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Honors College

Student Outcomes

Assessment of Student Outcomes

Outcome A Interdisciplinarity

Demonstrate appropriate interdisciplinary perspectives, research approaches, and theories across the liberal arts and sciences.
Objective 6 Honors students will demonstrate broad knowledge across the disciplines.

Measure 1

2016 Status
Achieved
74.3% of our juniors and seniors scored "proficient" or "distinguished" in content knowledge across the disciplines in the 2013-16 GE assessment.

Measure 2

2017 Status
Not Yet Achieved
We assessed 47 students in Honors physical sciences classes in Fall 2017 in three knowledge areas.

Measure 3

2017 Status
Not Yet Achieved
We're close here, just a few percentage points below our target.

Measure 4

2017 Status
Achieved
In Fall 2017, we assessed students in HNR 231 (Holocaust) for their content knowledge in the social and behavioral sciences.

Objective 7 Honors students will demonstrate the ability to integrate the content, data, methods, tools, concepts, or theories from two or more disciplines in order to advance ideas, address issues, or solve problems that are too broad for a single approach.

Measure 1

2019 Status
Achieved
Professors Cataldo and McFarland 1) analyzed syllabi from all our first-year sequences, reading them for certain keywords and questions associated with our curriculum revision; 2) analyzed faculty comments on student written work, for same; and surveyed second-year Honors students about whether their first-year Honors sequences emphasized those keywords and questions.

Outcome B Communication skills

Demonstrate communication skills in order to articulate complex ideas.
Objective 1 Honors students will demonstrate strong writing skills.

Measure 1

2016 Status
Achieved
Our 2015 round of assessment resulted in gradual increase in writing skills. The senior projects were rated at 94.4%, well above our target.

Measure 2

2016 Status
Achieved
in our 2013-16 GE assessments, 76% of our juniors and seniors rated as "proficient" or "distinguished" in written communication.

Measure 3

2019 Status
Achieved
This assessment was completed in Winter 2019, and the final report was submitted May 1, 2019.

Objective 5 Honors students will demonstrate strong oral communication skills.

Measure 1

2016 Status
Not Yet Achieved
Our most recent GE assessment indicates that 62.5% of our juniors and seniors scored "proficient" or "distinguished" in oral communication.

Outcome C Intellectual independence

Demonstrate intellectual independence and the ability to articulate arguments that critically analyze information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
Objective 4 Honors students will demonstrate intellectual curiosity and habits of mind that lead to a continual pursuit of knowledge and independent thought.

Measure 1

2016 Status
Achieved
The 2015 exist survey administered by the former director resulted in 95% of students reporting that Honors helped them develop intellectual curiosity and good habits of learning.

Measure 2

2018 Status
Achieved
On the self-assessment questionnaire: We found that, ironically, students generally lowered their self-ratings on most of the "habits of mind" items from the time they applied to the Honors College to the time they graduated. They did report higher ratings in terms of setting high expectations for themselves, working independently, scheduling their time, and their interest in meeting interesting people--and we view these as very positive developments. However, they self-rated themselves lower in terms of completing assigned readings, paying attention to the news, being comfortable with vague assignments, enjoying sharing new ideas with others, and enjoying "big issue" classes. The first two of these seem to us an unsurprising reflection of moving from high school to college, and they don't concern us. The other three, however, seem important for us to reflect on--and we are doing so. On the graduating senior reflections: We're delighted by the depth and maturity of the senior reflections (see the attached PDF), which we grouped into four areas: reflections on the living/learning community, reflections on faculty, reflections on the curriculum, and reflections on the skills they've learned. We see these reflections as a strong affirmation of our program's contribution to the growing intellectual independence of Honors students.

Measure 3

2019 Status
Achieved
Advisors Kelly McDonell and Meg Marshall surveyed 421 Honors students in Winter 2019 and then conducted focus groups with a small number of students afterward. The focus of the survey and focus groups was how Honors students currently engaged the program and university--and how they might increase that engagement in the future. We see such engagement as a positive sign of growing intellectual independence.

Outcome D Advanced critical thinking

Demonstrate advanced critical thinking skills at levels required for effective performance in professional and other social and cultural contexts.
Objective 2 Honors students will demonstrate exceptional growth towards "self-authorship" (constructing knowledge using information-gathering skills, keen analysis, sophisticated arguments, and multiple perspectives/disciplinary methodologies).

Measure 1

2016 Status
Not Yet Achieved
In our 2013-16 GE assessments, 69% of our juniors and seniors rated at "proficient" or "distinguished" in critical thinking.

Measure 2

2019 Status
Achieved
Professors Toot and Baum surveyed 7 Honors science faculty, examined syllabi from 8 Honors science courses, and surveyed 47 Honors science students.

Outcome E Global citizenship

Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical and moral obligations of an informed and engaged global citizen.
Objective 3 Honors students will demonstrate global citizenship--they will be able to articulate key global issues and express concern about them and willingness to address them.

Measure 1

2019 Status
Not Yet Achieved
Of Honors students graduating in December 2018 and April 2019, 37.4% reported having studied abroad during their time at GVSU.

2017 Status
Not Yet Achieved
Our percentage of seniors who report studying abroad dropped between 2015 and 2017, from about 40% to about 25%. It's still a high number, and part of the drop can be attributed to some external factors, but we are committed to improving.

Measure 2

2016 Status
Achieved
In our 2015 exit survey, 97% of students reported gaining a deeper understanding of global issues through Honors.