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Student Learning Outcomes

Preface

At Hood we believe that ÒinputsÓ are important prerequisites for achieving effective learning outcomes. Qualified instructors, prepared students, quality teaching/learning materials, and quality academic programming with appropriate course sequencing and prerequisites are the essential inputs or ingredients that make effective learning possible. As these ingredients are discussed in various ways in other chapters, we concentrate on the measurement and analysis of student performance and learning in this chapter.

Figure 1 taken from the website of the Office of Institutional Research captures the assessment of major programs at Hood. Both Hood core competencies and the discipline specific competencies are measured and results reviewed during the student learning outcome assessment process.

  1. II. Learning Outcome Assessment Program

Before we describe the learning outcome assessment program, it is important to mention our departmental mission statement, which is at the heart of everything that we do.

A. Mission Statement of the Department of Economics & Management

The mission of the Department of Economics and Management at Hood College is to provide a high quality education in economics and business management to future leaders of industry, government, and civil society.

At the heart of our education is a commitment to academic excellence, lifelong learning, meaningful extra-curricular and co-curricular experiences, and the preparation of students for lives of responsibility, leadership, and service. In order to achieve this, we have the following strategic goals:

  1. To provide a curriculum that emphasizes the core competencies in the disciplines of economics and management.
  2. To offer select specialization opportunities that are relevant and timely through our various concentrations.
  3. To ensure that our students have the integrative and critical thinking skills as well as quantitative and qualitative abilities to analyze complex economic, social, global, technological, and organizational problems.
  4. To ascertain that our students have the necessary interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills so that they can function as productive citizens, managers, and leaders.
  5. To create a collaborative teaching, learning, and research environment that emphasizes social responsibility, environmental sustainability, ethical decision-making, and a global perspective.
  6. To create a community of teacher-scholars and students who are deeply engaged with each other and the real-world.
  7. To foster town-gown relations through effective partnerships with governmental and industry organizations.

B. Learning Outcome Assessment for B.A. in Management: Prelude

Before we mention our B.A. in Management program mission, which guides our assessment efforts, it is important to mention the competencies that every student at Hood College must have. The Core Curriculum of the College fosters these competencies and then they are continued throughout studentsÕ major programs. The following Hood competencies are interwoven throughout the fabric of a management majorÕs academic programming:

  • Writing clearly and effectively;
  • Speaking clearly and effectively;
  • Thinking analytically and logically;
  • Analyzing quantitative problems;
  • Defining and solving problems;
  • Using computing and information technology;
  • Learning effectively on your own;
  • Understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds;
  • Developing a personal code of ethics; and
  • Making ethical decisions.

C. Program Mission for Undergraduate B.A. in Management:

Hood's distinctive management program prepares students to meet today's challenges of globalization, advancing technologies and workforce diversity. Organizations need quick-thinking, adaptable professionals able to draw on a broad reservoir of knowledge.

Our program goes beyond business functional basics, giving students ample practice in synthesizing information to develop real solutions. Through an integrated curriculum that includes case studies and hands-on experience, Hood prepares students to succeed in the dynamic world of business. Management majors study the principles of business functions, explore issues faced by managers, and evaluate trends in the macroeconomic, industry, and international environments. Students learn about important business functions such as accounting, finance, marketing, and management information systems, and acquire valuable skills in research methods, the use of technology and career assessment.

To provide exceptional breadth and depth in business management, the program offers students the choice of six standard concentrations in marketing, finance, accounting, human resource management, international economics and finance, and business administration. The program also allows students to create a customized concentration such as information systems, computer science, or public relations. We also offer minors in management and business administration.

Our hands-on management program, which combines theoretical perspectives with practical insights, is taught by caring instructors who are master teachers, researchers and practitioners. Students are introduced to a world of enormous possibilities. At Hood, "itÕs not just business as usual."

D. The Learning Outcomes for Undergraduate B.A. in Management

The learning outcomes of the undergraduate B.A. in Management program are as follows:

  • Students will be able to demonstrate how the different functional areas of business affect the efficient functioning of organizations. (Functional Knowledge)
  • Students will possess literacy in both general quantitative skills and those specific to the business management discipline. (Quantitative Literacy in Business)
  • Students will show an understanding of how the external environment, especially the legal, technological, and international dimensions of the environment, affects managerial decision-making and business policies and practices. (Contextual Knowledge)
  • Students will display competent interpersonal, decisional, and communication skills. (Interpersonal, Decisional, and Communication Skills)
  • Students will be prepared to join the workforce. (Work-Life Preparation)

E. Learning Objectives of the Undergraduate Concentrations

At Hood College, we believe in providing management majors with a broad-based business education and then an opportunity to specialize a bit in their chosen field of concentration. This philosophy explains our 16 courses in the management core and a three-course concentration tier. We have the following six formal undergraduate concentrations: marketing, accounting, finance, human resource management, international economics and finance, and business administration. In addition, students can opt for an individual career interest concentration where they, with the help of their management faculty advisor, can develop a concentration that focuses on a particular career interest. This is done very rarely. An example of such a concentration is public relations.

Marketing - Marketing concentration prepares students who are interested in an entry level career in marketing valuable insights into consumer behavior, marketing research, and marketing communications strategy.

Accounting Concentration - Accounting concentration is designed to provide students interested in entry level accounting positions with an opportunity to link accounting principles to the central activities of a business through a course in cost control and a two-course sequence in intermediate accounting.

Finance - Finance concentration enables students who are interested in a career in corporate finance to gain a deeper perspective on the financial management of business enterprises, including formulation of financial policies, investment and cash management, and international portfolio diversification.

Human Resource Management - Human resource management concentration emphasizes the strategic importance of the human resource function to the competitive advantage of organizations and focuses on labor economics and policy, administration of the human resource function, and employment and labor law. This concentration is designed for students who are interested in entry level positions in human resource departments.

International Economics & Finance - International Economics and Finance concentration targets students who are interested in careers in financial economics that have international implications. Through courses in international trade, international finance and open economy, and international financial management, students are exposed to the complicated world of global economic and financial policy and practice.

Business Administration - Business administration concentration targets students who are interested in a career in general business or management without a particular focus on a functional area. By taking any three upper level electives in management, students are able cut across the business discipline and take courses that suit their different interests.

Please note that for concentrations, the assessment consists of successfully completing the requirements of different concentration courses. Also noteworthy is that Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has certified that our B.A. in Management with a concentration in Human Resource Management aligns with the recommended requirements for the HR Degree Programs. Please refer to Appendix 4.24 for the SHRM recognition and Appendix 4.25 for the CollegeÕs acknowledgement of this ex

  1. F. Learning Outcome Assessment Process for B.A. in Management: Details

In this subsection, we describe the learning outcomes assessment process (LOAP) for the B.A. in Management Program. Please note that some outcomes have multiple objectives associates with them.

Learning Outcome I: Functional Knowledge - Students will be able to demonstrate how the different functional areas of business affect the efficient functioning of organizations.

Courses Taught: Principles of Management, Principles of Financial Accounting, Principles of Managerial Accounting, Principles of Finance and Investment, Management Information Systems, Principles of Marketing, and Seminar in Strategic Management.

Course Assessed: Seminar in Strategic Management.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of the capstone project, Strategic Analysis of a Multinational Corporation.

Learning Outcome II: Quantitative Literacy in Business - Students will have literacy in both general quantitative skills and those specific to the business management discipline.

Courses Taught: Many courses, as seen below.

Course Assessed: Analytical Methods in Management.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of a project.

In order to achieve this learning outcome, we offer several courses, which have specific objectives associated with them. Given below are the particulars.

Objective I: Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of different scales of measurement, data collection, interpretation, and evaluation.

Courses Taught: Statistics for Economic and Management, Analytical Methods in Management, and Principles of Marketing.

Course Assessed: Analytical Methods in Management.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of a project.

Objective II: Illustrate the ability to express quantitatively through graphs, figures, and tables.

Courses Taught: Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, Statistics for Economics and Management, and Analytical Methods in Management.

Course Assessed: Principles of Macroeconomics.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of a project.

Objective III: Demonstrate an understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics and apply this understanding to economic and business phenomenon.

Courses Taught: Statistics for Economics and Management, Intermediate Microeconomics, and Analytical Methods in Management.

Course Assessed: Statistics for Economics and Management.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of a project.

Objective IV: Prove understanding of financial and managerial accounting topics, such as collect, record, organize, and report financial information.

Courses Taught: Principles of Financial Accounting and Principles of Managerial Accounting.

Course Assessed: Principles of Managerial Accounting.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of a project.

Objective V: Substantiate the understanding and application of corporate finance topics, such as the time value of money, risk, and capital budgeting.

Course Taught: Principles of Finance and Investment.

Course Assessed: Principles of Finance and Investment.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of a project.

Learning Outcome III: Contextual Knowledge - Students will show an understanding of how the external environment, especially the legal, technological, and international dimensions of the environment, affects managerial decision-making and business policies and practices.

Courses Taught: Many courses, as seen below.

Course Assessed: Seminar in Strategic Management

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of a project.

Objective I: Provide an understanding and appreciation of how legal and regulatory factors affect managerial decision-making in organizations.

Courses Taught: Principles of Management, Legal Environment of Business, and International Business. In addition, every functional area course discusses the significant legal and regulatory issues pertaining to that functional area.

Course Assessed: Legal Environment of Business.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of a paper.

Objective II: Ensure that students understand the technological factors affecting businesses and their competitive positions and are able to comprehend and appreciate the intricacies of information systems and information technology.

Course Taught: Management Information Systems.

Course Assessed: Management Information Systems.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of a project.

Objective III: Offer students an opportunity to see how the international and global dimensions of business affect the destinies of organizations.

Courses Taught - International Business and every course in the management program as the international considerations are discussed not only in the specialized international business class, but also inter-woven throughout other courses as well.

Course Assessed: International Business.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of a project.

Learning Outcome IV: Interpersonal, Decisional and Communication Skills - Students will demonstrate competent interpersonal, decisional, and communication skills.

Courses Taught: Many courses, as seen below.

Course Assessed: Seminar in Strategic Management.

Type of Assessment: Peer Evaluation Forms & Rubrics-based assessment of the written and oral components of the capstone project.

Outcome I: Demonstrate competency in interpersonal skills and decisional skills. Courses Taught: Although taught in most management courses, these skills are especially emphasized in Principles of Management, Organizational Behavior, and Seminar in Strategic Management. Most management courses have a group project that requires peer evaluation.

Courses Assessed: Seminar in Strategic Management.

Type of Assessment: Peer Evaluation Forms of both case project and the capstone (final) project.

Outcome II: Demonstrate competency in both oral and written communication skills.

Courses Taught: Organizational Theory & Behavior and Seminar in Strategic Management. Most management courses have written research project requirements as well as formal oral presentation requirements. Management majors are also strongly encouraged to take the Communication Arts course, Writing for Business and Management.

Courses Assessed: Seminar in Strategic Management.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of the capstone project and presentation.

Learning Outcome V: Preparation for the Work-Life - Students will be prepared to join the workforce.

Courses Taught: Many courses, culminating in the Capstone Seminar.

Courses Assessed: Seminar in Strategic Management & Internship in Management.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of the capstone project and the internship.

Objective I: Students will have a capstone experience, which is integrative and application oriented, so that they are able to put into use all that they have learned in the management program.

Course Taught: Seminar in Strategic Management.

Course Assessed: Seminar in Strategic Management.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of the capstone project and presentation.

Objective II: Students who do not have any managerial experience or significant work experience will be required to complete an internship.

Course Taught: Management Internship.

Course Assessed: Management Internship.

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment of student performance, both mid-term and final, by the internship supervisor.

G. The Learning Outcomes Assessment Process for the M.B.A. Program: Prelude

Program Mission:

The goal of the M.B.A. curriculum is to provide students with a broad professional education that prepares them for responsible leadership and management positions in business and public service. Students integrate business theory and practical application in taking a creative, innovative approach to solving complex problems in today’s global business environment. The importance of making both socially and ethically responsible decisions in today’s business world is stressed.

The program is designed for part-time students who wish to complete their M.B.A. by taking classes in the evening. Students who majored in business administration at the undergraduate level may complete the program in as few as 36 credit hours. Teaching methods used include lectures, discussions and case studies. Strong faculty and student involvement and interaction in and out of the classroom are designed to improve students’ communication, presentation, leadership and team-building skills.

H. The Learning Outcomes for the M.B.A. Program

The Hood College MBA graduates will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate strategic thinking and integration through cross-functional application of business knowledge and competencies. (Strategic Integration)
  2. Display proficiency in quantitative and qualitative tools and techniques that will aid in the preparation, interpretation, analysis, and presentation of data and information for critical-thinking, problem-solving, decision making, and communicating with external and internal stakeholders. (Quantitative Reasoning)
  3. Show how macro, industry, and global environments present opportunities and challenges for the organizations. (Global Awareness)
  4. Demonstrate a mastery of skills required to effectively lead, manage, and interact with organizational stakeholders. These skills include written and oral communication, teamwork and leadership, analytical and critical-thinking, and decision-making. (Leadership)
  5. Provide a stakeholder approach to decision-making that is ethical and socially responsible. (Ethics & Social Responsibility)
  6. Illustrate an understanding of how to use information systems and information technology to create a competitive advantage for organizations. (Information Technology Advantage)

I. Learning Objectives of the MBA Concentrations

At Hood College, we believe in MBA students with a broad-based business education and then an opportunity to specialize a bit in their chosen field of concentration. This philosophy explains our 10 courses in the management core and a two-course concentration tier. We have the following six formal undergraduate concentrations: accounting, finance, human resource management, information systems, marketing, and public management. We also offer a focus area in regulatory compliance. Please note that the MBA concentrations are not intended to provide an in-depth knowledge of a particular field that would enable a student to master the field; instead, it is intended to provide students who are interested in particular business disciplines an opportunity to gain valuable skills and competencies directly relevant to careers in these disciplines.

Accounting Concentration - Accounting concentration is designed to introduce students to strategic cost management and financial statement analysis.

Finance Concentration - Finance concentration exposes students to advances topics in corporate financial management, such as domestic and international capital budgeting, hedging financial risks, portfolio diversification, and financial statement analysis.

Human Resource Management Concentration - Human resource management concentration enables students to focus on strategic human resource management, different conflict resolution methods, and leadership.

Information Systems Concentration - Information systems concentration targets students who are interested in the management of information systems functional area. Depending upon their technical background, students design their concentration to learn about managing projects, technical teams, and information security.

(Special Note: Please note in order to complete this concentration, students take courses from the Computer Science Department. In the course selection process, their faculty advisor, the MBA Director, and the Director of the Information Systems Program assist students.)

Marketing - Marketing concentration focuses on integrated marketing communications, and methods and decision tools designed to address fundamental marketing issues.

Public Management Concentration - Public management concentration is designed to provide students with a perspective of the special opportunities and challenges involved in the administration of public organizations. Topics covered include personnel, fiscal responsibility and accountability, and stakeholder management.

Regulatory Compliance (Focus Area) - The purpose of the focus area in regulatory compliance is to provide MBA students who are working in regulatory jobs or highly regulated industries an opportunity to review topics of their interest in regulatory processes for product development, good clinical practice, food and drug law, and good manufacturing practices. Depending upon their technical and professional background, students pick their concentration classes, with the assistance of their advisers, from a menu of regulatory compliance classes offered by the bio-medical sciences program.

(Special Note: Please note that the regulatory compliance courses are offered by our Biology Department and are part of the Biomedical Sciences Program. Depending upon the undergraduate background of the students, they choose two courses from an array of courses under the Regulatory Compliance Certificate program. In the course selection process, students are assisted by their faculty advisor, the MBA Director, and the Director of the Regulatory Compliance Program. This is only a focus area, instead of a concentration, as students take only two classes in the area whereas for concentrations they have more depth as the management core contains courses in the sub-disciplines that are offered as concentrations.)

Please note that for concentrations, the assessment consists of successfully completing the requirements of different concentration courses.

J. Learning Outcome Assessment Process for the M. B.A. in Program:Details

Learning Outcome I: Strategic Integration - Graduates will demonstrate a mastery of strategic thinking and integration through cross-functional application of knowledge and competencies.

Courses Taught:Many courses, as seen below.

Course Assessed:Management Policy

Type of Assessment:Rubrics-based assessment of the final project

Objective I: Graduates will demonstrate a mastery of the concepts, principles, and theories in the business functional areas.

Courses Taught: Financial Management, Financial/Managerial Accounting, Marketing Management, Productions and Operations Management, Management Information Systems, and Management Policy.

Course Assessed: Management Policy.

Type of Assessment:Rubrics-based assessment of the final project.

Objective II: Students will apply theory to solve functional level problems in simulated real-world situations and design solutions for organizational success.

Courses Taught: Financial Management, Financial/Managerial Accounting, Marketing Management, Productions and Operations Management, Management Information Systems, Managerial Economics, Organizational Behavior, and Management Policy.

Courses Assessed: All the courses above.

Type of Assessment:Rubrics-based assessment.

Learning Outcome II – Quantitative Reasoning - Graduates will show a proficiency in quantitative and qualitative tools and techniques that will aid them in the preparation, interpretation, analysis, and presentation of data and information for critical-thinking, problem-solving, decision making, and communicating with external and internal stakeholders

Courses Taught: Financial Management, Financial/Managerial Accounting, Marketing Management, Productions and Operations Management, Managerial Economics, and Management Policy.

Courses Assessed: Financial Management & Managerial Economics

Type of Assessment:Rubrics-based assessment.

Learning Outcome III – Global Awareness - Graduates will demonstrate how macro, industry, and global environments present opportunities and challenges for the organizations.

Courses Taught: Marketing, Managerial Economics, International Management, and Management Policy.

Courses Assessed: Management Policy

Type of Assessment:Rubrics-based assessment.

Learning Outcome IV – Leadership - Graduates will demonstrate a mastery of the skills required to effectively lead, manage, and interact with organizational stakeholders. These skills include written and oral communication, teamwork, critical-thinking, and decision-making.

Courses Taught: Many MBA classes, but especially in Organizational Behavior, Marketing Management, Social & Ethical Issues in Business, and Management Policy.

Courses Assessed: Management Policy

Type of Assessment:Rubrics-based assessment of the capstone project and peer evaluations.

Learning Outcome V: Ethics & Social Responsibility - Graduates will be able to demonstrate that they will provide a stakeholder approach to managerial decision-making that is ethical and socially responsible.

Courses Taught: Many MBA classes, but especially in Organizational Behavior, Financial Management, Marketing Management, Social & Ethical Issues in Business, and Management Policy.

Courses Assessed: Social & Ethical Issues in Business

Type of Assessment: Rubrics-based assessment.

Learning Outcome VI: Information Technology Advantage - Graduates will illustrate an understanding of how to use information systems and information technology to create a competitive advantage for organizations.

Courses Taught: Management Information Systems and Management Policy.

Courses Assessed: Management Information Systems.

Type of Assessment:Rubrics-based assessment.

Table 2 presents a Curriculum Alignment Map (CAM) that shows how the different learning outcomes are covered in the 10 M.B.A core classes. Figure 3 that succeeds the CAM is an application of Sedona’s Assurance of Learning Life Cycle Model to map out our outcomes assessment plan for the M.B.A. program.