Theater Studies’ assessment plan is linked directly to recently implemented changes in its requirements for the major. These changes have been designed to improve students’ success with regards to learning outcomes as stated above. Assessment strategies will continue to be developed, refined, and adapted as the number of regular-rank faculty in the department grows in accordance with the University’s Strategic Goal to strengthen the arts on campus.
The Department of Theater Studies inaugurated a new major with the entering class of 2012. Theater Studies majors will take one section of the seminar “Theater Studies 190S-1 Reading Theater" and one section of the survey class "Theater Studies 115 Theater Today" as soon as or shortly after they declare the major. Among other requirements, majors will be required to take at least one course in dramatic writing, acting, directing, and design. Then all majors will take a capstone seminar requiring a final project in the senior year (Theater Studies 401S). Of those in the Senior Seminar, a number will complete a more in-depth Distinction Project in Criticism, Directing, Design, Playwriting or Acting.
The first stage of the assessment of whether undergraduate students are meeting the established learning outcomes for the major is to establish a new baseline assessment of the outcomes as a result of the new courses and major requirements. This process will take four years to gather sufficient data to fully assess the effect of the new major.