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Assessment: School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education

Also find ASTE programs available at USU Eastern

Mission Statement

The mission of the School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education is to apply the Land Grant University philosophy to teaching & learning, discovery, research, and outreach. The School applies a multidisciplinary systems science approach for the resolution of family, agricultural and applied science matters through the advancement of education, technology transfer, scientific inquiry, and agricultural mechanization.

  • We prepare educators in agriculture, family and consumer sciences, and technology and engineering education.
  • We apply research guided practices as we recruit, prepare, and provide instruction for individuals in agricultural, aviation, family and consumer sciences, and technological advancement careers.
  • We serve the people and dispense research-based information as we assist them with family, agricultural and technology issues, literacy, needs, opportunities, and challenges.
  • We value serving all populations, developing the whole person, responding to the needs of the marketplace, and functioning as a part of the total higher education system.

We use proven educational processes which include formal and informal instruction, experiential learning, leadership, and personal development at an under graduate, graduate, and community based level.

The School brings enthusiasm to the mission of Utah State University in supporting student-centered instruction.  We believe in teaching students to be contributing members of their communities and societies.

Undergraduate Assessment

Agricultural Communications and Journalism

Learning Objectives

  1. Possess a high degree of agricultural literacy and an adequate reservoir of skills and knowledge in agricultural subjects to meet the need of the agricultural communication profession.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of skills used in journalism and communication professions.
  3. Explore career opportunities in agricultural communication and journalism.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of trends in agricultural communication and journalism.
  5. Write professional and technical documents.
  6. Gain experiences in leadership styles, program planning, and meeting organization while practicing leadership and communication principles.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of the practical understanding of the workings of mass communication principles and practice.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of mass communication in a democratic society.
  9. Think critically and analytically.
  10. Conduct, analyze and report social science research.
  11. Use and evaluate technologies that enhance the communication process.
  12. Demonstrate knowledge of the philosophical, ethical and legal frameworks of mass communication.

Assessment Plan

Communication skills as well as an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of both the mass media and individuals, whether as producers or consumers of information, are essential to mutual understanding and individual freedom in the information age. The agricultural communications and journalism program developments agriculturally literate communication professionals. Program assessment is completed through the following measures.

  • Individual Course Assignments & Examinations
  • Graduation Requirements
  • Student Portfolios
  • Exit Interviews

Graduate Assesment

The School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education offers five graduate degrees emphasizes the scholarship of teaching and learning within formal and non-formal settings. Coursework focuses on building knowledge and in-depth expertise in practitioner-based teaching, curriculum development, systems thinking, program planning, and evaluation techniques. It also requires proficiency in research methodology, statistical applications, and synthesis of information. Students in this research-oriented program will design, conduct, and disseminate the results of a research project using scientific writing and communication skills. All students completing this program are required to complete a thesis project.


Graudate Programs

Agricultural Extension and Education Master of Science

The Agricultural Extension and Education Master of Science emphasizes a wide range of teaching and learning skills. This MS degree allows students to specialize in teaching, Extension/informal education, and adult education. While this degree does not result in a teaching license for public schools, students will develop skills in the areas of instruction, program planning, evaluation and research related to research methodology and statistical applications. A thesis is required. Most of the coursework (30 credits) is available online, requiring few trips to the Logan campus. This degree is recommend for those who will be working in an area of education requiring research in addition to teaching or those seeking a PhD.


Graduate Learning Objectives

The learning objectives for students completing the Master of Science and Doctoral programs are established through a plan of study for each individual student. The plan of study is developed by the student under guidance of their supervisory committee chair.  The plan of study must be reviewed and approved by the members of their supervisory committee as well as the departmental graduate coordinator. Plans of study include foundational courses in curriculum design, evaluation/assessment, education/psychological research methods, and data analysis. Additional graduate level courses from ASTE and other departments leading to the specialized learning required for completion of students’ research and consistent with a graduate degree in the field.

As a result of successfully completing the requirements toward the MS degree, students shall:

    • Demonstrate mastery of a technical area.
    • Conduct, present, and defend a body of research conducted during their program.
    • Be able to conduct scholarly activities in an ethical manner.

As a result of successfully completing the requirements toward the PhD degree, students shall:

    • Demonstrate expertise in their chosen field of study.
    • Produce, present and defend an original significant contribution to a specific body of research relevant to their discipline.
    • Be able to conduct scholarly activities in an ethical manner.


Assessment Plan

The MS and PhD degrees have additional expectations for original research and scholarly activity conducted in an ethical manner. The learning objectives allied with each degree are described following this outline of our assessment plan. Individual students in the MS and PhD programs are assessed by their supervisory committee following standard procedures required by the graduate school and department. Students meet annually with their major professor to discuss program progress. The department also collects outcome data related to completion rates and provides feedback reflecting the overall performance of our programs to augment the assessments of individual student learning provided by supervisory committees. This outcomes data is reviewed by the graduate program committee comprised of the department’s graduate faculty members leading to data-based decisions that ensure overall program objectives are being met. The graduate program committee meets regularly throughout the academic year, and an in-service day is the held at the end of spring semester to finalize plans for putting the data-based decisions into practice.For MS programs, supervisory committees hold a meeting with the graduate students to assess student’s development of a research topic and review the plan of study. For doctoral students, competencies related to their plan of study are assessed during a comprehensive examination conducted by the supervisory committee. Final assessment of student competencies occurs during the defense of their thesis or dissertation, which is a reflection of how well the program has prepared the student to conduct research and think critically.

Outcomes Data

The ASTE department collects a variety of outcomes data to improve undergraduate programs:

  • Student competency data are gathered through assignments imbedded in core courses. These data are used to assess students’ progress towards meeting program competencies. The department’s programs are competency-based towards providing the skills needed for our graduates to be successful in their profession.
  • Departmental Programs seek data from reviews provided by professional organizations. Data on Agricultural Systems Technology and Agricultural Machinery curriculum are gathered from a review provided by the E0PD-206 committee of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. This committee provides recognition and recommendations for program curriculum. Students majoring in teacher preparation programs in ASTE must meet admissions requirements to enter the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) and must meet licensure criteria through the Utah State Office of Education (USOE). Agricultural Education, Family and Consumer Science Education, and Technology and Engineering Education gather data on student proficiency on pedagogy and technical content through PRAXIS exams scores as well as satisfactory completion of university courses as documented by grade point average (GPA). Trends in exam data are reviewed by teacher preparation program leaders to assess areas for program effectiveness. Aviation students must meet criteria established by the Federal Aviation Administration standards for licensing. FAA reviews and test data are used to inform decisions on curriculum and student preparedness.
  • Evaluation data from each course and its instructor are collected using the IDEA survey. Data includes students’ perceptions on progress towards achieving the learning outcomes for the course and the effectiveness of the instructor. The syllabus for each course maps the specific learning outcomes for the course to the learning objectives defined in the IDEA survey to facilitate interpretation of IDEA feedback on a course-by-course basis.
  • A variety of tools are used to develop summary information on programs across the institution. Enrollment data and IDEA data gathered across programs, departments, and the university.
  • Program leaders collect alumni and career placement data to gather insight on industry expectations for graduates.
  • Data and Input from Student Services for the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences are used to guide decisions on program course sequencing to assist student in meeting graduation requirements in a timely fashion. The department undergraduate student advisors meet with program leaders and provide feedback.
  • Departmental programs collect student survey or exit interview data to aid in making data- based decisions relevant to improving student satisfaction with program experience and preparation.

Outcomes Data and Decisions for Graduate Program

Graduate Degree Program Self Study

CAAS Mid-Term Review of Grad Programs