2015 Institutional Assessment Report

Printable 2015 Institutional Assessment Report

Partnering for Student Success

Preparing K-12 students

  • Incoming freshmen averaged a 3.31 high school GPA. The average ACT score for the incoming class was 23.4.
  • Enrollment in dual credit courses, which allow high school students to earn both high school and college credits, reached 468 (up from 441 in 2014).Dis
  • The Montana Digital Academy, which offers advanced, online high school courses statewide, enrolled 7,111 students.

Transitioning to college

  • UM’s first-year retention rate is 73%.
  • The average first-year GPA of the fall 2014 freshman cohort was 2.80.

Integrating the early college curriculum

  • The Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) has more participants than ever (467); it welcomed its fourth cohort of students and graduated its first cohort of students.
  • 420 first-year students enrolled in seminars and experiential coursework.

Engaging students

  • Students completed 383 study aboad experiences and 32 National Student Exchanges.
  • Almost 200 student groups are recognized by ASUM.
  • The rolling average for the six-year graduation rate is 50%, while the two-year programs at Missoula College averaged a 30.7% completion rate.
  • 723 outstanding high school students are enrolled in the Davidson Honors College. Of those, 129 are Presidential Leadership Scholars.

Strengthening Student Support

  • The Undergraduate Advising Center held 21,582 appointments with students to provide academic/career advising and four-year graduation planning.
  • The student:faculty ratio remained at 18:1.
  • TRiO Student Support Services (TRiO-SSS) received over $2 million in federal funding for the next five years. TRiO-SSS serves first-generation students, low-income students, and students with physical or learning disabilities.
  • A new Student-Athlete Academic Center opened in September 2015.

Emphasizing Faculty & Staff Development

  • The Faculty Development Office held 29 professional development sessions, attended by 469 faculty members.
  • The Pedagogy Project continued to encourage reflection and discussion about teaching at UM. Its series of microtalks included: “Love of learning vs. Fear of failing”, “Responding to student writing”, “Teaching naked vs. Digitally adorned”, and “My parents were not Griz”.
  • In 2014-2015, 36 faculty members were awarded sabbatical leave and five were awarded international exchanges.
  • 1,320 employees participated in Human Resource Services-sponsored trainings and workshops in the areas of professional development, compliance, supervision, policy and procedure, and wellness.

Education for the Global Century

Strengthen foundational academic programs

Two-year programming responsive to local, regional, state and national needs

  • The Missoula College Nursing NCLEX PN Licensure Exam pass rate was 100% and the RN Licensure pass rate was 96.4%.

Innovation through graduate education

  • The number of graduate degrees awarded continues to grow. 850 students earned master’s, professional, and doctoral degrees.

Global engagement and leadership at all levels

  • UM’s ranking of Peace Corps alumni volunteers from medium-sized universities leapt into 6th place from 12th.
  • Students Ryan Bell, Brinna Boettger, and Dylan Gomes received Fulbright Scholarship awards.

Discovery & Creativity to Serve Montana and the World

Enhance contributions by faculty and students through research

  • Faculty research resulted in 42 patent applications, licenses, inventions, and new companies.
  • Publications acknowledged in ISI citation indices (natural and social science journals) reached 600.
  • The 2015 World University Rankings placed UM in the top 350 universities worldwide. The composite measure of research impact (citations) was 75.0, a figure comparable to that of several universities ranked in the top 50. UM is the only university in Montana represented in the index.

Expand knowledge and cultural diversity through creative scholarship

  • UM faculty and students were responsible for 378 visual and performing arts exhibitions and performances.
  • The Montana Repertory Theatre 2015 Fall Outreach Tour includes visits to 41 cities across the state of Montana.
  • More than 1,500 school-aged children toured the Montana Museum of Art and Culture’s exhibit: “The Art of the State: Celebrating 120 Years of the MMAC Permanent Collection”.

Turn today’s discoveries into tomorrow’s products through technology transfer, contributing to the creation of ideas, jobs, and business opportunities

  • The volume of grant and contract expenditures in 2015 rose to $64.6 million from $58.3 million in 2014.
  • Sunburst Sensors LLC won $1.5 million in an XPRIZE competition to create a device that would best measure ocean chemistry. Both grand prizes, for affordability and accuracy, went to the company, which was created using research by UM Chemistry professor Mike DeGrandpre.
  • The Blackstone LaunchPad encourages and supports entrepreneurship by UM students and alumni. The Launchpad worked with nearly 300 students, faculty, staff and alumni from every school and college on over 160 business and not-for-profit ideas.

Dynamic Learning Environment

People – Lead in recruiting, retaining & developing the highest quality students, faculty & staff

  • Professor Douglas Emlen has been awarded the 2015 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science for his book “Animal Weapons”.
  • Hope Radford received a second Udall Scholarship, making her UM’s 38th Udall Scholar. She also became a Newman Civic Fellow for her work as a change agent, focusing on climate change, social justice and sustainable food production.
  • UM students are doing extremely well on their licensure exams: the Physical Therapy Licensure pass rate was 97%, the Pharmacy Pass rate was 95.2% and the Athletic Training pass rate was 100%.
  • 64% of UM’s pre-med students were accepted to Medical School, which is well above the national average of 44%. One recent UM graduate, Jeni Comstock, received interviews at 10 medical schools and was accepted to seven of them.
  • This year’s winners of the prestigious Presidential Leadership Scholarship (PLS) had a higher average GPA (3.96) and ACT score (32) than any previous class of PLS awardees.
  • Derek Crittenden, co-captain of the football team, is a finalist for the William V. Campbell trophy. This award is known as the “Academic Heisman” and goes to the nation’s best scholar-athlete. He is also a Rhodes Scholar finalist.

Programs – Provide programs of distinction, create local and worldwide partnerships, connect programs to our unique location

  • UM added several new programs, including: Neuroscience B.S., Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies B.A., Big Data Analytics Certificate, and Hospitality Management Certificate.
  • The new M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education already ranks 10th in SuperScholar’s “50 Best Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education Programs.”
  • The Energy Technology program received a Montana Innovator Award for its contributions to the state of Montana.

Infrastructure – Use technologies and practices that optimize the learning experience while modeling sustainability

  • Online student credit hours reached 28,116 (up from 27,110 in 2014).
  • A gift from Dennis and Gretchen Eck provided classroom technology upgrades in the Liberal Arts building. The smart classrooms support and facilitate many learning methods and styles, including distance education.
  • A gift from Blackfoot Communications will support technology infrastructure in the new Missoula College facility.

Culture – Encourage engagement and a passion for learning in all students

  • UM students involved in service learning completed 204,595 hours of public service.
  • Over 100 UM students presented their research and creative scholarship at the Undergraduate Research conference.

Place – Integrate the character of the campus environment into discovery and instruction

  • UM continues to be recognized for its commitment to community engagement. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded UM a 2015 Community Engagement Classification.

Planning-Assessment Continuum

Linkage of plans and resources

  • Collaboration with diverse campus constituents informed the updated UM Strategic Plan. Closely linked with the  NWCCU accreditation process, it sets the strategic directions that will shape the University for the remainder of the decade and includes performance indicators by which progress toward mission achievement is measured.
  • The combined endowment value for UM and the UM Foundation was $166,000,000 at the end of FY15.
  • The University committed 71% of general funds toward instruction, academic support, and student services, surpassing its strategic goal of 70%.

Transparent and participative processes throughout the cycle

Data-driven decisions and goal-setting

  • Structured parallel to the Strategic Plan, this assessment report, and the more detailed assessment data upon which it is based, informs the President’s annual State of the University Address at the beginning of each academic year.
  • The University Planning Committee updated its Strategic Plan to reflect a changing higher education and assessment climate. The updates included a focus on strategic enrollment planning and commissioned the University with the production of a targed enrollment plan.

Objective and timely assessment of outcomes

  • 48 participants scored student essays at the Upper-Division Writing Assessment Writing Proficiency Retreat. Of the papers drawn from lower-division writing courses, 39% were scored as proficient and advanced, while another 50% were nearly proficient.
  • Institutional assessment reports, including the UM Report Card, are published at the conclusion of each fiscal year. Last year’s Report Card data appeared in the President’s Report that was distributed broadly.
  • Assessment continues to be a high priority at UM. A record 100% of UM programs submitted their biennial program assessment of student learning outcomes for review by the Assessment Advisory Committee.
  • The Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities selected UM to participate in a demonstration project for assessing general education learning outcomes.