Achieving Our Mission

Department of Physics
California State University, Chico

Much of mission is focused on providing our majors with the skills and attitudes we believe are inherent to our discipline. The skills and intellectual orientation we strive to impart to our majors are currently described in the academy as Student Learning Objectives. Ours can be found here: Student Learning Objectives. Of course, almost all of these can be directly linked to our course work. This linkage to our courses can be found in the following table: SLO course linkage.

An important part of our mission is to engender the spirit of service to our community. We achieve this through strongly encouraging our majors to become active members in our nationally recognized Society of Physics Students.

Two important questions are:
  • 1) how do we know, or assess, to what degree our students are achieving these learning objectives, and
  • 2) how do we increase their degree of success in mastering these learning objectives.
The main way we assess our student's success is through their work in the required courses for the major. We are quite conscientious in designing these courses so that students deeply investigate the fundamental principles contained in our student learning objectives. We also keep in touch with our graduates, some of whom sit on our advisory board, and seek feedback on what they have found valuable in their education and what could be improved. Finally, we maintain a faculty/staff culture of deep commitment to physics education. We talk to one another, attend and present at regional and national American Association of Physics Teacher meetings, read the educational literature. In short, physics education is not our job, it is our avocation.