Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Pre-Ninja Program

The Boy announced on Sunday that when he grows up, he wants to be a Ninja. Naturally, this got me thinking about a 'Pre-Ninja' program for my cc. In turn, that got me thinking about outcomes assessment for the Pre-Ninja program.

From the Pre-Ninja program's report to the Curriculum Committee in 2014:

Student Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the program, students will be able to:

  • rip a man's heart out and show it to him before he dies

  • spin slowly in mid-air

  • skulk undetected through abandoned factories at night

  • mix black clothes with other black clothes without clashing

Assessment Tools:

  • a multiple-choice test covering Ninja Theory (“Ninjas reject pastels because...”)

  • steel-cage matches with our Criminal Justice majors

  • a multimedia project in the capstone course, NIN 250, “Ninjas: The Deadliest Mimes”

General Education Requirements:

  • Math 115, “Math for Ninjas.” (If the enemy is bleeding from three orifices, and you tear him two more, from how many orifices will he be bleeding?)

  • Chem 140, “Forensic Chemistry for Ninjas” (How not to leave traces)

  • Soc 213, “The Global Ninja” (There is not one ninja, but many ninjas...)

  • Eng 220, “Literature of the Ninja Experience” (“As my target's skull fragmented into so many shards, I thought again about my mother...”)

This Year's Assessment Findings:

“The department found that most of our proto-ninjas were reasonably adept at pummeling, pouncing, and skulking, but many still struggled with glowering menacingly. We're thinking of adding a Public Speaking requirement.”

Articulation Agreements:

All unwritten, as befits the code of the Ninja. Also, we keep losing the damn things.

Graduate Survey Results:

75 percent of the graduates we contacted indicated satisfaction with the program, though many threatened to kill us in our sleep for daring to call them at home. We've also identified an issue with technology. Apparently, the top tier upper-division Ninja certification programs require that their graduates be able to see the matrix. We've appointed an ad hoc committee to look into it.


While the Pre-Ninja program does a fine job of preparing its students, it needs to step up its recruitment efforts. With help from Student Life and the Admissions Office, this Fall we will pioneer a dual-enrollment program with the local Vo-Tech high school to recruit pre-ninjas as early as the ninth grade. We've abandoned our efforts at Renaissance Faires, since ultimately, even we have standards. Finally, based on some unfortunate incidents with Career Services, we have taken it upon ourselves to remind students not to eviscerate unctuous recruiters, no matter how richly they may deserve it. As a result of our intervention, we're pleased to report, eviscerations are down nearly 50 percent over last year.