Unit: Human Nutrition, Food & Animal Sciences
Program: Food Science & Human Nutrition (BS)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Thu Oct 02, 2014 - 9:21:15 am

1) Institutional Learning Objectives (ILOs) and Program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

1. Know, apply and critically analyze and evaluate concepts related to the science of food and nutrition with a focus on humans.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field)

2. Develop written & oral skills commensurate with the ability to summarize, evaluate, synthesize, and appropriately communicate scientific concepts to a variety of audiences.

(1a. General education, 2c. Communicate and report)

3. Acquire personal characteristics and leadership, management, and human relations skills appropriate to professional practice in careers related to food science and human nutrition.

(1a. General education, 2c. Communicate and report)

4. Recognizes and uses appropriate technologies, such as computer applications and/or food and nutrition laboratory methodologies.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2b. Conduct research)

5. Identifies and develops skills to gain successful admission into entry level careers or post-graduate education.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2b. Conduct research)

6. Develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

(1a. General education, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 2b. Conduct research)

7. Demonstrates participation in community service.

(3a. Continuous learning and personal growth, 3c. Stewardship of the natural environment, 3d. Civic participation)

8. Identifies community issues from local to global levels.

(1c. Understand Hawaiian culture and history, 3a. Continuous learning and personal growth, 3b. Respect for people and cultures, in particular Hawaiian culture)

2) Your program's SLOs are published as follows. Please update as needed.

Department Website URL: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/hnfas/
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/hnfas/degrees/undergrad/FSHN.html
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/hnfas/degrees/undergrad/FSHN.html
UHM Catalog. Page Number: http://www.catalog.hawaii.edu/schoolscolleges/ctahr/humannuti.htm
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online:

3) Select one option:

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2014:

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.

This assessment was conducted with graduating students enrolled in FSHN 492 during Spring 2013 and Spring 2014.  The students were asked “How well did the UH experience contribute to your competency in the following areas?”  Students ranked each CTAHR competency categorically, ranging 1 to 5, with 1 reflecting “zero” and 5 reflecting “a lot.”  All of the students surveyed (n= 40) completed all of the quantitative questions. Students were provided space to describe “what was most useful” with respect to each of the CTAHR competency.  The competencies evaluated were:

Written Communications

Oral Communications

Analytical Problem Solving Skills

Personal Characteristics

Human Relations Skills

Business Management Skills

Real World Experience

Leadership Skills

Computer Skills

Global Perspective


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.

likert rating of how much a student felt the "UH Experience" contributed to the competency (1-5: none to a lot) and descriptive comments on what specifically contributed to the rating.

8) State how many persons submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.

1 instructor (faculty member) conducted the assessment in 2 differ semesters (Sprign 2013 and Spring 2014).  The program assessment coordinator entered and analyzed the data.  Surveys were collected from all graduating senior in Sprign 2013 and Spring 2014 who were enrolled in FSHN 492 (senior field experience course, a required major course).

9) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected? (Check all that apply.)

Course instructor(s)
Faculty committee
Ad hoc faculty group
Department chairperson
Persons or organization outside the university
Faculty advisor
Advisors (in student support services)
Students (graduate or undergraduate)
Other: Program assessment coordinator who is also the academic advisor for FSHN. Report was submitted to Dept Chair for comment, but no comments were received.

10) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence? (Check all that apply.)

Used a rubric or scoring guide
Scored exams/tests/quizzes
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)

11) For the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goal(s) stated in Question #6:
Summarize the actual results.

The students were asked “How well did the UH experience contribute to your competency in the following areas?”  Students ranked each CTAHR competency categorically, ranging 1 to 5, with 1 reflecting “zero” and 5 reflecting “a lot.”  All of the students surveyed (n= 40) completed all of the quantitative questions. Students were provided space to describe “what was most useful” with respect to each of the CTAHR competency.  A summary of the quantitative results are shown in Table 1.  “Business management skills” and “Global Perspective” had the numerically lowest means in both 2013 and 2014. Means from each graduating year were compared with a t-test.  The graduating years were similar in rating each competency, except for “Real World Experience,” which was rated significantly lower in 2014 than 2013.

Table 1. Quantitative Assessment Results

CTAHR Competency



P-value (2 tailed t-test)





Written Communications




Oral Communications




Analytical Problem Solving Skills




Personal Characteristics




Human Relations Skills




Business Management Skills




Real World Experience




Leadership Skills




Computer Skills




Global Perspective





Summary of responses to “What was most useful?”

Written Communications: “Writing intensive” courses were noted as being helpful.  Teacher feedback and reinforcement of skills such as brevity were useful.  Also experiences related to specific document formats: memos, letters, resumes, journals were also noted as useful.  Students primarily noted courses within FSHN as being useful (FSHN 350, 381, 389, 451, 452, 467, 468, and 492). 30/40 students provided feedback.

Oral Communications:  SP 151 and 251, and FSHN 381 were frequently noted as courses that provided training in oral communications.  Other courses included were FSHN 451, FSHN 452, FSHN 467, FSHN 468, FSHN 469, and FSHN 492.  Of note, only FSHN 469 is regularly offered as “O” focus.  FSHN 381 was offered as “O” focus Summer 2013. 31/40 students provided feedback.

Analytical Problem Solving Skills: Laboratory exercises and take-home exams were noted as useful components to strengthen this skill.  Courses that addressed this skill included math courses, basic sciences courses, biochemistry, FSHN 381, FSHN 389, FSHN 451, FSHN 452, FSHN 467, FSHN 468.  One student commented on some instructors emphasis on memorization over understanding.  Although a course context was not provided, this should be taken into consideration when evaluating curriculum and learning assessment techniques. 24/40 students provided feedback

Personal characteristics: Group projects was noted numerous times.  FSHN 381 and FSHN 492 were both noted as courses that contributed to this competency.  Extracurricular activities such as FSHN Council and the leadership retreat also contributed.  22/40 students provided feedback

Human Relations Skills: Group projects were noted numerous times.  17/40 students provided feedback

Business Management Skills: This competency received the lowest rating in both 2013 (2.84) and in 2014 (2.62).  Some students commented that this competency was not addressed in the required courses “completely incompetent in this” “I did not learn any business management skills through UH.”  Other students commented that they found FSHN 311 useful or collectively referred to FSHN 311, 312, and 322.  Some students noted that courses outside of CTAHR were helpful, such as courses from the business school or economics departments.  Others suggested that courses outside of CTAHR be required, specifically an entrepreneurship course.  It’s worth noting that FSHN 311 Restaurant and Club Management is a taught by a HNFAS faculty member and is a required course in the FSHN-dietetics track.  This course, from the student perspective, does not address Business Management Skills. 20/40 students provided feedback.

Real World Experience: 2013 and 2014 responses cited FSHN 492 most frequently as a course that contributed to this competency. 2014 responses indicated more real world experiences earlier in academic career would be helpful.  This might be a reason for the significantly lower rating on this competency. 30/40 students provided feedback.

Leadership Skills: Group projects in FSHN 381, FSHn 451, and FSHN 452 were noted.  Extracurricular activities such as FSHN Council and other on-campus groups were also noted.  Some students noted this skill should be developed more within the curriculum. 21/40 students provided feedback.

Computer Skills: Many students commented that computer skills were self-taught. ICS 101 was view as both helpful and unhelpful.  This course was removed from the program requirements in Fall 2011. Use of specific software was mentioned: word processing, excel, powerpoint, Food Processor.  Some students noted that specific training in basic software would be useful or that instructors expected students to already know how to use software, but instructors did not provide the training.  One student suggested teaching graphic design software. Specific courses such as NREM 310 and FSHN 389 were noted. 23/40 students provided feedback.

Global Perspective: Several students commented that the current course curriculum offers little with regards to global perspective.  One student commented on the difficulty to arrange study abroad opportunities without getting “behind” in course work.  Specific courses noted were FSHN 350, FSHN 451 and SP 151.  Some students appreciated that FSHn does not require a second language requirement, while others desired the ability to take a second language within the usual 4-year degree program.  20/40 students provided feedback

Other comments: A desire for more business and more cultural courses were listed again in this section.  Improved advising was desired (2013 graduate), more time in FSHN 469 was suggested, using physiological mechanism to justify diet therapy in FSHN 467 and 468 was also suggested. Some content was address in numerous classes,  specifically: “lots of material repeated in the dietetics program ex: stages of change model in FSHn 451, 452, 469, 488; also a lot of HACCP material covered in FSHn 440 and chef mark's classes; FSHN 452- lots of review, think it might be more worthwhile to replace it with work at a designated nutrition program or shorten the class substantially.”   Oral presentation skills were also noted as an area to incorporate more in the curriculum.  One student desired more electives to pursue a second language.  Several students comments on lack of “real world” experience before their senior year. 21/40 students provided feedback.

Strengths of the FSHN program:

Students develop “Written communications,” “Oral communications,” and “Personal characteristics” in the FSHN program as demonstrated by mean scores greater or equal to 4.00 in both semesters. “Analytical and problem solving skills" was trending toward improvement (p = 0.15, spring 2014 mean= 4.14).

Areas for improvement in the FSHN program:

 The program should pursue ways to better address “Business management skills” and “Global perspective.”  Course curriculum within the department should be examined carefully to determine if these competencies can be included or further emphasized in the existing courses.  Alternatively, courses outside of the department may be necessary to address this competency.  The program should seek means to include training on software to better address the “Computer skills” competency. 

Other conclusions:

Students were concerned about obtaining “Real world experience” prior to their senior year.  Currently students are required to complete 10 hours of work or volunteer experience in FSHN 370 (2nd year course).  Students surveyed in 2013 and 2014 did not have this required aspect in FSHN 370. Feedback on the “Human relations” competency was sparse (17/40 students provided comments on what was most useful).  The program should examine this competency and determine if it is addressed in the existing curriculum.  “Leadership skills” were developed primarily through extra curricular activities rather than academic courses.


Comment about the assessment tool and process

The survey was administered by course instructors in FSHN 492.  Data were inputted and analyzed by the FSHN Assessment Coordinator, who was not present during the survey administration.  On the printed survey, the competencies were listed, but no further description was provided.  Students may have interpreted the competencies differently, which may affect the results, particularly answer to the question “What was most useful?”  Additionally, the anchors used in the quantitative questions were not complementary.  Substituting the terms “nothing” or “not at all” for the term “zero” may improve student understanding of questions. It should also be noted that these are graduating senior who may not be able to accurately assess their skills in these areas.  Collecting feedback from employers of recent graduates on the competencies would provide a more accurate assessment of the program’s efficacy.

12) State how the program used the results or plans to use the results. Please be specific.

The program will use the results to guide long-term planning, starting mid-October 2014.

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.


14) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please explain.
Or, if the program did engage in assessment activities, please add any other important information here.