MARA Program Performance

 

Program Based Assessment

The SJSU School of Information has developed a set of Program Learning Outcomes that are focused on the core competencies of our profession. The culminating e-Portfolio serves to assess a student's mastery of all program learning outcomes (core competencies) for the MARA degree before graduation.

Review and Measurement of Individual Program Learning Outcomes

e-Portfolio data is collected to assess the achievement level of graduating students in meeting specific program learning outcomes.

Starting with the Spring 2011 semester, the school has collected data on the number of revisions needed to satisfactorily demonstrate achievement of each of the 9 MARA Learning Outcomes or Core Competencies presented in students' culminating electronic portfolios. Our goal is to have 90% or better of MARA 289 (e-Portfolio) students who need no or only 1 revision to a Statement of Competency, the essay in which they demonstrate achievement of a specific Program Learning Outcome. If less than 90% of students submit work at that level, then that identifies for the faculty a need for curricular review of the courses that address that PLO.

Since 2011 we have collected datasets on all of our competencies and are in the process of reviewing all of them as part of our ongoing curricular review process.

Assessment of Individual Program Learning Outcomes Reports MARA

Course Student Learning Objectives and Course Mapping to Program Core Competencies (Program Learning Objectives)

Each course has both student learning objectives - linked to assignments - as well as core competencies (program learning objectives) defined for that particular class. - See http://ischoolapps.sjsu.edu/slo-core/mara.php


External Inputs into the Curriculum

Field Based Program Advisory Committees

International Advisory Council

Archives and Records Management Job Analysis, Fall 2013 (PDF) (job search terms: archivists, archive, archives, records management, records manager, special collections, information governance)

Archives and Records Management Job Analysis, Spring 2013 (PDF)  ("archives" or "archivist" required in title or description)

Archives and Records Management Jobs Analysis, Spring 2013 (PDF) ("records" required in title or description)

Archives and Records Management Jobs Analysis, Spring 2011 (PDF) ("records" and/or archivist/archival required in title or description)


Retention Data

As a student progresses through the MARA program there are two key decision points where we can see students leave the program.

1. After the required new technology workshop, Online Social Networking, and between that course and the start of the following semester. The students start this workshop before they begin their first semester and must pass it to continue in the program. One of the purposes of the class is to help determine if a student is equipped for the online environment. This workshop is not taken for credit, and statistics were not available before summer 2011. Beginning in spring 2013, MARA students could also start their program in January. Figures are available for spring admits from 2013 forward.  A process has been implemented to track this information going forward. Some students complete the technology workshop but don't register for classes for the following term.  These figures are also available from summer 2011 forward.

Table 1. MARA New Technology Workshop: Online Social Networking  Retention and Pass Data

Semester

Total Enrolled by iSchool

Withdrawn/ dropped

Still Enrolled at Semester End

Not Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Retention Rate

Pass Rate

Enroll in classes the first term % Completed Enrolled in classes the first term
Spring 2014 17 5 12 0 12 100% 100% 11 92%
Fall 2013 22 4 18 2 16 82% 89% 15 94%

Spring 2013

17 0 17 0 17 100% 100% 17 100%

Fall 2012

25

2

23

0

23

92%

100%

22

96%

Fall 2011 18 4 14 0 14 78% 100% 9 64%

 

2. Core Courses. Students who began the MARA program in the fall semester between 2008 and 2011 were required to take two core classes: MARA 200 (The Records and the Recordkeeping Professions) and MARA 202 (Information Technology, Records, and the Information Age).

Table 2.a. Data about Students Taking MARA 200 and MARA 202 in their first term (Students entering program prior to fall 2012 ONLY) and continuing on to a second term the following spring.

 

200 Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

202 Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

# Started following term

% Started following term

Fall 2011

9

7

78%

9

0

100%

8

89%

Fall 2010

15

14

93%

15

14

93%

10

67%

Fall 2009

11

4

36%

11

8

73%

5

45%

Fall 2008

8

8

100%

8

8

100%

8

100%

 

MARA students who entered the program in the fall, beginning in fall 2012, were expected to take MARA 200 and MARA 204 (instead of MARA 202 as previously required). 
However, students beginning this term could elect to take just one course if they wished.

Table 2.b. Data about Students Taking MARA 200 and MARA 204 in their first term (Students entering program beginning in fall 2012) and continuing on to a second term the following spring.

 

200 Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

204 Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

# Started following term in MARA

% of highest total in either course
who started following term

Fall 2013 15 14 93% 15 14 93% 12 80%

Fall 2012

22

20

91%

19

18

95%

19

86%

 

MARA students who enter the program in the spring semester, beginning in spring 2013, were required to register for MARA 210 and were advised to take one MLIS elective (optional)..

Table 2.c. Data about Students Taking MARA 210 required and an MLIS elective (optional) in their first term (Students entering program beginning in spring 2013) and continuing on to a second term the following fall).

 

210 Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

MLIS Elective
Total Enrolled

# B or better

%

# Started following term

% of students
who Started following term

Spring 2014

10

9

90%

8

7

87.5% 

TBD 

TBD

Spring 2013

13

11

84.6%

11

9

81.8%

7

54%

Note: MLIS electives selected - LIBR 284 (3); LIBR 240 (2); LIBR 256 (2); LIBR 282 (1).

 

3. In order to graduate with their MARA degree students must complete as a culminating experience: MARA 289 (e-Portfolio).

MARA students are required to complete an e-Portfolio for their culminating experience. The goal of the e-Portfolio is to provide a program-based assessment to ensure that each student demonstrates mastery of all program learning outcomes (core competencies) for the degree before graduation.

The e-Portfolio can be completed in one semester though the preparation happens all throughout the student's program and is reviewed following the MARA e-portfolio rubric developed to evaluate the MARA competency statements.

Table 3. MARA 289: e-Portfolio Statistics

 

Total Enrolled

Passed

Failed*

Incomplete

% Completion Rate

Spring 2014 7 7 0 0 100%
Spring 2013 8 8 0 0 100%

Spring 2012

5

5

0

0

100%

Spring 2011

5

5

0

0

100%

*Students who fail MARA 289 have one more chance to retake the e-Portfolio course. If they fail again, they are disqualified from the MARA program. To date, there were no disqualifications due to failing to produce a satisfactory e-Portfolio.


About Our Students

Graduating Student Exit Survey Data

We survey our graduating students as they complete the MARA program. The information below is from our most recent exit survey, presenting the responses we received from MARA students (n=6) who graduated in spring 2014.

Key survey findings include the following:

  • 100% of survey respondents completed the MARA program in 3 years.
  • 100% of survey respondents said their overall education experience in the MARA program was either excellent (67%) or satisfactory (33%).
  • 83% of survey respondents said the MARA program provided them with the knowledge and skills they needed to start a career in the archives or records management field. (The remaining 17% of survey respondents said they were "unsure" as they had just completed the program.)
  • All but one survey respondent said they would recommend the MARA program to others.

The survey also provided insight regarding the employment trends of our recent MARA graduates, such as:

  • 100% of respondents were working at the time they completed the MARA program.
  • Half of survey respondents plan to continue working for the same employer, and half said they plan to seek new positions as archivists or records managers.

The survey also provided insight regarding the MARA program's top strengths, including:

  • 100% of respondents indicated that instructors were a top program strength, including the practical experience MARA instructors bring to the courses they teach, making coursework relevant and engaging.
  • Small class sizes, as well as frequent and supportive interaction with classmates and instructors, was also cited as a top strength.
  • Curriculum that allows students to prepare for a broad range of career paths in either archives or records management was also mentioned as a top strength.

Survey results also provide insight regarding MARA student demographics, including the following:

  • 83% reside in the United States and 17% reside in Canada
  • 83% are women and 17% are men
  • 20% identified themselves as an ethnicity other than "White"
  • Survey respondents ranged in age from 25 to 55 at the time they completed the program

Alumni Placement Data

Our most recent MARA alumni survey was conducted in summer 2014 and queried graduates who completed the MARA program in spring 2013, capturing data from MARA alumni approximately 14 months after they completed the program. Our alumni surveys allow us to track employment trends and ensure that our curriculum remains relevant.

Here are some highlights from our survey of our 2013 MARA graduates:

  • 100% of survey respondents are currently employed, with 75% working full time and 25% working part time.
  • 50% of survey respondents held their present job when they graduated from the MARA program, and half of those individuals reported that earning the MARA degree made it possible for them to receive a promotion and a salary increase
  • Of those respondents who did not hold their present jobs when they graduated, 50% said it took them between 7-10 months after graduation to find their current job, and 50% said it took between 11-13 months to find their current job.
  • 50% of survey respondents are working in records management roles, and 50% of respondents are working in archives
  • 100% of survey respondents either strongly agree (25%) or agree (75%) that the skills and knowledge they learned in the MARA program prepared them for their job.

We received four responses to our survey of 2013 MARA graduates. The first MARA alumni survey was conducted in spring 2013 and queried graduates from spring 2011 and spring 2012 (a total of 10 individuals), capturing data from them 1-2 years after they completed the program. The results of the first MARA alumni survey revealed that 83% of respondents were working either full time (66.6%) or part time (16.6%) within two years after completing the program.  Of those who reported having a job, 80% of those responding to the question indicated they held that job when entering the program.

The MARA program began as a cohort model, with students entering between 2008 and 2011 required to take a specific number of courses each session in order to complete the program in just under 3 years. In this cohort model, the students could only start the program in the fall semester, and they followed a required course sequence. It is believed the lack of flexibility in this model is the reason for the small number of graduates.  Five students graduated in spring 2011 and again in spring 2012.  In spring 2013, eight MARA students graduated. In spring 2014, seven MARA students graduated, the last group of students to follow the cohort model, who started the program in fall 2011. A number of changes were made to the MARA program model, which resulted in an increase in class sizes beginning with the fall 2012 entering class. This should result in an increased graduating class beginning in spring 2015.

Employer Survey

Because the MARA program is fairly new, and the first four MARA graduating classes were small (5, 5, 8, and 7), a decision was made to conduct the first MARA Employer Survey during the 2014-2015 academic year in order to include a larger number of graduates.  At that time, employers of MARA alumni and potential employers will be surveyed.

[top]