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Annual Academic Assessment Report AY18

 

From:  Director Institutional Research, Assessment, and Planning, Marine Corps University

To:       President, Marine Corps University

Via:     Vice President for Education, Integration, Operations, & Planning, Marine Corps University

 

 

Subj:   ACADEMIC YEAR 18 MARINE CORPS UNIVERSITY INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS ASSESSMENT REPORT – Academic Units

 

Encl:   (1) MCWAR AY18 Academic Unit Annual Assessment Reports

(2)  SAW AY18 Academic Unit Annual Assessment Reports

(3)  CSC AY18 Academic Unit Annual Assessment Reports

(4)  EWS AY18 Academic Unit Annual Assessment Reports

(5)  CEME AY18 Academic Unit Annual Assessment Reports

(6)  CDET AY18 Academic Unit Annual Assessment Reports

     

1.  Purpose.  This document provides AY18 assessment results, analyses, and Directors’ and Curriculum Review Board recommendations from the Academic units within Marine Corps University.

 

2.  Academic Unit Review Process. All MCU organizations – academic programs and academic and educational support (AES) units - participate in an annual, comprehensive review process. Academic units use a four-column matrix to document and analyze their student learning outcomes and measures, performance results, and propose improvements for the following year. These four elements are also synthesized in a narrative Director’s Report. The student learning outcomes (objectives), measures, and changes to curriculum are discussed at school-level Course Content Review Boards (CCRBs) and approved by the Curriculum Review Board (CRB).

 

3.  Analysis: This report provides excerpts from student survey responses (if applicable), Directors’ Reports, and four column matrices for each school to highlight ongoing activities, successes, challenges, and recommendations from AY18.

 

4.  Marine Corps War College (MCWAR)

 

     a.  Student Survey Results.  19 out of the 30 students responded to the MCU AY18 student survey for MCWAR.  The focus areas of the student survey were academic programs, creative problem-solving, faculty, organizational quality, MCU support and services, information technology (IT), education technology (ET), and the Leadership Communications Skills Center.  Listed below are the overall results of the MCWAR respondents by focus area. 

 

Ø    *Student satisfaction with the core learning areas – 100%*

Ø    Student satisfaction with creative problem-solving – 100%

Ø    *Student satisfaction with the academic programs – 97%*

Ø    *Student satisfaction with the faculty – 100%*

Ø    *Student satisfaction with university experience – 100%*

Ø    Student satisfaction with MCU support and services – 93%

Ø    *Student satisfaction with GRC/Library of the Marine Corps – 100%*

Ø    Student satisfaction with technology support – 88%

Ø    *Student satisfaction with LCSC support – 100%*

*Indicates an improvement from last year.

 

     b.  Four Column Matrix Results.  MCWAR concluded the curriculum review process in AY18 by completing the MCU Four Column Matrix. The matrix provided a detailed review of the AY18 learning outcomes and measures and provided the way ahead for AY19.  The matrix evaluated:

 

Ø    7 Blocks of Instruction

Ø    4 Program Outcomes

Ø    23 Learning Outcomes

Ø    25 Measures used to assess the learning outcomes

 

     c.  Director’s Discussion/Comments for AY18.  On 6 June 2018, The Marine Corps War College (MCWAR) concluded another successful academic year, graduating 30 students, 29 with master's degrees. One international with a bachelor's degree was unable to meet the TOEFL requirement. Instead, he earned a certificate of attendance. The College's academic achievements are reflected in the students' scores below, the positive comments in the student course critiques and end-of-year survey, and in faculty assessments presented during the Course Content Review Boards (CCRBs) conducted over the course of AY18 (refer to the enclosures for details). A synopsis of the MCWAR courses for AY18 is provided below.

 

         (1)  In AY18 MCWAR continued the highly successful Advanced Studies Program (ASP) begun in AY13. The ASP consisted of semester-long deep dive modules in the Leadership and Ethics Course; War, Policy, and Strategy Course; National Security; and Diplomacy and Statecraft Course. The newly created Joint Warfare Course offered an ASP only in the spring semester. The Independent Research Project, which allowed for greater exploration of targeted topics, met for the entire academic year. Each of MCWAR's core courses executes an ASP of three to nine students. Each ASP assigns roughly 1750 pages of reading over the 5 sessions and students write roughly 10-15 pages in various written assignments.

 

         (2)  The AY18 Advanced Studies Program moved to semester-long, vice year-long offerings (with the exception of the IRP) in response to student feedback on the AY17 student surveys. This allowed students the opportunity to gain insight in their area of interest while also having the opportunity to learn from different professors. Additionally, this model provides those students who select the Individual Research Project (IRP) with more time to conduct research throughout the year. Student feedback in AY18 validated that the semester-long ASP model met students' needs and will be maintained in AY19.

 

         (3)  As recommended in the AY17 CCRB, the Diplomacy and Statecraft (DS) course replaced seminars on UNPKO with two seminars on nuclear issues. The fall DS paper also moved from an UN-focused topic to an analysis of the JCPOA. This change was made in result to a loss of the SME who taught UN issues and had no impact on JLO coverage.

 

         (4)  As recommended in the AY17 CCRB, Economics and National Power (ENP) cut one credit hour to make additional space for the newly-developed Joint Warfare (JW) course. As part of this change, it also moved DOD budgeting into JW.

 

         (5)  As recommended in the AY17 CCRB, Joint Warfare (JW) inherited the former NSJW classes related to contracting and NGOs, Multi-Domain Warfare, JOPP (increase from 2 hours to 3), Operational Art and Design (increase from 2 hours to 3), and added classes Intro to JW, Joint Risk Analysis, DOD Budgeting (from ENP) Future War (from WPS), and classes in support of the Normandy Campaign Study. It will use a timed writing event for the fall paper and an essay for the spring assessment.

 

         (6)  As recommended in the AY17 CCRB, Leadership and Ethics (L&E) changed certain speakers in response to student feedback, moved the course's 'Thinking' classes to early in the first semester, and developed an essay focused on EADP. It also split additional seminars into G and S configurations (vice having all 30 students in class at the same time) to foster class discussion.

 

         (7)  As recommended in the AY17 CCRB, National Security eliminated the field study to DHS and replaced it with a seminar that covers the broader interagency enterprise (NS Actors, Strategies, and Policies). It maintained its fall oral exam and spring take home exam but cut its journal reflections to 5 in response to the division of NSJW into NS and JW.

 

         (8)  As recommended in the AY17 CCRB, War, Policy, and Strategy (WPS) moved Future War into JW. It developed a series of classes on Campaigning and a number of seminars in support of the Normandy Campaign Study. It shifted its assessments from a fall and spring paper to a fall write-up of a series of wargame moves and a spring group assignment related to campaigning.

 

         (9)  As recommended by MCU's QEP Implementation Team, MCWAR used two matrixed war games to evaluate students' creative problem solving. The fall war game, which looked at a Russia scenario, was held in November and the spring game, which looked at a South China Sea scenario, was held in April. For the writing assessments, MCWAR assessed students' Diplomacy and Statecraft papers for each semester. Each paper tasked students with creating a new response to an intractable national security challenge, which makes them ideally suited for QEP assessment.

 

     d.  Results Summary.

 

         (1)  Diplomacy and Statecraft grades averaged 92.8% and 96% of students responded that the DS course achieved the SLOs.

 

         (2)  Economics and National Power grades averaged 93.3% and 98% of students responded that the ENP course achieved the SLOs.

 

         (3)  Joint Warfare grades averaged 89.7% and 93% of students responded that the JW course achieved the SLOs.

 

         (4)  Leadership and Ethics grades averaged 91.8% and 97% of students responded that the L&E course achieved the SLOs.

 

         (5)  National Security grades averaged 91.5% and 89% of students responded that the NSJW course achieved its SLOs.

 

         (6)  War, Policy, and Strategy grades averaged 92.6% and 97% of students responded that the WPS course achieved its SLOs.

 

     e.  Recommendations for AY19. Refer to column four of each of the courses in the 18-Four Column Matrix Closeout.

 

         (1)  The AY17 decision to split NSJW into two courses and add an hour to JW proved highly successful. Though a new course, JW scored above 90% in every category assessed by students (SLO coverage, faculty performance, and effectiveness of curriculum), scoring nearly as well - or even better - than other, more mature courses. In addition, the Normandy field study was seen by students as being an educational highpoint of the year. 100% of students agreed that the Normandy field study allowed them "to gain an understanding of how strategists identify problems, set in motion solutions, and react to changing conditions in the strategic environment." In AY19, the field study will focus on "Campaigning for Strategic Effect" to further develop this emphasis and will broaden the field study to include a visit to London to study Allied strategic decision making toward the end of World War II. The trip will also be moved forward by 2 weeks to facilitate planning and execution of both this field study and the OCONUs trip scheduled for May.

 

         (2)  The NS-led field study of the constitution in Philadelphia was also high successful, with 89% of students rating the trip as 'outstanding' and 100% of students rating it 'outstanding or excellent'. The most frequent response given for how to improve the trip was to lengthen it to provide students more time to explore the Constitution Center and the Museum of the American Revolution. The academic calendar would not support adding a day, so faculty will restructure the agenda in AY19 to provide students additional time to visit these sites within the 2 days of the trip.

 

         (3)  Given the cost and relatively negative student feedback on its educational value, the Director has decided to end MCWAR's participation in the JLASS-SP exercise following the expiration of our MOU in AY18. The funds previously apportioned for JLASS-SP will be dedicated to the "Campaigning for Strategic Effect" Field Study in AYl9.

 

         (4)  In response to JLO assessment gaps found during the AYI 8 academic review, faculty will evaluate student seminar performance in the seminars identified in enclosure (2). The Dean will continue to evaluate MCWAR's curriculum and assessment maps for gaps each year as part of the regular CCRB process in order to offer course directors guidance concerning coverage needs.

 

         (5)  While the AY18 QEP assessment was useful, the baseline assessments need to be held earlier in the AY to more fully capture students' initial creative problem-solving abilities. Also, during the spring semester of AYI 8, faculty found a wargame - InfoChess - that does a better job of evaluating students' creative problem-solving abilities. In AY19, students will play InfoChess during the first month of the AY (August 2018) and again just prior to OCONUS travel in May 2019. Likewise, MCWAR will shift its initial written assessment to the Diagnostic Essay. This essay is more open-ended than the previous fall assessment, which will hopefully provide greater space for students to exhibit and practice their creative problem-solving skills.

 

*For more detailed information please refer to the Director’s Report and the 4-Column Matrix found in enclosure 1.

 

5.  School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW).

 

     a.  Student Survey Results.  8 out of the 26 SAW students responded to the MCU AY18 student survey.  The focus areas of the student survey were academic programs, creative problem-solving, faculty, organizational quality, MCU support and services, information technology (IT), education technology (ET), and the Leadership Communications Skills Center.  Listed below are the overall results of the SAW respondents by focus area. 

 

Ø    *Student satisfaction with core learning areas – 99%*

Ø    Student satisfaction with creative problem-solving – 100%

Ø    Student satisfaction with the academic programs – 90%

Ø    Student satisfaction with the faculty – 88%

Ø    *Student satisfaction with university experience – 96%*

Ø    Student satisfaction with MCU support and services – 93%

Ø    Student satisfaction with GRC/Library of the Marine Corps – 99%

Ø    *Student satisfaction with technology support – 84%*

Ø    Student satisfaction with LCSC support – 100%

*Indicates an improvement from last year.

 

     b.  Four Column Matrix Results.  SAW concluded the curriculum review process in AY18 by completing the MCU Four Column Matrix. The matrix provided a detailed review of the AY18 learning outcomes and measures and provided the way ahead for AY19.  The matrix evaluated:

 

Ø    3 Blocks of Instruction

Ø    16 Learning Outcomes

Ø    27 Measures used to assess the learning outcomes

 

     c.  Director’s Discussion/Comments for AY18

 

         (1)  The School of Advanced Warfighting (SAW) concluded a successful academic year (AY) on 6 June 2018 with 26 graduating students (19 USMC, 2 USA, 2 USAF, 3 IMS) achieving the educational and organizational objectives set forth for the year. As has been the case in recent years, SAW managed to deliver the curriculum with a smaller faculty than desired'. SAW has a student-teaching faculty ratio of nearly 9:1. The norm, to include MCWAR and CSC, is no more than 5:1. This suggests that SAW is manned at about 60% of the level achieved at other MCU PME schools. The military staff of the school is comprised of the Director, the Deputy, and the Operations Officer, and a temporary Assistant Operations Officer. The Director leads, mentors, and coaches the students through one-on-one scheduled counseling sessions and provides group feedback following every planning exercise or operational decision game. Although there is no military teaching faculty by TIO, the military staff does teach planning and run exercises throughout the year including about ten seminars within the Operational Planning Course. They also design, oversee, and evaluate six planning exercises spanning eight weeks of the academic year. They perform most of the administrative functions of the school in addition to the logistical and administrative planning and execution of an extensive overseas staff ride program. The SAW staff delivers an independent 11-month curriculum, a month longer than other MCU schools. The time for reconstitution and new-year preparation between active academic years is just three weeks.

 

         (2)  The Marine graduates from SAW are awarded the MOS 0505 (MAGTF Planner) and proceed directly to some of the most challenging billets available to field grade officers where they lead the majority of the planning efforts of the MEFs, their MSCs, the MARFORs, and HQMC. SAW is the primary producer of 0505s for the Marine Corps averaging 18-19 per year while the advanced schools of the other three services (Army - SAM, Air Force- SAASS, Navy - MAWS) collectively graduate six to eight Marine 0505s each year, allowing Manpower and Reserve Affairs to sustain an impressive manning level of 95% for the 74 "0505-coded" billets across the Marine Corps - a higher percentage than any other comparably educated and skilled field grade officer category.

 

         (3)  This past academic year, the SAW staff of four Marine officers were: Col Wayne Sinclair, Director (scheduled to depart 6 July 2018); LtCol Jeff Kenney, Deputy (departed 11 June, 2018); LtCol Charles "Jay" Lynn, Operations Officer (departed 21 May, 2018). Captain Joseph Soley (scheduled to depart 31 July 2018). Colonel Sinclair will be replaced by Colonel Jim Fullwood, due to arrive on 9 July 2018. LtCol Kenney was replaced in June with LtCol Rod McHaty. LtCol Lynn has not been replaced, nor has a replacement been identified. No replacement has been designated for Captain Soley.

 

         (4)  The three civilian professors in SAW for AY18 were Dr. Bradley Meyer, Dr. Wray Johnson, and Dr. Gordon Rudd. Dr. Meyer who served as the dean, carrying a full teaching load, retired on 5 June 2018. Dr. Dan Marston is scheduled to join the SAW faculty on 9 July 2018, replacing Dr. Meyer. Dr. Wray Johnson is scheduled to retire in December 2018; no replacement has been identified. Dr. Gordon Rudd assumed the role of Dean in June 2018.

 

         (5)  Ms. Zena Gibbs served as the Administrative Assistant during most of AY18, supported by Cpl Denise Estes, Admin Clerk. Ms. Gibbs left SAW in early April 2018 to take a position in Germany; no replacement for her has been identified and the position remains unfilled. Cpl Estes left SAW in late May, replaced by LCpl Alissa Zarate.

 

         (6)  During the period March- July 2018, seven of nine SAW staff and faculty members have departed or soon will depart. Only four have been replaced (Col Fullwood, Dr. Marston, LtCol McHaty, and LCpl Zarate). Replacements for three SAW positions have not yet been identified or programmed. The high turnover and gaps in the SAW faculty complicate continuity of operations.

 

         (7)  The quality of instruction and seminar leadership at SAW has been highly regarded.  Due to the previous continuity of the civilian faculty and the fact that each professor develops and delivers mostly his own lesson cards and material, fine-tuned over many years supplemented by the most in-depth staff ride program in DoD, the expectations of students climb quickly throughout the year creating a high standard in the minds of students.  This "high standard" serves to inspire and drive SAW graduates to work exceptionally hard 1:1-nd seek; a higher level of performance in relation to their future duties as 0505 planners.

 

     d.  Results Summary

 

         (1)  All of the major elements of the SAW curriculum achieved a better than 88% success rate as reported in Column 3 of the MCU AY 17-18 Four-Column Matrix. The average student grade for the Oral Comprehensive Mid-Term examination was 89%. Average student grades for the papers that were part of the Foundations of the Operational Art course ranged from 89 to 92. The average student participation grade for the seminars evaluated as part of the Foundations of the Operational Art class averaged 89. More detailed results and comparisons to results of previous academic years can be found in column 3 the Four Column Matrix.

         (2)  Within the Operational Planning Course, student average grades for the six operational planning exercises ranged from 83 to 96, with the first exercise average as 83 and the last as 96, a notable improvement as the exercises increased in complexity and duration. All exercises were successful. Part of the Oral Comprehensive exams addressed Operational Planning issues. Student grades for their Staff Ride presentations for the European and Asia-Pacific Staff Rides averaged 96 and 94 respectively. The average student grades for the two papers comprising the Creative Thinking (July 2017) and Cyber War Papers (May 2018) within the Operational Planning course were 83 and 91 respectively, showing a positive improvement from early in the AY to the end of the AY. The average student grade for seminar contribution during the Operational Planning course was 88.

 

         (3)  Within the Future Warfighting course, all students successfully completed a challenging Future War Paper, with an average grade of 92. All students delivered interesting and informative future war presentations at the end of the AY to their fellow SAW students, faculty, and guests. The average grade for the Future War presentations was 94.

 

         (4)  Worthy of comment is the continued success of the mid-year Oral Comprehensive examinations as a vehicle for student learning. At the end of the first semester, every student appeared individually before two sets of examiners: two civilian professors and a civilian professor paired with the Director. Generally apprehensive before the exams, most students report that the intense preparation for the Orals was a valuable forcing function to synthesize and integrate the course materials.

 

         (5)  The three staff rides remain an invaluable part of the overall curriculum as the seminar and research work on various campaigns and battles of is transfe1Ted onto the physical battlefields where they actually took place. The appreciation of distances, weather, terrain, observations, and their associated complexities becomes far deeper as the students walk key and historic terrain while individually presenting tactical and operational considerations. Operational decision games (ODG) during the staff rides have proven valuable in evaluating the ability of students to translate understanding of operational art and strategy derived from historical case studies and theoretical classes into practical solutions for particular problems.

 

         (6)  During AY18, several efforts were implemented to track creativity for the MCU Quality Enhancement Program (QEP). Two papers were compared; the SAW Critical Thinking paper done in July 2017 and the Future War Paper completed in May 2018. The evaluated criteria showed a notable improvement. The ODGs (mentioned above) evaluated showed only marginal improvement, in part as they were conducted much closer in time within the curriculum; and in part due to some disparity in how different faculty evaluated the ODGs. In addition, although a small part of the curriculum in time, several war games tested the ability of students to apply operational concepts and derive creative solutions to game problems.

 

 

     e.  Recommendations for AY19

 

         (1)  All the major elements of the SAW curriculum in AY18·were successful according to the success criteria establish in column 2 of the MCU Four Column Matrix. However, some substantive improvements were defined as a result of discussions among the faculty, and the CCRBs conducted in June 2018. Several historical seminars, previously taught by Dr. Meyer were dropped the curriculum to make room for more material on Information Environment Operations (IEO), several seminars on contemporary China, and additional time devoted to professional writing instruction. Detailed changes can be examined in the CCRB projected course layout enclosed with this report.

 

         (2)  To better integrate IEO material in the curriculum, several of the seminars devoted to Cyber Warfare in late May AY18 were moved forward in the curriculum for AYI 9 to precede and to be integrated with the three-week MSTP instruction scheduled for September 2018. Another seminar on Cyber Warfare is scheduled to be moved forward to early May 2019 to precede and to be integrated with the final two-week exercise in the curriculum. While Cyber Warfare will remain a key component of those seminars, they will be expanded for a broader IEO scope and used to facilitate the planning exercises.

 

         (3)  To set up a more measurable creative component in the SAW curriculum to support the QEP, three assigned papers will use a similar format in AY19 with a designated creative component. The first paper will be assigned as a reflective component in late July 2018 aligned with the American Revolution case study and staff ride. Following the European staff ride in January 2019, the students will complete a reflective paper on some aspect of the trip in which they had both a supporting seminar prior to the trip and for which they lead discussions during the trip. That will be repeated following the SAW trip to the Asia-Pacific region in March with a comparable reflective paper assigned in early April 2019 for which they had a supporting seminar and an assigned role on the trip. These papers -- spaced throughout the AY with a similar structure and focus -- should provide an improved means of assessing creative thinking at key points in the academic year.

 

         (4)  To add a contemporary dimension on the Pacific region several seminars have been programmed for AY19 on China making use of Dr. Chris Yung, MCU Chair of Non-Western Strategic Thought. An effort will be made to make better use of MCU Chairs during AY19, particularly to assist with the SAW Future War Program.

 

         (5)  During the CCRB and subsequent discussions, the SAW faculty decided to set up a more structured professional writing program for the AYl9 curriculum. The number of assigned and graded papers will remain at 18 with other graded writing requirements embedded in the planning exercises. In addition, a writing program, developed by the LCSC for MCWAR in AY18, will be modified for the SAW curriculum. This will add five one-hour instructional sessions spread across the first semester focused on SAW writing assignments conducted during that period. This program may be continued into the second semester

 

*For more detailed information please refer to the Director’s Report and the 4-Column Matrix found in enclosure 2.

 

6.  Command and Staff College (CSC)

 

     a.  Student Survey Results.  55 out of the 213 CSC students responded to the MCU AY18 student survey for CSC.  The focus areas of the student survey were academic programs, creative problem-solving, faculty, organizational quality, MCU support and services, information technology (IT), education technology (ET), and the Leadership Communications Skills Center.  Listed below are the overall results of the CSC respondents by focus area. 

 

Ø    *Student satisfaction with the core learning areas – 99%*

Ø    Student satisfaction with creative problem-solving – 98%

Ø    Student satisfaction with the academic programs – 95%

Ø    *Student satisfaction with the faculty – 98%*

Ø    *Student satisfaction with university experience – 98%*

Ø    Student satisfaction with MCU support and services – 94%

Ø    Student satisfaction with GRC/Library of the Marine Corps – 99%

Ø    *Student satisfaction with technology support – 92%*

Ø    *Student satisfaction with LCSC support – 100%*

*Indicates an improvement from last year.

 

     b.  Four Column Matrix Results.  CSC concluded the curriculum review process in AY18 by completing the MCU Four Column Matrix. The completion of this process provided a detailed review of the learning outcomes and measurements for AY18 and provided the way ahead for AY19.  The Director’s recommendations as a result of the analysis are provided below.  The complete Director’s report and wrap-up of the four-column matrix are enclosed.

 

Ø    10 Blocks of Instruction

Ø    36 Learning Outcomes

Ø    29 Measurements used to assess the learning outcomes

 

     c.  Director’s Discussion/Comments for AY18.  The curriculum of the college is vibrant, forward-looking, and responsive to guidance from the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the President, Marine Corps University (MCU), sensitive to the complex and uncertain environment to which our students will return after graduation. As indicated by the results captured on the various 4- column matrices, students achieved the learning outcomes defined by the college. The college has been changing and evolving each year. AY 17-18 has been no different. The enclosures to this report indicate, in detail, the adjustments being made in the curriculum as we transition to AY 18-19. Outlined below are some of the most outstanding ongoing elements of the curriculum as well as significant changes made at the college this AY, emphasizing the commitment to developing critical thinkers, innovative and creative problem solvers, and ethical leaders. (See the Director’s Full Annual Report for more detailed information, enclosure 3)

 

     d.  Results Summary.  See enclosure 3.

 

     e.  Recommendations for AY19.  In my judgment, supported by the collective views of the college leadership and the conference group faculty, AY 17-18 was another very successful year. Our students achieved the learning outcomes defined by the college. Changes in particular subject matter, type of writing assignments, character of evaluation rubrics, sequence and timing of particular lessons or exercises were the subjects of course content review boards for particular courses. As the minutes of the End of Year Program Review observe, and analysis of the survey data from both the college's and the university's end of year surveys indicates, the reaction to AY 17-18 was largely positive. Two things are of serious concern to me. First is the continuing concern about the reduced number of Navy students in our CSC class. Only 9 Navy students were in this year's class. The number currently projected for AY 19 is 11 Navy students. Just over half of our conference groups will have a Navy presence. My second concern has to do with our Learning Management System. The transition from Blackboard to MOODLE has gone better than expected, but is still problematic, particularly in the area of rubrics. The use of rubrics is essential for student assessment and for the provision of data to suppo1i the University's efforts in the areas of innovation and creativity. The uncertainty that currently exists with respect to how and when rubrics can be applied using MOODLE is still to be worked out to the college's satisfaction. Despite these concerns, with the refinements identified in the respective core course repo1is and CCRB minutes, the college looks forward enthusiastically to AY 18-19.

 

*For more detailed information please refer to the Director’s Report and the 4-Column Matrix found in enclosure 3.

 

7.  Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS)

 

     a.  Student Survey Results.  227 out of the 248 EWS students responded to the MCU AY18 student survey for EWS.  The focus areas of the student survey were academic programs, creative problem-solving, faculty, organizational quality, MCU support and services, information technology (IT), and education technology (ET).  Listed below are the overall results of the EWS respondents by focus area.

 

Ø    *Student satisfaction with the core learning areas – 97%*

Ø    Student satisfaction with creative problem-solving – 89%

Ø    Student satisfaction with the academic programs – 88%

Ø    Student satisfaction with the faculty – 90%

Ø    Student satisfaction with university experience – 94%

Ø    Student satisfaction with MCU support and services – 89%

Ø    Student satisfaction with GRC/Library of the Marine Corps – 99%

Ø    *Student satisfaction with technology support – 75%*

*Indicates an improvement from last year.

 

     b.  Four Column Matrix Results.  EWS concluded the curriculum review process in AY18 by completing the MCU Four Column Matrix. The completion of this process provided a detailed review of the learning outcomes and measurements for AY18 and provided the way ahead for AY19.  The Director’s recommendations as a result of the analysis are provided below.  The complete Director’s report and wrap-up of the four-column matrix can be found in enclosure 4.

 

Ø  7 Blocks of instruction 

Ø  17 Learning Outcomes

Ø  30 Measurements used to assess the learning outcomes

 

     c.  Director’s Discussion/Comments for AY18.  Two hundred and forty-two Marine, sister service, and international military students attended EWS during AY18.All attendees completed the course and received graduation credit. I can confidently state that EWS accomplished its mission and achieved its program outcomes. EWS graduates accomplished the 18 approved Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) throughout six core courses, as described in the Four-column Matrix. (See the Director’s Full Annual Report for more detailed information, enclosure 4)

 

     d.  Results Summary.  AY18 EWS graduate accomplished the 17 learning outcomes (LOs) as described and assessed in the EWS AY18 Four Column Matrix. See enclosures.

 

     e.  Recommendations for AY19.

 

         (1)  Future Operating Environment Subcourses. The existing lessons in the Future Operating Environment course have been restructured into three subcourses: Historical Studies, Global Security Environment, and Future Warfare Subcourse. Future Operating Environment is our "flex course" that is taught across the entire AY where it is easiest to add new material at the appropriate point in the curriculum based on emerging concepts or new strategic guidance.

 

         (2)  Joint Shaping Week. Incorporate Joint Shaping into the MAGTF Operations Ashore course. This week will include formal periods of instruction on the MEF Information Group (MIG), cyber operations, and Information Operations. It will also incorporate lessons on force deployment planning and execution.

 

         (3)  Surveys and Feedback. The MCU Student End of Year Survey includes a section for EWS. We will continue to review the items in the EWS section of the survey to ensure that we are asking the right questions in a manner that will provide us usable feedback for future refinement of processes and curriculum.

 

         (4)  Distinguished Graduate Selection. For the past several years, distinguished graduate designation has been awarded to two students per conference group as nominated by their FACADs base on overall performance in the course including academic performance, leadership, and support to the school and their fellow students. In AY17 we expanded this number from 32 (2 per CG) to 38, a full 15% as allowed by the MCU Academic Regulations. FACADs were allowed to nominate a third "at large' nominee; no all submitted a third nominee. These added nominees were reviewed by the selection board and six "at large" nominees were selected by the awards board. There remains some concern that the board may not be getting a look at all of the most qualified candidates, so in AY19, all FACADs will submit at least one and may submit two "at large nominees.” This will allow the selection panel to evaluate a larger group of nominees form across the school. It may be that the #4 nominee from one CG may be more qualified to be a #3 nominee from another CG. No system can be perfect, but this will allow the panel to look at a larger pool of highly qualified student in an attempt to make DG selection as fair and equitable as practical. This new process has been codified in the latest revision to the EWS SOP.

 

         (5)  Books for AY19. The assignment of an entire book is a significant commitment of the students'' time so we want to be sure we assigning a selection of books that best support the curriculum. For AY19, the students will be assigned three books to read. Additionally, they will read a leadership book of their own choosing.

 

*For more detailed information please refer to the Director’s Report and the 4-Column Matrix found in enclosure 4.

 

8.  College of Enlisted Military Education (CEME)

 

     a.  Student Survey Results.  Not applicable: CEME students do not participate in MCU’s Annual Student Survey; however, CEME offers numerous surveys throughout the year to students in a variety of courses. Results from those surveys are incorporated into the curriculum review process.

 

     b.  Four Column Matrix Results.  CEME concluded the curriculum review process in AY18 by completing the MCU Four Column Matrix. The completion of this process provided a detailed review of the learning outcomes and measurements for AY18 and provided the way ahead for AY19.  The Director’s recommendations as a result of the analysis are provided below.  The complete Director’s report and wrap-up of the four-column matrix can be found in enclosure 5.

 

Ø  4 Programs of Instruction

Ø  21 Learning Outcomes

Ø  52 Measurements used to assess the learning outcomes

 

     c.  Director’s Discussion/Comments for AY18.  Academy Year 2017/2018 was another busy year for the College of Enlisted Military Education (the Enlisted College). To date, the Enlisted College has graduated 653 Gunnery Sergeants, 1,111 Staff Sergeants, and 4,000 Sergeants from the active duty resident schools located at the six regional Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academies (SNCOA). There have been 196 Sergeants, 56 Staff Sergeants, and 51 Gunnery Sergeants from the Marine Corps Reserves who have graduated from the reserve component versions of our schools. In addition, Senior Enlisted Academy has graduated 205 students from the Senior Enlisted Professional Military Education Course, 108 from the First Sergeants Course, and 35 from the Cornerstone Course. (See the Director’s Full Annual Report for more detailed information, enclosure 5)

 

     d.  Results Summary.  All Schools. During the 2017/2018 academic year, students from the Enlisted College schools demonstrated their understanding of content through various assessments that consisted of: multiple choice exams, quizzes, written assignments, oral presentations, performance-based assessments, and individual performance evaluations. An achievement score of 80 percent or higher for each assessment was the metric used to determine mastery of Learning Outcomes. (See enclosure 5)

 

     e.  Recommendations for AY19.

 

         (1)  Career School. The second Career School class will be convened at the SNCOA Hawaii for CCRS Class 1-19 in January 2019. Continue to evaluate the success of the Hawaii Career School for determination of the continuation of future iterations as well as the possibility of adding additional iterations.

 

         (2)  Career School. The Enlisted College curriculum development team will initiate the redevelopment of the entire Career School curriculum. The Career School will be developed as three 15-hour courses vice 40 disparate lessons.

 

         (3)  Sergeants School. The Sergeants School will transition from four to five weeks on 1 October 2018 in conjunction with a revised and curriculum and a reorganized schedule to reflect a collegiate format.

 

         (4)  All Schools. Continue to assess results obtained from graduate surveys (students and supervisors) to validate the students’ ability to apply the Learning Outcomes while serving in the operational forces.

 

         (5)  Create partnerships and memoranda of understanding with universities, colleges, and community colleges which identify specific college credits accepted for their students who complete their resident and non-resident PME requirements.

 

         (6)  Career and Advanced Schools. Complete the Course Content Review Board. Prepare for the Career and Advanced School Curriculum Review Board in AY 19.

 

         (7)  Career and Advanced Schools. Continue to monitor the impact of having Career and Advanced School faculty advisors also being required to teach Sergeants Schools. Identify best practices and implement change as needed.

 

         (8)  SEPME. Continue working to incorporate the use of Moodle to assign pre-read requirements to students attending all three Senior Enlisted Academy courses.

 

         (9)  Marine Forces Reserve has a liaison that works with the Colleges of Enlisted Military Education and Distance Education and Training. The Enlisted College will continue to work with the liaison in the development of new curricula that addresses its needs concurrently with active duty courses.

 

*For more detailed information please refer to the Director’s Report and the 4-Column Matrix found in enclosure 5.

 

9.  College of Distance Education & Training (CDET)

 

     a.  Student Survey Results.  Not applicable: CDET students do not participate in MCU’s Annual Student Survey. CDET conducts course surveys which are considered as a component of the curriculum review process.

 

     b.  Four Column Matrix Results.  CDET concluded the curriculum review process in AY18 by completing the MCU Four Column Matrix for both CSCDEP and EWSDEP. The Director’s recommendations as a result of the analysis are provided below.  The complete Director’s report and wrap-up of the four-column matrix can be found in enclosure 6.

 

Ø  12 Programs of Instruction

Ø  56 Learning Outcomes

Ø  35 Measurements used to assess the learning outcomes

 

     c.  Director’s Discussion/Comments for AY18.

 

         (1)  CSCDEP: AY executed with the complete inclusion of all applicable MCU learning outcomes. There were no significant milestones or changes which dramatically impacted academic performance during the AY. The MCU Four Column Matrices submitted by the CSCDEP denote specifically approved changes for each course based on Course Content Review Boards (CCRBs), and the impact those changes will have on the next AY course offerings. Feedback that follows will discuss recommendations from CCRBs and how these recommendations were either successfully implemented or if shortcomings still exist per the CCRB reports. (More detailed information can be found in enclosure 6.)

 

         (2)  EWSDEP: The EWSDEP curriculum is seminar based with a self-study component. The Warfighting course is that self-study component. Those topics that are introduced here are reinforced in seminar throughout the remainder of the program. The remaining three courses are taught in seminar, with the caveat that MAGTF Operations Ashore (8662) has a self-study option. Every EWSDEP graduate will have completed at least one full academic year in seminar without exception. The second-year courses MAGTF Operations Ashore Practical Exercise (8663) and Amphibious Operations (8664) are strictly seminar based. Onsite seminar is the default option, although an online option is available for those geographically separated from major bases and stations. The courseware is accessed through an online learning management system. (More detailed information can be found in enclosure 6.)

 

     d.  Results Summary.

 

         (1)  CSCDEP: More detailed information can be found in enclosure 6.

 

         (2)  EWSDEP: Average student performance for each course:
                        8661: 89%

8662: 90%

8663: 92%

8664: 91%

 

     e.  Recommendations for AY19

 

         (1)  CSCDEP: The following decisions for AY19 are based on the CCRB:

 

               (a) Restructure the Moodle 8908 Seminar Site to be more navigation friendly and intuitive, consolidating and organizing materials and instructions to simplify student use.

 

               (b) Update the MCPP IMI by replacing all Flash files with MP3 audio files and MP4 video files, and placing it in a Moodle Book format to allow all browsers on all iOS devices and computer operating systems to play the IMI without issue.

 

               (c) Save all current PE Microsoft Office PowerPoint 97-2003 planning documents in the new Microsoft Office 2016 format to facilitate .mil and .edu domain file transfer assurance.

 

               (d) Continue to use the North Africa based Operation BARBARY SWORD scenario for the CSCDEP PEs while keeping track of developing Indo-Pacific scenario options.

 

               (e) Continue to steer as many students as possible to onsite seminars and populate all seminars with students who are within the same time zone.

 

               (f) Elevate the Final Exercise of the 8908 capstone course to planning at the JTF level using the Joint Planning Process (JPP) to facilitate planning at the JTF operational level, continue the understanding of the planning nuances between Phase IV operations and Phase III operations, and learning the JPP while comparing and contrasting it to the MCPP.

 

               (g) Within the Learner Assistance column on the Moodle seminar sites post the current DOD Dictionary for ready acronym reference.

 

         (2)  EWSDEP: Numerous significant changes have been recommended for the next Academic year. Detailed information can be found in enclosure 6.

 

*For more detailed information please refer to the Director’s Report and the 4-Column Matrix found in enclosure 6.

 

10.  Summary. This document illustrates the continuous, systematic review process that informs MCU academic planning and decision-making, encompassing:

 

Ø  43 Blocks of Instruction

Ø  169 Learning Outcomes

Ø  198 Measurements were used to assess the effectiveness of academic unit outcomes

 

University and school-level data regarding student performance, as well as student and faculty perceptions of student learning are explored in additional detail in the enclosures.  Each schoolhouse reported encouraging evidence that learning outcomes are being met and identified areas for potential improvement to ensure we continue to offer a world-class professional military education. 

 

 

 

KATHLEEN KUEHN

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