Assessment is a continuing process in the Geology Department
rather than an event. The procedure for making changes to improve
the program is illustrated by a flowchart:
Examples of specific initiatives
that have been undertaken as a result of the assessment process are listed below.
CURRICULUM CHANGES RESULTING FROM ASSESSMENT DATA
AND FROM OUR EXTERNAL REVIEW
Initiative: Reducing Requirements for the Hydrogeology/Engineering Geology Emphasis
One curriculum change resulting from assessment data and from our external review includes reducing the number of courses and credits required for the Bachelor of Science degree in Geology with an emphasis in Hydrogeology/Engineering Geology by two courses and a total of seven to eight credits to bring the total number of credits required for this emphasis into line with the other Geology BS degree emphases.
Initiative: Revised Elective Requirements
Another curriculum change has been to tweak undergraduate major requirements by giving students the freedom to chose more electives in related areas. This allows our students to choose electives outside of Geology that complement the major and result in broader educational preparation.
Initiative: Dual Listing Geology 3300 as Geology 3300/4300
In addition to allowing students to choose electives outside of Geology, the Geology 3300 course has been dual-listed as Geology 3300/4300 to allow it to be used to satisfy the requirement for 12 credits of elective courses within Geology.
Initiative: Making Geology 1110 Laboratory a Separate One-Credit Course
Because the majority of Geology majors are transfer students, most of them have taken an introductory Geology course at another institution, many of which offer such a course as a three-credit, lecture-only class without an associated and required laboratory section. Because of the importance of the laboratory component of the Geology 1110 course, these undergraduate majors can now take just the laboratory section of the course instead of either having to take the lecture portion of the course as well as the lab or simply waiving the requirement.
Initiative: Eliminating Geology 3520 and Modifying Geology 3500 and 4500
The General Geology undergraduate course sequence has been streamlined by eliminating Geology 3520 and incorporating the most useful and practical aspects of this class into Geology 3500 and 4500.
Initiative: Investigating the Possibility of Offering Geology 4700 and 5200 Every Year
One of the most consist comments, suggestions and recommendations from students, alumni and outside reviewers has been to offer Geology 4700 and 5200 every year. While this may not be feasible due to the creation of excessive faculty teaching loads and logistical constraints, creative solutions to this situation are currently being investigated, including combining our Geology 5200 course with the same course at another institution within Utah.