Assessment Policy for East Asian Studies

Mission Statement

The Center for East Asian Studies offers rigorous, multidisciplinary training in the study of East Asia and Inner Asia. With Asian economies, languages, cultures, and political realities continuing to rank high in global importance, diverse expertise in this region is an essential asset for any university. The Center's broad interdisciplinary program offers Western's students a chance to minor or major in East Asian Studies with choice of several specific academic focuses, including history, politics, economics, and cultural studies. The capstone course requires students to formulate an original research topic and write a detailed paper on that topic using primary and secondary sources.

As students progress through the major they will acquire the following:

Skills and Abilities

  • competency in an East Asian language
  • cultural literacy in an East Asian country
  • ability to analyze historical and contemporary events connected with East Asia
  • skills needed to complete an original research paper


  • basic fluency in Chinese or Japanese language
  • understand East Asia as a unique cultural sphere
  • understand East Asian and Inner Asian history in a broader global context
  • acquire a non-Western focus to world events and history

Program Goals

Increasing interest in the program has led to a thriving major, as well as a minor. To support this successful program, faculty continue to:

  • maintain cutting-edge research agendas that provide professional visibility at professional conferences and through publication
  • explore new ways to involve students in their research
  • encourage students to study abroad at major universities in China, Japan, Korea, or Mongolia
  • make effective use of technology in instruction particularly through the use of multimedia to teach language, art history, and cinema
  • participate in career fairs and other campus events to promote the major and increase its visibility
  • assess the effectiveness of courses in the major and to implement any changes that improve the program, to make it reflect current standards of the discipline
  • insure that students have access to courses in the major, and are able to meet major requirements in a timely manner
  • explore ways to increase support for the major (through work-study students and program assistant)
  • provide an intellectually engaging introduction to the major
  • provide an effective senior capstone experience to help prepare students to apply their skills and knowledge beyond graduation
  • provide students with a public venue to present their original scholarship
  • offer multiple sections of high-quality GUR courses that contribute to the University's overall mission of providing a liberal arts education for our students
  • place students in top graduate programs


Center for East Asian Studies faculty are engaged in continual assessent of the effectiveness of their program in meeting the above goals. Assessment includes:

  • evaluating and improving the effectiveness of course design and content
  • evaluating and improving the senior capstone colloquium experience
  • tracking placement of graduates in graduate programs to assess the effectiveness of career advising
  • designing, implementing and evaluating exit interviews to gather information for assessment
  • periodically reviewing student evaluations, peer observations, syllabi, textbooks, exams, etc.
  • collaborative reflection on teaching techniques and practices that address student learning outcomes