Mission and Goals

Departmental Mission Statement

The Daemen College Natural Sciences Department prepares students for life and leadership in a rapidly changing, technological society. Science is an integral part of the liberal arts reflecting the creative and dynamic interplay that exists among experimentation, theory, logic, symmetry and language. Emphasis is placed on developing the critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary to understand and apply scientific concepts to real world problems. In this spirit, the faculty and students collaborate in exploration of our changing world through classroom and research opportunities.

Student Learning Objectives for Natural Sciences

Our departmental goals are as follows:

  1. Students will acquire an understanding of the interdisciplinarity of the sciences and mastery of the scientific vocabulary.
  2. Students will gain proficiency in experimental design using appropriate controls according to the scientific method and will be able to:
    1. perform experiments;
    2. generate data using appropriate field and/or laboratory techniques;
    3. analyze and interpret experimental data.
  3. Students will be able to critically read the current scientific literature and will be able to perform literature searches using all available sources.
  4. Students will be able to communicate scientific knowledge both orally and in writing.
  5. Graduates will be prepared for further education in the sciences, for teaching science or for direct entry to the work force in a science-related career.

Goal 1

Students will acquire an understanding of the interdisciplinarity of the sciences and mastery of the scientific vocabulary.
Objectives:

  1. Students will understand the similarities and differences among the major scientific disciplines in terms of methods, acquired knowledge and collective understanding (e.g., be able to explain the similarities and differences between physics and biology, or inorganic and organic chemistry).
  2. Students will understand how the scientific method unifies all disciplines in the natural sciences, and distinguishes these disciplines from other areas of human inquiry (e.g., art history).
  3. Students will acquire a basic knowledge of scientific terms in the major scientific disciplines as well as specific and more profound knowledge in one or more specialized areas.

Goal 2

Students will gain proficiency in the process of experimental science and will be able to: design experiments with appropriate controls according to the scientific method; perform experiments and generate data using appropriate field and/or laboratory techniques; and analyze and interpret experimental data.
Objectives:

  1. Students will conduct research in their junior or senior year under the guidance of a faculty research advisor, during which they will:
    1. Select a research topic from those available at Daemen College or at neighboring facilities (e.g., University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute).
    2. Read widely through primary and secondary literature in that research area.
    3. Design an experiment in their research area with the help and guidance of their faculty research advisor with the aim of generating new knowledge and understanding.
    4. Perform experiment(s) which generate data.
    5. Use appropriate laboratory and/or field techniques and instrumentation to obtain experimental data.
    6. Analyze/interpret that data by appropriate statistical methodologies or other methods of analysis.
    7. Draw conclusions based on generated data and analysis of that data.

Goal 3

Students will be able to critically read the current scientific literature and will be able to perform literature searches using all available sources.
Objectives:

  1. Students will increase their information literacy by reading widely in the primary literature in their chosen research area. As such, they will:
    1. Obtain appropriate journal articles at libraries in the area by visitation of those libraries.
    2. Obtain journal articles from libraries through interlibrary loan.
    3. Search databases online for appropriate materials.
    4. Read available primary or other literature online.
    5. Attend appropriate seminars (when scheduled).
    6. Critically evaluate research articles for experimental design and conclusions.

Goal 4

Students will be able to communicate scientific knowledge both orally and in writing.
Objectives:

  1. Written:
    1. Students will recognize the different writing styles of newspapers, popular science magazines and scientific journals and will be able to provide effective written communication in each format.
    2. Students will prepare graphs and tables to clarify and supplement the presentation of scientific results in their writing.
    3. Students will write a senior thesis based on their research project which will demonstrate:
      1. A good background knowledge of their chosen research field.
      2. A thorough knowledge of the primary literature in their research area.
      3. A thorough understanding of the methodologies employed in their research.
      4. Proper data presentation (if data available).
      5. Adequate analysis of any generated data and conclusions drawn from that data.
      6. Clear, well-organized writing in correct scientific format.
      7. Proper citations and credits.
  2. Oral Presentation:
    1. Students will orally present scientific topics to their peers and faculty in the science seminar courses using PowerPoint or other visual aids.
    2. Students will orally present their research to students, family and faculty at the end of their senior semester using appropriate presentation technology (e.g., PowerPoint) and demonstrating:
      1. Good public speaking skills.
      2. Good organization of presented material.
      3. Good visual presentation including appropriate graphs, tables and photographs.
      4. Good knowledge and understanding of their research in terms of what was accomplished and why it was important.
      5. Good ability to answer questions in a public setting.

Goal 5

Graduates will be prepared for further education in the sciences, for teaching science, or for direct entry to the workforce in a science-related career.
Objectives:

  1. Students will have adequate knowledge in one or more scientific areas.
  2. Students will have a thorough knowledge of the scientific method and its application.
  3. Students will have the resources (knowledge, understanding, skills) to be life-long learners in the sciences and all fields of knowledge.
  4. Students will have sufficient skills in biology, chemistry, and other areas to allow them to be reasonably marketable.
  5. Students will have strong written and oral skills to allow them to effectively communicate with other professionals.
  6. Students will be able to work with groups of diverse individuals in problem-solving, experimentation and presentation.
  7. Students will have technological competency to be effective in the work place.

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