Assurance of Learning (AoL)
As an AACSB-accredited institution, Central Connecticut State University's School of Business is committed to assuring that our graduates enter the workforce with the appropriate knowledge, skills, and competencies. The Assurance of Learning processes that our school has in place make sure that the school is in compliance with both AACSB and NEASC standards.
Overview of Undergraduate AoL Process
The School of Business offers five undergraduate degrees, which share a unified core. The degrees are in Accounting, Finance, Management, Management Information Systems, and Marketing. Our faculty assess students' learning on four learning goals with a total of eight learning objectives (see Table 1).
Table 1. Undergraduate degree program learning goals and objectives
1. Communication Skills
CS1: Students will prepare and deliver an effective business document.
CS2: Students will demonstrate comprehension of the business communication process.
2. Team Players
TP1: Students provide meaningful contributions to team outcomes.
TP2: Students will describe, identify and explain characteristics of effective teams.
3. Ethics and Social Responsibility
ES1: Students can recommend actions consistent with high ethical standards in response
to an ethical dilemma.
ES2: Students will identify the impact of business actions and decisions on multiple stakeholders.
4. Thinking Skills
TS1: Students will identify appropriate issues for action when faced with a business
TS2: Students will gather, interpret and integrate data from across disciplines to solve business problems.
Assessment takes place during each student's senior year. Students enroll in a zero-credit course (BUS 480), graded as pass-fail. Six of the eight objectives are assessed in this class. The remaining two learning objectives are assessed within MGT 480, a course required of all students in their senior year. BUS 480 is offered as a required co-requisite to MGT 480, to ensure that all students are assessed just before they graduate. This ensures that our process captures all students – including transfer students – at the appropriate stage of their academic careers.
In BUS 480, students are required to complete two hours of assessment activities, including both objective and subjective measures, in a classroom setting using Taskstream. All full-time faculty are able to evaluate students' work in Taskstream, using standard rubrics. Taskstream is an assessment and e-portfolio system.
Once students' artifacts are scored, the results are shared with faculty task forces (one for each learning goal). Those task forces analyze the data and present their findings to all faculty at the School's annual assessment retreat. Faculty then discuss how to improve student learning for each of the objectives. The faculty vote on possible solutions and take action to ensure continuous improvement in student learning.
Overview of MBA AoL Process
The School of Business offers an MBA program with five specializations/tracks: accounting, finance, business analytics, supply chain analytics, and central track. The faculty assess student learning on four learning goals with a total of six learning objectives (see Table 2).
Table 2. MBA degree program learning goals and objectives
1. Thinking Skills
TS1: MBA students will gather, analyze, and synthesize relevant data and information in order to solve problems and arrive at appropriate decisions.
2. Communication Skills
CS1: MBA students will prepare and deliver an effective business document.
3. Leadership Skills
LS1: MBA students will evaluate how leadership traits and behaviors affect key stakeholders.
SK1: MBA students will utilize quantitative analysis methods to identify salient information
and trends in data.
SK2: MBA students will analyze the local and global impact of organizational decisions.
Assessment takes place during each student's final year. Students enroll in a zero-credit course (BUS 582), graded as pass-fail. All of the learning objectives are assessed in this class.
In BUS 582, students are required to upload written artifacts to Taskstream, deliver a presentation, and take part in other assessment activities.
Members of the school's Graduate Programs Committee work with the MBA Director and AoL Coordinator to evaluate students' work in Taskstream.
Once students' artifacts are scored, the results are shared with a faculty task force that analyzes the data and present its findings to all School of Business faculty at the School's annual assessment retreat. Faculty then discuss how to improve student learning for each of the objectives. The faculty vote on possible solutions and take action to ensure continuous improvement in student learning.
Overview of MSA AOL Process
The School of Business offers a MS in Accounting program with six required courses and four electives. The overall learning goal for the program is information literacy, which initiates, sustains, and extends lifelong learning beyond formal classroom settings and provides practice with self-directed investigations as individuals move into internships, first professional positions, and increasing responsibilities in all arenas of life.
1. Accounting Knowledge
AK1: MS in Accounting students will demonstrate an understanding of advanced accounting issues and theories, and use technologies for financial decisions and reporting. MS in Accounting students will interpret and apply accounting standards to solve complex business problems
2. Inquiry and Analysis
IA1: Inquiry is a systematic process of exploring issues/objects/works through the collection and analysis of evidence that result in informed conclusions/ judgments. MS in Accounting students will use inquiry skills to break down complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them.
3. Quantitative Literacy
QL1: Quantitative learning, also known as numeracy or quantitative reasoning is a “habit of mind,” competency, and comfort in working with numerical data. Individuals with strong quantitative literacy skills possess the ability to reason and solve quantitative problems with a wide array of authentic contexts. MS in Accounting students will understand and create sophisticated arguments supported by quantitative evidence and clearly communicate those arguments in a variety of formats such as words, tables, and graphs.
4. Ethical Reasoning
ER1: Ethical reasoning is reasoning about right and wrong human conduct, requiring students to be able to assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas, and consider the ramifications of alternative actions. MS in Accounting student will demonstrate ethical decision-making skills and analyze positions on ethical issues.
Assessment takes place during specific required courses in the program:
- Accounting Knowledge (AK1) in AC 507 – Advanced Financial Accounting
- Inquiry and Analysis (IA1) in AC 552 – Taxation of Business Entities
- Quantitative Literacy (QL1) in AC 545 – Advanced Assurance Services
- Ethical Reasoning (ER1) in AC 550 – Financial Accounting Standards
Assessments are evaluated by the faculty member teaching the above courses. Once students' artifacts are scored, the results are shared with the accounting faculty, which analyzes the data. Accounting faculty then discuss how to improve student learning for each of the objectives and vote on possible solutions and take action to ensure continuous improvement in student learning.