Unit: Sociology
Program: Sociology (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Fri Oct 10, 2014 - 5:37:54 pm

1) Below are your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs). Please update as needed.

I became Graduate Chair in February 2014 and this assessment process has made me realize that we need to revise our SLOs.  Here are the revised SLOs that I propose.  Next, I need to have the graduate studies commitee discuss them and seek approval at a faculty meeting. 

Revised October 2014 PhD Program SLOs

1. Demonstrate understanding of a broad range of sociological theories and be able to apply them to frame a research problem and to conduct a research project.

2.  Demonstrate understanding of a range of quantitative and qualitative methods for conducting sociological research.  

3. Apply principles to protect human subjects in a sociological research project.   

4. Acquire a professional level of knowledge in selected subfields of sociology in order to be

equipped to teach a course on the subject or to develop a research project that will advance

the field in the particular area.

5. Demonstrate ability to carry out a research project that will contribute new knowledge to the

field using appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative methods.  

6. Demonstrate ability to analyze research data and to write clearly and effectively for a professional academic audience

7. Demonstrate ability to present research findings clearly and effectively in a professional setting, such as a classroom or academic conference.


Old SLOs from 2012 report

1. Know basic theories in the discipline of sociology and theories relevant to particular subfields.
Be able to apply relevant theoretical concepts to frame a research problem and to interpret the 
theoretical implications of a research project.
2. Know basic quantitative and qualitative methods of conducting research in sociology and the 
ethical standards required to protect human subjects of research. Be able to write a formal 
research proposal according to the conventions of the discipline, apply relevant quantitative or 
qualitative methods (including statistics) to a particular research problem, analyze the results, 
and report research findings appropriately using the conventions of these methods.
3 . Acquire a professional level of knowledge in selected subfields of sociology in order to be 
equipped to teach a course on the subject or to develop a research proposal that will advance the 
field in this particular area.
4. Be able to carry out a research project that will contribute new knowledge to the field, using 
appropriate methods to conduct the research and analyze the results. This includes the ability to 
write up a well-organized and persuasive account of the research project for a professional 
audience, using the conventions of the discipline to present the research problem in context, 
articulate the reasons for the methods chosen and how they were implemented, present relevant 
data and analyze it appropriately, and articulate the significance and implications of the research 
for the advancement of the field.
5. Be able to present research findings both orally in a professional presentation and through
writing academic journal articles, following the conventions of the discipline

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

Department Website URL:
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: e-syllabi college of social sciences website

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.

The assessment report was not submitted in 2013 by the previous Graduate Chair so there were no goals. 

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.

As mentioned earlier, the previous Graduate Chair, Dr Bill Wood, did not submit an assessment report in 2013. 

The graduate students conducted an online survey to assess the graduate program and to identify areas for improvement.  The graduate studies committe supported this survey.  

We also conducted another online graduate student survey to assess the Qualifying Review (QR) exam in our PhD program.  The QR is before the comprehensive exam and involves students submitting 2 papers that demonstrate use of graduate level writing, theory, and research methods.  An anonymous departmental commitee evaluates the papers based on a rubric.  If students do not pass, they need to do the QR again. If they fail a second time, they are dismissed from our program. 

As Chair of Graduate program, I wanted the students to give me feedback on their experiences with the QR exam so the online survey was conducted.  The graduate studies commitee is split over whether the QR should stay the same, require one paper instead of 2, or be removed.  We plan on discussing it  at an upcoming faculty meeting.  It is already on the faculty meeting agenda for Oct 14th.  Hopefully, we will assess whether the QR should be revised or removed.  

We also had our usual annual review of students.  All faculty had a meeting to assess the progress of each PhD student in our program.  A rubric was used to assess progress.  The Chair of that student's guidance committee or dissertation committee presented an evaluation of the student.  Other relevant faculty also provided feedback.  The faculty agreed on an assessment for each student.  Then, the Chair of the Graduate program sent each student a letter about whether they were making satisfactory progress in the program.  

As our students progress through our PhD program, they achieve the SLOs #1 - 6. Many of our students present papers at conferences, thus satisfying SLO #7. 

PhD Students 2014 

According to our annual review of students in 2014, 30  PhD students were making satisfactory progress.  6 were not making satisfactory progress mostly because they were behind the expected schedule, so they were warned. 

3 had recently completed core coursework
6 recently passed the Qualifying Review exam
5 recently passed their Comprehensive written and oral exams
6 had their Dissertation prospectus recently approved
10 had finished their dissertation and passed oral
the other students had started and were continuing their coursework in the first phase of our program



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

23 graduate students completed the online graduate student survey

11 students completed the Qualifying Review survey that was only for students who had already passed the QR

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: Chair of the Graduate Program will evaluate the results of the online graduate student survey

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.

There were no goals because the assessment report was not submitted in 2013 by the previous Graduate Chair.  The results of the graduate student surveys are available on request. 

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

I plan to use the survey results to improve the morale of the graduate students and for our department to expand our research specializations by offering more courses and to hire new faculty.  We only have 10.5 faculty when we should have 16. 

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.

This assessment process as a new Graduate Chair made me realize that we need to revise our SLOs and I need to encourage faculty to include SLOs in their syllabi. 

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.