Quality Assessment

This past spring, the Virginia Mathematics Department was required to submit a report on our undergraduate program to the Virginia State Council of Higher Education. This report begins with the statements of ten goals and objectives of our undergraduate program. The report then goes on to list the four tools that were used to assess how well we met these goals and objectives, and to provide the results of the application of these four assessment tools. This report is called our Outcomes Assessment report, and it will provide you with a lot of insight on what we are trying to do for our students, and how well we are succeeding.

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The following are excerpts from the Outcomes Assessment document:

  1. In the AMS Towards Excellence text, mentioned previously, is the statement, "In a recent review of doctoral mathematics departments, only five are regularly graduating over 100 (undergraduate mathematics) majors a year, and only sixteen are graduating over 60 majors a year." Over the past five years the average number of mathematics baccalaureate degrees awarded at Virginia Tech is 62.4.
  2. Over the past six years, eighteen students graduated with dual BS and MS degrees, and we have had a Rhodes Scholar, a Math Olympiad semi-finalist, five national Goldwater Scholars, an honorable-mention USA Today Academic All-American, two selected for the NSA Director's Summer Program, 36 participating in undergraduate research projects (13 accepted for national NSF Undergraduate Research Programs), and six student articles published in professional research journals.
  3. In freshman courses required of mathematics majors in Spring Semester, 2001, fifty sections were taught by full-time faculty, and ten were taught by graduate students. Moreover, in sophomore courses required of mathematics majors in Spring Semester, 2001, thirty-two sections were taught by full-time faculty, and one was taught by a graduate student. The average class sizes of these courses in the 2000-2001 academic year was: Math 1205-37.4, Math 1206-41.20, Math 1224-37.02, Math 2214-38.70, and Math 2224-40.67. In many universities these courses are taught to hundreds of students in large auditoriums, and then are broken into smaller groups headed by graduate students.
  4. During the 2000-2001 academic year, via the students' Math Club, the following companies sent representatives to campus to give presentations to our mathematics students concerning mathematical opportunities in their organizations: Capital One, SAIC, Scruggs Consulting, Towers Perrin, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Digital Systems Resources, and the Gordian Group. Another meeting of the Math Club involved a presentation on preparing for graduate school and selecting the proper school.
  5. Via a personal interview at Virginia Tech, we invite you not only to learn more about the four items above, but also about our Career Services Office, campus job fairs, the co-op program, and summer internships. We also encourage you to learn more about our Honors Program, which has had a great deal to do with our students' fine achievements.