Ph.D. students marching down at graduation

Ph.D. Degree Learning Goals and Assessment

Ph.D. Program in Communication, Information and Media

September 30, 2016

The goal of the interdisciplinary Ph.D. degree in the Ph.D. Program in Communication, Information and Media at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, offered through the Graduate School-New Brunswick by faculty in the School of Communication and Information, is to educate students at an advanced level to obtain multi-disciplinary training that provides a broad understanding of the fields of communication, library and information science, journalism and media studies, while obtaining specialized knowledge required to conduct research in specific fields of study to assume positions of leadership in research, teaching, and service in academia, industry, and government.

Learning Goal 1 for Students: Attain and maintain an advanced level of knowledge in key content areas of communication, information and library science, and media studies: on the nature and function of communication, information, and media institutions, policies, processes, and systems, and their impact on individuals as well as social, organizational, national, and international affairs.

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1: 

  • Grades in graduate courses 
  • Qualifying examinations for Ph.D. students assessing depth and breadth of knowledge, and critical and analytical thinking 
  • Annual preparation of a student progress report form, and review by faculty of student progress accompanied with close advising and mentoring 
  • Career advancement and placement in positions consistent with acquired abilities and scholarship in the field 

Role of the program in helping students to achieve Goal 1: 

  • Close advising to assure that students are being prepared in a coherent and academically rigorous fashion
  • Effective monitoring of student progress (includes annual reports on research progress from both the student and the student’s committee chair)
  • Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of instructors in graduate courses, and if effectiveness is below expectations, work with instructors to improve effectiveness 
  • Periodic review of curricular offerings and assessment tools by program faculty in each area

Learning Goal 2 for Students: Demonstrate the ability to design and defend an original scholarly project to advance the fields of communication, information and library science, or media studies.

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 2: 

  • Grades in graduate courses aimed at proposal development 
  • Ph.D. qualifying examination in the major and minor, pre-proposal and proposal writing 
  • Assessment of quality of Ph.D. dissertation by critical reading by committee of graduate faculty members and a committee member from outside of the graduate program in Communication, Information and Library Studies
  • Achievement of students as evidenced by professional placements, selection for conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and individual grant attainment

Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 2: 

  • Provide early introduction to research methods and opportunities for research 
  • Provide opportunities to present research and receive feedback 
  • Provide comprehensive advising and assist in the identification of mentors

Learning Goal 3 for Students: Develop professional level oral and written communication skills designed to disseminate research findings in the fields of communication, information and library science, or media studies.

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 3: 

  • Grades in graduate courses aimed at oral and written communication 
  • Submission of manuscripts describing Ph.D. research project for peer review, and subsequent publication of manuscript(s) 
  • Presentation of research findings in poster or short talk format at local and national scholarly conferences 
  • Writing and oral defense of a pre-proposal, and Ph.D. dissertation describing an original research project 

Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 3:

  • Provide early introduction to research methods and opportunities for research
  • Provide opportunities to present research and receive feedback
  • Encourage participation in professional development programs in such areas as human subjects research, library use, course management software, presentation skills, use of research tools, training in the responsible conduct of research, and proposal writing
  • Host field-specific training when appropriate

Learning Goal 4 for Students: Demonstrate critical thinking and the ability to critically evaluate current research and proposals in specific areas related to communication, information and library science, or media studies.

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 4: 

  • Grades in graduate courses aimed at research manuscript and proposal evaluation 
  • Contributions to manuscript and proposal review with mentorship by research advisor 

Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 4:

  • Provide early introduction to research methods and opportunities for research
  • Provide opportunities to present research and receive feedback

Learning Goal 5 for Students: Understand the relationship between multiple and interdisciplinary approaches of communication, information and library science, and media studies, and understand the interaction of these fields with new information and communication technologies, the individuals who use them, and the social, cultural, and political systems in which they are embedded, recognize their social and ethical implications, and apply critical analysis to these settings.

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 5: 

  • Grades in graduate courses aimed at evaluation and critical analysis of media and technology
  • Ph.D. qualifying examination in the major and minor, pre-proposal and proposal writing 

Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 5:

  • Provide opportunities for cross-disciplinary training through core coursework and enhance training post-coursework
  • Provide flexible options for students with interdisciplinary interests
  • Acquaint students of interdisciplinary options for placement, networking, publications and professional networking

Learning Goal 6 for Students: Conduct research independently and prepare for a successful transition into academic, industry or government related jobs.

Assessment of student achievement of Goal 6:

  • Submission of manuscripts describing Ph.D. research project for peer review, and subsequent publication of manuscript(s) 
  • Presentation of research findings in poster or short talk format at local and national scientific conferences 
  • Writing and oral defense of a pre-proposal, and Ph.D. dissertation describing an original research project 
  • Career advancement and placement in positions consistent with acquired abilities and scholarship in the field

Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 6:

  • Review evidence of papers presented, publications and professional networking
  • Encourage participation in professional development programs in such areas as interview skills, presentation skills, development of CVs
  • Develop or enhance programs related to job and networking skills, including activity in professional societies and preparation for necessary certifications 
  • Collection of placement data
  • Survey alumni/alumnae
  • Acquaint students with non-academic career opportunities 

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