Geography BS Global Studies
Geography helps us understand how people, places, and problems are related in our increasingly complex world. By studying these connections with a spatial perspective (i.e., focusing on the relevance of location), geographers are able to propose solutions to challenging social, environmental, economic, and political problems. This emphasis givse students a broad experience with the geographic perspective, both conceptually and professionally. It includes three types of courses:
- systematic geography, the study of spatial processes and patterns of a particular subject (e.g., economy, politics, climate, soils) at global and local scales
- regional geography, the study of interactions among many spatial forces in a particular region, emphasizing the role of those interactions on current issues
- geographic methods, a variety of analytical and communication tools for learning about the world and solving geographic problems, such as statistics, maps, and geographic information systems (GIS)
Some students use this emphasis to prepare for careers that require geographic knowledge and skills, especially at a global scale, such as sustainable development, international business, and the military. Many use it as a liberal arts style degree to satisfy an interest in geography or prepare for graduate studies in geography, business, law, development, or international relations.
The Geography Core learning outcomes are correlated with five of the six essential elements of the 1994 National Geography Standards (NGS). The specialized outcomes of this emphasis are focused on developing further competency in these six elements, the eighteen specific standardswithin these elements, and the five geographic skills in the standard; the correlated standards are cited in each outcome.
Human and Environmental Processes
Evaluate the core human and environmental processes which create the context for global issues (Geog 110, 120, human and physical geography courses)
Examine the characteristics of a given place or region vis a vis the physical and human patterns and processes that are present (NGS element: Places and Regions).
Recommend viable solutions to current world problems based on increased knowledge, understanding, passion and emphathy(Courses: Geog 120, 331, 341, regional courses).
BS Geography Core: Students who successfully the core courses in the BS Geography degree should be able to (at a basic level):
Core geographic knowledge and skills
Understand, explain and apply the NGS-related foundational concepts of Human Societies and Spatiality, Physical Environments, Human-Environmental Interaction, Regional Geography, Critical Spatial Thinking, and Effective Communication.
Evidence of Learning
Sample Coursework (assignments, test questions) selected for strategic relevance to learning outcomes
Content Knowledge Exam taken at beginning and end of program
Internship Reports from interns and employers
Faculty reports from personal mentoring and advisement
Student and peer evaluations of teaching
BYU Senior Survey with departmental addendum, focusing on opinions of BYU education and self-confidence in competency
BYU Alumni Questionnaire with departmental addendum, focusing on opinions of BYU education and self-confidence in competency
FHSS exit survey with departmental addendum, focusing on opinions of BYU education and self-confidence in competency
Anecdotal reports from alumni reflecting on BYU education and success in profession and post-graduate education
Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement
- Two standing committees of the department are involved: the Undergraduate Education committee (three members selected by the chair), and the Program Curriculum committee composed of all faculty focused in Global Studies. In both committees, most effort is concentrated during the summer to avoid distraction during the school year.
- Throughout the school year, the Undergraduate Education Committee uses university, college, and department tools to gather raw assessment data.
- At the end of the school year (late April-early May), this Committee analyzes and discusses the assessment data with respect to the learning outcomes. They identify significant successes, and problems that need to be resolved. They prepare a brief report.
- At the final faculty meeting of the year (mid-May), the Undergraduate Education Committee presents their findings to the rest of the faculty. The Undergraduate Education Committee (or another standing or ad hoc committee if appropriate) is charged with developing solutions to department-wide issues. The program curriculum committee is charged with developing solutions to program-specific issues. This should take 1-2 hours.
- During the summer, committees meet as needed and develop solutions. Each prepares a brief report outlining specific proposals. This may include program requirement changes, new or deleted courses, course alterations, teacher development, and such.
- At the department retreat (late August), each committee presents its proposals. Faculty discuss and vote on proposals. This should take 2-3 hours.
- The Undergraduate Education Committee prepares and submits applications for curriculum changes in September for consideration by the University for the following school year.