Strengthening your Department or Program: Goal Setting, Design, and Assessment

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8:30am-11:30am CHEM 133


Dave Matty, Weber State University
This session will guide participants through a strategy for formulating program-level student learning outcomes for a degree program. We will use a matrix-based approach to map how identified outcomes are currently addressed in the program and demonstrate how this map can be used to strengthen the program and address program evaluation. Participants will be prepared to return to their departments and engage their colleagues in an organized process for planning curricular change and assessment.


This workshop brings knowledge and experience gained from the Building Strong Geoscience Departments project, InTeGrate project and other NAGT-sponsored efforts to stimulate conversation and planning for geoscience departments. Participants will develop a framework that can guide the departmental process of improving programs. The workshop will include presentations, group discussions, and time for individual and small group work. This session is supported with online resources.


This workshop will focus on a logical process for designing or redesigning curricula that encompass the entirety of the student experience. We will also address strengthening departmental profiles and identify steps for implementing change and assessing the effectiveness of programs.

Topics will include

  • Envisioning or re-envisioning your programs with achievable goals
  • Identifying departmental strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  • Curricular planning through backwards design
  • Aligning departmental goals with programs and assessment
  • Action planning to implement and assess programs

Target Audience

This workshop is most appropriate for

  • Faculty leaders (chairs and others) that are considering changes in programs
  • Faculty in departments that are beginning the process of self-study in preparation for external review of programs
  • Faculty that are interested in developing new majors within their departments

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