Student assessments and outcomes are used to measure the degree of congruence between the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies’ program mission and goals and the student learning outcomes in terms of critical thinking, writing skills, and language skills, so that students can be competitive in both the workplace and distinguished graduate and professional programs. From these assessments we will continually examine the undergraduate program in Middle Eastern and North African Studies in order to make any needed changes and improvements.
- An understanding of the basic historical periods and movements which have affected the region, as well as the principal individuals who have played a role in the past in the Middle East and North Africa.
- An appreciation of the contributions of the Middle East and North Africa to the world's cultural heritage.
- An understanding of the principles and teachings of Islam, its diversity, and its impact on the society and culture of the Middle East and North Africa.
- An understanding of the diversity in the social, cultural, religious,and linguistic milieu of the Middle East and North Africa.
- Knowledge of the physical environment and geography of the Middle East and North Africa, including population dynamics of the region.
- The ability to conduct research for writing and proficiency in writing. This includes the ability to identify a topic, identify relevant sources, and conduct in-depth research for a major paper.
- Intermediate level proficiency in one or more of the languages of the Middle East and North Africa. Such intermediate proficiency is considered to be the successful completion of at least the second-year level in one of the following languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, or Turkish.
- The ability to think analytically and reflexively about a complex and dynamic region.
- The ability to think critically about popular binaries, such as East vs. West, Islam vs. Christianity in ways that promote informed discourse and challenge negative ethnic and religious stereotypes.
Questions which assess the outcomes goals as outlined in the first section will be incorporated into final exam questions for specific upper division courses. Student performances on these questions will be evaluated as part of the outcomes assessment. For each course, at least two faculty members will develop the embedded questions and score the students' answers, one of whom will be the course instructor and the other from the Undergraduate Studies Committee. These will be assessed for all majors every semester so that their progress can be evaluated throughout their undergraduate career in Middle Eastern and North African Studies, providing feedback not only for the student but also for the success of our program and goals.
Samples of student writing, papers, and research for all undergraduate majors in Middle Eastern and North African Studies will be obtained from upper division courses to assess the progress on writing and research .This assessment will be developed and administered by the Undergraduate Studies Committee in collaboration with the course instructors. Part of this evaluation will be helping to coordinate (and promote) the assignment of relevant student papers so that the appropriate writing skills indeed can be developed. All Middle Eastern and North African students are required to complete a Senior Capstone
Since there are no accepted standardized tests (and standards) for the languages of the Middle East and North Africa (and the difficulty of comparability in four different languages), the competency in language will be assessed on the basis of their grades and performance in the relevant language classes. For each graduating major in Middle Eastern and North African Studies, however, a one-page statement of the student's language performance will be provided by the second-year (or later) instructor of the student as part of his/her language evaluation.
Finally, the Exit Questionnaire for Middle Eastern and North African Studies will be administered during the last semester of the student’s senior year. The Exit Questionnaire will focus on students’ overall reaction to the Middle Eastern and North African Studies major, and whether or not they felt the major sufficiently prepared them for future plans and/or goals. The form also gears questions toward students’ experience with Middle Eastern and North African Studies Academic Advisors: particularly if the students found their advisors crucial components toward a fluid degree completion. Another important part of the questionnaire analyzes the set-up of the Middle Eastern and North African Studies curriculum, specifically if the Middle Eastern and North African Studies program design met the students’ specific needs. Examining student responses will point us toward ways we can improve current program design.