PSM Learning Goals

Statement of Learning Goals and Assessment

The goal of the Rutgers Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program is to increase student learning in scientific disciplines and in business and management. Following are the three specific learning goals that the PSM program has identified for the MBS degree, the program’s strategy for assessing student achievement on them, and the roles of the PSM program in helping students achieve the goals.
 

Learning Goal 1 for Students: Obtain mastery in a professionally relevant scientific field

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:

  • Grades in graduate courses
  • Review by faculty of student progress with close advising and mentoring
  • Student submission of assignments which demonstrate mastery of scientific field to a learning portfolio
  • Assessment of student’s learning portfolio by committee of graduate faculty members to assess the student’s mastery of scientific discipline
  • Continuation of graduate studies or placement in a position that requires ability in this field.
  • Assessment of student learning through student’s participation in Capstone course
     

Roles of the PSM Program in helping students to achieve Goal 1:

  • Evaluate teaching effectiveness of instructors teaching PSM courses
  • If effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve effectiveness
  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools
    • By program faculty
    • With Industrial Advisory Board of professionals in the relevant scientific field
  • Conduct a once a semester of students to receive feedback on how the program is meeting students’ needs and ways that the program might better do so
     

Learning Goal 2 for Students: Give students the ability to apply quantitative and qualitative techniques from marketing, finance, and accounting for planning, decision making, and problem solving
 

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 2:

  • Grades in graduate courses
  • Review by faculty of student progress with close advising and mentoring
  • Student submission of assignments which demonstrate mastery of key concepts in marketing, finance, and business to a learning portfolio
  • Assessment of student’s learning portfolio by committee of graduate faculty members to assess the students’ ability to apply marketing, finance, and accounting for planning, decision making, and problem solving
  • Continuation of graduate studies or placement in a position that requires ability in this field.
  • Assessment of student learning through student’s participation in Capstone course in which they are required to develop a business case for a commercially viable scientific product
     

Roles of the PSM Program in helping students to achieve Goal 2:

  • Evaluate teaching effectiveness of instructors teaching PSM courses and follow up on effectiveness results
  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools
    • By program faculty
    • With Industrial Advisory Board of professionals in the relevant scientific field
  • Conduct a once a semester of students to receive feedback on how the program is meeting students’ needs and ways that the program might better do so
     

Learning Goal 3 for Students: Cultivate the students’ abilities to communicate in oral and written form with superiors, subordinates, clients, and suppliers
 

Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3:

  • Student performance in Principles of Communication and Leadership course
  • Participation in internships and other work tailored to career goals, assessed accordingly
  • Preparation of an end of internship report and that the faculty reads and factors into its assessment of student learning
  • Preparation and delivery of an end of internship presentation that the student delivers to other students in the program
  • Preparation and delivery of an end of Capstone course presentation that the student delivers to a public audience that includes professors, fellow students, and invited industry professionals
  • Collection of data on professional placement
     

Roles of the PSM program in helping students achieve Goal 3:

  • Host professional development workshops
  • Host professional talks with speakers who have prominent places in industry
  • Host networking event where students have the opportunity to interact with professionals in scientific fields
  • Participate in and offer activities designed to foster entrepreneurship
  • Connect students with internship opportunities
     

The PSM Program Director regularly reviews the structure and content of the PSM program and the feedback received from assessments and surveys. These reviews should be used to provide the best possible education to their students, one that meets current needs for professionals in the discipline.

PSM Learning Portfolios

Although the PSM program will use a variety of indicators for self assessment, the PSM program’s primary approach to program assessment is to have students develop learning portfolios that summarize the learning that each student has done. PSM program faculty will assess these learning portfolios to evaluate each student’s learning with respect to each of the program’s three learning goals. Students are required to build their learning portfolios by submitting seven documents to it, which will be evidence of the learning they have done while in the PSM program. The program will then evaluate the work that the students submit in terms of the extent to which the work demonstrates achievement of each of the program’s five learning goals.

To build the learning portfolio, each PSM student will submit one completed assignment each from three courses—the Principles of Communication and Leadership course, a course of their choosing in the student’s scientific track, and the Capstone course. The program also requires students to complete both an internship report and an internship PowerPoint or poster presentation that describe their experiences in their internship and what they learned from it. Students will also include their internship report and internship presentation as a part of their learning portfolio.

In addition to submitting documents that they complete in their courses and their internships reports, students will also complete a one-page essay in which the students reflect on what they have learned. Students will submit the first reflection essay after completing 15 credits in the program and the second reflection essay after completing 30 credits.

The PSM program expects that the process of creating and learning portfolio and reflecting on what and how they have learned will enhance student learning. The PSM program will also use the learning portfolio as a means of evaluating student learning. To that end, PSM program staff and faculty will assess the student learning based on the totality of the documents and materials that the students incorporate into their learning portfolios. Faculty will read the assignments submitted, score each assignment in terms of the depth of learning that it indicates relative to the program’s five learning goals, and then provide an overall assessment of the extent to which each student’s portfolio demonstrates learning in each of the five goal areas.