Student Achievement Assessment Committee
At the completion of baccalaureate degree studies in the Dietetics Program, students will have mastered the following F&N program learning outcomes:
1. Acquire knowledge of biological and chemical concepts and apply these concepts to food and nutrition science.
2. Develop critical thinking and quantitative analysis skills needed to investigate food and nutrition science problems.
3. Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills and the ability to work effectively within groups.
4. Demonstrate competent use of a variety of laboratory techniques and instruments to investigate food and nutrition science problems.
5. Plan and evaluate various menus and diets for individuals and groups that emphasize optimal nutrition for promotion of health.
6. Acquire food safety knowledge and apply principles of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system to prevent foodborne illness.
7. Apply knowledge and skills necessary for quantity food production and management of a foodservice establishment.
8. Acquire knowledge required to pursue post-graduate dietetics internship.
1. Learning Outcomes assessed this year:
#1. Acquire knowledge of biological and chemical concepts and apply these concepts to food and nutrition science.
#7. Apply knowledge and skills necessary for quantity food production and management of a foodservice establishment.
#8. Acquire knowledge required to pursue post-graduate dietetics internship.
The focus for this year was the assessment of learning outcomes by comparison of BGSU data to national performance data provided by the American Dietetic Association.
2. Assessment Methods and Procedures:
The targeted learning outcomes have, in the past, been evaluated by means of course exams, team projects, computer assignments, homework problems, laboratory reports, research proposals, abstracts of scientific articles, clinical assignments. In addition, an alumni survey has been conducted every 3-4 years, which includes specific questions related to knowledge and content of courses in the program. Thus these learning outcomes have been assessed in years past using data while students are in the program, and their opinions as alumni. The focus of the assessment this year will be a comparison of our students with national cohorts. More specifically, we examined (1) the placement rates of our undergraduate students in post-baccalaureate accredited internship programs, and (2) scores of our graduates on the national examination for dietetic registration and licensure (American Dietetic Association, ADA). Both of these outcomes reflect the success and ability of our program to meet learning outcomes since dietetic internship program placement is coordinated using a national matching process that is very competitive. The national ADA examination is required for dietetic registration and licensure and is strongly related to undergraduate preparation. Student success in internship placement and on the national examination is required to maintain accreditation of the dietetics program.
The sample examined was all BGSU dietetics students from 2000 to 2004 who applied for post-baccalaureate dietetic internship programs and took the ADA registration examination. A measure related to learning outcome # 8 is the ability of our students to be placed in post-baccalaureate accredited internship programs. The number of students applying for internships from BGSU is above the national average for undergraduate dietetics programs (279 programs, 2484 applicants, or ~ 9 applicants per program per year). The placement rates for BGSU students in 2001 to 2005 are included in Table 1.
Table 1. Placement rates for BGSU students applying to post baccalaureate accredited internship programs compared to a national placement rate of approximately 73%*
Year Number of Students Applying to Internships Number of Students Placed in Internships % placement Other students graduating with BS in Dietetics who did not apply to internships in that year**
2001 13 12 92% 3
2002 10 10 100% 6
2003 14 14 100% 8
2004 23 20 87% 3
2005 12 11 92% 1
*National placement rates have been approximately 73% for first round matches. This is an underestimation of total students placed, but data is not available for national placements after the first round of computer matching placement.
**Includes students who may have applied to internships in following years, or chose other career paths
Performance on the national registration examination is provided below. Table 2 provides the overall pass rate and Table 2 provides the breakdown of content areas covered on the examination. Data (including the BGSU data) was provided by the American Dietetic Association.
Table 2. Registration Examination for Dietitians, Group Performance Statistics, American Dietetic Association
n = BGSU
Pass Rate (total)* National
Pass Rate (total)*
2000 3420 15 80% 79%
2001 3535 17 88% 76%
2002 3756 23 76% 75%
2003 3708 18 81% 71%
2004 3899 16 80% 68%
* Includes first-time and repeat test takers.
The overall pass rate from 2000-2004 for students taking the exam the first time was 82% for the BGSU dietetics program compared to an 81.6% national average.
Table 3. Total and content area scores (mean + SD) for the ADA registration examination for 2000-2004. National averages and BGSU dietetics program
Year Total Mean Score Nutrition Content Score Foodservice Content Score
BGSU National BGSU National BGSU
2000 28.19 + 4.38 28.13 + 4.26 15.88 + 3.68 16.13 + 3.59 16.07 + 4.18 15.40 + 3.9
2001 27.58 + 4.0 27.0 + 2.17 15.33 + 3.34 14.94 + 1.98 15.62 + 3.90 14.88 + 2.65
2002 27.47 + 4.2 27.48 + 4.89 15.28 + 3.51 15.17 + 4.58 15.50 + 4.06 15.57 + 3.52
2003 27.16 + 4.3 26.39 + 2.75 15.14 + 3.62 14.67 + 2.83 15.07 + 4.14 14.17 + 2.77
2004 26.88 + 4.57 27.69 + 3.69 15.07 + 3.73 15.25 + 3.03 14.64 + 4.16 16.00 + 3.48
3. Inferences from Assessments:
BGSU dietetics students are doing well compared to national cohorts in both placement in internships and success in passing the national registration examination. This provides information to F&N faculty regarding final outcomes, and a big picture look at meeting learning outcomes. The time period examined included a transition to a totally revised curriculum which took place related to our 10-year accreditation site visit and update to new national curriculum standards in 2003. The new curriculum has been in place for 2 years, although a new senior seminar course will just be implemented this fall. It appears based on the above data that the curriculum revisions are enabling us to meet learning outcomes and are in-line with national performance standards.
4. Actions Taken/Program Improvements:
F&N faculty members have consistently collected assessment data in the form of senior surveys (using the Delphi technique), alumni surveys (every 3-4 years), surveys to internship directors and employers. For the past 4 years, we have met with an external Advisory Committee twice a year. All of these venues have provided important input that faculty have implemented into individual classes and overall curriculum revision. It has also informed us about how well we are advising and meeting student expectations as they progress through our programs. However, we have not been particularly organized in collecting or utilizing the data. An important task for us is to be more methodical in analyzing and documenting the data collected and tying it to specific learning outcomes. Another area that needs improvement is looking at several time periods in our programs.
The preparation of the assessment report comes at a busy time at the end of the academic year and generally falls to one faculty member to prepare. The action for next year will be to include assessment as a regular agenda item for program area meetings throughout the year. Goals for next year also include implementing rubrics developed through an assessment grant last year. The rubrics were pilot tested by individual faculty in classes this past year. As a program faculty there is a need to be more consistent in the use of the rubrics to evaluate specific learning outcomes in our classes. In addition, a system to collect data from several classes as students progress through the program will be developed.