Monthly Archives: September 2015

Continued Examsoft Rollout for Fall ‘15 Courses

Following the initial roll out of Examsoft earlier this year, the computer-based testing platform has been implemented in the Fall 2015 semester for third year Radiologic Sciences courses, Physician Assistants’ incoming didactic courses, and select PharmD program courses. SofTest exam administration is still being utilized in PA clinical year coursework. Based on feedback from the pilot period’s cohort, the Office of Assessment provided student training sessions for the didactic PA students and incoming professional Radiologic Sciences students during their respective program orientations. A separate training opportunity was offered to students of the two PHR 4109 sections utilizing SofTest. Mock exam(s) were administered to familiarize students with SofTest’s interface, testing protocol, and to identify any machines/technical issues which may be preventable in future testing environments. Softest exam administrations are already underway for the Fall 2015 semester and its focus remains on faculty training and student engagement.


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The Federal College Scorecard Site Is Up!

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.47.50 AMThough it has been sometime in the making the Federal College Scorecard site is up and running.

The site uses a combination of Federal data sources including loan and tax return data. The upside of this is the documentation that goes with the site here, contains a wealth of information on how the analysis was done, what data sources were used, and instructions how to tap into (or download) the data using a pretty straightforward API.

There is much discussion concerning the pros and cons of using the data this way. Each position is worth a read. You can read a sample of the concerns from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. The issues raised include fears that this represents another step in the view that Higher Ed Institutions can be viewed as and shopped for. While there is lots of data present here, there is also the underlying worry that the data is incomplete, or provides a skewed view of the institutions.

As with any new data source it is worth a look, especially with the open nature and full descriptions of the data used.

Site – College Scorecard

SJU Information – St. John’s University

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 9.48.25 AMThere are also a number of nice US Department of Education Blog posts available on their HomeRoom Blog. For College Scorecard specific posts, have a look here.

This type of data is definitely the direction that the new knowledge based society is taking us in. It provides a snapshot of how students fair after school and it deeply lists the data sources that were used. Incomplete or not, there is only going to be more data like this released and used.

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Filed under Computational Tools

Accreditation Updates

Check out the Assessment Blog’s newest page addition – ‘Accreditation’. This page will serve as a framework for updates of each program’s accreditation status. Below is what’s been posted there today. Check this page frequently, as it will be updated as ‘all things accreditation’ progress for our programs.

Since we have been regularly providing progress updates on the PharmD program’s accreditation self-study, we wanted to update the College community on the status of our other programs as well. Aside from Pharmacy, the College houses four other accredited programs: Masters in Public Health, Physician Assistant, Radiologic Sciences and Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

  • The College’s Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). The program was last accredited in April, 2012, for a period of 5 years.  The CLS program must next submit a self-study in April 2016 with a site visit in the fall of the same year.
  • The Radiologic Sciences program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Initial accreditation was received on 01/01/1968.  The last site visit occurred in October, 2012. The continuing accreditation status of the program was last considered at the September 24th, 2013 meeting of the JRCERT. The program was evaluated and awarded accreditation for a period of eight years – the maximum duration that may be awarded by the JRCERT in this category. An interim report is required next, with a projected date for submission of the Fourth Quarter of 2016. Based on the interim report, the JRCERT will determine if the accreditation award of 8 years will be maintained or reduced and the continuing accreditation process expedited. If the accreditation award is maintained, the next site visit is tentatively scheduled for the Fourth Quarter of 2020.
  • ARC-PA (Accreditation Review Commission for Physician Assistants) accredits Physician Assistant programs. The SJU PA program was first accredited in 1995, with the most recent accreditation visit occurring in 2013. At that time, the program received the maximum accreditation years (7 yrs). The next review will be in 2020.
  • The College’s Masters in Public Health (MPH) program will be initiating the CEPH accreditation process in 2016.

The Assessment team continuously monitors and tracks accreditation activities in the College, and looks forward to bringing updates to the College community in the coming months.

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Fall 2015 Assessment Workshop

Assessment FlyerAs the Fall semester begins, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, its program leaders, faculty, and administrators aim to provide students with the information and resources needed to succeed. On August 31st, 2015, the incoming Fall 2015 didactic cohort of Physician Assistant (PA) students joined Dr. S. William Zito and the Office of Assessment for its annual Assessment Workshop led by Dr. Marc Gillespie.

Prior to the workshop, this cohort of students was invited to participate in a survey regarding their experience and knowledge of assessment. The Pre-Assessment Workshop Survey received a 46% response rate and based on a summary of responses, it was evident students were seeking more information on assessment. Following the workshop, the Post-Assessment Survey was administered and received a 58% response rate. 

Some highlights of the survey include that 94% of students are now aware of the assessment process in the college in comparison to 37% before our workshop.


84% of students are now willing to participate in assessment as compared to only 66% of respondents beforehand.

willing to participate

Now, 96% of students either strongly agree or agree that they are involved in improving the culture of assessment in comparison to 28% before the workshop.


A majority of respondents now know that the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has an Assessment Committee and an Office of Assessment. Previously, less than 30% were aware of their roles. 89% are now in agreement that the results of assessment initiatives are used effectively.

Results of the Post-Assessment Workshop Survey demonstrate students’ interest and willingness to participate in the College’s assessment process, as well as, the effectiveness of the Assessment Workshop. The Assessment Team encourages all students to share their feedback by electing to participate in any survey invitations they may receive. We look forward to next year’s PA Assessment Workshop and hope to hear from all students throughout the year.

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Filed under Education, Outcomes Assessment