By J. P. Ostriker, Charlotte V. Kuh, James A. Voytuk, National Research Council (U.S.). Committee to Examine the Methodology for the Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs

How may still we verify and current information regarding the standard of research-doctorate courses? In recommending that the 1995 NRC scores in "Assessing the standard of Research-Doctorate courses: Continuity and alter" be up to date once attainable, this examine provides a far better method of doctoral application evaluate, to be able to be worthy to directors, college, and others with an curiosity in bettering the schooling of Ph.Ds within the usa. It studies the method of the 1995 NRC ratings and recommends adjustments, together with the gathering of recent info approximately Ph.D. scholars, extra facts approximately school, and new innovations to offer facts at the qualitative overview of doctoral software acceptance. It additionally recommends revision of the taxonomy of fields from that utilized in the 1995 ratings.

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Respondents were contacted by e-mail and provided individual passwords in order to access their questionnaires. Institutional and program questionnaires were also available on the Web. Answers to the questionnaires were immediately downloaded into a database. , we learned that whenever the e-mail subject line was blank, our messages were discarded as spam), generally speaking, it worked well. Web-administered questionnaires could work, but special follow-up attention9 is critical to ensure adequate response rates (over 70 percent).

The brief questionnaire asked raters the year, institution, and date of their highest degree as well as their current field of specialization. The Committee believes that the faculty questionnaire should be modified to collect certain other data. s who become faculty at research universities. Data on date of degree would also permit a comparison of origins of recently hired faculty as compared to faculty hired, for example, more than 20 years ago. Although subfield data were collected for the 1995 Study, they were not used.

It was pointed out that molecular biology is a tool that is widely used across the life sciences but is not a specific graduate program. The same is true, to a lesser extent, for cell biology. Given the trial taxonomy, many biological science programs are highly interdisciplinary and combine a number of fields. The Committee hopes to address this issue by asking respondents to indicate if faculty, who specialize in a particular field, teach and supervise dissertations in a broad biological science graduate program.

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