(150) Outcome Assessment of Resident Instruction: The Colorado State University Experience

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  • 1 Colorado State University, Dept. of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Fort Collins, CO 80524-1173

An assessment plan for the Horticulture and Landscape Horticulture majors has been developed as part of a university-wide effort to assess resident instruction. The program mission has been described as the preparation of graduates with a passion for Horticulture/Landscape Horticulture who can contribute to Colorado's agricultural and green industry economy through high levels of: 1) technical competency and skills, including disciplinary competence, and a working knowledge in the appropriate field; 2) management and leadership skills; and 3) problem-solving skills. Assessment methods involved the development of evaluation forms for internships, practicum, independent study, group study, and the capstone courses. Student, faculty, clients, and industry personnel used standardized forms, which varied somewhat for the two majors and seven concentrations, to critically assess and score student and faculty efforts. Internships, practicum, and capstone courses were evaluated for program purpose. The management and leadership skills of the students were evaluated based on their performance during internships by cooperators and also by their activities, as demonstrated through their involvement in university, college, departmental, and community activities. Problem-solving skills were evaluated primarily through student performance in capstone courses, with specific criteria in the internship and in leadership activities of clubs. The expectation is that 70% to 75% of the students will score 3 or 3+ on all criteria established for a rating system of 1–5. Students have generally met this standard and plans are under way to continually upgrade courses and related activities to improve the teaching program

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