Kansas State University (K-State) is a comprehensive, research, land-grant institution serving students and the people of Kansas, along with the nation and the world. Since its founding in 1863, the university has evolved into a modern institution of higher education, committed to high quality programs, and responsive to a rapidly changing world and the aspirations of an increasingly diverse society. K-State, along with other major comprehensive universities, shares responsibility for developing human potential, expanding knowledge, enriching cultural expression, and extending its expertise to individuals, businesses, education, and government. These responsibilities are addressed through an array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, research and creative activities, and outreach and public service programs. In addition, its land-grant mandate, based on federal and state legislation, establishes a focus for its instructional, research, and extension activities, which is unique among the Regents’ institutions.
Review of the selected degree programs each year facilitates the attainment of future goals and the development of relevant curricula to meet the needs of students, faculty, and the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR). K-State’s Program Review process incorporates the six criteria identified by the KBOR in their program review document and, beginning with the 2006 reports, includes a summary of activities and progress related to assessment of student learning in each degree program reviewed. Essentially, the K-State process is divided into two parts. The first part is the detailed reports from departments that include information on their instructional and scholarly programs and service activities. The Office of Planning and Analysis provides the Statistical Overview data to departments to aid in the review and assists with requests from the departments for additional data. These departmental reports are reviewed by the respective College Dean, the College Committee on Planning, the Graduate School Dean (for graduate programs), and the Provost. The reviewers make recommendations, and departments prepare a final detailed program review report (PRR). The second part of the process involves the Deans, who prepare the two-page summaries. Drafts of the PRR and the two-page summaries are provided to the Provost for review and comment. The reports on assessment of student learning come through a reporting and review process from the departments through the College Dean’s office or the Graduate School and are summarized in this report by the Office of Assessment.
For the 2006 cycle, K-State reviewed the following academic degree programs:
The summary for each program is attached. Where possible, the summary reports for all degree programs within the department were combined into a single page. The following provides a short review of significant highlights and recommendations for the departments and their related degree programs.
The 16 programs reviewed this year were from eight academic departments and a Dean’s office and are, on the whole, strong and viable academic areas. Of the 22 degree programs offered, one is a Ph.D., three are master’s, 12 are bachelor’s, five are associate’s degrees, and one is a certificate.
The Department of Animal Sciences and Industry is 100 years old. The present department is a consolidation of the Departments of Poultry Science, Dairy Science, and Animal Sciences and Industry. There is also a Food Science component that deals will all animal-derived foods. The department has always had a very large student enrollment (500-700) and places a strong emphasis on teaching and advising. The department has been very stable with minimum faculty turnover. There have been only seven department heads in the last 100 years. The department offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Animal Sciences and Industry and advises pre-veterinary medicine students within the college.
The bachelor’s degree program in Animal Sciences and Industry (ASI) is home to approximately one-third of the undergraduates in the College of Agriculture and is the third largest animal science program in the U.S. Student demand can be shown by high enrollments over a five-year period, during which undergraduate enrollment has averaged 586 and experienced a nine-percent increase since 2001. ASI students are active leaders in numerous campus and industry organizations. The department sponsors various judging and academic teams that are consistently competitive at the national level. The graduate programs offer students the breadth of training associated with research and outreach opportunities in the related areas of production, management and processing of animals for food, fiber, companion and recreation. Shortages of college graduates have been documented by the U.S.D.A. and students graduating from ASI at all degree levels are qualified to fill many positions in areas experiencing employee shortfalls, with career opportunities ranging from self-employment to jobs with large corporations. With 24 percent of the gross state product provided by food-related industries, degree programs in the animal sciences are essential to the sustainability and profitability of the livestock and animal foods industries.
The Pre-Veterinary Medicine program is not a degree-awarding major. Rather this “major” serves as an entry point for students seeking pre-professional training, via the College of Agriculture, into the College of Veterinary Medicine. Students cannot graduate in Pre-Veterinary Medicine Agriculture major. Students who have entered Veterinary School prior to completion of any Agriculture baccalaureate requirements and who after two years of Veterinary School have requested transfer of credits back to the College of Agriculture are granted the Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Medicine Agriculture. The program has had steady enrollment prior to fall 2004 in which it dropped to 32 students. However, in fall 2005, the enrollment has increased back to its original level of over 60 students. Of the 59 students who received the Veterinary Medicine Agriculture bachelor’s degree from 2000 to 2004, 100% have completed their DVM and one has a DVM and a Master of Science degree.
The College of Business Administration offers quality degree programs at both the undergraduate and the master’s degree levels that prepare students to become successful business professionals in an increasingly diverse global workplace. The vision of the college is to be the school of choice for the best students in the region and to be a school that attracts high quality students from not just within the U.S. but from around the world. All of the degree programs in business offered by the College of Business Administration are accredited by AACSB International – The Association of Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business. The college is among 12 percent of the U.S. business schools that have both the business and accounting programs accredited by AACSB International. The college continues to be academically strong and has maintained positive student appeal.
The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an Accounting Major and the Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degrees are offered as a part of a five-year program designed to culminate with a MAcc degree. However, students can leave with a bachelor’s degree at the end of four years. This is a high quality program and is known nationally for an innovative curriculum. The curriculum was designed based on Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Objectives and stresses critical thinking, oral and written communication, problem solving and life-long learning skills, in addition to technical skills. By using the case method, students learn that there is not always one “correct” answer. Teamwork and written and oral communications are also emphasized in the case studies. Students learn to conduct research in tax, financial, and the auditing areas. Students completing the five-year program meet the requirements for taking the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) exam in Kansas.
Students who graduate in the Finance major have specialized skills in conducting financial analysis and valuations of both real and financial assets, investment and financing decision making, and analysis and management of financial risk. They are knowledgeable in the functions and operations of financial markets and institutions. As an example of its uniqueness, the Department of Finance offers a course on portfolio management (FINAN 653) as an elective to its majors. Students in this course conduct financial analysis of investment opportunities and manage a ‘real-money’ portfolio with a current market value of about $350,000. In order to continuously improve its curriculum and to provide students with the opportunity to learn from successful business executives, the department views the role of its Finance Advisory Board as an integral part of the educational program.
In fall 2000, the college began offering a major in General Business for students who are either place-bound or otherwise not able to come to campus to pursue their business degree, and who have completed 45 credit hours of the College of Business Administration's pre-professions requirements. The advisement of students in the general business major is shared between the Division of Continuing Education (DCE) and College of Business. The business degree program offered via distance is the only accredited program of its kind in the region. The major in general business is centrally located in the college with three of the four departments taking responsibility for the delivery of the program. The degree program is geared to provide students with a solid understanding of the fundamental areas in business: finance, management and marketing. Most students already in the program are employed and continue with their current job after graduation with significant increase in salary and position.
The Department of Management offers a major in Management with emphases in human resource management, operations and supply chain management, and general management, and a major in Management Information Systems (MIS). In today’s rapidly changing global business environment, there is a need for graduates who have a solid base of knowledge in sound managerial practices and have the capacity to work effectively in a multicultural and diverse workplace. With so many domestic jobs shifting from manufacturing to supply chain activity and service operations, it is clear that graduates must understand these activities. In addition, businesses are utilizing technology more than ever, and seek graduates who have the capacity to analyze work situations and design technology solutions to address problems. These programs focus on these needs so that graduates are prepared to contribute in the current and future business world. The demand for graduates from these programs (both Management and MIS) continues to be high and these graduates are very competitive with others in the region. The MIS program enrollment has decreased from 217 in 2002 to 51 in 2006, reflecting a nation-wide trend. Despite these declines, K-State’s MIS graduates are sought by major companies in the region for their expertise and work ethic.
The mission of the Department of Marketing is to generate, disseminate, and apply marketing knowledge by engaging in high quality teaching, research,
professional service, and professional development activities. The department strives to be recognized as the leader in undergraduate marketing education
in Kansas. Students majoring in the Marketing program gain specialized knowledge in the areas of consumer behavior, marketing strategy,
marketing research, international marketing, retailing, personal selling, sales management, business marketing, and marketing management, which are
critical to the success of businesses in today’s global economy.
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program spans the college and is designed to provide professional graduate business education to individuals who wish to pursue a variety of administrative careers in both the private and public sectors and engages the faculty from all departments. The theme of the curriculum is intrapreneurship, which can be defined as an "entrepreneurial attitude and approach to management and problem-solving within any organization, large or small." The K-State MBA is a terminal degree that focuses on the practice of business in the context of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. In the past three years, information technology concentration (SAP software) and a technology entrepreneurship concentration have been added to the MBA program. In addition, the MBA program requires most students to participate in the MBA Practicum program, wherein MBA students take on an active consultative role with organizations to enhance their effectiveness.
The Department of Aviation combines academic programs with training requirements of the FAA to meet rating requirements for career pilot and maintenance professionals. The Aviation Department is the only KBOR department offering both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees that equip graduates with the skills and education to enter the aviation industry as professional pilots and mechanics with the academic preparation to advance into supervisory or business-related positions. The department offers two degree programs and one certificate program in Aviation Maintenance. Both the associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs include training to earn the airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificates required to meet the minimum qualifications for an entry-level mechanic position. The Aviation Maintenance degree programs provide hands-on learning experiences with state-of-the-art equipment. Well-equipped laboratories are in place and utilized by all three programs. Aviation Maintenance students use their FAA-required training to earn the A & P ratings to enter almost any segment of the industry. Degree program graduates have a combination of technical expertise and academic preparation that also equips them with the skills required to complement their education as working professional mechanics and to assume a supervisory or leadership role upon entering the industry. The integrated and complementary aspects of the certificate and degree programs give students a unique opportunity few two-year institutions can offer.
The Aviation Department also offers both associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs that equip graduates with the skills and education to enter the aviation industry as Professional Pilots. This is the Regent’s only professionally accredited flight program, with the professional pilot bachelor’s degree having received accreditation by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) in 2006. The program is one of only 23 professionally accredited flight-based programs in the nation. Degree requirements include flight training that prepares graduates to meet the minimum professional qualifications for entry-level positions. For the bachelor’s degree, these include all the associate’s degree requirements, with the addition of certified flight instructor (CFI) and CFI instrument.
In 2005, Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Computer Science Technology, and Civil/Environmental Engineering Technology degree programs were combined into two degree programs, associate’s and bachelor’s in Engineering Technology. The reorganization of the department and degree programs have resulted in many benefits, including instruction cost effectiveness and recognition of the degree by employers under one common title.
The Engineering Technology degree programs are unique in the College of Technology and Aviation in that they offer a diverse array of associate and baccalaureate degree program options. The specialty areas provide the industry with skilled technicians in a wide range of fields and effectively complement the engineering programs offered by K-State’s College of Engineering on the K-State-Manhattan campus. The department also provides continuing education opportunities to individuals in the community and technical assistance to business and industry. The associate and baccalaureate degree program options in Electronic and Computer Engineering Technology, in Mechanical Engineering Technology, and the associate’s degree program in Construction Engineering Technology are TAC-ABET accredited. Two other degree options are Computer Systems Technology (associate and baccalaureate) and Web Development (associate). Graduates of these programs are in high demand in the workforce, and employers appreciate the opportunity to hire graduates of both the associate’s degree and baccalaureate degree programs from one source.
The Arts, Sciences, and Business Department supplies all required general studies courses (all liberal arts, science, and business courses) for students in the Engineering Technology and Aviation Departments, and it serves the general population of students who may transfer to other colleges within the university or to other institutions. The department supplies all of the non-technical courses for the degrees offered on the K-State-Salina campus; thus, it is essential to all degree programs in the college. In order to meet this need, the department has a unique mix of faculty representing seventeen academic disciplines. The department also gives many students in the Salina area an opportunity to attend K-State who might not be able to attend K-State otherwise. Specifically, many professionals in the area are able to further their education by taking night classes or online classes.
The Applied Business associate’s degree will equip the graduate with the skills needed to succeed in an entry-level business position or to continue working toward a bachelor’s degree in one of many different business fields. This program enhances the academic education of graduates and creates a solid foundation in business, accounting, and management courses. The number of students in this degree program remains strong. Since the degree was first available in 2002, the four-year average enrollment is 69. The average graduation rate for a three-year period is 16. Most of the Applied Business students are employed on a part-time basis as they pursue their degree. Graduates typically succeed in an entry-level business position.
The Applied Technology associate’s degree program is a partnership between Salina Area Technical School (SATS) and the College of Technology and Aviation. SATS graduates have the opportunity to complete an associate’s degree in Applied Technology at K-State, furthering their education and giving them a competitive edge in the job market. Students complete any of eight vocational certificates at the Salina Area Technical School and then add to this about 21 hours of academic studies at the College of Technology and Aviation to complete the associate’s degree. Even though this program did not become available until the fall of 2003, the enrollment for the past two years has been 12 with zero degrees conferred.
This review indicated that one certificate, two associate’s and two bachelor’s programs had low enrollments and/or low numbers
of degrees conferred. Rationales for continuing each program are summarized below.
The average number of students enrolled (15) and average number of degrees conferred (9) for the Pre-Veterinary Medicine Agriculture bachelor’s degree does not meet the KBOR’s minimum criteria for bachelor’s degree programs. Students in the College of Agriculture cannot graduate with a Pre-Vet Agriculture major and the College of Agriculture advisors work to move students from Pre-Vet to a degree-awarding major as soon as possible. Even though students continue to work toward completion of the pre-veterinary requirements while simultaneously completing Bachelor of Science degree requirements in one of the College of Agriculture’s majors, many students are accepted and enroll in the College of Veterinary Medicine before entering their senior year or completing their bachelor’s degree requirements. Eliminating the Pre-Veterinary Agriculture program, even though it is not a degree-awarding program, would negatively impact student numbers and student quality in the College of Agriculture and at K-State. In addition, we request that the degree completion option be continued as it presents no additional costs to the university and provides these graduates with an important connection back to the College of Agriculture where they completed their pre-professional studies.
The average number of students enrolled (16) and average number of degrees conferred (6) in the General Business bachelor’s program does not meet the KBOR’s criteria. Since the distance General Business degree program is offered as an inter-departmental program in the College of Business Administration, no additional costs are incurred to offer the program. Furthermore, the majority of students in the program are drawn from around the State of Kansas. Highly skilled and knowledgeable graduates are in demand by local, state, regional, national and global businesses as well as not-for-profit organizations. Without this major, students in the state of Kansas and the surrounding region would not have access to an accredited distance undergraduate business program. The program seems to be attracting students as is shown by the junior and senior enrollment increase from 22 students in Fall 2005 to 30 students in Fall 2006. Although the current increase does not yet meet the KBOR’s criteria, growth is occurring. Because of the need and expected growth in the distance business degree program, and the fact that no additional cost is incurred to offer this program, we recommend that this bachelor’s degree be continued.
The five-year (Fall 2001-Fall 2005) average number of students enrolled in the Aviation Maintenance certificate program is just short of the KBOR’s minimum standard (21 instead of 25). However, the Fall 2006 enrollment was only three students, which would reduce the next five year average to 12 students. In addition, the average number of associate’s degrees conferred (9) is also slightly under the KBOR’s minimum standard of 10. However, the number of students enrolled in the associate’s program has been between 29 and 36 students over the past five years. The intense recruiting of certificate holders by employers directly (and negatively) impacts degree program graduation rates. At the same time, these employers entice many associate’s degree program students (who have already completed the certificate program) to defer their associate’s degree as well as their bachelor’s degree to enter the industry. The department is exploring and developing articulation agreements for a developing partnership with the U.S. Army at Fort Riley. This holds the promise of increasing the enrollment in Aviation Maintenance degree and certificate programs on campus as well as at that off-campus site. The specialized equipment essential to the certificate program also directly supports the associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs and is utilized by all programs in aviation maintenance. The quality of this program is evident by the high demand for students upon completion of the aviation maintenance certificate and associate’s degree programs. The high demand provides evidence of the need by the larger aviation industry and manufacturing and maintenance segments of companies within Kansas for the expertise of the graduates in the program. The certificate and associate’s programs are recommended for continuation.
The average number of students enrolled (5) and average number of degrees conferred (0) for the Applied Technology associate’s program does not meet the KBOR’s minimum criteria for associate’s program. However, this program has yet to be in existence for five years (began in Fall 2003) and is still in the development stage. For FY 2006, this program conferred five degrees. We expect demand to increase as employers and prospective students learn of the program’s availability. Unfortunately, marketing of this opportunity by SATS has been sporadic. Interestingly, employment demand appears to remain good, although the degree is still an unknown program to many SATS graduates and employers. Many employers view this program as a degree-completion path for their existing employees, and we expect demand to increase as they become aware of this unique opportunity. This program requires no additional resources, as all required courses in the degree are courses already offered by the college in support of other programs. Students take the bulk of the technical courses requiring expensive laboratory work at SATS. The associate’s program is recommended for continuation, although it will be monitored over the next two years with respect to enrollment and graduation rates.
Our approach to assessment of student learning is focused on continuous improvement and is an on-going process that involves the following steps:
Among the degree programs at K-State, some have assessment plans and processes that are very well-developed, for instance, those programs that have professional or disciplinary accreditation, and others are still in the early stages of establishing viable measures and collecting data. In all degree programs, faculty have met together to clearly articulate what it is that their graduates should know and be able to do when they leave K-State. This in itself has resulted in significant progress for many departments as they move toward meaningful assessment of student learning.
In the assessment section of their program reviews, degree programs have summarized the assessment measures for selected SLOs, results, and actions taken in response. The following is a brief synopsis of these aspects of the assessment reports.
Programs selected between two and five SLOs to measure in their first three-year assessment plans. These SLOs were, in general, focused on foundational skills for the major discipline:
Most of the programs at K-State are in the process of establishing baselines of student performance against which the performance of future students will be compared. In light of early data, however, programs have taken preliminary steps to address some areas of opportunity and challenge:
Given the nature of these changes, the university will not see significant shifts in positions or other direct resources. However, various new strategies for improving enrollment and degrees conferred will be monitored.