Program: Mechanical Engineering (PhD)
Date: Tue Oct 07, 2014 - 4:11:26 pm
1) Below are your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs). Please update as needed.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering adheres to the student learning outcomes of the Graduate Division: “In general, a student who has successfully completed the graduate degree requirements should be able to
1. Demonstrate mastery of the methodology and techniques specific to the field of study.
2. Communicate both orally and in writing at a high level of proficiency in the field of study.
3. Conduct research or produce some other form of creative work.
4. Perform in their field of study at a professional level.”
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: http://www.eng.hawaii.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Grad_ME_r6_spreads.pdf
UHM Catalog. Page Number: 229
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online:
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 goals of the Assessment Activities are to assess the level of achievements of the Department SLOs on
Course, Research/Dissertation, and Seminar Requirements by our PhD graduates and ensure that our PhD
graduates have acquired our SLOs 1 through 4 (see responses to Question 1), and hence SLOs 1 through 4
were assessed. The assessments for the Courses are done by the ME Faculty/Instructor at the time of the course offering as well as the Graduate Chair towards the completion of the degree. For the Qualifying Exam, the Qualifying Committee, composed of three ME Faculty, makes the assessment of the students’ capability, in being able to conduct independent research and present them in a professional manner, for the student to continue in the program or drop out of the program. For the Comprehensive Exam, which will be conducted after the course work is complete, the Comprehensive Committee is composed of four ME Faculty and one outside of the discipline faculty member who make the assessments of the students’ fundamental knowledge acquired through the course work as well as research quality and capability for the student to advance as a PhD candidate (All-But-Dissertation: ABD) towards the completion of the Dissertation. The Dissertation Committee (which is the same as the Comprehensive Committee, in most cases) is composed of four ME Faculty and one outside of the discipline faculty member who make the assessment of the students’ research accomplishments in developing an independent research capability and contributing uniquely to the field of study by judging the students’ Dissertation Document and Final Defense Oral Presentation. Seminar Requirements are judged by the faculty in charge of the Seminar.
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.
7.1. Assessment at Admission Level:
Admission to the PhD program in Mechanical Engineering depends on MS Degree performance (or BS Degree performance for students pursuing a direct PhD program without an MS degree), TOEFL, and GRE scores, letters of reference, any program course deficiencies, and the applicant’s Statement of Objectives. To be accepted by the Graduate Division, applicants must have the equivalent of a B average at the University of Hawaii (determined by Graduate Division). Foreign students from universities that do not teach in English must pass the TOEFL examination with minimum scores of 550, or 600 (Paper-based, or an equivalent on a Computer or Internet based) for teaching assistants. All students must submit a record of their GRE scores. Students with above-average scores normally are accepted into the PhD program. TOEFL and GRE scores as well as course transcripts are useful in evaluating skills needed to pursue a PhD degree. Letters of recommendation generally must be positive. Applicants from Mechanical Engineering programs at some universities and from fields other than Mechanical Engineering might not have a sufficient background to pursue an PhD degree in the chosen area of concentration. The Graduate Chair bases acceptance on an acceptable number of deficiency courses. For those applicants who are accepted, the Graduate Chair has an initial advising session with the applicant to make a final determination of any deficiency courses that must be taken in addition to the course requirements for the PhD degree. An applicant’s Statement of Objectives is helpful in determining if the applicant’s career goals can be met by the Department’s programs and available resources.
7.2. Assessment at Program Level:
Course Requirement (SLO 1): There is a minimum GPA to maintain in course work via gradebased written and, occasionally, oral exams. Written exams in courses are used to assess mastery of subjects pertinent to a student’s area of concentration for PhD programs. The assessments for the Courses, to comply with the program requirements, is also done by the Graduate Chair.
Qualifying Exam (SLOs 2&3): Students submit a Qualifying Report and give an Oral Presentation to the Qualifying Committee, which is composed of three ME Faculty who make the assessment of the students’ capabilities in being able to conduct independent research and present them in a professional manner, for the student to continue in the program or drop out of the program.
Comprehensive Exam (SLOs 1&2): The Comprehensive Exam will be conducted after the course work is complete. Students submit a Comprehensive Report and give an Oral Presentation to the Comprehensive Committee, which is composed of four ME Faculty and one outside of the discipline faculty member who make the assessments of the students’ fundamental knowledge and mastery on topics related to the dissertation acquired through the course work as well as research quality and capability for the student to advance as a PhD candidate (All-But-Dissertation: ABD) towards the completion of the Dissertation.
Dissertation Document (SLOs 1, 2, & 3): The doctoral dissertation is expected to be a scholarly, original contribution to knowledge resulting from independent research and should be suitable for publication. Students must demonstrate a novel contribution made to their areas of concentration. The students submit their dissertation document to the Dissertation Committee (which is the same as the Comprehensive Committee, in most cases) and is composed of four ME Faculty and one outside of the discipline faculty member who make the assessment of the students’ research accomplishments in developing an independent research capability and contributing uniquely to the field of study by judging the students’ Dissertation Document. Final Examination based on the Student’s Dissertation (SLOs 1 thru 4): Students must demonstrate a novel contribution made to their areas of concentration. The students present their dissertation research as an Oral Examination for the Dissertation Committee members who make assessments of the students accomplishments for SLOs 1 through 4.
Seminar Requirement (SLOs 2 & 4): To ensure that our students are able to communicate orally and in writing at a high level of proficiency and are able to perform in their field of study at a professional level, the students submit 15 reports over the course of their PhD studies in our Department and give a presentation on their research topics and achievements during their last semester prior to graduation. The faculty in charge of the Seminar makes the assessment and recommends improvements.
8) State how many persons submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.
About 10 students.
1. Course Requirements & Performances (Assessed by Faculty Instructor)
2. Examinations (Qualifying, Comprehensive, and Dissertation with Oral Presentations; Assessed by Committee Members)
3. Research Requirement (Scholarly and Novel Contribution to the Area of Concentration; Assessed by Committee Members)
4. Seminar Requirements & Performances (Assessed by Faculty Instructor)
5. Conference & Journal Publications (Assessed by External Peer Reviewers)
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)
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)
11) For the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goal(s) stated in Question #6:
Summarize the actual results.
Currently, the number of courses offered at graduate level is not sufficient (as also voiced by the graduate
students), due to insufficient number of faculty members. Although the Dean’s office agreed to give the
Department additional positions, these positions are contingent to the availability of funds. The MS Plan A
students write an average of one conference and/or one journal paper at the completion of their degree. The
Department Graduate Student Handbook has been updated and will be posted in the next few months.
12) State how the program used the results or plans to use the results. Please be specific.
Any possible modifications of problems are reported to the Graduate Curriculum Committee chaired by the Graduate Chair of the Department. The committee considers recommendations for modifications and takes actions. Also, the Chair and Graduate Chair will be updating the Department Graduate Student Handbook when necessary.
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 faculty and students expressed that the number of courses offered at graduate level was not sufficient both related to research work and for graduation. This is caused by a significant increase of undergraduate students and shortage of faculty members. The Department Chair and the Dean have requested for additional positions to solve the problem.
The Graduate program has recently been reviewed by an external review panel in Spring, 2012 and the result is mostly positive. The course availability and shortage of faculty problems were mentioned in the review report.
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.
The assessments tools explained here are implemented continuously every year. The Department intends to add a rubric as an additional assessment tool.