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Biology Faculty Survey

“Tuning” is a faculty-led pilot project designed to define what students must know, understand, and be able to demonstrate after completing a degree in a specific field, and to provide an indication of the knowledge, skills, and abilities students should achieve prior to graduation at different levels along the educational pipeline – in other words, a body of knowledge and skills for an academic discipline in terms of outcomes and levels of achievement of its graduates. Tuning provides an expected level of competency achievement at each step along the process of becoming a professional: expectations at the beginning of pre-professional study, at the beginning of professional study, and at the transition to practice. It involves seeking input from students, recent graduates, and employers to establish criterion-referenced learning outcomes and competencies by degree level and subject area.

Through Tuning, students have a clear “picture” of what is expected and can efficiently plan their educational experience to achieve those expectations. The objective is not to standardize programs offered by different institutions but to better establish the quality and relevance of degrees in various academic disciplines.  Tuning involves:

  • Faculty from different sectors and institutions agreeing on what students in a field must know, understand, and be able to do; 
  • Faculty defining degrees using active learning outcomes that can be assessed through coursework and other means;
  • Surveying faculty to prioritize subject-area competencies; 
  • Soliciting views of students, graduates, and employers on the most valued general competencies in the field; and 
  • Mapping the employability of degree holders. 

The 2011 Tuning Oversight Council for Engineering and Science, which is made up of higher education faculty representing 39 higher education institutions from across the state, has completed tuning work for the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, and Biomedical and Chemical Engineering. In order to help inform the Council’s final tuning work on these four engineering disciplines, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, with grant support from Lumina Foundation for Education, is conducting a survey of engineering faculty statewide. We would like you to complete this survey for the discipline of Biology; your answers will be very valuable in providing information about your discipline, supplying feedback to the Tuning Committee for Biology on their work, and improving curriculum planning and course relevance for future science students.   Additional information is available below and online at: www.thecb.state.tx.us/tuningtexas.


 To complete the survey, please follow this link:


If you have already completed Part I of the survey and you are returning to complete Part II, please use this link:



Part I of the survey asks for you to provide feedback on the discipline-specific, program-level competencies expected of graduates of Bbiology programs, as determined by the Tuning Committee for Biology. The discipline-specific competency portion of the survey will take approximately 35 minutes to complete.


Part I - Biology Faculty Survey:   https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Biology_Faculty_Survey_Part_I

Part II of the survey asks for your opinion on a number of general competencies relevant to your engineering students. The general competency portion of the survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. You may complete Part II immediately following Part I, or at a later time by accessing this webpage again. 

Part II - Biology Faculty Survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Biology_Faculty_Survey_Part_II 

Your feedback will be very important in finalizing the work of the committee, and in influencing the direction of Civil Engineering education in Texas and our nation.


Only through such broad consultation with faculty experts will the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board—the state coordinator of this project—be able to arrive at a decision about what learning outcomes are important for engineering and provide this information to Lumina Foundation for Education for their Tuning work nationwide.


Please note that your survey responses will be confidential and will be treated anonymously. You will never be personally identified at any point in the process of this study. There is no personally identifiable information on the survey form itself. With respect to SurveyMonkey, anonymous responses will be collected through the use of the "Web Link Collector." This method does not track names or emails. We will not save the IP addresses in the Analyze section. As responses come in, each survey will be marked as a "Normal Response" in the Response Type field. There will be no name or email associated with it.



If you have questions at any time about the study or its procedures, you may contact Dr. Mary E. Smith, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Academic Planning and Policy at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, at 512-427-6213 or mary.smith@thecb.state.tx.us, or Ms. Debbie Rodriguez, Program Specialist for Academic Planning and Policy for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, at 512-427-6547 or debbie.rodriguez@thecb.state.tx.us. If you feel you have not been treated according to the descriptions included on this form, or your rights as a participant in research have not been honored during the course of this project, you may contact your institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) office.

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