Graduate Student Yearly Evaluation

This memo is a formal call for Department of Anthropology graduate student yearly evaluation forms. Graduate students should submit their evaluation form and progress letter to Nikki Manning (Anthropology Department Administrator; nikki.manning@umontana.edu) on or before Thursday, February 1, 2018. Fill in the pdf form with your information then email it to Nikki, along with any additional information (e.g., your annual statement or supporting information).

These documents serve as the application for 2018-2019 academic year teaching assistantships (T.A.) and scholarships. We describe below the graduate student annual review criteria used to assess Department of Anthropology graduate student performance at UM. These criteria are used to assess graduate students on an annual basis from the information graduate students provide on the Graduate Student Yearly Evaluation Form (attached). If you did not submit this form last year, please include details of all of your graduate activities at UM and prior schooling up to the current date of application. If you submitted an application last year, your annual review should only include achievements from the past year (February 1, 2017 to February 1, 2018).

With the exception of Linguistics Program students, all active Anthropology graduate students are asked to complete a Yearly Evaluation Form as support for their T.A. application and/or as support for their being considered for departmental scholarships. Linguistics Program students should only complete this paperwork if they want to be evaluated for an assistantship or scholarship within the Anthropology Department. Generally, Linguistics Program students will be selected for assistantships and scholarships directly by the Linguistics Program faculty (in a process separate from this one).

This yearly Department of Anthropology graduate student evaluation tool will be used for a number of different applications including, but not limited to:

  1. TA applications and evaluations,
  2. Graduate student excellence awards/scholarships,
  3. Student assessments for teaching opportunities (e.g., Missoula College courses),
  4. Miscellaneous funding opportunities.

The Graduate Student Yearly Evaluation quantitatively measures graduate student progress at UM. Student performance is also assessed based upon the number of semesters enrolled in a particular degree program. As such, longtime graduate students will tend to have an advantage over more recent graduate students. To counterbalance this effect, our assessment divides performance scores by the number of semesters and takes into consideration the total number of credits taken by a student.

The Graduate Student Yearly Evaluation Form only counts items once. For instance, if a graduate student was given credit for a paper after it was accepted for publication (a.k.a. in press), credit for the same publication will not be given when the paper actually appears in the journal in the following year.

Graduate Student Assessment Criteria

There are nine fields of information for the student yearly assessment form. These fields are compressed into three categories (Progress, Quality, Promise). Those three categories are standardized and weighted to account for 20%, 40%, and 40% respectively, and summed. The greatest summed value is ranked highest. Students will be evaluated within the respective sub-fields of interest, based on their graduate advisor (e.g., Physical Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology). M.A. and Ph.D. students are considered separately and do not compete against each other for support. Linguistics students are not required to complete this evaluation unless they want to be considered for support beyond that provided within the Linguistics Program. Each of the evaluation fields is explained below.

1. Background

This category includes basic background information for graduate students. At the top of the application, please complete the following information: a) student ID number; b) email address; c) whether you want to be considered for a T.A.; d) whether you want to be considered for scholarships; e) current degree program; f) semester of entry into the program (e.g., Fall 2013); g) number of semesters completed for degree; h) number of credits completed toward degree; i) GPA at UM (or cumulative GPA at prior institutions if an incoming student); j) number of semesters of prior Teaching or Research Assistantships; and k) your current UM academic advisor.

2. Program

Successful completion of preliminary paperwork for M.A. or Ph.D., including filing of committee, etc… (2 points). Successful defense of Ph.D. dissertation proposal (4 points).

3. Grant

Successful grant application(s), generally 3 points for an external grant (e.g., NSF) and 1 point for an internal grant (e.g., MASA travel grant).

4. Publication

Professional publications (in press or in print) during the review period. Awarded 4 points for peer-reviewed journal article; 3 points for book chapter (non-peer-reviewed); 2 points for research/technical report; and 1 point for book review or similar.

5. Presentation

Oral paper and poster presentations at public venues during the review period (not presented for a class that you are taking). This could include a paper/poster at a conference, a guest lecture for a UM class, or a public lecture (e.g., given during Anthropology Week). Awarded 3 points for national/regional conference poster/presentation; 2 points for local/university-related conference; 1 point for public/guest lecture. Chairmanship of a symposium or similar counts here as well. Since many conferences are in the spring (after the February 1 deadline), it is acceptable to list presentations accepted by a conference that won’t be presented until later in spring.

6. Service

Department, University, or Organizational (e.g., student or professional) service completed during the review period. Serving as a leader of said organization (e.g., Board of Directors or MASA accountant, for example) counts as 3 points. Membership in anthropological or related-field professional societies, including MASA, AAA, SAA, Plains Anthropological Society, Montana Archaeological Society, among others (university group) is 1 point. A maximum of two points for society memberships are allowable each year.

7. Experience

Research and teaching completed during the review period. Student must identify dates and locations of fieldwork, laboratory research, and/or teaching experience. This field is scaled from 5 to 1 depending upon the quality and quantity of the experience. Please do not include research associated with class assignments. The intent of this category is to reward research and teaching related to scholarly development of the graduate student as a professional anthropologist. Faculty from each sub-discipline will allocate points in these categories. Some examples include a 12-month field season collecting ethnographic, archaeology, or physical anthropology data (5 pts); 3-month summer field or teaching project gaining experience to become a practicing archaeologist, ethnographer, or forensic/physical anthropologist (3 pts); prior teaching assistantship at UM or elsewhere (2 pts); volunteer for project for minimal duration (1 pt).

8. Honors

Scholarships, medals, etc. awarded during period of review (2 points per award).

9. Statement

Describe your progress toward degree completion. This 1-page letter of application for Department of Anthropology support. These essays will be evaluated by the student’s advisor, the Graduate Program Committee and/or faculty within the student’s sub-field and scaled from 0 to 5.

Evaluation Ranking

The above fields are used to calculate a student’s yearly evaluation ranking, deriving a score for Progress, Promise, and Quality.

Progress

Progress (20%) represents progress towards completion of degree scaled by number of semesters in current degree program. This is calculated by the following formula:

Program + Statement + Credits ÷ # of Semesters.

Promise

Promise (40%) includes intellectual and professional promise scaled by number of semesters in degree program. This is calculated by the following formula:

Grant + Publication + Presentation + Service + Honors + Experience ÷ # of Semesters.

Quality

Quality (40%) is simply the student GPA at UM for current students. For incoming students, this is the cumulative GPA for education prior to entering UM.

Weighted Sum

Weighted Sum is the sum of Standardized scores (values converted to z scores) for Progress, Quality, Promise adjusted to relative importance.

  • Progress = 20%
  • Quality (= GPA) = 40%
  • Promise = 40%.

Rank

Rank of students is based upon weighted sum.

After rankings are tallied, the students will be grouped within their sub-discipline, including Physical Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, and Archaeology (based on their advisor). Within each group, M.A. and Ph.D. students are evaluated separately (they do not compete against each other). Each sub-discipline’s faculty will then review the quantitative rankings and determine who will receive the Teaching Assistantships and/or scholarships. These decisions will predominantly be based on the quantitative rankings; however, faculty may consider other factors at this time, including number of prior T.A. allocations, quality of performance during those T.A. positions, among other qualitative factors. Linguistics Program students will be considered in this process if they so choose. Generally, however, Linguistics Program students will be allocated support directly from their program faculty.