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The 2009 ASHS Annual Conference

Curriculum Assessment of the Technical, Management and Problem Solving Skills of the Horticulture and Landscape Horticulture Majors at Colorado State University

Monday, July 27, 2009: 10:00 AM
Field (Millennium Hotel St. Louis)
Harrison Hughes, Colorado State Univ, Fort Collins, CO
The formal assessment of the Horticulture and Landscape Horticulture majors has been an ongoing activity at Colorado State University for many years. The program mission has been described as the preparation of graduates with a passion for Horticulture/Landscape Horticulture who can contribute to Colorado’s agricultural and green industry economy through high levels of:  (1) Technical competency and skills, including disciplinary competence, and a working knowledge in the appropriate field; (2) Management and leadership skills; and (3) Problem-solving skills.  Assessment methods involved the development of evaluation forms for internships, practicum, independent study, group study and the capstone courses.  Student, faculty, clients and industry personnel used standardized forms, which varied somewhat for the two majors and seven concentrations, to critically assess and score student and faculty efforts. Internships, practicum and capstone courses were evaluated for program purpose (1).  Management and leadership skills (2) of the students were evaluated based on their performance during internships by cooperators and also by their activities demonstrated through their involvement in university, college, departmental and community activities.  Problem solving skills (3) were evaluated primarily through student performance in capstone courses, specific criteria in the internship and in leadership activities of clubs.  The evaluation forms have been used for several semesters and a number of the assessment tools have been improved.  The expectation is that 70-75% of the students will score 3 or 3+ on all criteria established for a rating system of 1-5.  Students have generally met this standard and plans have been to continually upgrade courses and related activities to improve the teaching program.