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College of Business and Administration
Last updated prior to August 1998

Knowledge and skill goals for this undergraduate degree program are recorded in the most recent CU-Boulder catalog. In some summaries of assessment activity, goals are referred to by number (e.g., K-2 is knowledge goal 2).

From the start of the CU-Boulder undergraduate outcomes assessment process, the college planned to participate in a project of the AACSB (American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business) which was developing a national outcomes assessment test. The AACSB is the college's accrediting agency. The exam was developed for its member schools and affiliates, and was nationally scored by an independent agency, Assessment Systems, Inc. It was first approved by the AACSB for pilot use in 1991-92. That year, a random sample of 90 CU-Boulder graduating seniors took the exam which consisted of 10 questions in each of 7 content areas. AACSB did not provide national norms at that point, and intended schools to track their own performance on a year-to-year basis. The 1991-92 results were to serve as a baseline for future comparisons.

The AACSB withdrew the exam in 1992-93 for expansion and revision. In addition, the college underwent extensive administrative and curricular restructuring that year. For both these reasons, outcomes assessment was postponed for the year.

In 1993-94, a random sample of 54 graduating seniors enrolled in the capstone business policy course took a subset of the new AACSB exam, with questions selected by the college's division chairs and their respective faculty. The test is intended to measure competence in the basic core business curriculum. The full exam has 420 questions sub-divided into seven areas, with 70 items in each. The faculty had originally selected 150 questions to be included in the exam. However, the exam was administered during the summer session and time limitations only allowed 60 of the questions to be used.

As with the earlier version, the AACSB did not provide national or comparative norms, and the chairs were still considering the particular questions to be used. They felt that some of the AACSB questions are more traditional and do not represent some of the more recent theories and techniques taught to CU-Boulder students.

In 1994-95 the college, in consultation with colleagues at other AAU and AACSB schools, designed a new assessment instrument for graduating seniors; CU-Boulder and a select number of other schools planned to develop national norms that would enable comparisons more effectively and efficiently than was possible with the AACSB model. However, the project has not yet yielded a useable instrument.

As part of the College's new strategic plan and new undergraduate curriculum adopted in 1995/96, the COllege committed itself to using outcomes assessment in reviewing, on an annual basis, stakeholder judgments about the new undergraduate program and College services.  The College also put in place an organizational structure whereby the results of these outcomes assessment surveys would be channeled to appropriate committees and individuals in the College for their review and recommendations.

The stakeholders the College has elected to survey at the undergraduate level are as follows: (1) recruiters of our students, (2) alumni, 3 to 5 years after graduate, and (3) graduating seniors.  In the spring of 1997 and the spring of 1998, the College surveyed recruiters and graduating seniors.  In the spring of 1999, we expect to add our alumni to our annual stakeholders survey list.

In surveying recruiters of our students, we are initially asking this group to judge the importance of various competencies and skills in our undergraduate curriculum.  In this way we are attempting to validate, on a regular basis, the elements in our undergraduate curriculum and to make appropriate adjustments to our curriculum as needed.  The second area that we ask recruiters to judge is how well our students, as employees, are performing in these competencies and skills.  With this part of the survey, we are attempting to measure how well we are doing as educators in providing our students with the competencies and skills that recruiters have identified as important.

In surveying our graduating seniors, we are asking this group to judge the importance of and the College's performance in providing selected services to our undergraduates.  These services include computer labs, technical support, placement and career advising, meeting rooms, library facilities, etc.

Over the last two years, recruiters have validated the individual components in our new undergraduate curriculum.  These components include oral and written communications, computer proficiency, teamwork skills, and ethical awareness.  As we have yet to graduate new curriculum students (the first class will be graduating in 1999), we are as of yet unable to judge how well our new curriculum students, as employees, are performing in these areas.

Over the last two years, the College has used the graduate senior surveys to monitor and improve student services.  Specifically, we have expanded career services in the College and are reviewing recommendations to expand computer support.  While our students judged both of these areas as important, the College's performance in providing these services was not judged as high as we would have liked.

Last revision 01/28/03

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