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APEC Assessment

Mission Statement

The mission of the department of Applied Economics is to help rural communities in Utah, the Intermountain West, and beyond thrive economically. Student Training, academic research and extension efforts are focused on issues that are most important to rural communities: food and agriculture, environmental quality and allocation of natural resources, and regional development.

Assessment

The Department of Applied Economics will measure students’ progress and success in the following ways:

1. Student satisfaction. Student satisfaction is measured through course evaluations and an exit survey of graduating students. Course evaluations, while not a perfect method to measure course quality, can help the department identify patterns in feedback so that it can make improvements. An exit survey asks graduating students about their experiences in the Department of Applied Economics and can be used to improve what we do. We will also interview former students to track their employment status and get their ideas on how we can better prepare other students for the workforce. (Undergraduate and Graduate Programs)

2. Knowledge, skills, and curriculum. Pre- and post-tests are conducted for the core courses in the APEC undergraduate curriculum. Course-specific learning objectives are explained on the learning objectives section. The pre- and post-tests measure how well students have grasped key concepts. The test results will help the department identify its most effective teachers and aid all of its instructors in continually improving their teaching effectiveness. (Undergraduate Program)

3. Research Experience. We will report and continually update the website to include all theses, dissertations, professional reports, and refereed journal articles authored or co-authored by graduate students. (Graduate Program).

4. Placement and Career Preparation. We also will occasionally survey the employers and former students to find out how we can better prepare them for the workplace. (Undergraduate and Graduate Programs)

Agribusiness

Disciplinary Knowledge

  • Analyze and evaluate agribusiness problems and management decisions.
  • Apply statistical methods to analyze commodity markets and other economic data.
  • Formulate marketing plans and business strategies for both generic commodities and specialized products.

Skills and Career Competencies

  • Communicate effectively in oral and written forms.
  • Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research.
  • Attain a basic understanding of the U.S. agribusiness sector.

Applications

Examples of career paths include, but are not limited to:  loan officer, credit analyst, farm/ranch manager, commodity broker, farm machinery sales representative, agricultural chemical sales representative, grain merchandiser, elevator manager, real estate appraiser, food processing supply chain management, agribusiness entrepreneur and small business owner.

 

 

Courses

Program Objectives

APEC

2010

APEC

3010

APEC

3012

APEC

3020

APEC

3310

APEC

4010

APEC

5000

APEC

5010

APEC

5015

APEC

5020

APEC

5950

ACCT

2010

ACCT

2020

ASTE

3050

MGT

2050

MIS

2100

Disciplinary Knowledge

 

Analyze and evaluate agribusiness problems and management decisions

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

Apply statistical methods to analyze commodity markets and other economic data

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Formulate marketing plans and business strategies for both generic commodities and specialized products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

Skills and Career Competencies

 

Communicate effectively in oral and written forms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Attain a basic understanding of the U.S. agribusiness sector

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

 

Agricultural Economics Program Objectives

Disciplinary Knowledge

  • Explain microeconomic theory at the intermediate level.
  • Utilize and apply statistical methods to analyze and forecast agricultural economic data.
  • Explain how external forces such as law, environmental regulations, and government policies impact agricultural decision making.

Skills and Career Competencies

  • Communicate effectively in oral and written forms.
  • Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research.
  • Understand the science of agricultural economics.

Applications

Examples of career paths include, but are not limited to: agricultural statistician, agricultural economist with U.S. Department of Agriculture or other government agency, loan officer, credit analyst, farm/ranch manager, real estate appraiser, agribusiness entrepreneur and small business owner.

 

Agricultural Economics Matrix

 

Courses

Program Objectives

APEC

2010

APEC

3010

APEC

3012

APEC

3020

APEC

3310

APEC

4010

APEC

5000

APEC

5010

APEC

5015

APEC

5020

APEC

5330

APEC

5560

APEC

5950

ASTE

3050

ECN

3400

MIS

2100

Disciplinary Knowledge

 

Explain microeconomic theory at the intermediate level

X

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

Utilize and apply statistical methods to analyze and forecast agricultural economic data

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Explain how external forces such as law, environmental regulations, and government policies impact agricultural decision making

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

Skills and Career Competencies

 

Communicate effectively in oral and written forms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

Understand the science of agricultural economics

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics Program Objectives

Disciplinary Knowledge

  • Analyze natural resource and environmental management issues by applying economic theories and tools.
  • Apply statistics and regression techniques to economic date and models and evaluate results.
  • Understand the United States legal system, particularly as it applies to environmental issues and natural resource use.

Skills and Career Competencies

  • Communicate the process and results of economic analysis of environmental and natural resource issues effectively in oral and written forms.
  • Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research.
  • Attain a basic understanding of local, regional and global environmental and natural resource issues.

Applications

Examples of career paths include, but are not limited to: environmental educators, water quality managers, legal assistants, environmental regulatory specialist, agricultural economists, statisticians, environmental modelers, and public land managers.

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics Matrix

 

Courses

Program Objectives

APEC

2010

APEC

3010

APEC

3012

APEC

3310

APEC

4010

APEC

5000

APEC

5330

APEC

5560

APEC

5700

APEC

5950

ASTE

3050

ENVS

3010

ENVS

3330

MIS

2100

SOC

4620

STAT

2300

Disciplinary Knowledge

 

Analyze natural resource and environmental management issues by applying economic theories and tools

X

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Apply statistics and regression techniques to economic date and models and evaluate results

X

 

 

X

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Understand the United States legal system, particularly as it applies to environmental issues and natural resource use

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

Skills and Career Competencies

 

Communicate the process and results of economic analysis of environmental and natural resource issues effectively in oral and written forms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

Attain a basic understanding of local, regional and global environmental and natural resource issues

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

X

 

International Agribusiness Program Objectives

Disciplinary Knowledge

  • Analyze and evaluate international agribusiness problems and management decisions.
  • Apply statistical methods to analyze commodity markets, foreign exchange rates and other economic data.
  • Formulate international marketing plans and business strategies for firms competing in global markets.

Skills and Career Competencies

  • Communicate effectively in multiple languages in oral and written forms.
  • Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research.
  • Attain a basic understanding of the global agribusiness sector.

Applications

Examples of career paths include, but are not limited to:  loan officer, credit analyst, commodity broker, global grain merchandiser, elevator manager, real estate appraiser, food processing supply chain management, agribusiness consultant, agribusiness entrepreneur and small business owner.

International Agribusiness Matrix

 

Courses

Program Objectives

APEC

2010

APEC

3010

APEC

3012

APEC

3310

APEC

5000

APEC

5010

APEC

5015

APEC

5020

APEC

5950

ACCT

2010

ACCT

2020

ASTE

3050

ECN

3400

POLS

2100

POLS

3100

MIS

4550

Disciplinary Knowledge

 

Analyze and evaluate international agribusiness problems and management decisions

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

Apply statistical methods to analyze commodity markets, foreign exchange rates and other economic data

X

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Formulate international marketing plans and business strategies for firms competing in global markets

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skills and Career Competencies

 

Communicate effectively in oral and written forms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

X

Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Attain a basic understanding of the global agribusiness sector

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

M.S. Applied Economics Program Objectives

Disciplinary Knowledge

  • Explain microeconomic theory at the master’s level.
  • Utilize and apply statistical methods to analyze and forecast economic data.
  • Explain how external forces such as law, environmental regulations, and government policies impact applied economic decision making.

Skills and Career Competencies

  • Communicate effectively in oral and written forms.
  • Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research.
  • Understand the science of applied economics.

Applications

Examples of career paths include, but are not limited to: agricultural statistician, agricultural economist with U.S. Department of Agriculture or other government agency, loan officer, credit analyst, real estate appraiser, agribusiness entrepreneur and small business owner.

M.S. Applied Economics Matrix

 

Courses

Program Objectives

APEC

6100

APEC

6300

APEC

6330

APEC

6030

APEC

6040

APEC

6500

APEC

6510

APEC

6700

APEC

6710

APEC

6970

Disciplinary Knowledge

 

Explain microeconomic theory at the master’s level

X

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

Utilize and apply statistical methods to analyze and forecast economic data

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Explain how external forces such as law, environmental regulations, and government policies impact applied economic decision making

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Skills and Career Competencies

 

Communicate effectively in oral and written forms

 

 

 

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Understand the science of applied economics

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

M.S. International Food and Agribusiness Program Objectives

Disciplinary Knowledge

Analyze and evaluate international agribusiness problems and management decisions.

Apply statistical methods to analyze commodity markets, foreign exchange rates and other economic data.

Formulate international marketing plans and business strategies for firms competing in global markets.

Skills and Career Competencies

Communicate effectively in multiple languages in oral and written forms.

Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research.

Attain at the master’s level an understanding of the global agribusiness sector.

Applications

Examples of career paths include, but are not limited to: loan officer, credit analyst, commodity broker, global grain merchandiser, elevator manager, real estate appraiser, food processing supply chain management, agribusiness consultant, agribusiness entrepreneur and small business owner.

M.S. International Food and Agribusiness Matrix

 

Courses

Program Objectives

APEC

5010

APEC

5015

APEC

6330

APEC

6030

APEC

6040

RAU

4079

RAU

4092

4096

RAU

4093

4098

RAU

4094

APEC

6970

Disciplinary Knowledge

 

Analyze and evaluate international agribusiness problems and management decisions

 

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

 

Apply statistical methods to analyze commodity markets, foreign exchange rates and other economic data

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

Formulate international marketing plans and business strategies for firms competing in global markets

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

X

 

 

Skills and Career Competencies

 

Communicate effectively in multiple languages in oral and written forms

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research

 

 

X

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Attain at the master’s level an understanding of the global agribusiness sector

X

 

 

X

 

X

X

X

X

X

RAU are course modules taught at the Royal Agriculture University for which students are given USU credit


 

M.S. Economics and Statistics Program Objectives

Disciplinary Knowledge

  • Explain microeconomic theory at an advanced level.
  • Understand and apply advanced statistical methods to analyze and forecast economic data.
  • Understand and be able to use advanced quantitative techniques to solve economic problems.

Skills and Career Competencies

  • Communicate effectively in oral and written forms.
  • Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research.
  • Understand the science of advanced applied economics.

Applications

Examples of career paths include, but are not limited to: agricultural statistician, agricultural economist with U.S. Department of Agriculture or other government agency, prepared to attain a PhD in economics.

M.S. Economics and Statistics Matrix

 

Courses

Program Objectives

APEC

7130

APEC

7140

APEC

7310

APEC

7320

APEC

7350

APEC

7360

Math

5710

Math

5720

 

APEC

6970

Disciplinary Knowledge

 

Explain microeconomic theory at an advanced level

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utilize and apply statistical methods to analyze and forecast economic data

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Understand and be able to use advanced quantitative techniques to solve economic problems

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

 

Skills and Career Competencies

 

Communicate effectively in oral and written forms

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

Understand the science of advanced applied economics

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

X

Masters of Applied Economics

Ph.D. Economics Program Objectives

Disciplinary Knowledge

Explain microeconomic theory at an advanced level.

Understand and apply advanced statistical methods to analyze and forecast economic data.

Understand and be able to use advanced quantitative techniques to solve economic problems.

Skills and Career Competencies

Communicate effectively in oral and written forms.

Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research.

Understand the science of advanced economics.

Applications

Examples of career paths include, but are not limited to: statistician, economist with U.S. or foreign government agency, academic position in U.S. or abroad.

Ph.D. Economics Matrix

 

Courses

Program Objectives

APEC

7130

APEC

7140

APEC

7310

APEC

7320

APEC

7350

APEC

7360

APEC

7150

APEC

7330

APEC

7400

APEC

7500

APEC

7510

APEC

7950

APEC

7970

Disciplinary Knowledge

 

Explain microeconomic theory at an advanced level

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utilize and apply statistical methods to analyze and forecast economic data

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Understand and be able to use advanced quantitative techniques to solve economic problems

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

X

Skills and Career Competencies

 

Communicate effectively in oral and written forms

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

Use appropriate computer software for written reports, oral presentations, and analytical research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

X

Understand the science of advanced applied economics

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

Outcomes Data

IDEA evaluations of courses and students

Classes in the APEC department are at and above the IDEA System averages for courses. These are summaries of student course evaluations across the APEC department. Over the last four years compared to the IDEA database average, our courses have been 22% Much Higher, 29% Higher, 29% Similar, 14% Lower and only 6% Much Lower. Our student course evaluations also rank higher when compared to USU averages.

Student feedback through academic advisor

Students routinely provide feedback to their academic advisor on the usefulness of course prerequisites, the value they place on current course content, and their desire for additional or alternative courses to strengthen or broaden their education in a specific major.

Students also provide feedback on the approachability of our faculty and willingness to take time to ensure questions are answered, depth of subjects are explored, and to provide career advice.

Placement Data

According to 2014-2015 data, 90% of our undergraduate students are employed in their careers or are continuing on with their education towards advanced degrees. Of our graduate students, 100% are employed or are seeking another advanced degree. We are continuing to provide students with resources in aiding their employment search, primarily through Career Services but also through faculty mentorship.

Enrolment

The total number of undergraduate majors have increased from 77 in 2011/12 to 161 in 2015/16 while the number of graduate students have increased from 12 to 19 over that same time period.

Recent Data-Based Decisions

New degrees or changes in degrees based on data.

  1. Creation of Master of Science in Economics and Statistics degree approved for fall semester 2011.
    • Some of our graduate students pursuing a Master of Science degree are also interested in subsequently pursuing a PhD degree.       Feedback from students and examination of many university requirements for a PhD in Economics or Agricultural Economics revealed that our MS in Applied Economics degree lacked the rigor in math and statistics that the students needed.
    • A new joint MS degree with the Math & Statistics department was created to fulfill this need.
  2. Creation of Master of Science in International Food and Agribusiness degree approved for fall semester 2012.
    • The department was collaborating with the Royal Agricultural College in England for several years on an MBA degree from the Royal Agricultural College in International Food and Agribusiness. Many of the USU enrolled graduate students in the program expressed a desire to earn a degree from Utah State University has part of this joint program.
    • A new MS in International Food and Agribusiness degree was created to fulfill this student demand.
  3. Creation of Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics degree approved for fall semester 2012.
    • Course enrolment data indicated growth in our environmental and natural resource courses. Much of this growth was from non-majors primarily from the College of Natural Resources. We reached out to the College of Natural Resources to determine their student interest in a degree from the Applied Economics department.
    • A new BS in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics degree was created with course work in the Applied Economics department as well as from the College of Natural Resources.
  4. Creation of the Environmental and Natural Resource Economics Minor approved for fall semester 2014.
    • Course enrolment data indicated continual growth in our environmental and natural resource courses. However, data also indicated that we had very few students in our Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics major. Feedback from academic advisors indicated that some students may be more interested in a minor rather than a major in this subject matter.      
    • A new Minor in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics was created with required core course work in the Applied Economics department and elective courses in APEC as well as from the College of Natural Resources.
  5. Changed the Agribusiness Management minor to the Agribusiness Minor for fall semester 2014.
    • Course enrollment data indicated growth in our firm marketing and price analysis course. Student feedback to our academic advisor also indicated that many non APEC majors in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences were more interested in marketing topics than management topics from APEC.
    • The title of our Agribusiness Management Minor was changed to Agribusiness Minor and additional courses were included as electives to this minor to allow students to take either agribusiness management or agribusiness marketing courses to obtain this minor.