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Southern Illinois University



College of Applied Sciences and Arts

Assessment Information

Learning Outcomes Assessment Process


PUBLIC SAFETY MANAGEMENT (PSM Bachelor of Science Degree Program)


Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) – National Center for Education Statistics

Fire Services Administration - CIP Code 43.0202

(43 – Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting, and related Protective Services). 

Definition: A program focusing on the principles, theory, and practices associated with the management of fire operations, firefighting services, and community fire issues. Includes instruction in fire protection history and theory, incident command leadership, administration of public fire organizations, labor relations, emergency medical services management, fire emergency response strategies and mitigation, legal and regulatory responsibilities, budgeting, public relations, and organizational leadership.

Program and University Assessment Procedures:

Listed below are the learning assessment criteria and outcomes for the Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) Public Safety Management program. In order to check the achievement of these goals we administer a pre-test and a post-test. The pre- test is administered as part of the entrance process into the program. The test is given by the PSM/ PSHSA Site Coordinator at the given program site. Those tests are then forwarded to the PSM/ PSHSA Program office on campus who turn sends them to the Instructional Evaluation office in SIUC’s Morris Library (Center for Teaching Excellence). The results are then posted to the PSM/ PSHSA account for future review. At the conclusion of the students 48 hours of required core classes they are administered a post-test, which identical to the pre-test and reviews whether material is being taught across the program is maintained to the best quality outcomes. These results are also posted on the server to maintain ongoing records. All of the data collected is shared with the faculty at various times to insure that the curriculum stays up to date and correct changes are made to insure the continued quality of the program.

In addition to these standard methods as mandated by the Illinois Higher Learning Commission, the Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) administration requires continual program and curriculum assessment procedures geared toward key Student Learning Objectives (SLOs). The PSM/PSHSA Programs base their SLOs on expected industry standards established via continual communication with its advisory board and the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC) standards for educating institutions. The links below contain the critical documentation of information as provided to meet these policies and procedures.

Bachelor of Public Safety Management Assessment Information:

Master of Public Safety and Homeland Security Assessment:

In addition to the outcomes listed below, each course has its own objectives and learning outcomes. These are measured through various quizzes, tests and written papers prescribed by each instructor. The final assessment piece is the end of course evaluation done by each student. The results of these evaluations are shared with the instructor so that they may make adjustments to their course material if necessary.

  • Graduates should demonstrate the ability to identify, define, and analyze problems within their discipline and to resolve those problems as it pertains to the labor force; fiscal aspects; data analysis; legal issues; and human resources management.
  • Graduates should demonstrate the ability to apply various terminologies as it applies to various functions within the public safety fields within the Fire Service Management, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Medical Administration speciation areas (BS, PSM programs) and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Administration Masters and thesis practicum/research project (MS, PSHSA).
  • Graduates should demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking skills for problem solving, data analysis, management problems, and technical information.
  • Graduates should be able to gain relevant work related experience through utilizing technical skills, verbal and written communication skills, appropriate for a work environment, ability to work as a team member, growth potential, and leadership potential.
  • Graduates should be able to develop career goals and specific occupational objectives based on their educational background.

Direct Methods of Student Assessment:

Embedded Testing:  The use of criterion referenced assessment in the format of embedded testing is administered in all courses within the Master’s degree. In addition, there is a Capstone Course that the student must take in their last semester of the program, PSM 512, wherein key industry topics are researched and documented as a report. 

In-Direct Methods of Student and Program Assessment:

Student Surveys:  Student surveys are collected at the end of each class. These surveys are administered, collected, analyzed, and reported to the Public Safety Management faculty, staff and administration in a timely manner after the completion of each class.

Alumni Surveys:  Alumni surveys are collected every five years and are shared with the Public Safety Management program faculty, staff and administration.

Employer Surveys:  Employer surveys are collected within the industry every five years and are shared with the Public Safety Management program faculty, staff and administration.

External Review:  An external review of the Public Safety Management program is conducted every five years by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC). Their review includes a review of curriculum, current content, testing, administration, etc. 

Industry Feedback:  The Public Safety Program has developed and maintains very close contact and linkages with the fire service and emergency management fields. This linkage has provided great benefit to the program, industry and student. The industry finds potential internship and fulltime hire candidates well prepared to begin their new careers and excel. Students benefit from the internship and career opportunities in addition to modern training components and curriculum. All advisory board members are leaders in the industry, who regularly review and supply input into the program, its curriculum, and its leadership and faculty.