Assessment Plan

The Cultural Anthropology department uses the following indirect and direct measures to evaluate progress towards its broad learning objectives:

Indirect Measures

  • Course evaluations: The Chair reviews course evaluations to assess the effectiveness of faculty in the classroom, with special attention both to the overall quality of each class and to student feedback in relation to the departmental learning objectives.
  • The honors thesis program: The Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) will review annually the quality of the honors thesis experience, and the number of students pursuing this option. While the number may fluctuate from year to year, the department believes that a steady or increasing number of honors theses reflects the health of the program and a commitment to developing independent research skills.
  • Faculty year-end retreat: Undergraduate education is an important part of the discussion at the year-end faculty retreat and evaluation process. Here faculty discuss successes in achieving learning objectives and make adjustments in curriculum and course content based on the exchange of experiences and ideas.

Direct Measures

  • Entry/Exit Survey: ┬áMost majors declare by the end of their sophomore year, at which time they are assigned a faculty advisor. Upon declaring, each new major is asked to take a short on-line survey aimed at assessing their prior knowledge about key intellectual areas of disciplinary inquiry, with a focus on cultural analysis and cross-cultural knowledge. At the end of their senior year, majors will be required to retake a related survey in order to assess progress where key learning objectives are concerned.