Annually, via the “green” report, due on October 1. Send reports to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At least every 6 years as part of either the B1 internal review or as part of the B2 external review.
For most programs, every 12 years. The exceptions are the few programs who use a professional accreditor for their review. Currently, professional graduate accreditation impacts several degrees examined by the AACSB in the College of Business and the masters of forestry degree examined by the Society of American Foresters (SAF) in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.
The schedule for external reviews is posted on the provost’s website under assessment activities.
Six years after a B2 external review, the program will participate in the B1 internal review process coordinated by the Graduate School.
- Annually, on October 1, programs provide brief student outcomes data and action plans on the “green” report. This report is approximately 2-3 pages in length.
- Periodically, and six years from the most recent B2, programs produce the “blue” internal review report, based on the B1 dataset provided by the Graduate School. This report is approximately 8-18 pages in length.
- Periodically, and six years from the most recent B1, programs produce a self-study report addressed to an external review team, introducing the program to the external visitors and providing sufficient information for the external review team to understand and evaluate the program and its policies. The B2 self-study report is from 40-90 pages in length, with additional pages of appendices.
The primary purpose of the B1 internal review is to assess the degree to which the program is meeting its own and the University's expectations for graduate program outcomes, such as time-to-degree, completion and attrition rates, and student satisfaction. The exercise is a year-long process of data compilation (by the Graduate School) and data examination and reporting (by the programs); the program produces a B1 report for the dean; the dean provides a response that guides the program in its continuous improvement efforts for the next six years.
Michigan Tech's process of External Review of Graduate Programs asks the question: Are our graduate programs keeping up with their fields?
Regular, periodic reviews of academic degree programs provide a formal process for thorough, fact-based documentation and evaluation of the programs, the infrastructure supporting them, and the plans for their growth and improvement. A distinctive feature of external reviews is that they include evaluation of the offering unit’s resources and how those resources are managed to promote the overall success of the degree program. The periodic external review process keeps Michigan Tech’s graduate programs in step with developments in our academic disciplines, and fosters regular reflection and improvement in our graduate education and scholarship missions.
Graduate program outcomes are attributes associated with a graduate degree program, such as the average time-to-degree, completion and attrition rates, and levels of student satisfaction. These are attributes of the program rather than attributes of students. The design of the program and the policies and administrative processes associated with the program have a significant effect on these program outcomes. The B1 internal review process is explicitly an examination of a program’s GPOs with the goal being to find ways to continuously improve the program.
Graduate student learning outcomes are measurements (data) that reflect what the students in your program are learning. An example would be an instructor filled-in form used in a required graduate class or data solicited during a degree defense or seminar. The learning outcomes are designed to reflect the degree to which students in your program attain the objectives (Graduate Learning Objectives, GLOs) you set for the students in your degree programs. Graduate student outcome data are not linked to a particular student and used longitudinally to assess that student—following a student’s performance is the purpose of course grades and pass/fail votes during defenses. Rather, graduate student outcome data is anonymous and is aggregated, shared, and discussed as part of a continuous program improvement process.
Graduate learning objectives are objectives adopted by a program that indicate the competencies that the degree seeks to develop, by the time of their graduation, in the program’s students. Masters and PhD degree programs must have objectives that are appropriate to the degree level, and thus they do not have the same objectives. Master’s objectives must exceed the objectives set for bachelor’s candidates. We recommend that graduate degrees have between three and five GLOs; some example GLOs are:
- Demonstrate (PhD, mastery of; masters, proficiency in) the subject matter
- Demonstrate (PhD, advanced) research skills (for example, design and execute a research project)
- Make an (PhD, original and substantial) contribution to the discipline
- Demonstrate professional skills (written and oral)
- Practice responsible conduct of research (field-appropriate)
No, an institution’s assessment program is not concerned with individual student’s attainments but rather examines the performance of the institution in the extent to which the university/program’s activities bring about student learning. The program designs an assessment plan that has “touch points” (forms, methods) that record student learning in some way. The learning is tied to the learning objectives established for the degree the student seeks. The purpose of the graduate student assessment program is to use actual data on what the students have learned to drive improvements to the program going forward.