Unit: American Studies
Program: American Studies: Historic Preservation (Graduate Certificate)
Degree: Certificate, Graduate
Date: Wed Oct 14, 2009 - 3:59:00 pm

1) List your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs).

An overall knowledge of the field of historic preservation in the U.S. and internationally;

Knowledge of procedures, laws and international agreements pertaining to historic preservation practice nationally and internationally;

Knowledge of the range and types of historic properties/resources, their characteristics and special conservation requirements;

Critical thinking skills relevant to identifying and analyzing historic resources and formulating strategies for their recognition and protection;

Competence in scholarly and professional writing and in oral communication;

Advanced research skills, including knowledge of primary and secondary sources necessary in the historic preservation field;

Basic and advanced documentation skills for identifying, describing and in other ways recording historic and cultural resources.

2) Where are your program's SLOs published?

Department Website URL: http://www.hawaii.edu/amst/historic.htm
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: NA
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: NA
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: NA

3) Upload your program's current curriculum map(s) as a PDF.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2009:

4) What percentage of courses have the course SLOs explicitly stated on the course syllabus, department website, or other publicly available document? (Check one)


5) State the SLO(s) that was Assessed, Targeted, or Studied

The program content was discussed with members of the community, potential employees, former students and fellow teachers and scholars at UH and other institutions. The director attended a meeting in May 2009 with the Director of the National Council on Preservation Education (NCPE), where issues of course content, NCPE standards and other aspects of preservation education were discussed. The director also met with officials of the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, in two meetings in 2008 (since the last assessment) to further investigate issues of curriculum. The director has also attended meetings of the Asia Academy, a consortium of Asian universities and other teaching institutions situated in Bangkok, Thailand and part of the UNESCO Office for Asia and the Pacific.

These meetings and discussions have helped lead to a reappraisal of course content and educational needs. This reassessment is reflected in modifications to existing syllabi and the re-naming of four courses to reflect new directions in the field. AmSt 677 Community Preservation is now being retitled as Historic Preservation Planning; AmSt 676 Documentation of Historic Resources will soon be Documentation of Historic and Cultural Resources. AmSt 681 Vernacular Traditions in American Architecture and Material Culture is being retitled Vernacular Architecture and Material Culture. In addition, three existing courses, Anth 645, Historic Preservation; AmSt 679 Elements of Style in American Architecture and Decorative Arts; and AmSt 474 Preservation: Hawai‘i, Asia and the Pacific; and AmSt 676 Documentaon of Historic Resources are being cross-listed with either American Studies or Architecture to encourage more interdisciplinary participation.

6) State the Assessment Question(s) and/or Goal(s) of Assessment Activity

The goal of the assessment activity is to refine the course foci and contents, including titles, to reflect changes in the field. The changes should better prepare graduates for work in the historic preservation field and will also help in building toward a master’s level program. The course and title changes are also intended to move the courses closer to the key instructional areas set out by NCPE.

7) State the Type(s) of Evidence Gathered

Evidence included:

1)      Student evaluations; open-ended opinions

2)      In-class discussions with students

3)      Discussions with fellow UHM faculty

4)      Meetings with NCPE officers

5)      Meetings with other educational organizations

6)      Discussions with others in the Hawai‘i historic preservation community 

7)      Discussions with National Park Service personnel and educators

8)      Discussions with Statewide governmental and community-based organizations

8) State How the Evidence was Interpreted, Evaluated, or Analyzed

The evidence was of a qualitative kind. Information was sorted, discussed, brought to the Curriculum Committee by the program director. The departmental administrative staff was also consulted for advice.

9) State How Many Pieces of Evidence Were Collected

Eight different types of testimony and data were consulted. Listed in item number 7 above.

10) Summarize the Actual Results

The results of the reassessment have been manifested in six course change applications, now pending. These have been cleared by the Departmental Curriculum Committee and are being forwarded to the university and other departments for approval.

The final results of the proposed and on-going adjustments in program content and course titles have not yet been gathered or evaluated. We will hope to know more next year after the adjustments have been put in place.

11) Briefly Describe the Distribution and Discussion of Results

The proposed course changes have been discussed with faculty members of the Department of Anthropology, School of Architecture and Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Students in current courses have learned of proposed changes. They will be presented to State Historic Preservation Office officials on October 31, 2009 and to National Park Service officials on October 31 and November 14, 2009. More general community presentations will be made in January and February 2010 as part of the program’s regular “Experts at the Palace” series. Further discussions with National Park Service and State officials will take place in the coming year. NCPE will also be notified of the changes once they have been approved.

12) Describe Conclusions and Discoveries

Final conclusions will await application in the next two years.

13) Use of Results/Program Modifications: State How the Program Used the Results --or-- Explain Planned Use of Results

Modifications described in items 5 and 10 above.

14) Reflect on the Assessment Process

The assessment process has been useful in identifying program needs. These have resulted in modifications to course titles and content.  

15) Other Important Information

The assessment process has strengthened interdepartmental discussions and further contacts with community organizations and government programs in which our graduating students are employed. We foresee increasing levels of contact between and among departments, leading, we hope to the first steps toward creation of a master’s level program.  We also believe the modifications to course titles and content will help strengthen student and graduate competencies and better prepare them for careers in the historic preservation field.

16) FOR DISTANCE PROGRAMS ONLY: Explain how your program/department has adapted its assessment of student learning in the on-campus program to assess student learning in the distance education program.

17) FOR DISTANCE PROGRAMS ONLY: Summarize the actual student learning assessment results that compare the achievement of students in the on-campus program to students in the distance education program.