Although our department has been collecting data for many years (available online since 2002), we have recently implemented new procedures to improve both our assessment and the use of the data collected in order to strengthen our programs.

During the academic year 2010-2011 our department implemented a variety of new procedures, the most important being a year long self study of our programs conducted by the department's Academic Affairs Committee (all full-time tenure/tenure track faculty).  As a result of this self study, we identified our strengths and weaknesses which lead to the development of new courses and a new scope for existing courses.  Almost all of our course descriptions were rewritten to reflect this new scope and we continue to work on revitalizing and modernizing our curriculum.  

In terms of the assessment of the department's exit exam (given to all first majors),  we decided to change our assessment procedures due to the high number of juniors and seniors who were not successful in their exit writing exam.  Beginning last fall (2010) we decided to assess all 300 level courses which include a written component (such as a final research paper) every semester in order to evaluate the student's progress throughout their major in the hopes of addressing any issues that may arise. As a result, SPAN 388, a composition reinforcement course, was created and taught during Summer 2010 and 2011 to great success.  Students who are struggling with their writing in 300 level courses are encouraged to take this course to improve their writing ability.  

Although our writing assessment procedures are well documented, the department felt that it was important to assess oral proficiency in our students as well.  After much consideration, we decided to implement ACTFL's Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) administered by trained professionals and conducted by telephone interview.  This was first implemented in Spring 2011 and the results were promising.  In the hopes of improving oral proficiency, our lower level classes will now be focusing more on this skill and we were able to acquire several versions of Rosetta Stone (housed in the library).

In an effort to improve the achievement and proficiency of our students, we have implemented a series of information meetings to discuss the questions and concerns that our students have.  In addition, we have worked closely with our colleagues at other SUNY schools to improve communication between schools and to aid our transfer students in seamless transition.

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