degree assessment

Learning Outcomes:

The primary learning outcomes of the MTS include:

  1. a foundational understanding of the Christian and Hebrew scriptures and of the broad heritage of the Christian tradition as such and in relation to other faith traditions and social-cultural contexts.
  2. a critical understanding of and creative engagement with the cultural realities and structures within which religious leadership is carried out, including
    • i. contemporary cultural and social issues and their significance for diverse linguistic and cultural contexts of religious leadership; and
    • ii. the global character of religious communities in the multifaith and multicultural context of contemporary society.
  3. focused knowledge in a specific discipline for students pursuing a particular MTS concentration or, in other cases, a survey knowledge of various theological disciplines
  4. a developed intellectual focus and vocational direction.
  5. growth in one’s capacity for a robust embrace of and engagement with social and theological diversity and one’s capacity to relate across difference;
Assessment Process:

FIRST SEMESTER

  • Application essay is placed in e-portfolio, and MTS students are introduced to the assessment process in the Stewarding course or other venue.
  • Students should discuss the MTS program learning outcomes with their advisors.
    * If the student is pursuing the Open Format MTS, he or she should follow the primary learning outcomes for the degree as outlined in the STH Academic Bulletin (http://www.bu.edu/academics/sth/).
    * If student has declared a specialization, he or she should review learning outcomes established by the faculty guiding that specialization area

SECOND SEMESTER

  • Student takes the MTS Assessment Survey and submits it to the e-portfolio before April 1 (if matriculating in the fall) or November 15 (if matriculating in the spring). The student is encouraged, but not required, to discuss the assessment survey with her/his faculty advisor during their regular advising meeting.
  • Academic Dean meets with MTS cohort taking the assessment to discuss MTS experiences thus far. The surveys serve as a basis for that conversation.
  • MTS Mid-Program Assessment Survey

THIRD SEMESTER

  • Regular course selection/advising meeting with the faculty advisor.
  • By the end of the semester, the student should add one course paper, project, or presentation to the e-portfolio in preparation for the final assessment conversation. A one paragraph rationale for why the student chose the paper should be included. The assignment should be representative of your formation in the program. It could represent, for example, a shift in your thinking, a challenging idea that you worked through, the advancement of your scholarship. The genre is open.

FOURTH SEMESTER

  • The final assessment meeting takes place at the end of this semester but prior to April 15 or December 1 (depending on the final semester).
  • The student should meet with the advisor and one additional faculty member to discuss the student’s experience of, and growth in, the program. The student will take the assessment survey in preparation for the conversation and submit it to the e-portfolio. The following materials should be included in the e-portfolio: personal statement, one paper/project/presentation, the student’s completed assessment surveys.
  • The two faculty members will review all elements of the e-portfolio in preparation for the conversation.
  • Following the discussion, the two faculty members should complete the assessment surveys and submit them to the Academic Dean’s office.
  • MTS Final Survey


FIRST SEMESTER

  • An e-portfolio is created for each incoming student. The personal statement is the first document included in the e-portfolio.
  • Students are introduced to assessment process in the Stewarding course.
  • When the faculty advisors meet with the students to discuss course advising, they are encouraged to check in with the student about the following three areas: 1) intellectual growth; 2) faith/spiritual tradition; 3) vocational discernment. This could be addressed with a simple question, “What’s going on with you?”

SECOND SEMESTER

  • When the student meets with the advisor to select courses, they should also check in about contextual education placement.

THIRD SEMESTER

  • By the end of the semester, students should add the appropriate documents to the e-portfolio in preparation for the mid-degree conversation. The following materials should be included in the e-portfolio: personal statement, one paper/project/presentation with one-paragraph rationale, the contextual education evaluation (self-assessment and supervisor), and the student’s completed assessment survey.

FOURTH SEMESTER

  • The mid-degree assessment takes place this semester.
  • At the beginning the semester, a formal letter goes out from the Academic Dean’s office, explaining the process for the mid-degree conversation. Several questions are included in that letter to prepare the members for a productive conversation about the student’s development.
  • Three people should be involved in the mid-degree conversation. 1) Faculty advisor; 2) two others of the student’s choosing. This could be the contextual education supervisor, a spiritual companioning leader, a minister from home, an undergraduate professor, etc. One of the members may join the conversation via Skype. The faculty advisor will guide the conversation.
  • All members of this group are expected to read the portfolio materials in preparation for the meeting.
  • Following the discussion, the faculty advisor and two additional partners should complete the assessment surveys and submit them to the Academic Dean’s office.

FIFTH SEMESTER

  • Regular course selection/advising meeting with the faculty advisor.

FINAL SEMESTER

  • Students complete the assessment survey and add it to their e-portfolio before April 1.
  • Academic Dean meets with small groups (10 or so) and they engage in an assessment of the various areas. This conversation is aimed, more directly, as assessing the M.Div. program.