B.A. & B.S Geology – Written Communication (2013-2014)

Have formal Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) or Student Learning Outcomes (SLOS) been developed?

YES, “Goals for Student Learning in the Major”

Published where? (website)

Geology Webpage

Do PLOs include or imply link to Core Competency? (AY 2013-2014: Written Communication)?

“Graduates are also expected to [. . . ] Express earth science concepts in writing.”

Process of Core Competency Assessment:

Course (400- level)

GEOL 320 (The Department does not have a required 400-level course that all seniors take and has thus chosen this course)


Students will analyze modeling and partial melting of the earth’s mantle

Type of Student Artifact

A 7-8 page research paper in NAGT format what incorporates secondary research of scholarly materials as evidence

Rubric or other instrument

GE Rubric for Written Communication

Data (measurement of the competency)

Three readers evaluated six assignments by seniors (N = 6). The overall average for each paper based on the 4-point rubric was 2,85. The overall range in individual categories fell between 2.8 and 2.9.  Of the six, two met or exceeded competence, three were close to attaining competence, and one fell below competence.

Action Taken in Response to the Data (What will you do in response to the Findings?)

Upcoming majors  will be (and already have been) assigned more of this specific type of assignment in both lower- and upper-division courses so that the Department can start to track the progress of individual students over time with regard to writing skills.

Date of Last Program Review