Program Review (AY 2011-2012)

COM-FSM Pohnpei Campus
Vocational Program Evaluation
Certificate of Achievement in Secretarial Science

May 2011

By Pohnpei Campus Instructional Coordinator


This is a follow-up review of the certificate of achievement program in secretarial science. In June 2010 the author submitted a review of the program which was returned by the President due to insufficient data. This program evaluation attempts to provide the missing data required to determine the program’s effectiveness in implementing its learning outcomes and if students have been acquiring the knowledge and skills listed in the program learning outcomes. The evaluation also determines how and if the program is meeting its goals and objectives and how these goals and objectives are linked to the goals and objectives of the College. Furthermore, areas needing improvement are identified and recommendations are provided accordingly.

  1. Program Goals
    The certificate program in secretarial science aims to prepare students for entry-level office jobs and to upgrade general skills in secretarial work, decision making and problem solving for office secretaries who are already in the workforce.
  2. History
    The certificate of achievement program in secretarial science was added to the COM- FSM offerings in December 2001. In August 2006, the USDOL office branch in Hawaii determined that the program was comparable to its office manager program hence approved it as an apprenticeship program. During the same year, the College hired a full time instructor to teach business and related courses in the secretarial science program at Pohnpei Campus.

    Since the program's inception enrollment had been very low and continued to decline until the Fall 2007 semester. Data showed enrollment of zero after Fall 2001 until Fall 2006. In Fall 2007 interest in the program started to happen but the enrollment was still minimal. Enrollment gradually increased from then on until Spring 2011 when the enrollment reached 29 students.

  3. Description
    The certificate program in secretarial science is designed to prepare students for entry-level jobs most frequently and most widely available today, as well as for those who are already working and wish to upgrade their skills in making decisions and solving office problems (2009-2011 General Catalog, p. 80).
  4. Admissions Requirements
    High school graduates or GED certificate holders must be accepted by the President upon recommendation of the Recruitment, Admissions, and Retention Committee. Acceptance for admissions is based on the applicant’s score on the COM-FSM entrance test (COMET) and other criteria as defined by the Committee (2009-2011 General Catalog, p. 28).
  5. Program Requirements
    The Secretarial Science program requires that students complete the following courses, a total of 34 credits.

    BK095 Bookkeeping I (3)
    BK096 Bookkeeping II (3)
    BU095 Filing, Office Procedures/Office Machines (3)
    BU098 Basic Business Math (3)
    BU099b Office Management/200 hours practicum (3)
    CA100s Computer Literacy for Secretaries (4)
    CA101s Computer Application for Secretaries (4)
    ESL/BU095 ESL for Business Purposes I (4)
    ESL/BU096 ESL for Business Purposes II (4)
    SS100 World of Work (3)

  6. Program Courses and Enrollment
    The charts below show the course enrollment trend for Fall-to-Fall semesters and Spring-to-Spring semesters. Figure A showed a gradual increase in course enrollment for Fall 2008 and Fall 2009. Then in Fall 2010 the enrollment remarkably increased. The same trend is shown in Figure B for the Spring semesters.

  7. Faculty
    For best qualified instructions a multi-discipline faculty is utilized to deliver the courses. However, the principal instructors are:

    Debra Perman, MBA, Walden University Phyllis Silbanuz, MS, Phoenix University

    Teaching the ESL and Social Science requirements respectively are Jean Ranahan, M.Ed. University of Maine Orono and Taylor Elidok, M.Ed. San Diego State University.

    Part-time instructors are contracted as needed to teach certain courses such as BU095 Office Procedures and BU098 Business Math.

  8. Outcome Analysis
    1. Program Enrollment

      Figure C shows that enrollment has significantly increased from 16 students in sy2008-2009 to 57 in sy2010-2011.

    2. Graduation Rate
      Although the enrollment has remarkably increased over the last school years, only a couple of students have completed the program within the reported school years.
    3. Average Class Size
      Most of the required courses for this program are also required for the bookkeeping certificate program. Therefore the class enrollments as shown in Figure A and Figure B are higher than the actual number of enrollees majoring in Secretarial Science; 7 for spring and 8 for fall semesters.
    4. Seat Cost
      At the present tuition rate of $105 per credit the total seat cost per student completing this program is $3,570. The table below shows detailed information.
    5. Classes Credits CPC CPS
      BK 095 3 $ 105 $ 315
      BK 096 3 $ 105 $ 315
      BU095 3 $ 105 $ 315
      BU098 3 $ 105 $ 315
      BU099b 3 $ 105 $ 315
      CA100s 4 $ 105 $ 420
      CA101s 4 $ 105 $ 420
      ESL/BU095 4 $ 105 $ 420
      ESL/BU096 4 $ 105 $ 420
      SS100 3 $ 105 $ 315
      TOTAL 34 $ 3,570 $ 3,570

    6. Course Completion Rate
    7. Completion Rates by Subject and Course Number
      Course Course No. Completion Rate
      Completion Rate
      BK 095 100% 75%
      BK 096 75% 50%
      BU 095 93% 35%
      BU 098 70% 75%
      BU 099b n/a 67%
      CA 100s 100% 100%
      CA 101s 100% 93%
      ESL/BU 095 100% 95%
      ESL/BU 096 90% 71%
      SS 100 93% 87%

    8. Students' Satisfaction Rate
      Students were given a satisfaction survey for each class at the end of every semester. There were 15 items in the survey and students were asked to rate each class according to these items on a scale of 1 to 5; 1 being never, 2 is rarely, 3 as sometimes, 4 is usually and 5 being always. The table below shows detailed information on the students’ satisfaction survey from Fall 2009 to Spring 2011.
    9. Students Satisfaction Survey Results
      Areas Fall Spring Fall Spring
      2009 2010 2010 2011
      1. Keeps regular schedule every class day. 4.80 4.60 4.30 4.50
      2. Shows interest in the subject. 4.30 4.70 4.10 4.30
      3. Gives individual help as needed. 4.80 4.70 4.40 4.50
      4. Avails self for student conference. 4.10 4.50 4.00 4.30
      5. Welcomes questions, suggestions, and discussions from students 4.55 4.70 4.30 4.70
      6. Shows interest and respect for students. 4.65 4.80 4.30 4.80
      7. Helps the students in meeting individual learning needs. 4.05 4.80 4.30 4.40
      8. Uses classroom/lab time fully. 4.55 4.30 4.00 4.45
      9. Provides clear directions for assignments and instruction. 4.60 4.70 4.30 4.35
      10. Grades fairly. 4.90 4.25 4.22 4.40
      11. Makes the purpose of the course clear. 4.50 4.50 4.30 4.60
      12. Talks clearly and at an easy-to- follow speed. 4.75 4.50 4.10 4.20
      13. Paces the lessons well with activity as well as lecture. 4.05 4.90 4.10 4.30
      14. Makes the course interesting. 4.45 4.80 4.00 4.30
      15. Textbook was appropriate and helpful. 4.75 4.90 4.40 4.70

    10. EmploymentData
      The couple of students who have completed this program are now taking courses toward Associate degrees.
    11. Transfer Rate
      Twelve students transferred from the Secretarial Science program to degree programs between Spring 2008 to Spring 2011. All but two students transferred to degree programs at the National Campus; 3 transferred to the Computer Information Systems program, 5 transferred to Liberal Arts, 1 transferred to Business, and 1 transferred to Micronesian Studies. Two are still at Pohnpei Campus but are now in different programs; 1 transferred to AAS in Telecommunications, and 1 is in ACE.
    12. & 10. Program Learning Outcomes (PLO’s) & Student Learning Outcomes (SLO’s)
    13. There are six program learning outcomes for secretarial science.

      1. (1)Apply proper bookkeeping techniques in an office.
      2. (2) Demonstrate general computer competence and information technology literacy.
      3. (3) Demonstrate proper office procedures and management techniques.v
      4. (4) Communicate effectively in English for business purposes.
      5. (5) Perform business computations and apply logic as needed.
      6. (6) File documents properly and use common office machines.

      Upon review of the correlation between program learning outcomes and student learning outcomes the following matrix was developed. All but one (SS 100 World of Work) secretarial science program requirements encourage student learning in accordance with the program’s learning outcomes. Due to the practical nature of the program, most of the learning outcomes require practice and demonstration of mastery. Thus it is safe to say that the courses are specific to the needs of students in the program and are aligned to the program learning outcomes.

      Certificate of Achievement in Secretarial Science Matrix
      Courses PLO1 PLO2 PLO3 PLO4 PLO5 PLO6
      BK 095 I, P P I, P I, P
      BK 096 P, D P, D P, D P, D
      BU 095 P, D I, P, D P, D P, D
      BU 098 P, D P, D I, P, D
      BU 099B P, D P, D P, D P, D P, D P, D
      CA 100S I, P, D I, P, D
      CA 101S I, P, D I, P, D
      ESL/BU 095 I, P I, P, D
      ESL/BU 096 P, D P, D
      SS 100 P
  9. Conclusion
    1. Findings
    2. There is a significant increase in program enrollment and students are starting to complete the program, though minimal. These are indications that the program is starting to make progress. Course completion rates have been on the positive side. Course offerings alternate between semesters for continuity of cohorts and to enable new entry into the program. The renewed interest in the program has made it necessary to open up additional classes almost every semester especially during the for Fall semesters.

      Although the program was originally established for individuals who are already in the administrative professional workforce, the majority of enrollees, if not all, are fresh out of high school. These students lack the basic skills in reading and writing, computation, and analysis. Thus, they have difficulties with the reading level of texts and use of computers and other office machines.

      Generally students rated the classes at an average of 4.00+ meaning that students received what they expected from their classes thus they are usually satisfied with their classes.

    3. Recommendations
      1. 1) Develop marketing and recruitment strategies to increase enrollment from the administrative professional labor force.
      2. (2) Improve data collection and management.
      3. (3) Develop and maintain student tracking system.
      4. (4) Rewrite PLO’s and SLO’s to be more assessable.
      5. (5) Reorganize the courses progressively and requiring prerequisites accordingly.

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