Kristy Archuleta, Associate Professor in the Personal Financial Planning (PFP) program in the School of Family Studies and Human Services, is very familiar with assessment. The PFP program recently was recognized for outstanding work in assessment. Although she wrapped up undergraduate assessment for this year’s cycle only a few days ago, assessment continually remains on her mind.
Archuleta said there have been changes in how assessment tools are utilized. “We utilize (assessment) in a way in which we share with the faculty about how we can make changes to our degree program so that students can succeed in meeting our programs’ high standards,” said Archuleta.
The environment among faculty in the PFP program is very collegial. “We have a very collaborative environment, which I think makes the assessment process easier, both in direct and indirect ways,” said Archuleta. “We’re not afraid to say something in our group… every person’s ideas are valid and our focus is the students’ best interests.”
Faculty meetings are a regular occurrence in the program. “We are constantly talking about how we can improve our degree programs,” said Archuleta. “It’s an ongoing conversation.”
Archuleta said the program focuses on student engagement and professional development in addition to classroom knowledge as a way to close the gap between what the industry needs and what academia can provide. The PFP faculty is currently working to revise the undergraduate curriculum to enhance students’ learning opportunities to further meet the field’s expectations and standards.
The faculty’s student-centered approach is paying off. Archuleta said that at the National Financial Planning Association Conference (where the K-State team placed third), students from other universities commented on the caring environment that the faculty had created for the students.
The collaborative faculty environment extends towards the students, and is creating a positive learning atmosphere for all involved.