Colby College believes strongly in regular assessment of our programs. The
Environmental Studies Program is no exception. Data to assess the performance
of our planning and academic programs and to identify areas for improvement is
regularly gathered. Assessment strategies used include the following:
- The Admissions Office provides data on the incoming students each year
including their interest in becoming environmental studies/science majors and
their board/SAT scores. We also investigate the choices of students not
matriculating at Colby looking for patterns.
- The Registrar annually tracks numbers of majors in each department, the
number of students enrolling for independent research courses and honors courses,
enrollments in other courses, and the retention rates of students in their majors.
- We solicit comparative data from peer groups such as the Council on
Undergraduate Research and from visits to peer institutions.
- We utilize other opportunities for information gathering and outside
evaluation (e.g., NSF-AIRE, HHMI grant site visits).
- Each department submits an annual report to the Dean of Faculty, which
covers courses taught (including new and revised ones), publications and
presentations, acceptance of majors into graduate or professional schools, and
- Departments track entry of their graduates into graduate and other
professional schools and their employment records.
- The College requires completion course evaluations and peer reviews,
important to assessing our progress.
- Colby staff and faculty annually conduct exit interviews with graduating
seniors. These conversations are compiled and presented to the faculty and
administration by the Dean of Students Office.
- Each department in the College is reviewed by outside overseers every eight
years. The overseers' visit entails preparation of a detailed self study by the
department, the visit by the overseers, the report of the overseers, and the
departmental and Dean of Faculty's response to the overseers' report. The
departmental self-studies are presented to the Dean of Faculty and the President,
while the departmental response is presented to the Board of Trustees.
- Colby uses focus groups successfully to review our programs.
- Colby routinely surveys its alumni to keep in touch with their professional
development. Environmental studies/science alumni were surveyed about their
employment history; attendance in graduate or professional school; and any grants,
scholarships, fellowships, or awards received since leaving Colby
- The Division of Natural Sciences conducts surveys of our alumni/nae who were
majors in science, including environmental science.
- We ask alumni attending graduate school how well Colby had prepared them for
their graduate programs.
- We survey chairs of graduate and professional school programs after the
matriculation of our students to ask how our students compare to their peers.
- The Career Services Office surveys all students at graduation and one year later.