Educational Effectiveness

Seattle Pacific Seminary regularly assesses the educational effectiveness of student learning in each degree program for the purpose of evaluating and improving student learning, and to fulfill our accreditation requirements with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

Educational Effectiveness Assessment Process:

Educational effectiveness is assessed annually at Seattle Pacific Seminary. The assessment process has six distinct stages, as shown below.

1. School of Theology (SOT) faculty adopt Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for SPS curriculum as a whole; determine curriculum for each degree; assign relevant SLOs to each course; approve and implement curricular revisions and instructional improvements as needed. 

 

2. SOT faculty adopt SLOs for SPS curriculum as a whole; determine curriculum for each degree; assign relevant SLOs to each course; approve and implement curricular revisions and instructional improvements as needed. 

3. Students submit graded work and course evaluations.  Graduating students undergo exit interview; results aggregated by Association Dean of Graduate Studies (ADGS) and submitted to Dean of SOT and the Graduate Curriculum Committee (GCC).

4. Instructors grade student work; selects sample artifacts of student work for assessment.  Instructors of SLO 6-specific courses (THEO 6895, 6940/41, 6960 and 6995) submit narrative feedback on student work. 

5. SOT faculty and Seminary Advisory Board (SAB) assess artifacts from SLO 1-5 courses and faculty narrative feedback from SLO 6-specific courses; propose curriculum revisions and instructional improvements. 

6. Dean, ADGS, and Graduate Curriculum Committee evaluate educational effectiveness of each degree program; propose curricular revisions and instructional improvements; report to SOT faculty. 

The SOT faculty determine the learning outcomes and objectives for each degree program, establish a suitable curriculum for that program, and set the learning outcomes for each course in that curriculum.  The instructor of each course selects the assignments suitable both to the topic of that course and to the learning outcomes set for it, and establishes suitable grading rubrics for each assignment. Once the course has been completed, the instructor makes necessary changes to the course in light of online course evaluations and other feedback, and submits sample graded artifacts to the ADGS for subsequent assessment of curriculum as a whole.  The SOT and SAB review the sample artifacts from all Seminary courses, aggregate the data, assess the extent to which the students in each degree program are meeting the learning outcomes set for that program, and propose curriculum revisions and instructional improvements as necessary.  These proposals are reviewed by the GCC, which regularly assesses the educational effectiveness of each degree program, reviews proposals for curricular revisions and instructional improvements, operationalizes the needed changes, and monitors progress.


Statement of Educational Effectiveness Report (November 15, 2016):

The ATS requires its member schools to publish an evaluative summary of the educational effectiveness of each degree program offered.  Three important indicators of effectiveness include: student retention, degree completion rates, and professional placements of graduates.  

 

Since Seattle Pacific Seminary opened its doors in autumn 2009, we have admitted 187 students to our various degree and certificate programs.  Of these, 48 have graduated and 89 are actively pursuing degrees: this computes to a 72.73% retention rate.  Our most recently reported 6-year graduation rate for MDiv students is 61.54%.  Our most recently reported 4-year graduation rate for MA students is 50%.

Of our 48 graduates, 29 have earned the MDiv, 18 have earned the MA, and 1 has completed the Graduate Certificate in Christian Studies.  (One student completed both the MDiv and the MA, but is included in this tabulation only with the MDiv graduates.)  The current professional placements are shown below:

Placement of SPS Graduates (as of September 1, 2016)

MDiv

29 graduates

Pastoral Ministry

13

Administrative Roles in Churches

4

Administrative Role (General)

1

Chaplaincy (Army, Navy, Hospital)

4

Bi-Vocational

2

Non-Profit

1

Ph.D Student

1

Teacher

1

Volunteering in Church

2

MA

18 graduates

Pastoral Ministry

4

Ph.D Students

4

Administrative Roles

2

Business Field

2

Adjunct Professor at SPU

1

Professor at SPU

1

Volunteering in Church

4

Graduate Certificate in Christian studies

1 graduate

Head of SPU Library Technology

1

For a detailed breakdown of students who have enrolled, discontinued, in process, and graduated by program, please see this report.

Report on Exit Interviews with Graduating Class

In addition, Seattle Pacific Seminary completes exit interviews with our graduates to qualitatively assess the educational effectiveness of the Seminary’s curriculum and resources from the student’s perspective.   Conducted by the associate dean of Graduate Studies, please see the 2014 evaluative summary2015 evaluative summary, and 2016 evaluative summary.

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