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Evaluation of Student Success

 

AAS Forest Technology Program:

The primary goal of the Forest Technology program at Allegany College of Maryland is to prepare students to be successful managers of the natural resources in the United States.  This report will be prepared annually as a means of documenting that success.  For the purposes of this report, success will be defined as 1.-graduating from the program and accepting a position which requires the skills taught and practiced within the program, 2.-Continuing their education at an institution of higher learning that has granted the ACM graduate advanced standing, or 3. - continuing their education within the Forest Technology program at Allegany College of Maryland.

 

Methodology:

The first class taken by students wishing to matriculate into the Forest Technology program at Allegany College of Maryland is normally Forestry 101, Introduction to Forestry.  Although some students enroll in this course in order to examine the career as a possibility and some because of general interest, most enrolled students see this as the first course within a curriculum that will lead to a degree.  The group of Intro to Forestry students enrolled in the fall of 2015 will be tracked and used as an indicator of retention within the program. 

The final or "capstone" course taken within the Forest Technology program is normally Forestry 226, Forest Management.  The students who take this course usually graduate in May following completion of the course.  Some Forest Management students might return to take classes during the summer semester immediately following this course and graduate in July or even during the following fall semester and graduate in December.  The individuals enrolled in this course in the spring of 2017 will be used as an indicator of success and will be placed into one of the categories listed above which define success.

 



2017 Evaluation of Student Success

Retention Data:

In the fall of 2015, 21 students were enrolled in Forestry 101, the Introduction to Forestry course.  Of these 21, seven were enrolled in Forestry 226 Forest Management two years later and therefore are following the recommended curriculum.  Three of the seven management students graduated in May of 2017.  Five of the Intro to Forestry students from 2015 are still completing curriculum requirements and should graduate from the program.  One of those Intro. to Forestry students has decided to begin studies towards a BS degree in forestry at WVU and will transfer a course from that institution back to ACM which should allow him to complete his ACM degree.  Therefore, the forestry program retained nine of the original 21 students from the 2015 Intro to Forestry class.  This represents a 43% retention rate (9/21).  Historically, the forestry programs have experienced low retention of first-year students.  Stated reasons for not completing the program are lack of financial resources, difficulty of the program, realization that forestry was not what they had envisioned before enrollment in the introductory course.

 

Student Success Data:

Twelve students were enrolled in Forestry 226, Forest Management in the spring semester of 2017.  Three of the 12 graduated in May of 2017.  Three of the 12 students in Forest Management enrolled in the Forest Management curriculum at West Virginia University and were given "3rd year status" or higher.  Two of these WVU students will be transferring credits from WVU to ACM in order to complete their technician degree here.  Two of the graduating Management students accepted jobs in the field of forestry: one in land management of city government and one with a private tree care company.  Seven of the Management students are still studying forestry at ACM.  Four of those Management students should be graduating in December of 2017 and the remainder should finish their degrees in May of 2018.  Therefore, of the 12 students who were enrolled in the "capstone" forestry course, 3 (25%) have transferred to the forestry school at WVU, 2 have accepted forestry related jobs (17%), and the remainder are completing their degree in the near future.  The current success rate of forest technology students who were enrolled in the capstone course in forestry, based on the three stated criteria above, is 100%.

 



2016 Evaluation of Student Success 

Retention Data:

In the fall of 2014, 21 students were enrolled in Forestry 101, the Introduction to Forestry Course.  Of these 21, ten were enrolled in Forestry 226 Forest Management two years later and therefore are following the recommended curriculum.  Eight of the 10 Management students graduated in May of 2016.  One of the ten graduated following the required Summer Program in July of 2016 and the final individual from that Management class has transferred to West Virginia University in their forestry curriculum and will transfer back to ACM the one course which will allow him to graduate from our Forest Technology curriculum.  Four students from that Intro class are still enrolled in the forestry program (19%) but were not ready to take the Forest Management course two years later.    Therefore, the forestry program retained 14 of the original 21 students from the 2014 Intro to Forestry class.  This represents a 67% retention rate (14/21).  Historically, the forestry programs have experienced low retention of first-year students.  Stated reasons for not completing the program are lack of financial resources, difficulty of the program, realization that forestry was not what they had envisioned before enrollment in the introductory course.

 

Student Success Data:

Eleven students were enrolled in Forestry 226, Forest Management and Trip in the spring semester of 2016.  Eight of the 11 graduated in May of 2016, one graduated in the summer of 2015 and one of the students will transfer a course taken at WVU back to ACM which will qualify him for his associate's degree from Allegany College of Maryland.  The final student dropped out of school with less than 3 weeks remaining because of personal reasons.  She will not graduate and will not complete the program.  Four of the 11 Management students have transferred to West Virginia University in their Forest Management program and have been given advanced standing (juniors) by that university.  Five of the Management students accepted jobs in the field of forestry.  One of the Management students declined several job offers in forestry in order to enter the family business which is not forestry related.  The final student did not and will not graduate.   Two of the graduate Management students accepted urban forestry jobs with established private arboricultural firms.  Two other graduates accepted more traditional forestry jobs: one in logging and one with a private resource management group.  Therefore, of the 11 students who were enrolled in the "capstone" forestry course, 4 (36%) have transferred to the forestry school at WVU, 5 have accepted forestry related jobs (45%), one choose not to graduate and one chose to work in the family business (18%).  The current success rate of forest technology students who were enrolled in the capstone course in forestry, based on the three stated criteria above, is 82%.

- September 2016

 



2015 Evaluation of Student Success

Retention Data:

In the fall of 2013, 19 students were enrolled in Forestry 101, the Introduction to Forestry Course. Of these 19, eight were enrolled in Forestry 226 Forest Management two years later and therefore are following the recommended curriculum. Four of the eight graduated in May of 2015 and four should graduate by December of 2015. Three students from that Intro class are still enrolled in the forestry program (16%) but were not ready to take the Forest Management course two years later. This represents a 58% retention rate (11/19). Historically, the forestry programs have experienced low retention of first-year students. Stated reasons for not completing the program are lack of financial resources, difficulty of the program, realization that forestry was not what they had envisioned before enrollment in the introductory course.


Student Success Data:

Twelve students were enrolled in Forestry 226, Forest Management and Trip in the spring semester of 2015. Four of the 12 graduated in May of 2015, and the other 8 should graduate in December of 2015. The 4 students who graduated in May have all been offered jobs. Three have accepted employment within the general field of forestry. One individual has accepted a position with the Maryland DNR Forest Service. One has gained employment with a private forestry consultant, and the third has been employed by a land surveyor. The final graduate was offered a job with a sawmill but decided not to accept that position. Instead, he has accepted work with a local landscaper and has taken the civil service exam in the hope of acquiring employment with the Pennsylvania DCNR. The other Forest Management students from 2015 are enrolled and are completing the forestry curriculum. These students will begin their job search upon graduation, most likely in December of 2015. Therefore, of the 12 students who have completed the “capstone” forestry course, 3 (25%) have found related employment, one is still seeking employment (8%), and 8 (67%) are still working toward their AAS degree at ACM. The current success rate of forest technology students who have completed the capstone course in forestry, based on the three stated criteria above, is 92%.

- May, 2015