Phase I.


Unit Mission/Goal(s)

Please state your unit’s mission/goal(s):

To advance the knowledge of statistics: by teaching statistics and processes, by research in statistics and statistical pedagogy, and by dissemination of this knowledge to students and the community we serve.

Please describe how your unit mission/goal(s) relate to the institutional mission

The study of Statistics is central to the liberal arts education. The statistics curriculum serves as an integral part of students’ active pursuit of liberal arts education. The discipline’s mission concentrates on the three main components of the institutional mission, namely, teaching, research, and outreach. The statistics curriculum is currently serving students who major/minor in Statistics, major/minor in disciplines which require statistical background, aim to complete pre-professional programs, and the whole Campus through its general education courses in areas such as abstract systems. The discipline’s mission also involves dissemination of statistical knowledge to the community which supports the institution’s mission “(UMM) is an educational resource and cultural center for citizens of west central Minnesota (and it has) strong sense of community”. The discipline aims to be a leader in statistics education at the undergraduate level in a liberal arts environment. Under this objective, the discipline created a model curriculum given in the following figure. The discipline also has a goal of being a leader in service learning/civic engagement and technology enhanced learning.


Assessment Areas in General

Based on the discipline’s goals and objectives, assessment of student learning has been carried out in the following general areas:

  1. Service courses/introductory level courses
  2. Curriculum for majors/minors
  3. Curriculum for students outside the discipline
  4. Service learning/civic engagement
  5. Technology enhanced learning



Student Learning Objectives/Expected Outcomes

Learning Objective 1.

Students will gain the basic knowledge and skills to make statistical contributions to modern society, whether in the form of theoretical statistics or statistics applied to the other disciplines.

Expected Outcome 1.

Demonstrated basic knowledge of probability, statistics, and ability to describe these areas and see importance of these in their statistics education.


Learning Objective 2.

Students will be able to perform an appropriate statistical analysis using at least one statistics computer package.

Expected Outcome 2.

• Demonstrated ability to model and solve real-world problems, formulate a problem statistically, and determine an appropriate approach towards its solution using a statistical software package.

Learning Objective 3.

The curriculum will prepare students to enter graduate school, pursue careers in applied statistics or statistical fields.


Expected Outcome 3.

Students should be able to use their statistics background to get a job or admission to graduate school.

Learning Objective 4.

The students will be able to identify and communicate statistical ideas effectively.


Expected Outcome 4.

Demonstrated ability to describe and explain a theorem, statistical formula/model, and a solution of a problem in broad terms to a non-specialist audience.




Assessment Methods & Tools

Method(s), Measure(s), and Instrument(s) for Expected Outcome 1.

• Statistics Major Student Portfolio

• Exit Interviews

• Senior Projects


Outcome 1


Starting Date for the Implementation:

• Statistics Major Student Portfolio: Spring, 2003.

• Exit Interviews:  Spring, 2003.

• Senior Projects:  Spring, 2002.


Anticipated Date for the First Results:

• Statistics Major Student portfolio: Spring, 2003.

• Exit Interviews:  Spring, 2003.

• Senior Projects:  Spring, 2002.







Method(s), Measure(s), and Instrument(s) for Expected Outcome 2.

• Statistics Major Student Portfolio

• Senior Project (senior seminar presentation)

Outcome 2


Starting Date for the Implementation:

• Statistics Major Portfolio:  Spring, 2003.

  Senior Project:  Spring, 2002.


Anticipated Date for the First Results:

• Statistics Major Student Portfolio:  Spring, 2003.

  Senior Project:  Spring, 2002.




Method(s), Measure(s), and Instrument(s) for Expected Outcome 3.

• Survey of Graduates

• Graduate school acceptance rates

• Reports from outside sources like the Mayo Clinic, and other major employers or graduate educators.

Outcome 3


Starting Date for the Implementation:

Acceptance Rates: Summer, 2002

Success Rates: Summer, 2002


Anticipated Date for the First Results:

Acceptance Rates: Summer, 2003

Success Rates: Summer, 2003



Method(s), Measure(s), and Instrument(s) for Expected Outcome 4.

Student papers from various courses in student portfolio.

• Student presentations in some courses with attendance of faculty from and outside the Statistics discipline (including community representatives in some cases)

• Senior seminar presentation and paper.

• Student publications, UROP and MAP reports.

Outcome 4


Starting Date for the Implementation:

• Student Portfolio:  Spring, 2003.

• Senior Project:  Spring, 2002.


Anticipated Date for the First Results:

• Student Portfolio:  Spring, 2003.

• Senior Project:  Spring, 2002.




(*) Statistics Major Portfolio will have the following sections:

A. Characteristics of Entering Students

            An essay written by students on their expectations and academic plans

B. Learning Development of Students in Statistics during their Stay at UMM

            Specially designed examinations from the core courses

            Course project reports

            An essay on development of statistical ideas

            A self-report of learning by students on each Statistics course that they have taken (which will       include answers to questions like: What did you learn?, Why do you think that this course is        important in your Statistics education?, How will you be able to use the knowledge that you            have gained in this course after your graduation?)

C. After graduation

            Survey of Graduates


After the review of the Statistics faculty, the results of the assessment and the portfolios prepared by the students will be delivered to the external consultants/reviewers for input.


Phase II.



Use of Observed Outcomes and Possible Actions

Please comment on the possible use of the findings of your assessment plan.

(In responding to this question you may want to consider the following issues; how would the results of the assessment be communicated to faculty in you own and other disciplines? how could the results be used to improve the student learning and programs? how could the results produce input to other related processes (e.g., academic and nonacademic planning, curriculum review)? how could the results of the assessment change your unit’s mission/goal(s)? with which other units would you like to share the results of your assessment?)


Each statistics faculty member will examine the student portfolios and other relevant data and give comments to the discipline.


The Statistics Discipline will assemble and distribute a report to the discipline and to other departments by paper, e-mail, or web posting.


We propose to produce a report every two years.


This process will help identify areas that are successful and ones that need further work. These areas will be identified and communicated back to the discipline for possible course or program changes.

























The Implementation Needs

Please comment on the information and assistance necessary for the successful implementation of your assessment process.

(In responding to this question you may want to consider issues like; what are the other units (e.g., other disciplines, programs, administrators and/or committees that should produce input for the successful completion of your assessment cycle? what type of input do you need from other units? what should be the function of the Assessment of Student Learning Committee and Coordinator to increase the effectiveness of your unit’s assessment process? what type of support might your unit need for the planning and application of your assessment cycle?)



We need convenient reporting of the Career Center survey of past graduates.


We need convenient access to the graduating senior survey that will be conducted by the UMM Campus Assessment group.


We need some sort of convenient mechanism for getting input from outside the statistics discipline. For example, a survey filled out by other disciplines regarding the statistics program.


We need institutional support for outside reviewers to evaluate our program on a periodic basis.


We need an e-mail list, and a paper list of all statistics majors so that we can communicate better.































Phase III.



Application: Observed Outcomes

Please comment on your findings of the implementation of the assessment methods and tools.

(In responding to this question you may want to summarize your findings, provide data that supports your interpretations, discuss the validity of your results, and suggest ways of improving the methods and tools that you have used.)


In our broad experience in classes, we have found that the ability of students to clearly describe the meaning of a statistical finding was impaired.


The assessment of our technology enhanced learning environments yielded a survey result that students found technology enhancements made to existing courses beneficial.





























Actions Taken

Please comment on the actions that you have taken or planning to take based on your findings.

(In responding to this question you may want to consider the following issues; what other units were involved with the actions that you have taken? what was the impact of the actions that you have taken on the students’ learning? what other structures do you propose to increase the success of you actions?)



In response to finding a need to improve statistical communication of results we have stressed writing and speaking about statistical findings in all of our courses.


In response to the positive feedback about the technology enhanced learning environments, we have focused even more attention on developing these abilities for our courses.

































You may want to provide the following optional information that may be relevant to your unit’s assessment of student learning plan.


Number of degrees granted within the past 10 years



Area of Concentration


Teacher Education



Please list the graduates of your program who are(were) in the graduate programs and provide approximate acceptance rate for your graduates


Brett MacAlpine (94)  graduated, MS, University of Minnesota, Statistics

Michele Johnson (95)  University of Minnesota, Statistics

Lee Ann Wirth (95)  University of Iowa, Statistics

Michelle Mathiason (97)  Oregon State University, Statistics

Ross Dierkhising (97)  Iowa State University, Statistics

Lisa Hollerman (97)  Iowa State University, Computer Science

Ben Winchester (97)  University of Missouri, Sociology

Joanna Turner (96)  University of Wisconsin, Statistics

Wen Hong Wong (98) University of Iowa, Statistics/Actuarial Science

Jessica Stoering (99) University of Minnesota, Statistics.

Matthew Soukup   (99) University of  Virginia, Statistics.

Rufino Rodriguez (99) University of Minnesota, Medical School.

Mollie Jo Poehlman (00) Kansas State University, Statistics.

Danelle Schuster (00) Kansas State University, Statistics.

B.J. Friedrichs (00) South Dakota State University, Athletic Management

Angela Bos (01) University of Minnesota, Political Science.

Katie Forbes (01) North Dakota State University, Pharmacy.

Penny Sinner (01) University of Minnesota, Epidemiology, School of Public Health

Lisa Thackeray (01) University of Minnesota, Biostatistics, School of Public Health

Nicole Wyman (01) University of Minnesota, Biostatistics, School of Public Health

Amanda Wobbema (01) University of Michigan, Epidemiology, School of Public Health

Jillian Evans (02) University of Maryland, Public Policy.

Allison Harell (02) McGill University, Political Science.

Ivan Ramler (02) Iowa State University, Statistics.

Julie Retrum (02) University of Kansas, Geology.

Nick Urick (03) Oklahoma State University, Statistics.

Paul Buzinec (03) University of Iowa, Statistics.












Please list the post graduate activity of your students and provide approximate percentages for each group




Actuarial Career(10%):

Craig Schwaegerl (91-92)

Melissa Ahman (95) Alliance Life Insurance Company of America

Daniel Seyfield (96) Lutheran Brotherhood, Minneapolis

Brad Zarn (99)  St. Paul Companies


Statistics Career(40%):

Mayo Clinic/Allina Health System Ryan Bolduan (97 Emphasis Statistics)

Ross Dierkhising (97) Mayo Clinic

Jeff Thostenson (99) Mayo Clinic

Gina Garding (99) (Statistics Concentration) Mayo Clinic

Debra Kielhold (99) (Statistics Concentration) Medtronic Inc.

Eric Bass  (98) (Statistics Concentration) Mayo Clinic

Aaron Koelman (98) (Statistics emphasis) Augsburg Publishing/?

Ed Blok (00) (Statistics Emphasis) Unknown

Susan Bakken (00) (Statistics Emphasis) Musicland.

Danelle Schuster (00) Prachs Institute, Fargo ND.

Mollie Jo Poehlman (00) University of Minnesota, Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health.

Shaun Maloney (02) USDA, Ann Arbor Michigan, Statistics.

Dave Borgerding (03) Insurance Company, Wisconsin.




Graduate School:  (40%)

See above


Other Career(10%):

Deanne Nordberg (99)  Unisys

Ron Morris (99) U. Wisconsin Green Bay

Barbara Baratto (99) Unknown

Jered Schmillen (00) Unknown

Chad Logid (00) Unknown

Aaron Arneberg (01) Unknown

Joel Leet (01) Unknown















Please list student publications in your program that took place within the past 10 years


Anderson, Kershner, Long, Garding (99) "Violence Against Women in

West-Central Minnesota.  CURA Reporter, 29, 13-19.
















Please list student projects in your program that implemented within the past 10 years, such as UROP, MAP, etc.


Ross Dierkhising (97) MAP with Jon Anderson (95-96)

Ross Dierkhising (97) UROP with Jon Anderson (96-97)

Eric Bass (98) MAP with Jon Anderson (96-97)

Ryan Bolduan (97) UM Graduate School Grant with Jon Anderson (96-97)

Gina Garding (99) UM CURA Grant with Jon Anderson (97-98)












Please list student presentations/performances/artistic exhibitions in your program that took place within the past 10 years



Ryan Bolduan - SAS Users Group Conference, San Diego, 97

Nick Urick (03) UMM Undergraduate Research Symposium

Jelena Kmezic (03) UMM Undergraduate Research Symposium

Dave Borgerding (03) UMM Undergraduate Research Symposium











Please list honors and awards that the students in your program earned within the past 10 years


Jelena Kmezic (03) Scholar of the College

Angela Bos (01)  Scholar of the College












Please comment on the success of your graduates on professional and graduate program exams


Those students that enter graduate school in statistics and in other fields find their statistical education is excellent preparation for graduate work.  References by Ivan Ramler, Angela Bos, Allison Harell, and Mollie Jo Poehlman.









Please list participation of your students in special programs such as study abroad, internships etc.


Jelena Kmezic (03) Study Abroad, New Zealand.












Please present some case studies that present other learning outcomes not reflected elsewhere


Our efforts on producing technology enhanced learning environments is assessed in the document:




Our efforts to assess the civic engagement activities in our courses are given at: