Program: American Studies (PhD)
Date: Tue Oct 14, 2014 - 9:21:23 am
1) Below are your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs). Please update as needed.
- Broad knowledge of U.S. history, society, and culture.
- Understanding of several key disciplinary methods to U.S. history, society, and culture.
- Critical analysis and advanced writing skills.
- Mastery of two fields of the student’s specialization, plus broad knowledge of the history of American Studies as a field.
- Pedagogical skills and experience for college-level teaching.
- Advanced research skills necessary to complete a book-length project of original scholarship.
2) Your program's SLOs are published as follows. Please update as needed.
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number: 91-93
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: NA
Other: Annual assessment reports, departmental reviews.
3) Select one option:
- File (03/16/2020)
4) For your program, the percentage of courses that have course SLOs explicitly stated on the syllabus, a website, or other publicly available document is as follows. Please update as needed.
5) Did your program engage in any program assessment activities between June 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014? (e.g., establishing/revising outcomes, aligning the curriculum to outcomes, collecting evidence, interpreting evidence, using results, revising the assessment plan, creating surveys or tests, etc.)
No (skip to question 14)
6) For the period between June 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014: State the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goals. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.
The SLOs targeted between June 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014 were #1 ("Broad knowledge of U.S. history, society, and culture") and #4 ("Mastery of two fields of the student's specialization, plus broad knowledge of the history of American Studies as a field.") The department assessed the following questions: How well does the department prepare its Ph.D. students to master a broad knowledge of U.S. history, society, and culture, as well as two fields of specialization, and to develop broad knowledge of the history of American Studies as a field?
7) State the type(s) of evidence gathered to answer the assessment question and/or meet the assessment goals that were given in Question #6.
Qualitative data: Department advisers met with each Ph.D. student and submitted a written report in April 2014 on the student's academic performance. Each report was then discussed by the faculty collectively in a meeting devoted to assessment of students' performance and progress in the program.
Quantitative data: In the American Studies Department, intensive, multi-day qualifying exams represent the culmination of three years of coursework in the field. The Department gathered evidence of student performance on those exams from Fall 2008 through Spring 2014 to assess the degree to which it achieved SLO #1 and 4.
8) State how many persons submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.
The quantitative evidence consisted of all 31 Qualifying Exams that occurred in the Department of American Studies between Fall 2009 and Spring 2014.
9) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected? (Check all that apply.)
Ad hoc faculty group
Persons or organization outside the university
Advisors (in student support services)
Students (graduate or undergraduate)
Other: Graduate Chair, Graduate Coordinator
10) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence? (Check all that apply.)
Used professional judgment (no rubric or scoring guide used)
Compiled survey results
Used qualitative methods on interview, focus group, open-ended response data
External organization/person analyzed data (e.g., external organization administered and scored the nursing licensing exam)
Other: examination results
11) For the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goal(s) stated in Question #6:
Summarize the actual results.
Of the 31 Ph.D. students who took the Qualifying Exam in American Studies between Fall 2009 and Spring 2014, 25 successfully passed the exam at or above the expected level of achievement. 6 received a score of "low pass" on part or all of the exam. No students failed the Ph.D. Qualifying Exam.
12) State how the program used the results or plans to use the results. Please be specific.
Both qualitative and quantitative data indicates that the program has been largely successful in fulfilling the SLO #1 and #4 by the end of the students' coursework.
It may be helpful to assess the degree to which the department's three foundational courses, in particular, address these objectives.
Progress toward the degree varies, depending on external circumstances such as finances, health, and family needs. For students who are not progressing or performing as expected, the Graduate Chair and faculty advisors will follow up with each individual, providing additional mentoring.
13) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries?
This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, program aspects and so on.
The importance of regular, one-to-one mentoring, and close communication between faculty about students' performance, however time consuming, is key to student success.