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

Mapping of MARA Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) to University Learning Goals (ULGs)


External Inputs into the Curriculum


Retention Data

Through fall 2015, there were three key points monitored to understand MARA retention rates.  As of spring 2016, there are two key points.

1. After the required new technology workshop, Online Social Networking, and between that course and the start of the following semester. The students began this workshop before they started their first semester were required to pass it to continue in the program. One of the purposes of the class was to help determine if a student was equipped for the online environment. This workshop was not taken for credit, and statistics were not available before fall 2011. Beginning in spring 2013, MARA students could also start their program in January. Figures are available from fall 2011 through fall 2015.  Some students completed the technology workshop but didn't register for classes for the following term.  In spring 2016, the course was replaced with an optional MARA Program Technology Preparation Workshop. Although It is no longer feasible to use this option to gather retention data.

Table 1.a. MARA New Technology Workshop: Online Social Networking  Retention and Pass Data (through fall 2015)

Semester

Total Enrolled by iSchool

Withdrawn/ dropped

Still Enrolled at End of Course

Not Satisfactory

Satisfactory

Retention Rate

Pass Rate

Enroll in classes the first term % Completed Enrolled in classes the first term
Fall 2015 20 2 18 0 18 90.0% 100% 18 100%
Spring 2015 16 1 15 0 15 93.75% 100% 15 100%
Fall 2014 18 4 14 0 14 77.7% 100% 14 100%
Spring 2014 17 5 12 0 12 70.5% 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%

MARA Program Technology Preparation course (optional, self-paced), spring 2016 and beyond.

The previous process of providing an introduction to the technology that would be used in MARA classes was dropped in favor of a self-paced. optional approach. A Canvas course was created with the program coordinator as instructor to interact with students and answer questions. Students were invited but not required to participate. This workshop is not reviewed for retention purposes.

 

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 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 in Fall (beginning in fall 2012) and continuing on to a second term the following spring.

First Term

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 2016 12 7 58% 11 6 55% 7 58%
Fall 2015 18 13 72% 15 13 87% 12 67%
Fall 2014 13 12 92% 13 13 100% 12 92%
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 2016 17 15 88% 13 10 77% 9 53%
Spring 2015*

12

8

67%

9

6

67%

4

33%

Spring 2014

11

10

90%

8

7

87.5% 

9

81.8%

Spring 2013

13

11

84.6%

11

9

81.8%

7

54%

*In Spring 2015, 7 students registered for a third course, MARA 249 (6) and MARA 284-IA (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

Fall 2016 9 9 0 0 100%
Spring 2016 16 15 1 0 93.7%
Fall 2015 1 1 0 0 100%
Spring 2015 14 13 0 1 92.8%
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 have been 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 2017.

Key survey findings include the following:

  • 100% of survey respondents completed the MARA program within 3 years.
  • 100% of survey respondents said their overall education experience in the MARA program was very good.
  • 100% of survey respondents 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:

  • 67%  respondents were working at the time they completed the MARA program.
  • Employed respondents worked in business/ industry, public libraries or schools.  

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

  • Online Learning Environment was the top program strength, followed by, Cost, Curriculum, Flexibility and Faculty.
  • Of those who contacted their academic advisor, 100% rated the advisor Very Good or Good for advisor support and helpfulness.
  • 75% of survey respondents who reported working with the student services staff were very satisfied with their services.

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

  • Survey respondents reside in the United States.
  • 67% are women and 33% are men
  • 17% identified themselves as either an ethnicity other than "White" or declined to identify
  • More than 80% of respondents were 40 or younger, at time of program completion. 17% were 56 or older.

Students reflected on their reasons for recommending the MARA program:

  • “The program provides forward thinking course topics like information governance which is a newer evolving field of information management. The program sets students up for success in the future.”
  • “The flexibility of an online program and varying timelines to finish the degree, along with the professional and informative instructors would allow me to recommend the program to others.”

  • “Convenient, professors are experienced professionals, constantly evolving to meet industry needs and trends.”

Alumni Placement Data

Our most recent MARA alumni survey was conducted in summer 2017 and queried graduates who completed the MARA program in 2016, capturing data from MARA alumni approximately 14 months after they completed the program. The survey was sent to 23 graduates. We received six responses. 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 2016 MARA graduates:

  • 100% of alumni responding to the question are currently employed, with 100% of these working full time.
  • 25% of survey respondents held their present job when they graduated from the MARA program. 100% of respondents who searched for a job at graduation received placement within six months.
  • 50% of survey respondents are working in government agencies, 25% are working in business/industry and 25% of respondents are working in archives.
  • 100% of survey respondents strongly agree or agree that the skills and knowledge they learned in the MARA program prepared them for their job.

2016 Alumni shared the following comments:

"The MARA program gave me the knowledge, skills and abilities to excel in my current position and I now have the chance to advance my career in the future."

"Class content was extremely relevant and allowed me to enter the industry feeling prepared and knowledgeable. Class content all has real-world application."

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 second MARA Alumni survey was conducted in June of 2015 and queried graduates from 2014. Five responses were received. The survey revealed that 60% of respondents were working either full or part time within two years after completing the program. The third survey took place in June of 2016. It was sent to 15 graduates and nine completed the survey. The survey revealed that 100% of respondents were employed and working full time. 33% of survey respondents held their present job when they graduated from the MARA program, and 100% of those individuals reported that earning the MARA degree made it possible for them to receive a salary increase or promotion. 57% of survey respondents were working in government agencies, and 29% of respondents were working in archives.

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.

Employer Survey

Because the MARA program is fairly new (2008), and the first six MARA graduating classes (2011-2016) were small, a decision was made to conduct the first MARA Employer Survey during the 2017-2018 academic year in order to include a larger number of graduates.  

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