Spring 2018 PIG

In Spring 2018, the Teaching and Learning Center awarded five (5) Program Improvement Grants of up to $2500 for faculty to “close the loop” on their outcomes assessment findings in order to strengthen student learning. Program Improvement Grants were solicited to improve aspects of the following:

  • an undergraduate major
  • one or a set of general education courses at the 300-level
  • a graduate program

Suggested uses of the grants were to revise curriculum, develop assignments within the curriculum that better support program outcomes, and/or engage in faculty development in ways that directly contribute to student learning.  Proposals that scaffolded student skills in written communications, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and information literacy were encouraged.

The descriptions below summarize the original proposals and the reports submitted of work accomplished to date.


Project Title: Scaffolding Quantitative Reasoning between the Gen Ed and Social Science Majors

Project Team or Leader: Raymond Patton, Daryl Wout, Sandra Swenson, Lila Kazemian, Heath Grant

Project Goal Statement: To align Quantitative Reasoning between the Gen Ed and Social Science Majors, preparing the way for a scaffolded “statistics pathway” teaching quantitative reasoning from the introductory to the capstone level.


Project Title: Implementing Writing Enriched Curriculum in Psychology

Project Team or Leader: Timothy McCormack

Project Goal Statement: The overall goal of this pilot program is to integrate scaffolded research and writing assignments and practices within the curriculum of the Psychology major. The goal of this grant funding is to ensure the success of the program goal by integrating adjunct faculty into the program implementation.


Project Title: Making Work Visible: Collecting, Presenting, and Sharing Program Data

Project Team or Leader: Tara Pauliny, Christen Madrazo

Project Goal Statement: The goal of this project is to remedy this problem by creating a web site for the Writing Program where we can clearly detail the mission, features, and benefits and of our award winning program. Such a site would also turn our annual assessment process into an archived longitudinal assessment to inform future directors of the program. Based on the success of the Writing Program Flowchart that the directors built this past semester this digital presence would greatly expand the amount of information available about the program and would communicate the outcomes and program mission directly to the program’s funders and stakeholders, thus enabling the directors to more effectively argue for the funding they need to sustain and enhance students’ writing abilities at the college.


Project Title: Improving Quantitative Analysis Skills for Forensic Science Major Students

Project Team or Leader: Shu-Yuan Cheng, Ali Kocak, Yi He, Angela Vuong, Elliot Quinteros

Project Goal Statement: The goal of this proposal is to redesign the CHE220 (Quantitative Analysis) curriculum in order to better prepare Forensic Science (FOS) major students for the higher levels of science courses. The redesign Taskforce will focus on the following two areas. (1) Revise laboratory exercises and manuals to provide students comprehensive experimental protocols and data analysis methods (2) Create a practical workbook to help students to improve quantitative thinking and problem solving skills


Project Title: Building Forensic Psychology Capstone Success One Step at a Time

Project Team or Leader: Angela Crossman, Elizabeth Jeglic, Jill Grose-Fifer

Project Goal Statement: The long-term objective of the Psychology Department is to facilitate our students’ growth and success in psychology – which we assess in their capstone courses. The proposed Program Improvement Grant is intended to accomplish interim steps toward that objective. Specifically, there are two goals of the current proposal. a. The first goal is to review, revise and standardize the learning objectives on syllabi for all psychology major courses (beginning with required courses). As part of this exercise, an instructor guide will be developed that includes the course descriptions, goals and learning objectives, and outcomes for each major course. b. The second goal of this proposal is to review the writing requirements for our 100, 200, 300 and 400 level classes across courses and instructors. We have been working to scaffold student writing in the major, such that students begin writing in 100 and 200 level courses using APA style, write research-based papers in 300 level courses, and write comprehensive research papers in the 400 level classes. We want to ensure that this goal is being accomplished across the many sections taught in the major and to develop an action plan (and resources) to better support writing across the curriculum in the major.


Project Title: Department Retreat for Curricular and Student Development

Project Team or Leader: Andrew Sidman, Jennifer Rutledge, Susan Kang, Peter Romaniuk

Project Goal Statement:  The Department of Political Science plans to hold an all-day retreat at the end of the spring 2018 semester for the purposes of curricular and faculty development. The retreat will include as many of our fulltime faculty as are able to attend (we expect at least 20 faculty members). We will have these discussions and develop recommendations in response to findings from our recent outcomes assessment reports and the self-studies of both of our majors, Political Science and Law & Society. The goals for that day, the preparation that goes into its planning, and the aftermath of the retreat are: * To draft a list of recommended changes to the curricula of both majors * To draft a list of recommendations for the delivery of 200 and 300-level courses to address the development of critical thinking, information literacy, communication, and research skills * To compile resources for faculty to use across the curriculum focusing on the development of student skills.