Philosophy Program Annual Report

2005-2006

 

Department of English and Philosophy

 

The program’s “Mission Statement;” “Statement of Goals, Objectives, and Assessments;” as well as the Learning Outcomes for the courses Introduction to Philosophy and Critical Thinking can be found at: http://www.westga.edu/~phil/effectivenessEvaluation.html#mission

 

4. Statement of Program’s Condition

 

For the academic year 2005-2006 five people taught in the Philosophy Program. Drs. Alberg and Lane taught both semesters. Dr. Donohoe was on paid leave for the first semester and taught a normal load the second semester. Ms. Andrea Green was hired to replace Dr. Donohoe for the first semester (4 courses) and she taught one section of Critical Thinking in the second. Ms. Meghan Sweeny was hired as a one year full-time instructor to teach the Religion courses while we conducted a search for a tenure-track instructor. Ms. Sweeny taught a 4/5 schedule. Thanks to the schedules of the temporary instructors we were able to offer a reasonable amount of core classes, especially sections of Critical Thinking. In the coming academic year this will no longer be possible.

 

We had a successful search and hired a new assistant professor, Dr. Mark Tietjen (Baylor University) whose AOS is the philosophy of religion and theology, thus strengthening our Religion Track and religion minor, especially as regard Christian Theology.

 

We had another year of increasing the number of majors. We began the year with approximately 32 majors and are ending it with 51. Five of these majors came from the Pre-Law Learning Community. We have approximately 10 students who declared their major in the Pre-Law Track.

 

As I mentioned above, the number of students served in the core classes remained strong at about 300 for each semester. But the big change has been the increasing number of students in our upper-division classes. In the second semester we averaged twenty-three students per class.

 

Program Achievements

5. % Students passing licensing                         Data not available

6. % admitted to graduate school                                  25%

7. Types of licensure                                                     Data not available

8. Preparation for Licensure                                          Data not available

9. Other Notable Achievements:

·        The Iota Chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, the national honor society for the study of philosophy, was officially established and a total of 11 members have been inducted.

·        Once again, Meeting of the Minds was a great success.

·        The Program produced its first Senior Seminar collection of essays on the topic of mimesis.

 

Student Achievements

10. Total Published Research                                        0

11. Total Presentations                                     04

12. Total Internships                                                     00

13. Total Co-ops                                                          00

14. Total Scholarships                                                  01

15. Total Fellowships                                                    00

16. Total Recipients of Notable Awards                        03

17. Other Notable Achievements:

Kristina Swim was awarded the “Distinguished Undergraduate Philosophy Paper” at the Fourth Annual North Georgia Student Philosophy Conference, Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, GA, March 30-April 1, 2006. The paper was titled: "Was Martin Heidegger Duped by Nazism?"

Eleven students were inducted into Phi Sigma Tau, the Philosophy Honor Society.

 

Faculty/Staff Productivity

Teaching:

18. New Course Developments                                    00

19. Faculty Teaching Honors Courses               01

20. Faculty Involved in Academic Advisement   100%

Research/Productivity:

21. Books and Monographs                                         01

22. Book chapters                                                        01

23. Peer Review Articles                                              02

24. Shorter Works                                                       00

25. Paper Presentations                                                09

26. Other Presentations                                                01

27. In-House Publications                                             02

28. Juried Exhibits/Performances                                   00       

29. Other Exhibits/Performances                                   00

30. Positions in Journal Editorship                                 00

31. Total Faculty in Notable                                         

Continuing Education Efforts                                         03

Public Service:

32. Participants in Honors Organizations                       01

33. Offices in Professional Organizations                       02

34. Advisors of Student Organizations               01

35. Participants in Cooperative Consulting

Efforts                                                                          00

36. System-Wide UWG Committees                            01

37. Total Participants in Public Service              03

38. Other Notable Achievements by Faculty:

Grants/Awards:

39. Proposals Submitted                                               02

40. Proposals Funded                                                   01

41. Amount Funded                                                      $1,500.00

42. Gifts Generated by Department                              

            Burdett and Shirley Wantland Scholarship         $1000.00

43. Contracts awarded                                                 00

44. Fellowships awarded                                              00

45. New Degree Programs or Deletions                        05

46. New Departments, Units, or Restructuring   None

47. Accreditation or Renewal                                        None

48. Other Awards or Achievements                              None

49. Additional Comments                                             None

50. Give an example of how our department used the assessment of goals and outcomes to change/improve a process:

In the past year we began systematically to collect data from our graduating seniors. Since all seniors are required to take a Senior Seminar course, we have integrated some of this collection with that course. The instructor in charge of the seminar is responsible for making sure that the data is properly collected and stored in the Program’s files.

 

In the main this data consists in a written “Exit Survey” and an oral “Exit Interview.” A copy of the written survey is attached. The survey consists of two sections. In the first section the students are asked to evaluate how well the Program has accomplished its stated goals. The evaluation is done on the basis of a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest. In the second section they are asked to provide written answers to various questions about the strength and weakness of the program.

 

Since the handwriting of students is often recognizable in a small program like ours, we have a student assistant transcribe the results to a printed format. Clearly, we have very limited data at this point, still a few tentative conclusions may be in order. As to be expected from the student evaluations, the students hold the teaching in the Program in high regard. Both Drs. Lane and Donohoe are highly praised. Several students mention the need for more courses, especially in the Religion section of the Program. Our lack of a regular faculty member for this part of the Program for the last two years has been most unfortunate.

 

As for the exit interviews, we have yet to develop a standardized instrument. After consulting with Dr. Hill about how it is done in the English Program, I asked each student about how they saw the Program. In addition to asking after the strengths and weaknesses of the Program, I asked about how prepared they felt, now that they were graduating. I also asked them about how they felt about the ‘Core’ as preparing them for upper division classes.

 

A final instrument for assessment is an advisor evaluation that we have the seniors complete. This is not intended to be an evaluation of the advisor per se, but to give us an idea about the advising component of our Program. As such, the name of the advisor is not asked for. Again, there are two sections, one quantitative and the other narrative. There are eight questions in the first section. The second consists of a request for any comments or suggestions about advising in the Philosophy Program.

 

Jeremiah Alberg, Director

May 10, 2006