Assessment in the Major Report for AY 2017-2018

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Program Being Assessed: Optometry
College of: Oklahoma College of Optometry
Department: N/A

Mission Statement of your academic major: The Northeastern State University Oklahoma College of Optometry (NSUOCO) provides an educational program leading to the Doctor of optometry degree, post-graduate clinical residency certification, and continuing optometric education.

The primary mission of NSUOCO is:
  • The education of excellent optometric physicians who, through excellence in academic and clinical instruction, are able to provide the highest quality clinical care and who emphasize an ethical and caring commitment for the welfare of patients,
  • To deliver quality clinical services to the patients served by NSUOCO,
  • To remain committed to a teaching environment conducive to excellence in education through faculty and students who are diverse, who embrace lifeĀ­ long learning, independent critical thinking, research and scholarly activity, and who have a desire to contribute to society through community service.

Name of your professional association or accrediting agency that defines your program (major) objectives: Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE)

Student Learning Outcomes
List the student learning outcomes for your program.

The Doctor of Optometry and Bachelor of Science in Vision Science degrees are assessed by the various outcome objectives defined by the College of Optometry. Year one and two of both program outcomes assessments are identical; years three and four complete the outcomes assessments for the Doctor of Optometry degree.
  1. Students admitted to the professional optometry program will have a broad foundation in those basic sciences, which will enable them to proceed to the study of those scientific concepts directly applicable to optometry. Students applying to the College of Optometry must take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) and score satisfactorily on that exam. Knowledge areas tested on the exam include mathematics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and physics. Entering students must also have achieved a minimum 2.7 GPA on all undergraduate course work.
  2. Students will acquire a knowledge and understanding of those aspects of optics and general human biology, which will in turn allow them to study the visual process. Successful completion of basic courses in the first year of the curriculum will demonstrate that the student has acquired the foundation to continue in the program.
  3. The student will acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of the optics, anatomy, physiology, and neurology of the eyes, vision, and perception. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successful completion of the courses in years I, II and III of the program and by passing Part I of the National Board of Examination in Optometry (Applied Basic Science Section). Students are eligible to sit for this section 1 of the exam during the spring semester of their third year of the program (March administration).
  4. Students will develop the skills to perform the tests, techniques, and procedures necessary for the detection of vision anomalies and ocular disease. Students are required to demonstrate these skills in successful completion of a practical examination in each of four optometry clinical methods courses.
  5. The student will acquire the general principles of drug action, as well as the principles of ocular pharmacology and medical treatment, clinical administration of ocular drugs, utilization of diagnostic agents and specific treatment of ocular diseases. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successful completion of the courses and by passing Part II of the National Board of Examination in Optometry (clinical science section that includes pharmacology). Students are eligible to sit for this section of the exam during the fall semester of their fourth year of the program (December administration of the exam).
  6. Students will be provided with enough supervised patient encounters to enable the student to put to use the knowledge gained in a clinical setting. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successfully achieving a passing grade on daily clinical encounters.
  7. Students will acquire understanding of scientific methodology and have an appreciation for research and statistics in order to continue their life-long education after optometry school. Students will demonstrate this knowledge by successfully completing an optometry research project during the third and fourth years of the program.
  8. Students will be provided with appropriate information about running a private practice with all small business aspects to enable them to make a living for themselves and their families. Students will demonstrate this knowledge by successfully completing the courses in practice management.
  9. Students will be provided with enough supervised patient encounters to enable the student to put to use the knowledge gained in a clinical setting. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successfully achieving a passing rate on daily clinical evaluations and by passing the clinical proficiency tests scheduled throughout years three and four of the curriculum. Students may also demonstrate clinical proficiency by passing Part III of the National Boards (administered in the student’s last year.)
  10. Students will be generally prepared to pass any state licensing examination they might encounter. Students will demonstrate this level of knowledge and clinical skills by successfully completing state written and practical examinations.

Assessment of Outcomes
Which student outcomes did you assess?

  1. OAT (Optometry Admissions Test) scores and undergraduate GPA for incoming students.
  2. First year cohort (class of 2021) advancement to second year.
  3. Second year cohort (class of 2020) advancement to third year, third year cohort (class of 2019) advancement to fourth year, NBEO (National Board of Examiners in Optometry) exam scores for Part I.
  4. Successful completion of practical exams by all students enrolled in four optometry clinical methods courses.
  5. Successful completion of appropriate courses dealing with drug action, principles of ocular pharmacology and medical treatment, clinical administration of ocular drugs, and utilization of diagnostic agents, and the treatment of ocular diseases; NBEO exam scores for Part II.
  6. Passing grades for all students in all clinical courses.
  7. Successful completion of all course requirements for research methodology and optometry research project courses by all enrolled students.
  8. Successful completion and passing letter grades for all third and fourth year students enrolled in practice management courses.
  9. Successful completion of all courses in the clinical practice area with passing letter grades by third and fourth year students. All fourth year students NBEO Part III exam participation and scores.
  10. Successful passage of optometry state board exams by all eligible students.

Assessment Tools
What assessment tools did you employ to determine whether these student outcomes were reached? Describe how these tools were administered.

Clinical Education Assessment Tools

The College has developed a computerized clinical grading system that provides a more efficient process for rapid and effective evaluation of the student’s performance at the end of each daily clinical experience. The enhanced clinical evaluation process provides timely intervention for students who have areas requiring improvement. The automated process also enhances the collection and analysis of cumulative student data for faculty review and analysis.

Each year, the faculty utilizes a broad range of assessment tools to monitor performance of students. Over the past several years, there have been no significant curriculum changes required.

As always, the objectives in the College's mission, goals, and objectives serve as outcomes measures. In addition to our program objectives, the following list identifies the outcomes measures utilized annually by our program.

  1. Academic qualifications of admitted students to the professional program.
  2. Successful performance and completion by students in each year in the didactic portion of the curriculum.
  3. Student performance on NBEO Part I.
  4. Student performance in the clinical proficiency associated with the four Clinical Methods courses.
  5. Student performance on NBEO Part II.
  6. Daily evaluation of student performance in providing patient care.
  7. Three clinical grades meetings each fall and spring semester and two in the summer session where faculty review and deliberate student clinical performance.
  8. Student performance in completing Optometry Research Project during the third year of the program.
  9. Student performance and application of skills learned in Practice Management courses.
  10. Evaluation of progressive improvement of student clinical skills through passage of the clinical proficiency tests, which are scheduled throughout years three and four.
  11. Evaluation of progressive improvement of student clinical skills through successful completion of clinical test checklists
  12. Student performance on NBEO Part III.
  13. Graduates' performance on state boards.
  14. Periodic performance improvement studies of patient charts (quality assurance).
  15. Patient satisfaction surveys.
  16. Student evaluations of faculty teaching and course quality.
  17. Student evaluations of clinical teaching by faculty.
  18. Periodic evaluations of student externship experience.
  19. Resident evaluations of program, faculty, and learning experiences.
  20. Periodic review of clinical financial and activities reports.
  21. Yearly evaluation of non-tenured faculty.
  22. Evaluations of tenured faculty every three years.
  23. Annual reports on various aspects of the college to the President and Vice Presidents of the university.
  24. Periodic assessment of policies and rules addressing academic and professional behavior standards.
  25. Annual Report to the ACOE as well as periodic accreditation visits.
  26. Periodic faculty meetings and annual faculty retreat.
  27. Periodic council meetings of the optometry Dean, Associate Dean, Assistant Dean for Clinical Care Services, and Director of Student Affairs who meet with Optometric Student Association leaders and/or all students.
  28. Frequent meetings of the optometry Dean, Associate Dean, Assistant Dean for Clinical Care Services, and Assistant Dean for Development.
  29. As necessary and appropriate, counseling sessions with individual students and faculty.
  30. Periodic staff meetings with administrators and supervisors.
  31. Periodic performance evaluations of administrative and clinical support staff.
  32. Recommendations that come from the deliberations of the various committees of the Oklahoma College of Optometry.
  33. Evaluations of continuing medical education programs presented by NSUOCO for practicing optometric physicians.
  34. Survey of alumni on the graduates’ impressions of the college’s didactic and clinical curricula.

Criteria for Success
What was the minimum result you could have obtained through the assessment that still indicated that each student outcome had been met?

Successful completion of all assessment measures.


Assessment Results
For each assessment tool identified:
  • The outcome or results for each learning objective assessed
  • Number of students assessed
  • Number of students passed
Your evaluation of assessment results in relationship to established criteria for success.

Students admitted to the professional optometry program will have a broad foundation in those basic sciences, which will enable them to proceed to the study of those scientific concepts directly applicable to optometry. Students applying to the College of Optometry must take the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) and score satisfactorily on that exam. Knowledge areas tested on the exam include mathematics, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, and physics. Entering students must also have achieved a minimum 2.7 GPA on all undergraduate course work.

NSUOCO Class Profile: Academic Year 2017-2018

Year Entering 2017 2016 2015 2014
Year Graduating 2021 2020 2019 2018
Average GPA 3.49 3.5 3.6 3.51
Average OAT Score 316 310 310 310
Entering with BS/BA or higher 27 27 26 26
Original cohort number 28 28 28 28
Number enrolled in fall 2017 29 28 28 27
Number of original cohort progressing 28 27 28 27
% Progressing 100% 96.43% 100% 96.43%


Students will acquire a knowledge and understanding of those aspects of optics and general human biology, which will in turn allow them to study the visual process. Successful completion of basic courses in the first year of the curriculum will demonstrate that the student has acquired the foundation to continue in the program.

Twenty-eight of the twenty-eight students who entered the program in the fall of 2017 advanced to the second year of the program. One hundred percent of the students completing the first year of the program met this outcomes objective and advanced to the second year of the program.

The student will acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of the optics, anatomy, physiology, and neurology of the eyes, vision, and perception. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successful completion of the courses in years I, II and III of the program and by passing Part I of the National Board of Examination in Optometry (Applied Basic Science section). Students are eligible to sit for this section of the exam during the spring semester of their third year of the program (March administration).

Twenty-eight of the twenty-eight students who entered the program in the fall of 2017 advanced to the second year of the program.

Twenty-seven of the twenty-seven students in the second year of the program met all requirements and advanced to the third year of the program.

Twenty-eight of the twenty-eight students in the third year of the program met all requirements and advanced to the fourth year of the program.

The table below indicates NBEO Part I (Applied Basic Science) exam results from March 2018.

NBEO Part I: Applied Basic Science Exam - March 2018

Examinees NSUOCO CANDIDATES NATIONAL CANDIDATES
#Tested % Passing #Tested %Passing
First Timers 28 71.43% 1643 77.00%
All 29 72.41% 2168 67.00%


Students will develop the skills to perform the tests, techniques, and procedures necessary for the detection of vision anomalies and ocular disease. Students are required to demonstrate these skills in successful completion of a practical examination in each of four optometry clinical methods courses.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, all students successfully completed the Clinical Practice Examination.

The student will acquire the general principles of drug action, as well as the principles of ocular pharmacology and medical treatment, clinical administration of ocular drugs, utilization of diagnostic agents and specific treatment of ocular diseases. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successful completion of the courses and by passing Part II of the National Board of Examination in Optometry (clinical science section that includes pharmacology). Students are eligible to sit for this section of the exam during the fall semester of their fourth year of the program (December administration of the exam).

During the 2017-2018 academic year, all students were successful in completing the appropriate courses dealing with drug action, principles of ocular pharmacology and medical treatment, clinical administration of ocular drugs, and utilization of diagnostic agents, and the treatment of ocular diseases. Twenty-six of twenty-seven students who took the NBEO, Part II (Patient Assessment & Management) exam for the first time in December 2017 passed the examination for a pass rate of 96.30%.

Students will be provided with enough supervised patient encounters to enable the student to put to use the knowledge gained in a clinical setting. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successfully achieving a passing grade on daily clinical encounters.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, all students in all four years of the program who completed the year received a passing grade in all clinical courses (100%).

Students will acquire understanding of scientific methodology and have an appreciation for research and statistics in order to continue their life-long education after optometry school. Students will demonstrate this knowledge by successfully completing an optometry research project during the third year of the program.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, all students enrolled in Research Methodology and Optometry Research Projects courses completed all course requirements.

Students will be provided with appropriate information about running a private practice with all small business aspects to enable them to make a living for themselves and their families. Students will demonstrate this knowledge by successfully completing the courses in practice management.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, 100% of third and fourth year students completed all courses in the Practice Management area and received passing letter grades.

Students will be provided with enough supervised patient encounters to enable the student to put to use the knowledge gained in a clinical setting. Students may demonstrate this knowledge by successfully achieving a passing rate on daily clinical evaluations and by passing the clinical proficiency tests scheduled throughout years three and four of the curriculum. Students may also demonstrate clinical proficiency by passing Part III of the National Boards (administered in the student’s last year.)

During the 2017-2018 academic year, 100% of the third year students and 100% of the fourth year students completed all courses in the Clinical Practice area and received passing grades. Twenty-six of the twenty-seven OS IV students haven taken NBEO, Part III, Clinical Skills Exam. Twenty-five OS IV students have passed their Part III exam, one has declined to take the exam due to new Oklahoma State Board of Optometry rules, and one has failed his exam and is awaiting results from his next attempt. The NBEO, Part III exam takes place on test dates spread over several months and exams are administered at one site in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Students will be generally prepared to pass any state licensing examination they might encounter. Students will demonstrate this level of knowledge and clinical skills by successfully completing state written and practical examinations.

To the best knowledge of the College, all students who have graduated from the College of Optometry since 1983 and who have been eligible to sit for the State Board of Optometry in Oklahoma have been successful in passing the examination. The College has no documented information on the passage rates of our graduates on state boards outside of Oklahoma.

Plans for the Future
Based on what you now know about how well your students performed, describe your action plan for next year. What will you start doing differently, stop doing altogether, or continue to do in the same way?

The faculty discussed NBEO examination results at the annual faculty retreat, August 16, 2018, and continue to monitor all assessment results. The annual meeting held by the Director of Student & Alumni Affairs for second and third year students about NBEO studying strategies will also include first year students and place more emphasis on performing well in optometry courses as preparation for the NBEO examination.


ACADEMIC STANDARDS


Student Academic Evaluation Committee
The Student Academic Evaluation Committee (SAEC) is a standing committee of the College of Optometry that reviews academic performance and recommends appropriate actions for students in academic difficulty, including clinical performance. Following the review by the SAEC, the Dean receives a recommendation for final approval and implementation. The SAEC acts as advisor to the Dean who may accept, reject, or modify its recommendations. The Committee is a standing committee and is comprised of five (5) members. The Dean selects standing committees at the beginning of each new academic year. The membership, selected from the faculty and administrative staff of the College, is currently comprised of five faculty. One of the faculty members serves as chair.

Academic Retention Standards
As a requirement for graduation, the Oklahoma College of Optometry requires each student to take, but not necessarily pass, Parts I and II of the exam administered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and have the exam scores reported to the College. If a student takes Part III of the National Board Exam, he/she must also report Part III scores to the College. Graduates should notify the College once they have obtained licensure in any state. The College is required to report licensure data to the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education for accreditation purposes.

To graduate from the College of Optometry, a student must maintain a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 2.0 in the professional optometry program. A student’s semester GPA of less than 2.0 results in academic probation for that semester.

Receiving a failing grade in any optometry course may result in suspension or dismissal from the optometry program. At a minimum, a student who fails any course in the program will receive academic probation regardless of his or her GPA. In addition, when a student receives a failing grade in a course, the student will not advance in the program and his or her continued enrollment rests with the SAEC, who will review the student’s overall academic performance and make a recommendation to the Dean. Among other options, the SAEC could require the student to re-enroll in the next academic year, retaking all of the curricular courses for the academic year in which the student received a failing grade. The student will receive a new grade in each course. The student’s academic transcript will reflect both grades and both grades will be included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average. The SAEC will handle each student’s performance on an individual basis and the Committee will formulate a recommendation for appropriate remediation that will be forwarded for final approval to the Dean.

A student on academic probation will remain on academic probation for a minimum of one semester. To be removed from academic probation, the cumulative GPA must be raised to 2.0 or higher, and all courses repeated by a student must be completed with at least a grade of "C" or Pass (for Pass/Fail courses). To remain in the optometry program, the student on academic probation must achieve a 2.25 GPA or higher for each succeeding semester. A student on academic probation who attains a GPA below 2.25 in any semester results in the students’ dismissal from the optometry program.

While a student remains on academic probation, the SAEC will monitor and approve the student’s academic progress and plan of remediation.

The College of Optometry will not modify the curriculum of the optometry program to accommodate a remedial plan for a student who receives a failing course grade, and the College does not endorse a reduced class load.

No student may graduate from the program who has a cumulative GPA of less than 2.0 or who is on academic probation.

A student who is suspended or dismissed from the optometry program for academic reasons may appeal to the Appeal Board for academic sanctions for readmission. Written appeal requests are required and result in submission to the office of the Dean by letter postmarked within five University business days after the student’s receipt of the letter notifying the student of the recommended sanction.

In the event that a student requests an appeal within the specified period of five (5) University business days, the student will continue in the program until the completion of the appeals process.

Upon receipt of the written appeal, the Dean’s Office will select an Appeals Board, randomly drawn from the pool of potential members. Within one week of receipt of the written request for an appeal, the Dean’s Office will notify the student of the date and time of the hearing. Completed expediently, the appeal process should yield results no later than four weeks after the convening of the appeal board.

If granted readmission, the student will be re-entered on academic probation, and continued enrollment will be contingent on the student meeting all appropriate policies and any specific requirements outlined by the SAEC and approved by the Dean.

The appropriateness of a leave of absence longer than two weeks (for academic, health, emergency, or other reasons) requires SAEC review. The SAEC may impose conditions upon the leave (such as requiring the student to seek counseling) requiring fulfillment for eligibility to return from leave. In most cases, students granted an extended leave would be required to stay out the remainder of the academic year and will be returning at the beginning of the same semester of the same year of the program or may be required to repeat some portion of the program. Students returning from leave must notify the Dean of their intent to return at least two months before the start of the semester in which they would be enrolling. Students who fail to notify the Dean will be considered to have withdrawn from the College. Conditions placed upon the student’s return require evidence of the fulfillment of those conditions. Failing this proper notification or meeting of conditions, the student will lose his/her status with the College and must apply for re-admission to the Admissions Committee in order to return.

If leave is the result of medical issues, the confidentiality of the student-physician relationship is respected; no medical information will be provided to the SAEC without the consent of the student. A letter from the treating physician supporting the advisability of a leave will assist the SAEC in making its decision. A student returning from leave may choose to release medical information to support the return from leave; however, the SAEC will generally require an examination by a physician or other health care professional of its choosing to document that the student is fit to return from leave. The cost of this examination will be borne by the College.

The Academic and Professional Behavior Policies of the College of Optometry underwent major changes and modifications in the summer of 2001. The Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges approved the final version of the policies in November 2001. Each of the policies underwent testing by due process on behalf of students during the 2003-2004 academic year. This included a petition for Grade Appeal, a hearing for professional behavior charges, and an appeal of that decision, and an academic sanction with an appeal of that sanction.

Based on the actual experience and review of those processes, the College feels the Academic and Professional Behavior Policies provide a fair and impartial hearing for all involved.

Person responsible for completing this form: Candace Riley
Submission date: September 4, 2018