Learning Goals and Assessment

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Jump to:  PhD degree    Master degree with thesis    Master degree without thesis

Ph.D. Degree Learning Goals and Assessment
Plant Biology Graduate Program, Rutgers University (Fall 2016)

The Plant Biology Program comprises four research and curriculum tracks (with unified overall goals):

  1. molecular and cellular biology/genomics
  2. plant breeding and genetics
  3. horticulture and plant technology
  4. plant pathology.

The goals of the PhD degree in the Plant Biology Program are to provide an excellent graduate level education and training in plant biology and to prepare students for career positions in research, teaching, and service in academia and industry, non-profit organizations, and government.

Learning Goal 1 for Students:  Master the fundamental of plant biology (in each of the four tracks) and attain a high level of training in one of the four specialized areas; develop complex reasoning and critical thinking skills

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:

  • Overall progress towards the completion of course credit requirements reviewed by the faculty advisor and the dissertation committee.
  • Grades in graduate courses meeting program requirements (assigned by course instructor)
  • Written and oral qualifying examinations to assess the depth and breadth of knowledge, critical thinking and problem solving skills (evaluated by Qualifying Exam Committee)
  • Annual Student Progress Report submitted to and reviewed by the faculty advisor to track student progress.

Roles of the graduate program in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

  • Peer and student evaluation of teaching effectiveness of graduate course instructors
    (If effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve effectiveness)
  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools by Curriculum Committee and graduate faculty
  • Assure breadth of knowledge through lecture courses and by requiring courses outside the primary areas of interest
  • Help developing critical thinking skills through analyses of contemporary literature in seminar courses, hands-on lab-based courses, and field and lab-based research

Learning Goal 2 for Students:  Engage in and conduct original research

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:

  • Meeting with Ph.D. dissertation committee
  • Publications as well as poster and oral presentations at regional, national, and international meetings
  • Assessment of dissertation by the graduate committee
  • Public defense of dissertation

Roles of the Graduate Programs in helping graduate students to achieve Goal 2:

  • Offering lab rotations during first year to help identifying research areas of interest
  • Primary faculty advisor provides guidance, advice, and training on the selection of dissertation topics, research methods, and data collection and processing
  • Graduate Committee monitors progress and provides guidance to complete dissertation research

Learning Goal 3 for Students:  Master the skills required for future careers in basic and applied research and development, teaching, and government

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3:

  • Productivity evidenced by publications, named inventorship on patents, patent applications, and cultivar registration
  • Presentations at professional societies
  • Evaluation of teaching effectiveness of graduate student instructors
  • Collection of placement data

Roles of the Graduate Programs in helping graduate students to achieve Goal 3:

  • Provide mentorship, support and advice in processing data and preparing publications, patents and cultivar registration
  • Help students developing effective communication skills through attendance and given presentations in the seminar program, group meetings, graduate committee meetings, and meetings of professional societies
  • Provide opportunities for teaching and mentoring undergraduates
  • Encourage students to join professional societies that offer opportunities for networking
  • Make students aware of career choices and job opportunities through former graduates, career specialists, graduate faculty and electronic media.

The leadership of Graduate Program of Plant Biology regularly reviews the structure and content of the program based on feedback received from assessments and surveys of member faculty and students. These reviews are used to help improve the program so that it provides the best possible education for our students.

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Masters of Science Degree with Thesis Learning Goals and Assessment
Plant Biology Graduate Program, Rutgers University (Fall 2016)

The Plant Biology Program comprises four research and curriculum tracks (with unified overall goals):

  1. molecular and cellular biology/genomics
  2. plant breeding and genetics
  3. horticulture and plant technology
  4. plant pathology with unified overall.

The goals of the M.S. with Thesis and Applied MS with thesis in Plant Biology Program are to provide graduate level of education and training in plant biology and to prepare students for positions in research, teaching, and service in academia, industry, agribusiness, and government.

Learning Goal 1 for Students:  Master the fundamental knowledge of plant biology; develop complex reasoning and critical thinking skills

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:

  • Student progress towards completion of course credit requirements by the thesis committee
  • Grades in graduate courses meet program requirements
  • Annual Progress Report towards graduation to submitted and reviewed by the faculty advisor

Roles of the graduate program in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

  • Peer and student evaluation of teaching effectiveness of instructors in graduate courses
    If effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve effectiveness
  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools by Curriculum Committee and faculty
  • Assure breadth of knowledge through lecture courses and by requiring courses outside the primary area of interest
  • Help develop critical thinking through analyses of contemporary literature

Learning Goal 2 for Students:  Engage in and conduct original research

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:

  • Meeting with MS thesis committee
  • Publications and poster and oral presentations
  • Assessment of thesis by the MS thesis committee
  • Public defense of thesis

Roles of the Graduate Programs in helping students to achieve Goal 2:

  • Primary faculty advisor provides guidance, advices, and training on the selection of dissertation topics, research methods, and data collection and processing
  • Graduate Committee monitors progress and provides guidance to complete thesis

Learning Goal 3 for Students:  Master the skills required for careers in basic and applied research, development, teaching and government

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3:

  • Productivity evidenced by publications, named inventorship on patents and patent applications and cultivar registration
  • Presentations at professional societies
  • Evaluation of teaching effectiveness of graduate student instructors
  • Collection of placement data

Roles of the Graduate Programs in helping graduate students to achieve Goal 3:

  • Provide mentorship, support and advice in processing data and preparing publications, patents and cultivar registration
  • Help students develop effective communication skills through the seminar program, presentations at group meetings, graduate committee meetings, and meetings of professional societies
  • Provide opportunities for teaching and mentoring undergraduates
  • Encourage students to join professional societies that offer opportunities for networking
  • Make students aware of career choices and job opportunities through former graduates, career specialists, graduate faculty and electronic media.

The leadership of Graduate Program of Plant Biology regularly reviews the structure and content of the program and feedback received from assessments and surveys of member faculty and students. These reviews are used to help improve the program so that it provides the best possible education for our students.

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Masters of Science Degree without Thesis Learning Goals and Assessment
Plant Biology Graduate Program, Rutgers University (Fall 2016)

The Plant Biology Program comprises four research and curriculum tracks (with unified overall goals):

  • molecular and cellular biology/genomics
  • plant breeding and genetics
  • horticulture and plant technology
  • plant pathology with unified overall.

The goals of the M.S. without Thesis in Plant Biology Program are to provide graduate level of education and training in plant biology and to prepare students for positions in research, teaching, and service in academia, industry, agribusiness, and government.

Learning Goal 1 for Students:  Master the fundamental knowledge of plant biology; develop complex reasoning and critical thinking skills

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:

  • Student progress towards completion of course credit requirements by the Academic Standards and Graduate Committees
  • Grades in graduate courses meet program requirements
  • Annual Progress Report towards graduation submitted and reviewed by the faculty advisor

Roles of the graduate program in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

  • Peer and student evaluation of teaching effectiveness of instructors in graduate courses
    (If effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve effectiveness)
  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools by Curriculum Committee and faculty
  • Assure breadth of knowledge through lecture courses and by requiring courses outside the primary area of interest
  • Help developing critical thinking through analyses of contemporary literature

Learning Goal 2 for Students:  Engage in and conduct research

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:

  • Meeting with MS committee
  • Publications and poster and oral presentations
  • Assessment of research report by committee of graduate faculty members
  • Public defense of research report

Roles of the Graduate Programs in helping graduate students to achieve Goal 2:

  • Research advisor guides and advises student on finding research topic, on methods and conducting research
  • Graduate Committee monitors progress and provides guidance to complete research report

Learning Goal 3 for Students:  Master the skills required for careers in basic and applied research, development, teaching and government

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3:

  • Productivity evidenced by publications, named inventorship on patents and patent applications and cultivar registration
  • Presentations at professional societies
  • Evaluation of teaching effectiveness of graduate student instructors
  • Collection of placement data

Roles of the Graduate Programs in helping graduate students to achieve Goal 3:

  • Provide mentorship, support and advice in processing data and preparing publications, patents and cultivar registration
  • Help students developing effective communication skills through the seminar program, presentations at group meetings, graduate committee meetings, and meetings of professional societies
  • Provide opportunities for teaching and mentoring undergraduates
  • Encourage students to join professional societies that offer opportunities for networking
  • Make students aware of career choices and job opportunities through former graduates, career specialists, graduate faculty and electronic media.

The leadership of Graduate Program of Plant Biology regularly reviews the structure and content of the program and feedback received from assessments and surveys of member faculty and students. These reviews are used to help improve the program so that it provides the best possible education for our students.

Back to:  top