Westmont College Economics and Business 6 Year Program Review Fall 2010 table of contents

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Westmont College

Economics and Business

6 Year Program Review

Fall 2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1

2. MISSION AND ROLE OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS

WITHIN THE COLLEGE 6

3. BASIC STATISTICAL INFORMATION, DISCUSSION, AND ANALYSIS 11

A. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES 21

B. ASSESSMENT OF OUTCOMES 29

C. CONCLUSIONS 41

5. GENERAL EDUCATION AND SERVICE COURSES 42

6. RESOURCES 48

A. FINANCIAL RESOURCES 48

B. PROGRAM RESOURCES 49

7. CONCLUSION AND LONG-TERM VISION 51

8. APPENDICES

CHART 1: PROFILE OF FULL-TIME FACULTY 61

CHART 1B: INSTRUCTIONAL LOAD 61

CHART 2A: PROFILE OF PART-TIME FACULTY 62

CHART 2B: INSTRUCTIONAL LOAD PART-TIME FACULTY 63

CHART 3: GRADUATING SENIORS 64


FACULTY CURRICULA VITAE 65

Morgan


Newton

Noell


FACULTY REPORTS 98

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS (INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL)

Newton


Noell

SABBATICAL

Noell


INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Morgan


Newton

Noell

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A. Mission Statement and Outcomes
The Economics and Business (EB) department remains committed to developing students who can think critically, problem-solve, and engage in original research, all from a decidedly Christian perspective. Our wish for EB graduates is that they are ready to serve others through applying their economics and business skills. While the existing curriculum provides an excellent balance of quantitative rigor with qualitative inference and interpretation, the dept is ready to take the curriculum to the next step in fully integrating formal coursework with praxis within a dynamic context of systematic faculty-student joint research. The vision of this “next step” is to develop a very innovative curriculum built on academic-praxis process flow that will carry over directly into students’ post-collegiate professional development and continued lifelong learning. We envision setting a brand new course for undergraduate studies of economics and business within a traditional liberal arts/integrative endeavor.
We identify three specific student learning outcomes:

1. Students will demonstrate active intellectual engagement in particular educational activities in the Economics and Business curriculum.

2. Students will demonstrate understanding of the research process and appropriate application of various technologies and research methods in particular educational activities in the Economics and Business curriculum.

3. Students will demonstrate strong writing and oral communication skills in particular educational activities in the Economics and Business curriculum.



B. Alignment Matrix (Chart 4)

Program


Goal #1


Students will be actively engaged intellectually through an understanding of the significance and complexity of particular economic and business processes and policies.

Specific

Learning

Outcomes

Students will demonstrate active intellectual engagement in

the following activities in the Economics and Business curriculum:



 

  1. Become competent in applying key economic principles

(identified in Appendix E) to various economic policy debates.

 

  1. Write research/opinion/review papers or do an oral report or debate on controversial business decisions or economic policy issues.

 

  1. Write papers commenting on the interaction between a

Christian calling and corporate social responsibility.

 

  1. Do briefing reports discussing presentations by guest speakers.

 

  1. Participate in a field trip and briefing at the corporate

headquarters of World Vision International, the world's largest relief and development organization, and a model of effective Christian ministry.

Where are

these

learning

outcomes

achieved?


I: EB 011, 012

D: EB 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 120, 135, 137, 138, 180, 184, 191

M: EB 195


Assessment Procedures

Classroom tests, application of evaluation rubric to classroom papers and presentations, departmental economics field exam administered in the Senior Seminar, alumni surveys.

Benchmark__100%_of_average_students’_work_meets_all_criteria.___College'>Benchmark

Class average of 70% on field exam; number of students

accepted into a nationally recognized graduate institution, number of business planning teams competing at a high level among regional schools



College-

Wide

Learning

Standards 

Active Societal and Intellectual Engagement; Critical Inter-

Disciplinary Thinking





Program

Goal #2

Students will understand issues related to the research process in the fields of economics and business, and the thoughtful and appropriate use of various technologies and research methods to support that endeavor.


Specific

Learning

Outcomes

Students will demonstrate understanding of the research process and appropriate application of various technologies

and research methods in the following activities in the Economics and Business curriculum:



 

a. Use the RAD (introduction, methods, results, abstract, discussion) format for literature correctly in their presentations and papers.





b. Develop the question posed in their presentation through a survey of the relevant background literature.


 

c. Provide a more formal “Research Rationale” for projects, writing assignments, and oral presentations that include outside research sources and methodologies.

 

d. Produce papers/presentations demonstrating the role of quantitative or qualitative student research, including the

“Conclusion”, “Inferences”, and “Ideas for Further Research” sections of student work.






e. Are able to appropriately cite sources and provide complete bibliographic information.





f. Are able to use technology effectively in oral presentations.

Where are

these

learning

outcomes


achieved?


I: EB 017

D: EB 018

M: EB 103, 131, 132, 135, 138, 184, 192


Assessment Procedures

Application of evaluation rubric to student research projects,

alumni surveys.



Benchmark

100% of average students’ work meets all criteria.


College-

Wide

Learning

Standards

 Critical-Interdisciplinary Thinking, Research and Technology

Program

Goal #3

Students will demonstrate strong writing and oral communication skills in economics and business.

Specific

Learning

Outcomes

Students will demonstrate strong writing and oral communication skills in the following activities in the Economics and Business curriculum:

 

a. Students will demonstrate a well-defined process in presenting written and oral arguments on a wide range of is issues within the various fields of economics and business, and to be able to draw upon a decidedly interdisciplinary perspective

 


b. Students will produce excellent research papers, business plan presentations, oral debates, role-play, book reviews, news summaries, and executive summaries of longer reports.

Where are

these

learning

outcomes

achieved?

I: EB 011, 012, 017, 018

D: EB 103, 104, 105, 106, 120, 131, 132, 135, 137, 138, 160, 180, 184, 191, 192

M: EB 195


Assessment Procedures

Application of evaluation rubric to student papers and presentations as measured by evaluation rubric, student performance in Senior Seminar.

Benchmark

100% of average students’ work meets all criteria.


 College-

Wide

Learning

Standards

Written and Oral Communication 


C. Notable Findings

1. The EB department achieves a strong foundation of economic analysis combined with outstanding application to business practice and entrepreneurial innovation. Assessment of senior students indicates understanding of economic theoretical constructs and outstanding performance as indicated by achievement in regional and national business plan competitions. The alumni survey indicates that around 25% succeed in graduate programs. We would like to see increased number of students pursuing graduate degrees across the fields of economics, law, and business and we would like to see more graduates pursuing explicitly serving professions such as economic development, international law and justice, and entrepreneurship within the context of serving the poor.

2. Given direct evidence provided by current faculty student-teaching ratios and advising loads, and indirect evidence provided through an alumni survey and comparative data from peer institutions, the EB department is understaffed by relying on three full-time faculty and several part-time faculty. The department needs to a) secure the fourth full-time faculty member to replace the vacated position; and b) hire a fifth full-time faculty member. This is necessary for the department to move forward in providing a full complement of courses in its curriculum and to create systematic opportunities for EB students to engage in joint applied research with EB faculty.

3. Nominally low department budgets continue to challenge how much outside interaction and engagement can be provided for EB students. The campus wide institutional financial challenges continue to limit any movement to significantly upgrade funds for speakers, site visits, students attending conferences and forums with faculty, and related active engagement opportunities with the outside business community. The department plans to implement a dedicated and permanent EB alum advisory board of 50-60 local area professionals who will actively provide program planning, referral-networking, and annual financial support for the EB department and its various initiatives.



D. Next Steps

While the existing lower division and upper division curriculum afford numerous opportunities to further develop those quantitative and qualitative competencies, the EB department wants to transform the 4-year baccalaureate with an integrative senior-year experience based upon transition from collegiate life directly into the marketplace. Over the next 12 to 18 months, the department will implement “The Liberal Arts at Work” senior-year experience in conjunction with a long-awaited Center for Entrepreneurship, Ethics, and Enterprise (E-3) to provide an innovative senior year for EB majors based upon joint faculty-student collaborative research, internship/practicum experience, and a new focus for the integrative senior seminar. Formal programmatic research projects based at the new E-3 center will further develop student competencies and provide more standardized research-based student learning outcomes for assessment.

As a starting point, the current program goals parallel the college-wide learning standards of: active societal and intellectual engagement, written and oral communication, and demonstrated proficiency with original research and the technologies that facilitate such inquiry. These will be further enhanced with a very formal programmatic approach to student producing original, publishable applied economics and business research to more effectively connect their courses with the tangible outcomes of applying their knowledge to issue-based research.

It is crucial that the EB department first replace its existing 4th full-time faculty position (which is now in its 3rd year vacated), and then move to adding a long overdue 5th full-time faculty position in order to establish the requisite minimum full-time faculty line-up to effectively support a high quality academic program for on average 165-175 students in the major.

Parallel to this 2-part faculty hiring process, the new Center for Entrepreneurship, Ethics, and Enterprise will be formally funded and launched to serve as the research hub of the new curriculum/program for joint faculty-student research. This will be one of the applied research outcomes of the proposed new senior-year transition experience: “The Liberal Arts At Work”, which will include applied coursework, formal joint research with student peers and faculty, internship/practicum work experience in a related field, and a re-engineered integrative senior seminar.


This innovative approach will more clearly and specifically define how the liberal arts translate into original problem-solving and managerial decision making in economics and business settings. This has the potential to significantly enhance the undergrad learning process by directly/programmatically linking the first three years of courses with an experiential senior (4th) year exploring all kinds of connections between collegiate studies and working in the marketplace and/or pursuing graduate studies after Westmont.

II. DEPARTMENTAL MISSION AND ROLE WITHIN THE COLLEGE
A. Departmental Mission and Contribution to the College Mission
The Economics and Business Department’s mission statement reads as follows: The Economics and Business department equips students to serve and lead in dynamic settings, with a major that is distinctively broad – integrating the essential components of economics and business, and challenging students to address contemporary economics and business issues with critical thinking, personal conviction, and a Christian perspective.

How does our departmental program’s mission and activities relate to the mission of Westmont College? Consider the Westmont College Mission Statement (as expressed in the form coming from the Mission and Distinctiveness Force and now being considered by the President): “Westmont College is an undergraduate residential Christian liberal arts community serving God’s kingdom by cultivating thoughtful scholars, grateful servants, and faithful leaders through a transforming undergraduate, residential education to engage the globally diverse academy, church, and world.” As applied to our department, we interpret this statement to mean that we have a vision for our students’ development is articulated in which they grow in knowledge, competencies, Christian character, engagement with their world and service to it, and faithfulness to God. The Economics and Business Department is responsible for working toward these ends as we engage students in the study of social life. Our program challenges them to be careful and reflective as they make use of the great power of the economic way of thinking in application to a wide spectrum of social issues while at the same time recognizing its limitations. Economics particularly draws on the methods of a range of disciplines, including other social sciences and the natural sciences. Students are challenged to think carefully about their role as stewards of God’s resources and their responsibility towards God’s creation. We call on students to be faithful stewards of the gifts they’ve received from God and think carefully about the ways God might be leading them to minister to others, whether in the business world or non-profit sector. Most all of our courses place them in a position of leading a class discussion, project, or community service effort off campus in Santa Barbara and in some instances around the world.

In general, as students study economics and business at Westmont, they have opportunities to grow in all of the areas defined by the College’s six student learning standards. They begin developing the competencies of social science scholars in research through papers on economics and business policy issues and develop skills in the use of technology in speaking and writing (Writing and Oral Communication and Research and Technology). Students engage questions that are both complex and controversial, and work through debates in economics regarding the role of race and gender in society. We see our students as junior scholars for whom we are seeking to foster problem-solving, analytical, and independent thinking skills (Critical-Interdisciplinary Thinking and Diversity). They are challenged to address a number of current ethical issues and social problems that arise from or are impacted by investigation into the realms of economics and business and by reflection on their responsibility to act in their private capacity to contribute to society’s betterment. We wish to develop graduates who are ready to serve others through applying their economics and business skills (Active Societal and Intellectual Engagement). We challenge our students through reflections on readings, written assignments and class discussion to think through the implications of Christian values and their meaning for a Christian business person in specific areas of economics and business. These include (but are not limited to) the following: a) the dignity of labor and the proper treatment of employees: b) the use and possible abuse of wealth; c) the responsibility to minster to the poor and marginalized; d) the handling of debt and the burdens of indebtedness; e), the role of God stewards as caretakers of the environment; f) the responsibility to ‘love one’s neighbor as yourself’ in the realms of exchange and profit-seeking; g) the Christian’s calling to reach out to others different from ourselves in race, ethnicity, and other ways by engaging the diversity of the business world (Christian Orientation and Diversity).


B. Departmental Contributions to General Education
Our department engages students to better understand issues involving the interaction of economics and business with other academic disciplines and the Christian faith. Our work is directed toward fulfilling this mission with several groups of students. Most have chosen to major in Economics and Business. Some students take Economics courses as required for background study in other majors such as Political Science or History. The two specific courses that satisfy the Common Inquiries Understanding Society requirement are our Principles of Economics classes. As many as 60-70 students per year enroll in EB 011, Principles of Macroeconomics, while as many as 50-60 students per year satisfy this requirement by taking Principles of Microeconomics (EB 012). To fulfill the Common Inquiries Thinking Historically requirement, students enroll in EB 103 History of Economic Thought or EB 120 American Economic History. To fulfill the Common Inquiries Thinking Globally requirement, students enroll in EB 104 World Poverty and Economic Development or EB 184 Globalization. In addition to our teaching in support of Common Inquiries, we also address our students’ need to grow in their ability to communicate well with the writing-intensive courses for our majors – EB 104 History of Economic Thought, EB 120 American Economic History, EB 160 Principles of Marketing, and EB 191 Entrepreneurship – as well as with other courses that involve written or oral presentations. This is a point of intersection between the General Education requirements and our program goals (see Section 4). To fulfill the Productions and Presentation requirement, students may take EB 191 or EB 192. All students majoring in Economics and Business fulfill the Integrating the Major Discipline section of Competent and Compassionate Action by taking EB 195 Senior Seminar. In addition, students find that taking EB 160 Principles of Marketing and the Practicum course (EB 190SS) enables them to meet the requirement for Serving Society, Enacting Justice.

C. EB Program Support for Other Westmont Programs

The Economics and Business department faculty (and students) have contributed to the work of other programs in campus in numerous ways. Here are some examples. Drs.Morgan and Noell have taught classes on rent control and urban poverty on the Urban Program in San Francisco and our students do internships on this program as well. Dr.Noell and Dr.Newton have participated in campus-wide panels or presented addresses to students groups on topics such as “The Economics of Human Trafficking”, “The Contribution of Economics to a Global Liberal Arts Perspective”; and “The Financial Crisis.” Dr.Morgan and Dr.Noell have each served as faculty co-leaders of the Europe Semester program. Dr.Newton and Dr.Noell have each presented Phi Kappa Phi lectures and Dr.Noell has served as a discussant for a Phi Kappa Phi lecture. Dr.Noell and Dr.Newton have served as faculty interviewers for the Monroe Scholars weekend, on an Admissions Panel for Orientation, Task Forces/Committees for Westmont’s Mission, Budget, and Presidential Search and as faculty advisors to Westmont’s Business and Investment Club, Omicron Delta Kappa, and College Republican organizations.




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