The overarching goal of the MBS program is to create broadly educated and ethical life science industry professionals. The MBS program follows a "T" education philosophy, in that all students are required to obtain a broad knowledge of the science, business, ethics, and regulatory processes across the life science industries, but are also expected to obtain deeper knowledge in a specific area of interest.
A primary learning outcome of the MBS program is provide students with the knowledge, values, and professional skills to operate effectively in managerial roles in the biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics industries. It also provides students with an understanding of the regulatory environment in which these industries operate. The program prides itself on the team-based projects that pervade the curriculum. A focus on communication and leadership skills, consistent with the learning outcomes for the program, is evident as the students are required to demonstrate both written and oral presentation skills throughout the program.
These aims have been formulated into six distinct learning outcomes:
MBS Program Learning Outcomes
- Students can contribute productively on an interdisciplinary team tackling complex problems.
- Students can communicate effectively in an industry environment composed of scientists, engineers, and business professionals.
- Students have the core business analysis and management knowledge needed for the bioscience industry.
- Students understand the business, research, development, regulatory, production and marketing functions of the bioscience industry.
- Students understand the translation of basic science and engineering discoveries into products and processes that benefit society.
- Students are advocates for ethical principles in research, development and business in the biosciences.
The MBS Program: Assessment
KGI uses a variety of direct and indirect evidence to assess the effectiveness of the MBS curriculum in meeting program learning outcomes. An important goal of KGI's assessment activities is to gather data on all students in the program. To accomplish this, KGI uses a grading and assessment program called iRubric. This technology allows faculty and administrators to align program learning outcomes with rubric criteria and specific assessment data. An advantage of using iRubric is that student learning within a given area can be measured longitudinally over a number of assignments, with the data stored and accessible to monitor and measure students' development toward mastery of outcomes.
The following presents examples of student learning on the MBS program. Figure 1 presents an example from data collected to measure the improvement in writing skills of MBS students during the first year of the program. It displays the outcomes across a number of writing assignments in the area of "organization and thought progression" of students who were initially segmented into the lowest third of incoming KGI students for the class of 2014 (about 20 students), based on their performance on the required initial writing assessment. This figure suggests that the poorer KGI writers are able to improve significantly in this area over a number of assignments given during their first semester at KGI.
Figure 1: Rubric based analysis of writing over several assignments
A second example draws on assessment data from the area of teamwork. Figure 2 displays average faculty scores on teamwork (based on a 1 to 5 scale) based on rubrics completed during team presentations surrounding several projects given over the course of the program, again for the class of 2014 (about 60 students). This data again indicates that students have improved their team-work skills through the MBS program.
Figure 2: Rubric based analysis of teamwork over several projects (scored on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being highest)
KGI also collects a variety of indirect evidence, ranging from student satisfaction surveys to surveys of alumni. Information from alumni is particularly important, as it helps KGI understand whether the MBS curriculum is meeting its goal of preparing students for jobs in a variety of roles within the bioscience industries. Figure 3 presents data from an April 2014 alumni survey asking about the first job obtained after graduating. This chart indicates that MBS graduates obtain jobs in a wide variety of job functions, ranging from research and development, to operations, to consulting. This data is useful, in that it suggests that the degree is preparing students for careers in a variety of industry roles.
Figure 3: Function of MBS alumni, first job
Chart 4 provides a second example of indirect evidence, this time focused on the assessment of KGI's extensive co-curricular program for MBS program. Drawing again from the 2014 alumni survey, this chart provides information on how KGI students obtained their first job. This data suggests that about 70% of students find their first job as part of a KGI program or contact.
Chart 4: Source of First Job After Graduating with the MBS Degree