Assessment Practices


Undergraduate Program:

1) Analysis of student-teacher evaluations from lecture and laboratory sections for faculty and teaching assistants.

2) Analysis of
College of Science exit surveys from graduating seniors. These surveys provide detailed qualitative and quantitative responses of students to the core curriculum, to non-departmental courses required for the biology major, and to department advising.

3) Required
capstone courses in public health (5500) and evolution (5250) that integrate knowledge from required coursework. In addition to providing students new information, these courses help to identify strengths and weaknesses in each curriculum and allow an overall assessment of student communication skills in science.

4) An undergraduate research conference is held each semester for Biol 5800 students (Undergraduate Research) to submit posters or oral presentations of their research. In addition to providing students with the opportunity to learn how to communicate research findings, the conference allows the department to assess the quality of research experiences available to undergraduates.

5) The pre-health committee closely monitors the admission rates and other statistics of students applying to medical and dental programs.

6) The Department submitted a Portfolio of Learning Excellence for consideration of the Utah State University Department Teaching Excellence Award - 2007, 2008, and 2009. Submission of the proposals have provided an excellent venue to assess our performance in undergraduate advising, teaching, and mentoring in the past three years. Our in depth self-assessment provided many areas for improvement. We continue to collect additional data and add to the data pools that we have to get a better overview of the strengths of the Department.  We are pleased to announce that in 2009, the Department was awarded the Utah State University Department Teaching Award.


Graduate Program:

1) Surveys of graduate students administered by the Biology Graduate Students Association.

2) Graduate student membership on the department Graduate Programs Committee.

3) Annual analyses of graduate student enrollments, financial support, degree program progress, and career placement.