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Mathematics Program Review

Background and Mission

Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) is a public comprehensive university in the Minnesota State College and University (MnSCU) system. The MnSCU system consists of seven 4-year universities and a large number of community and technical colleges.

SMSU is the smallest of the seven 4-year universities. Our enrollment is approximately 3500 FYE with a large number of those being in off-campus programs.

Faculty at the seven, 4-year universities in the system are members of the Inter Faculty Organization (IFO). The IFO engages in biennial negotiations with the MnSCU administration on the terms and conditions of employment.  The agreement specifies that department chairs are coordinators not supervisors.  Each faculty member is supervised by the Dean of his or her college.

The previous (2009 – 2011) Master agreement can be viewed here. A new contract has been very recently passed by the Minnesota legislature.

IFO Master Agreement

The SMSU Mathematics program has addopted the following mission, goals and student learning outcomes.


Provide high quality programs at the undergraduate level and to provide graduate courses as needed by organizations in the region. Meet the needs of students for careers in business, industry, and government, as well as to prepare students for graduate study.

Goals for the Mathematics Major

Students will understand the structure of mathematical systems, the relationship of mathematics to other disciplines, and the use of mathematics to solve problems.

Valued Student Outcomes for Mathematics Majors
Students graduating with a major in Mathematics or Mathematics Education Majors should:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the structure of a mathematical system and be able to build logical arguments based on the assumptions inherent in the system.
  2. Be able to translate real world problems into a mathematical model, analyze the model, and interpret the results using appropriate mathematical methods.
  3. Be able to use appropriate technology to solve mathematics problems and interpret the results.
  4. Be able to express mathematical ideals orally and in writing.

These outcomes are consistent with those of SMU and MnSCU, which can be viewed through the following links.


This review consists of the following sections.

Conclusions and Challanges

Enrollment: We need to increase our enrollments by matriculating a larger number of interested majors. We must also make sure that students who do matriculate but are not yet ready for Calculus, have an appropriate path to readiness.

Placement: We need to create a better way to get students enrolled in the coures they need and are ready for.

Success Rates: We need to do a focused study of success rates in our developmental and LEP courses and find ways to increase them.

Assessment: We need to make a more focused effort on formal methods of assessment. We must also implement our plan for focused assessment of our student learning outcomes.


Reviewer's Report and Recommendations

Link to the report from reviewer David Skoug from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.

Last Modified: 5/11/17 9:01 AM