a number of organizations and feedback about the program is very positive.

  2. In 2007-2008, recent program changes have dealt with the quality and number of students allowed for admission to the CSB. With limited resources and a UNCW restriction of limited growth in CSB students, the CSB reviewed its policy for admitting students. The grade point average required for admission to CSB was raised to 2.7 out of 4.0 and the list of courses required before admission was simplified in reaction to the needs of the school and the resources available.
  3. Due to the increased number of requests and professional requirements demanded by industry and students as well as information from EBTI reports, two additional staff positions were created to meet domestic and international program requirements. A student services coordinator was added and one of the co-leads for the Cameron Executive Network program was converted to a focus on seeking international internship opportunities.
  4. In 2006-2007, an international business course requirement (INB 300) was added for all undergraduate students to meet requirements identified by the learning outcome matrix/course coverage analysis identifying the lack of global coverage.
  5. In 2006-2007, a review of the curriculum based on faculty surveys resulted in changes to all options in terms of course requirements and hours (18-21). In addition, options in human resource management, management leadership and development, and entrepreneurship and business development were added.

Learning Assessment

The CSB follows its Assurance of Learning Plan, which includes both direct and indirect assessment measures. The CSB collects indirect measures of assessment from benchmarking sources (including EBI), from student reported sources (including senior surveys and the National Survey of Student Engagement) and other sources.

Direct assessment measures were developed by the Assurance of Learning Committee in conjunction with faculty and departments within the CSB and include both graduate and undergraduate programs. The rubrics developed and other assessment methods details the mechanisms for collecting data and are geared to the specific learning goal being assessed. Some data collection are course embedded, while others (across the curriculum) are administered though school wide activities. This works for goals that are addressed in one or a few courses for both graduate and undergraduate programs.

Student learning goals that are delivered across a wide range of CSB curricula are assessed when students take their capstone classes at the graduate and undergraduate levels. As an example, questions during a content knowledge assessment are performed outside of the classroom via a Web-based instrument. Some assessments are performed by third parties (e.g., writing assessment by ETS). Assessments are prescribed; the points to assess as well as the method of assigning ratings for assessment are clearly spelled out in the developed rubrics.

EXHIBIT
Cameron School of Business
Passed by Faculty at February 20, 2004 Meeting

Membership

The Strategy Committee will consist of the Cameron Executive Committee (dean, associate deans, chairs, and executive secretary), plus one person elected by each department.

Guiding Principles for the CSB Strategy Committee

  1. The CSB Faculty Council, as permitted by the University of North Carolina System and the University, will continue to be the ultimate voice of the faculty of the Cameron School of Business.
  2. The Committee should complement the present roles and responsibilities of existing CSB committees.
  3. The Strategy Committee should focus on big picture, strategic thinking on how best to leverage CSB (and UNCW) opportunities to promote and sustain overall high quality of students, faculty, staff, programs, outreach and external relations, including with alumni.
  4. The Committee should engage in open and continuous communication with all appropriate stakeholders. Both the agenda and minutes of Committee meetings should be posted on the CSB web site.
  5. The Committee should include all appropriate key stakeholders, including invitations to Committee meetings, in the making of significant policy recommendations or decisions. Where time permits, proposed significant policy recommendations or decisions should be circulated for input by key stakeholder(s) prior to final enactment.

Matters reserved for the CSB Faculty Council (full faculty) approval include:

  1. CSB mission and vision statements.
  2. New CSB degree program.
  3. Degree learning goals.
  4. Major CSB degree or curriculum changes.
  5. CSB degree admission requirements.
  6. CSB faculty RTP policies.
  7. CSB faculty workload policies.
  8. New CSB center or institute.

Matters appropriate for the CSB Strategy Committee include:

  1. Primary responsibility for assurance of CSB compliance with AACSB accreditation standards and requirements.
  2. Primary responsibility for the oversight of cultural diversity issues impacting students, faculty, staff and programs.
  3. Establish CSB annual goals and objectives consistent with CSB vision, mission and budget.
  4. Establish CSB annual and three-year budget priorities, including priorities for:
    • Faculty and staff staffing.
    • Faculty attraction, development and retention.
    • Technology.
    • Marketing and communications.
    • Advancement.
    • Outreach.
  5. Provide policy recommendation, when and where appropriate, for CSB Council consideration of:
    • New CSB degree program.
    • CSB degree-learning goals.
    • Major CSB degree or curriculum changes.
    • CSB degree admission requirements.
    • CSB faculty RTP policies.
    • CSB faculty workload policies.
    • New CSB center or institute.
  6. Establish enrollment management policies consistent with degree requirements and admission standards to best assure overall high quality of CSB programs.
  7. Establish appropriate policies for the oversight and support of student affairs, including student attraction, retention, advising, counseling and support.
  8. Other matters associated with strategic planning or policy issues, including alumni affairs, advancement and outreach.

Matters appropriate for CSB Executive Committee include:

  1. Tactical matters associated with items above.
  2. Matters assigned to the Executive Committee.

Matters appropriate for existing CSB committees include:

  1. Matters now assigned each CSB committee.
  2. Matters to be assigned.