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Liberal Arts

What constitutes excellence in the College of Liberal Arts?

The College of Liberal Arts pursues excellence in 3 domains:

  1. Educating our undergraduate and graduate students
  2. Serving the State of Texas through giving students the core academic skills that will prepare them for leadership
  3. Generating distinguished scholarship (including performance and artistic output), both for its own sake and in the service of teaching and mentoring students

How do we measure excellence in undergraduate and graduate education?

Undergraduate and graduate education is at the heart of everything we do in the College of Liberal Arts. Our 12 departments and 9 interdisciplinary programs jointly provide 46 undergraduate degrees and 21 graduate degrees. We serve a total of 6800 students and graduate more students each year than any other College at Texas A&M. Our principal measures of excellence in this domain are –

  • Average time to degree and percentage of undergraduate students graduating within 4 and 6 years
  • Number of students receiving academic and leadership awards
  • Number of undergraduate students participating in high-impact learning experiences including: a community-based service-learning project, an internship, a learning community, and undergraduate research
  • Number of students who complete a senior capstone course in their major
  • Number of students employed or accepted to a graduate or professional school by graduation
  • Average completion rates for PhD students
  • Number of PhD students obtaining tenure-track positions in doctoral universities

How do we measure excellence in preparing leaders for Texas?

We think of Liberal Arts as the Cornerstone of Leadership. It is in Liberal Arts that students learn many of the skills that will make them effective and successful leaders – skills, for example, of effective communication, global awareness, critical thinking, data analysis, and presenting a cogent argument. We teach these skills to our 6000 undergraduate majors, and also to almost every undergraduate student at Texas A&M through our core curriculum courses. Our principal measures of excellence in this area are focused primarily on our undergraduate majors and include –

  • Levels of student participation in activities that cultivate the academic skills that will make students into effective leaders
    • percentage of students participating in credit-bearing study abroad
    • percentage of freshmen participating in freshman critical thinking seminars
    • percentage of students participating in a leadership learning community
  • Number of students participating in our professional development programs
    • Liberal Arts Pre-Law program
    • Liberal Arts Career Preparation program

How do we measure excellence in scholarship?

Exceptional students require exceptional faculty. The faculty in the College of Liberal Arts includes many nationally and internationally recognized leaders who share a dedication to advancing knowledge and to communicating those advances to their students. Our principal measures of excellence in this domain are –

  • The existence in the College of nationally recognized “clusters of excellence” within specific departments or research units
  • Number of students participating in faculty-supervised research projects
  • Impact in the relevant discipline, as measured according to the standards of that discipline (depending on the discipline these will typically include some or all of
    • average number of publications in highly selective and/or peer-reviewed journals, presses, and other appropriate venues
    • average number of citations per faculty member
    • number of faculty giving plenary addresses to major conferences, or performing in distinguished venues
  • External support for faculty research projects, either in the form of research grants or competitive fellowships