The economies of most developed countries are dominated by services; even traditional manufacturing companies such as General Electric and IBM are adding high-value services to grow their businesses. Improving productivity in services often requires combining technical, social and business innovations. Effective combinations of these innovations often develop naturally together. Cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills relevant to services are becoming necessary for most college graduates.
The minor in Service Science aims to provide these skills by drawing together cross-disciplinary courses to understand services from management, economics, engineering and/or cognitive science perspectives.
Program Learning Outcomes
Our faculty members work to prepare students for a holistic understanding of the knowledge and skills of the discipline. Upon completion of the degree, we expect students to demonstrate the following.
- Describe through a multidisciplinary lens the process of how knowledge is converted to value in the services sector.
- Assess how goods and services can be improved, administered, and optimized.
- Apply appropriate information technology to analyze basic business processes and recommend strategies for improvement and optimization.
- Present basic knowledge of the relationship between IT and service systems.
- Use professionalism in writing and speaking that is consistent with the discipline.
Refer to the Curriculum Map to see the coherency between the Program Learning Outcomes and our course offerings.
Each year, our program assesses the classroom learning experiences of students to ensure that students are building the necessary skills and knowledge-base in this discipline. The assessments allow our program to engage in continued creative and visionary curriculum and instruction approaches that ensure students are exposed to rigorous undergraduate training. Every discipline has a unique assessment schema and set of student performance benchmarks, reflecting the priorities of the discipline.
From the 2012-2013 program assessment, we examined student performance in assessing how goods and services can be improved, administered, and optimized (Program Learning Outcome 2). The student population sampled (N=25) came from those enrolled in the signature Services Sciences course (MGMT 150), 18 seniors and 7 juniors (only two students were declared minors). The students were tested on this PLO with an in-class assignment final paper.
Student performance was applied to three areas: Clarity, Execution, and Effort with two criteria for each area:
- Clarity: Question posed (2 pts) and the Answer offered (3 pts)
- Execution: Format of paper (2 pts) and Organization (3 pts)
- Effort: References used (2 pts) and Content (3 pts)
The average overall score was 13 (out of 15), and scores ranged from 9 to 15. Seniors performed best on the clarity of question, organization of the overall paper, and effort put into developing content. Juniors performed best on clarity of answer or discussion, overall execution, and effort in connecting to the literature.
We also surveyed students in MGMT 150 to understand how they judge their knowledge and capability in PLO 2. Students reported to have not much or moderate capability before taking the class (18/25) and moderate to full capability afterward (25/25).