MARA Program Performance
- MARA Program Based Assessment
- Review and Measurement of Individual Program Learning Outcomes
- Assessment of Individual Program Learning Outcomes Reports MARA
- Course Student Learning Objectives and Competency (Program Learning Outcomes) Mapping
- Mapping of MARA Program Learning Outcomes to University Learning Goals
- External Inputs into the Curriculum
- Retention and Graduation Data
- Student Exit Survey Data
- Alumni Placement Data
Program Based Assessment
The San José State University 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.
- MARA Program Learning Outcomes (core competencies)
- e-Portfolios – Student entering program prior to 2015
- e-Portfolios – Student entering program spring 2015 and later
- Mapping of MARA Program learning outcomes to University Learning Goals (updated spring 2021)
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
Retention and Graduation Data
Through fall 2015, there were three key points monitored to understand MARA retention rates. As of spring 2016, there are two key points. The data point no longer consider is the MARA New Technology Workshop offered through fall 2015.
Data was gathered 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 for this non-credit workshop 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, self-paced MARA Program Technology Preparation Workshop. Therefore, It became 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|
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|
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 (priority) and MARA 204 (if taking 2 courses) 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
MARA students who entered the program in the spring semester spring 2013 through spring 2018 were required to register for MARA 210 and were advised to take one MLIS elective (optional). MARA students entering the spring semester from spring 2019 forward were required to register for MARA 210 and advised to take MARA 283 as a second course.
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 through 2018) and continuing on to a second term the following fall). Starting with the Spring 2019, students took MARA 210 and MARA 283 (optional) instead of an optional elective and continuing to a second term the following fall.
|210 Total MARA Enrolled||# B or better||%||283
|# B or better||%||# Started following term||% of students
who Started following term
|210 Total MARA Enrolled||# B or better||%||MLIS Elective
|# B or better||%||# Started following term||% of students
who Started following term
*Some students since spring 2015 have registered for more than two courses.
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 developed to evaluate the MARA competency statements.
Table 3. MARA 289: e-Portfolio Statistics
|Total Enrolled||Passed||Failed*||Incomplete||% Completion Rate|
|Spring 2020||13||12||0||1 (withdrew)||92%|
*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 completed MARA 289 in fall 2020.
Key survey findings include the following:
- 50% of survey respondents completed the MARA program within two and a half years.
- 100% of survey respondents said their overall education experience in the MARA program was very good or 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:
- 50% of respondents were working full time at the time they completed the MARA program.
- Employed respondents worked in archival, business or scientific research settings.
The survey also provided insight regarding the MARA program’s top strengths, including:
- The top strengths of the MARA program are its Online Learning Environment, Curriculum, Flexibility, Cost and Faculty.
- 100% of users were satisfied of the Technology Support services received during their program.
- 100% of respondents who sought help said the course planning support from their Academic Advisor was Very Good.
Survey results also provide insight regarding MARA student demographics, including the following:
- Survey respondents lived in states across the United States.
- Half of respondents stated that they were First Generation Graduate Students.
Students reflected on their reasons for recommending the MARA program:
“I would recommend the MARA program because the learning is based on material that can be applied in real time. Also, many resources were given to support the profession, such as ISO standards and GARP principles. In addition, direction towards organizations that offer continued education and communication with others in the profession.”
“It was informative and prepared me for future career, all staff were helpful and friendly”
“You receive a very strong foundation of knowledge and skills for a career in Archives and Records Management”
Alumni Placement Data
We survey our MARA alumni every two years in order to track employment trends, ensure that our curriculum remains relevant, and help us anticipate shifts in the job market.
Our most recent survey was sent in June 2020 to graduates who completed the MARA program during calendar years 2018 and 2019. We received a total of 7 responses to our survey. The responses may be rounded.
We are pleased to share the following data regarding our alumni:
- 100% of alumni responding to the survey are currently employed in the archives, records, or information governance fields or related capacity, with 71% working in full-time positions as historians, information governance managers, archivists, and other roles.
- After graduation, 80% remained with an employer or position they held while attending the MARA program, and receiving the MARA degree advanced their careers. For example, they received a promotion, a salary increase, or moved from a support staff to professional staff position. Only one respondent noted no change in status.
- For those who conducted a job search after earning their MARA degree, they were employed within 9 months after graduation.
- Survey respondents listed the following experiences as the most helpful in obtaining their jobs: technological skills; internship, practicum, or fieldwork experience; and learning to work collaboratively with people in an online environment.
- MARA alumni can be found working at university archives, government agencies, and non-profit organizations located across the United States.
- 100% of survey respondents strongly agree or agree that the skills and knowledge they learned in the MARA program prepared them for their job.