Curricular Initiatives: School of Health and Medical Sciences
Department of Athletic Training
Among its other assessments, the Department of Athletic Training reviews the Board of Certification (BOC) test results taken by graduating students to earn their credential to practice in the profession. Recent results led the Department to make changes to strengthen the domain of health care administration in coursework and to change the start date of the program to allow time to address the material in sufficient manner and allow enough time for students to study for the board exam. The success rate on the BOC examination and employment placement rate of graduates are key indicators that SHU Athletic Training graduates are well prepared for entry-level practice.
Department of Occupational Therapy
Based on feedback from students completing pediatric fieldwork placements, and review of evaluations completed by fieldwork educators, the faculty in the Department of Occupational Therapy revised the content of the didactic pediatric course, updated the syllabus, and assigned the course to a new instructor. As the department plans their new curriculum, they are increasing the number of credit hours offered in pediatrics, as well as ensuring that relationships between fieldwork and didactic courses are strengthened.
Department of Physical Therapy
Graduates of the Physical Therapy program are required to pass the Physical Therapy Professional examination administered by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) before beginning practice. While the graduates' 3-year cumulative passing rates approximate 95%, the number of students needing to take the exam more than once is higher than desired (between 14-20% over the past 3 years). The department has initiated a number of efforts to improve graduates' first-time pass rate: incorporated electronic test-taking methods into courses to increase familiarity with the FSBPT exam; provided board exam review materials for students; restructured course examination questions to be consistent with the format of licensure exam questions; revised course syllabi to reflect a greater breadth and depth of content consistent with contemporary practice; integrated lecture and contextual learning experiences into the final capstone class to enhance test-taking abilities; and evaluated and adjusted admissions requirements to be consistent with FSBPT requirements.
Department of Physician Assistant
Outcomes assessment in the Department of Physician Assistant is extensive and sophisticated, and the Department deliberates regularly on changes suggested by the results. The placement of the Biostatistics Course in the curriculum has been modified twice since 2007 in reaction to student satisfaction results and performance on standardized tests. An exercise to compare the program's curriculum with national accreditation standards led to a number of curricular changes in Fall 2010. Every summer, at their annual retreat, the faculty analyze data gather throughout the year (course grades, rotation grades, summative evaluation scores, preceptor evaluations, standardized test scores, etc.) to see if the program is meeting its goals and objectives. They revisit the program's mission statement as well as the program's goals and objectives, and recommend changes to strengthen the overall program and improve student learning.
Department of Speech-Language Pathology
At the end of each semester, faculty in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology collect data on how students are progressing towards acquisition of specific knowledge and skills in speech-language pathology as required by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. This progress is recorded on a Knowledge and Skills Acquisition Documents (KASA) tracking form. As a result of reviewing KASA data from multiple cohorts, the faculty infused more skills-based activities into academic courses, such as the Fluency course. Students had consistently reported that there was limited opportunity to evaluate stuttering in adults and children. This was reported during exit interviews, observed during portfolio review by advisors, and reported by clinical supervisors in the field. As a result, changes were made to course content and interactive opportunities for enhanced learning were provided. These included inviting a guest speaker who stutters to class to present about the psychosocial impact of stuttering. Students ask questions of the speaker in an interactive format, which is similar to an intake process in a clinic. Students are provided a recorded sample of the individual's speech patterns for analysis. Additional samples of dysfluent speech from children and adults are provided to students to offer enhanced learning opportunities.