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Angelo State University
Department of Physics and Geosciences

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Best Practices

Department of Physics and Geosciences 2008–11

Our department set out to answer these three questions about best practices that are aligned with our national professional organization, the American Association of Physics Teachers:

  1. What are the goals and characteristics of our students?
  2. What support does our program provide to help students outside of classes/labs?
  3. Does the climate effectively support and energize students?

In conjunction with the ASU Office of Institutional Research and Accountability, the Physics and Geosciences Department developed a survey of these best practices and administered it to 2008–11 physics graduates. The detailed responses are available, but the basic answers to the above questions are:

  1. Our students agree that their choice of major was challenging, they were adequately prepared for their major, they plan to continue their education after graduation and they plan to take a graduate entrance exam. Therefore, our students are adequately prepared for a major in physics with goals to attend graduate programs.
  2. The Department of Physics and Geosciences provided support through academic and career advising outside of classes/labs. Students are satisfied with the academic and career advising they received in the Department of Physics and Geosciences. Our students also participated in undergraduate research.
  3. The climate effectively supports and energizes students through faculty/student social activities, the Society of Physics Students, community outreach and faculty tutoring. Most students plan to stay in contact with the department after graduation.