Required Assessment Testing
Missouri S&T Assessment Policy
All students at Missouri S&T are required to participate in assessment of learning outcomes before graduation. The requirement for assessment originated from directives of the governor and Missouri General Assembly for institutions to show direct evidence of student learning. The coordination of assessment processes is housed within the provost's office under the guidance and support of the assistant vice provost for the office of institutional research and assessment and the University Assessment Committee.
General Education Assessment
All students who have attained the junior class level, in each semester, are automatically scheduled to take the ETS’ proficiency profile test, which measures general education skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and critical thinking. Students will be notified the semester they qualify to take the test. Students who have earned 61 or more credit hours and who did not test will have a HOLD placed on their academic account. This HOLD will prevent the students from future registration of courses. Information on how to take the general education test can be found at http://ira.mst.edu/ets/.
General Education Program Learning Goals
The seven general education learning goals below are designed to help students acquire sufficient general knowledge and intellectual versatility. Students are expected to obtain the following competencies:
- an ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing
- an ability to think critically and analyze effectively
- an ability to apply disciplinary knowledge and skills in solving critical problems
- an ability to function in diverse learning and working environments
- an understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities
- an awareness of national and global contemporary issues
- a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
General Education Course Distribution
The general education learning goals can be achieved by taking up to 60 credits in the following six content areas:
- English/Composition, 6 credits
- Western Civilization, 6 credits
- Foreign Languages, 12-16 credits
- Sciences, 12 credits
- Humanities, 12 credits
- Social Sciences, 12 credits
Students pursuing a bachelor of science degree in engineering must fulfill all courses in the common freshmen year program as listed under the Freshman Engineering Program. The degree program shall include a minimum of 21 credit hours in the following subjects: English, history and economics with the remaining courses chosen from the list of approved humanities/social sciences courses. Each department may further specify the requirements for electives.
Assessment in Student Majors
Seniors are scheduled to take the major field test before clearance for graduation. Engineering student majors are required to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test, and non-engineering student majors are required to take the ETS’ major field test (MFT) in their respective field of study. Note that some departments administer in-house tests in lieu of the FE or MFT.
Information about the FE test and requirements are available in each Engineering department. Students receive the MFT notification from their department. The office of institutional research and assessment collaborates with the testing center to administer the MFT. Information about MFT test dates and sample questions are available at http://ira.mst.edu/assess/assess_tests/.
In addition to the direct measures of assessment outlined above, student learning outcomes are also assessed indirectly through various institutional effectiveness surveys. For example, freshmen and seniors are scheduled every three years to complete the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), which obtains information about student engagement and participation in degree programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development.
Use of Assessment Results
In these integrated assessment processs, the evidence gathered through assessment activities are used in several ways:
- Students use evidence to improve their own learning processes and outcomes.
- Faculty use evidence to update and improve curricula, either in content or methodology.
- Degree programs use evidence in periodic program reviews and ongoing curriculum development to ensure that the program outcomes for student learning are being met.
- Colleges use evidence to set priorities for resource allocations and to monitor the contribution of degree programs to the college mission and goals.
- Professional staff members use evidence to modify existing services and to create new approaches for delivering services to students.
- University administrators use evidence to assess the quality of the degree programs and support services provided to students and the effectiveness of the university in carrying out its mission