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Department of Geology and Geophysics

Assessment of Student Learning: Geology BS Degree

Contents


Goals


The ultimate goal of our BS geology program is that each student will develop into an educated adult with “a sense of responsibility for their own learning and the ability and desire to continue learning independently, self-knowledge and the ability to assess their own performance critically and accurately, and an understanding of how to apply their knowledge and abilities in many different contexts” (as cited by Huba & Freed, 2002, p. 75). The Department of Geology and Geophysics has developed the following specific goals for its BS program:

  • Students in the BS program will receive a quality preparatory education in the discipline that is current, relevant, practical, and personal.
  • BS students who graduate with appropriate grades will be able to compete successfully for positions at graduate schools nationwide.
  • BS students who graduate with appropriate grades will be well prepared for entry-level positions as professionals within their and other related disciplines.

We recognize that: (1) undergraduate students merit a quality education that is nationally competitive, (2) employment in the discipline may require further study at the graduate level, and (3) employment opportunities are strongly project-driven and require numeracy, computer literacy and skills in oral and written communication in addition to a current and relevant knowledge of their discipline.

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Objectives


The primary mission of our BS geology program is to provide a quality educational experience that prepares men and women to enter careers in geology and related fields. Within a few years following graduation, our graduates should be able to:

  • GG-OB1: Master the basic knowledge and skills demanded for entry-level competence in typical careers in Earth Science.
  • GG-OB2: Apply basic scientific and technical knowledge to specific tasks and problems.
  • GG-OB3: Cultivate the specific scientific and technical skills that will allow them effectively to serve their employers and to enhance their own career development.
  • GG-OB4: Develop increased capacity in the skills of independent learning, critical thinking, problem definition, and problem solving.
  • GG-OB5: Develop enhanced numerical skills and computer literacy as part of an undergraduate program designed to deliver a current and relevant knowledge of their discipline.
  • GG-OB6: Communicate effectively and professionally through oral, written, and graphical means and to participate effectively in their workplace and in individual and team-related activities.
  • GG-OB7: Have the broad general education needed to appreciate the role of Earth Sciences in the societal context and appreciate the importance of ethics in the practice of the profession.

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Outcomes


Upon completion of the BS degree program, graduates will have the following outcomes.

GG Outcome 1. Basic scientific and mathematical competence

  1. Proficiency in mathematics to a level of calculus.
  2. Can understand and apply basic principles of chemistry and physics to geologic issues.
  3. Understands the fundamental principles of Earth Science.
  4. Has knowledge of a diversity of subjects that form the core topics of the Earth Sciences.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Successfully completing basic geology, science, and math courses as set forth in the geology program requirements.
  2. Successfully completing three of the following courses: introduction to petrology, principles of paleontology, surficial processes, general geophysics, geochemistry or geohydrology.
  3. Successfully completing optional upper division courses such as geochemistry of natural waters, planetary geology, plate tectonics, remote sensing and courses in systematic paleontology.
  4. Successfully passing embedded assessment questions/exercises in the core geology courses.

GG Outcome 2. Field and laboratory technical competence

  1. Can identify and classify basic geologic materials, including minerals, rocks, fossils, structures, and landforms, and knows their basic material and/or biological properties or characteristics.
  2. Can collect and describe samples of geologic materials in support of field investigations.
    Can create basic types of geologic maps with standard geology symbols, using standard field measurement techniques and equipment.
  3. Can perform basic types of geologic analysis, such as lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic correlation, map construction, geophysical studies, and cross-section construction.
  4. Can visualize and comprehend geological materials or structures in 3-D based on 2-D data sets.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Successfully completing the laboratory components of courses required throughout the geology program.
  2. Successfully completing the stratigraphy and sedimentation, structural geology and geology field camp requirements.

GG Outcome 3. Technical and computer competence

  1. Demonstrates competence in basic computer tools including word processors, graphical applications, spreadsheets, presentation software, and Internet utilization.
  2. Can use and apply appropriate software for geological analysis.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Demonstrated use of computers in labs and classes both in lower- and upper- division courses.
  2. Use of computer tools and relevant software in completing research projects.

GG Outcome 4. Basic critical thinking, and problem solving skills

  1. Can critically read and critique research articles.
  2. Can address and solve scientific problems.
  3. Can analyze, interpret, and integrate diverse datasets.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Carrying out exercises or small projects within courses that have a research or laboratory component.
  2. Successfully completing Capstone course.

GG Outcome 5. Development of individual learning skills

  1. Can develop the skills necessary to engage in independent learning.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Exercises throughout the time of study

GG Outcome 6. Competence in technical communication

  1. Can communicate effectively in written form through words, graphs, and tables.
  2. Can communicate orally using prepared presentations.
  3. Can create scientific documents such as reports using the correct formats.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Preparing lab reports, proposals, papers, and oral presentations as required in courses.
  2. Successfully completing the written- and oral- presentation requirements of the Capstone course.

GG Outcome 7. Ability to work effectively on a professional team

  1. Can communicate effectively with team members through personal and electronic means.
  2. Can work responsibly as a member of a team and demonstrate professional levels of conduct.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Successfully completing team-based assignments in laboratories, field camp, and course work.

GG Outcome 8. Broad general knowledge and role of geology in society

  1. Has the breadth of education necessary to understand the impact of Earth Science and technology in a global and societal context.
  2. Has knowledge of contemporary issues, such as environment friendly resource development and the prediction of geological hazards.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Fulfillment of the institutional general education and university studies program requirements.
  2. Application and discussion of general knowledge in upper-level courses, especially in the Capstone course and in field camp.
  3. Successfully completing optional upper division courses such as global change, earth resources, geological hazards, petroleum geology, paleontology and the geology of Wyoming.

GG Outcome 9. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

  1. Carries out responsibilities in a professional and ethical manner.

This outcome will be developed by

  1. Showing professional and ethical behavior during field camp.
  2. Completing course assignments and exams honestly and ethically.
  3. Participating responsibly in the Geology Club and/or professional societies.

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