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Geography at Texas A&M University

Information for this profile was provided by Charles Lafon, Geography, Texas A&M University. Information is also available on the program website. Students in this program are pursuing a bachelors degree.

Program Design & Assessment

Overview

Geography is an academic discipline charged with understanding and improving the human environment –- the earth. Through the geography major, students come to understand how natural and human systems interact to form earth surface features, how humans use the earth, and how those uses impact the earth. Majors choose a track in physical geography, human geography, or human-environment interactions.

Strengths of this program

It integrates human geography, physical geography, and geographic information science. It also provides many opportunities for students to benefit from research and other such experiences.

Types of students served

Program Goals

The goals of this program are as follows:

  1. Describe dynamic interactions
    Geography graduates will be able to describe the dynamic interactions between Earth and human systems
  2. Comprehend concepts of spatial analysis
    Graduates will comprehend the concepts on which analytical tools for spatial analysis are based
  3. Explain the historical development of Geography
    Graduates will explain the historical development of geography as a consequence of empirical discovery, theoretical development, and social circumstances.
  4. Graduates will collect, analyze, and interpret quantitative and qualitative data and draw inferences from them
  5. Create geographic representations
    Graduates will create geographic representations to interpret data and communicate information
  6. Use Geographic Information Science to solve problems
    Graduates will use geographic information science to interpret, represent, and solve geographic problems
  7. Express geographic concepts orally and in writing
    Graduates will express geographic concepts in writing and speaking to discipline-specific and general audiences.

The learning goals were informed by the following resources:

Fitting geographical topics and skills to an institutional template.

How program goals are assessed

  1. Describe dynamic interactions
    Geography graduates will be able to describe the dynamic interactions between Earth and human systems
    a. Student writing from GEOG360 (Natural Hazards) and other courses
  2. Comprehend concepts of spatial analysis
    Graduates will comprehend the concepts on which analytical tools for spatial analysis are based
    1. Targeted exam questions from GEOG 390 (Principles of GIS)
    2. Targeted exam questions from GEOG 440 (History and Nature of Geography)
    3. Student performance on the Spatial Thinking Aptitude Exam (STAT)
  3. Explain the historical development of Geography
    Graduates will explain the historical development of geography as a consequence of empirical discovery, theoretical development, and social circumstances.
    1. Term paper from GEOG 440 (History and Nature of Geography) will be evaluated for relevant outcomes
    2. Targeted exam questions from GEOG 440 (History and Nature of Geography)
  4. Collect and analyze data
    Graduates will collect, analyze, and interpret quantitative and qualitative data and draw inferences from them.
    1. Final project from GEOG 450 (Field Geography)
    2. Exit survey of graduating seniors will be conducted by Measurement and Research Services (MARS) with college-specific results, asking students to reflect on various aspects of their work readiness and satisfaction with the program
    3. Students will participate in the Critical Assessment Test (CAT)
  5. Create geographic representations
    Graduates will create geographic representations to interpret data and communicate information
    1. Final project from GEOG 332 (Thematic Cartography) will be evaluated for the relevant outcomes
  6. Use Geographic Information Science to solve problems
    Graduates will use geographic information science to interpret, represent, and solve geographic problems
    1. Targeted exam questions from GEOG 390 (Principles of GIS)
  7. Express geographic concepts orally and in writing
    Graduates will express geographic concepts in writing and speaking to discipline-specific and general audiences.
    1. Student writing from GEOG 360 (Natural Hazards) and other courses
    2. Term paper from Geography 440 (History and Nature of Geography
    3. Oral presentations in GEOG 450 (Field Geography) and GEOG 476 GIS Practicum
    4. Participation in the University's Writing Assessment Program

Design features that allow goals to be met

The courses related to the goals are built into the curriculum.

Alumni Careers

Graduation rate

We averaged 48 graduates per year between 2006-2007 and 2010-2011. These graduates included those from all the degree programs that fall within Geography (Geography; Geography with GIS option; Environmental Studies).

Careers pursued by our alumni

Our data for this question are incomplete. The information we currently have suggests that most of our graduates pursue employment with environmental consulting firms or with the oil and gas industry. They also find employment in a number of other places, including government agencies, education, and various businesses. Some of them pursue graduate studies in geography or related disciplines.

Courses and Sequencing

Diagram of course sequencing and requirements




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