The Department of Anthropology develops skills in the areas of critical thinking and comparative analysis of cross-cultural societies, cultural and biological diversity, cultural relativism and preservation, as well as theory, methods, and history of the discipline.
The Anthropology Department is committed to instructions, research, and service activities that are exemplary contributions to the vision and mission of the University of West Georgia. The Anthropology Department embraces academic freedom in the conduct of its faculty, as well as the philosophy and objectives of liberal arts education through its contributions to general education and the core curriculum. The Department aims to provide its undergraduate anthropology majors with a comprehensive introduction to anthropological knowledge through classroom instruction, experiential learning, and directed research opportunities. We also strive to enhance student life by providing extra curricular learning experiences. We are committed to providing learning skills necessary for continued success in academic and workplace environments, as well as for personal and civic enrichment. The Anthropology faculty is committed to instructional excellence, continuing professional development, scholarly contributions to their areas of professional expertise, and service to the institution and civic community. (Revised 10-26-2006)
The Department’s mission:
- Places high value on educational excellence in a personal environment (V1)
- Cultivates active appreciation of cultural diversity (V2)
- Uses and explores existing and emerging technologies that improve opportunities for faculty and student learning (V3)
- Encourages a broad range of public service activities and proactive partnerships that:
promote more effective utilization of human and
natural resources; contribute to the economic, social and technical development; and enhance the quality of life within the University’s
scope of influence (V4)
- Is committed to the professional development of its faculty and to contributions within the discipline that go beyond the scope of the University (V5)
The Department of Anthropology embraces the following goals:
- Provide instruction in anthropology that contributes to general education and a strong liberal arts core curriculum (G1)
- Provide instruction that increases students’ global awareness (G2)
- Provide a curriculum for anthropology majors that emphasizes rigor across subdisciplines, promotes experiential learning, and prepares undergraduate students to be productive members of society, strong candidates for graduate programs, and successful candidates for entry into a wide variety of employment fields (G3)
- Encourage and participate in original anthropological research and other professional activities that enhance instruction and advance knowledge through sponsored projects, interdisciplinary activities, consulting, and publication (G4)
- Engage in technical, professional, and scholarly services through collaboration with departments, institutions, agencies, and enterprises to serve regional needs through the application of anthropological knowledge in an effort to spare unnecessary costs, increase effectiveness, and advance the welfare of the people of Georgia (G5)
- Enrich the quality of student life through extracurricular anthropological activities that support and complement the academic program and community (G6)
Students completing the B.S. degree with a major in Anthropology should be able to:
- apply critical thinking skills through the use of anthropological concepts and methods (L1).
- demonstrate an oral and written understanding of anthropological issues (L2).
- demonstrate a broad base of anthropological knowledge across subfields of Cultural Anthropology, Archaeology, Physical Anthropology, and Linguistics (L3).
- identify the diversity of cultural practices and the significance of human biological differences across time and space (L4).
- understand and be able to apply anthropological field methods (L5).
- demonstrate an understanding of theory formation and shifts in the discipline across time (L6).
The Department utilizes the following assessment methods:
- Exit Questionnaire for Graduating Seniors (L1-6)
- Anthropology Capstone Course (L1-L4)
- Senior Portfolio (L1, L2)
- Curriculum Matrix (L1-L6)
- Senior Grade Point Average (L1-L6)
- Student Course Evaluations (L1-L6)
- Alumni Surveys (L3, L4)
Description of Assessment Methods:
- Exit Questionnaire for Graduating Seniors: During their final semester as a Senior, all Anthropology majors are administered an Exit Questionnaire which reviews the Department’s learning outcomes and the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that are associated with the discipline. Students are asked directly to assess the Department’s success in meeting its Learning Outcomes. This Questionnaire is administered by the Faculty Advisor or Department Chair each semester to graduating Seniors.
- Anthropology Capstone Course: In their Senior year prior to graduation, all Anthropology majors are required to take the Anthropology Capstone Course, which is a faculty-directed course in which students examine and critique their experiences as a major, while also developing graduate academic skills, career objectives, and self-assessment. This course involves oral and written presentation.
- Senior Portfolio: At the completion of the Anthropology Capstone Course, all graduating Seniors are required to develop a professional portfolio that is maintained within the Department as an assessment tool for reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of the Department annually.
- Curriculum Matrix: The Department maintains a Curriculum Matrix to identify in which courses each Learning Outcome is best represented. This is periodically examined to see that all areas of the discipline are being addressed as needed.
- Senior Grade Point Average: The Department collects data on both cumulative and Anthropology GPAs in order to compare academic performance within the Department with data collected from across the University.
- Student Course Evaluations: The Department maintains a record of student course evaluations for a period of ten years. These evaluations provide data on the Department’s performance both within the Anthropology major and also within Core courses.
- Alumni Surveys: alumni are annually surveyed about current address, employment, and academic and career-related activities.
Use of Assessment
As assessment activities are completed, the Anthropology Faculty review and analyze them, making recommendations for necessary improvements or changes to the Department. Ongoing actions for improvement include review of required courses, required pre-requisites, development of new courses, changes to the curriculum and changes in course sequencing. During each Academic Year Spring Semester the Chair of the Anthropology Department will implement a faculty-directed annual review and assessment and, after collecting this data, will make necessary amendments and changes to the Department in order to strengthen its fulfillment of mission.