Building Strong Departments > Workshops > Assessing Geoscience Programs > Overview

Workshop Overview

Working group discussion at the 2009 workshop on Assessing Geoscience Programs. Photo by Carol Ormand.

Assessing Geoscience Programs: Theory and Practice

Note: this workshop has already taken place. For more information, you can go to the workshop program page, with links to presentations and additional resources.

Assessing the impact of departmental programs on student learning and other departmental goals can be challenging. However, research on program evaluation offers some insight into this process. This workshop will explore methods and instruments that geoscience departments can use to assess the impact of their programs on students and to measure the degree to which programs meet stated goals. We will also provide opportunities to learn more about evaluation theory and practice from experts in the field. The workshop will combine presentations by participants, small and whole group discussion, and working time.

Workshop Outcomes

In addition to promoting communication and exchange of information across participating insitutions, the workshop will produce these specific outcomes:


The workshop will begin on Sunday afternoon, February 22, at 5:00 and will end after dinner on Tuesday, February 24. Participants are required to attend all sessions.


Participants are expected to:


The operational costs of the workshop as well as double-occupancy rooms and some meals will be covered by a grant from the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE-0817353). (We will be able to offer a few single rooms for a supplemental fee.) Participants or their home institutions must provide transportation to and from the workshop.

Application and Selection Criteria

The workshop is limited to 30 participants. The final list of participants will be established with the goal of assembling a group with broad expertise in program assessment. Applicants will be notified of their selection in January.


The workshop will be held at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Participants will be housed in a hotel and will eat meals on campus and in the town.

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