The program learning goals of Africana Studies emphasize readiness for postgraduate success both professionally and academically, and as part of their effort to ensure such student outcomes, they have integrated direct assessment across their curriculum, including such program elements as internships, service learning, and study abroad. Most notably, they created a new culminating experience for their majors: a capstone seminar explicitly designed around the benchmarks they have established for student achievement of the program learning goals at completion of the Africana Studies major. The course design features a comprehensive series of formative assessments in structured tasks and assignments that directly address improvement of student outcomes on these goals.
In addition, they have linked each student learning outcome with at least one specific course or other element of the required curriculum leading up to this capstone, and developed benchmarks for achievement at each level, to be measured using common rubrics. Africana Studies has surveyed its graduates on how the major’s required and elective courses, internships, and service-learning experiences contribute to their readiness for professional success and/or graduate study, and the responses are used to inform their analysis of the direct assessment results as they consider possible modifications to their courses and curriculum.