Caltech Accreditation

Educational Effectiveness Review

Report Due: January 5, 2010
Site Visit: March 31 - April 2, 2010

Prepared by the California Institute of Technology for the

Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Contact Information:

Melany Hunt
Vice Provost
California Institute of Technology


Download full pdf report with links



ESSAY 1: Introduction and Overview of the Educational Effectiveness Review

ESSAY 2: An Update on Institute Activities since the CPR Visit

2.1 Brief overview of Caltech
2.2 Aims and Needs Committee
2.3 Impact of economic downturn and communication with the community
2.4 Presidents Diversity Council
2.5 Undergraduate advising
2.6 Innovation in Education Fund
2.7 Revisions to the Teaching Quality Feedback Reports and training for teaching assistants
2.8 The Caltech Safety Net and the Mental Health Task Force

ESSAY 3: Assessment Tools and Planning Processes

3.1 Visiting Committees
3.2 Student-Faculty Conferences
3.3 Student and alumni surveys, and the ombuds system
3.4 Diagnostic exams for incoming students
3.5 Engineering accreditation through ABET, Inc.

ESSAY 4: Academic Programs

4.1 Summary of placement of recent graduates
4.2 Examples of assessment and improvement within the undergraduate academic options

4.2.1 Evolution of the engineering and applied science option and the start of the mechanical engineering and computer science options
4.2.2 Restructuring of the chemical engineering option
4.2.3 Restructuring the biology option
4.2.4 The new bioengineering option 

ESSAY 5: Core Curriculum

5.1 The purpose of the core curriculum
5.2 The core courses
5.3 Assessing students learning within the core
5.4 Evolution of the core curriculum

5.4.1 Biology
5.4.2 Analytic and practical tracks of Physics 1bc
5.4.3 Chemistry laboratory
5.4.4 The Menu courses
5.4.5 Science writing and oral communication courses

5.5 Recent entrance, exit, and alumni surveys
5.6 The 2008-09 Core Curriculum Task Force
5.7 On-going discussions concerning writing within the core 

ESSAY 6: Honor Code

6.1 Alumni survey
6.2 The 2008-09 Honor Code Task Force
6.3 Education within the community
6.4 Honor Code committee focused on non-academic violations

ESSAY 7: Undergraduate Research

7.1 Alumni survey
7.2 Commitment to undergraduate research
7.3 Student learning associated with research experiences
7.4 Communication skills
7.5 Academic year research

ESSAY 8: Caltechs Future Directions in Educational Effectiveness

8.1 The WASC standards
8.2 On-going and future directions for review

APPENDIX 1: Core Curriculum Data Portfolio

APPENDIX 2: Institute/Option Data Portfolio

APPENDIX 3: Required Data Tables