Provost’s Assessment Award Goes to Chemistry

  • May 15th, 2017
Shelby Hall, home of the UA chemistry department

The chemistry bachelor of science degree program has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Provost’s Assessment Award.

Established this year by Provost Kevin Whitaker in conjunction with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, the annual award recognizes excellence in academic program-level assessment and improvement of student learning. The chemistry program was identified by the University Assessment Council as the degree program whose 2015-16 assessment report most strongly exhibited the award criteria: meaningful, measurable, manageable and innovative.

Members of the University Assessment Council said they selected the chemistry bachelor of science degree report because of its specificity in the analysis of data, the clear quantitative support for that analysis, and the fact the assessment process was obviously a collaborative approach. The program incorporated a variety of assignments from classroom as well as laboratory courses.

As one reviewer put it, “Although each [of the nominees] has some good qualities, the top choice has the best balance of all qualities used in this determination.” It was “the strongest of the three nominees in terms of being measurable and manageable.”

An additional stand-out feature of the program’s assessment activities spoke to the commitment to the improvement of student learning. Even though the program met or exceeded expectations on several measures of achievement, “the report described a process for assessing sample student work that ‘drilled down’ into the data to address an additional issue that had emerged.”

Department of chemistry faculty, including degree program assessment coordinator Dr. Patrick Frantom and department chair Dr. Kevin Shaughnessy, will be invited to a celebratory luncheon with the provost.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.