Unit: Second Language Studies
Program: Second Language Studies (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Thu Oct 09, 2014 - 5:51:25 pm

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

SLS knowledge base - SLS PhD graduates will develop advanced understanding in three of the four broad areas of SLS:

(a) Pedagogy

(b) Use

(c) Learning

(d) Analysis

Mastery and application of appropriate research methods in SLS

SLS PhD graduates will develop mastery of research methods appropriate to their specific area of expertise in SLS.

SLS PhD graduates will demonstrate a commitment to professional engagement and will be recognized for excellence in their selected areas of SLS:

(a) Presenting at conferences

(b) Publishing research           

(c) Teaching in area of expertise        

(d) Assuming a leadership role in an area of expertise

SLS PhD graduates should be prepared for a variety of academic and professional career paths, and in particular for tenure-track college positions.

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

Department Website URL: http://www.hawaii.edu/sls/graduate/phd/phd-program/
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: NA
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
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.

We continued our normal practice of reviewing and monitoring our PhD students' progress and satisfaction with the program. We updated our alumni files and are now better placed to be able to assess the program from the viewpoint of graduate placement and longterm productivity.

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.

1. Doctoral students’ progress in the program is monitored using course evaluation procedures primarily involving large term projects. Particularly important major assessments related to student learning outcomes (and the educational factors that contribute to them) naturally include the dissertation itself and staged work leading up to it. The dissertation assessment also includes the public presentation and defense components, as well as a formal comprehensive exam and proposal development. We interpret the dissertation for program evaluation purposes as follows:

The dissertation reflects each doctoral student’s ability to: (a) engage in thorough-going research that is relevant to the field of SLS; (b) persist in long-term scholarly projects, from inception to dissemination; and (c) produce high-quality publishable writing. This three-part analysis allows assessment to offer valuable insights into the extent to which students have achieved primary learning outcomes (notably those listed in the initial answers above). Each of these assessments involves multiple stages of proposal, research, writing, feedback, and completion. 

2. Graduating student survey: In the College of LLL exit survey, questions have been generated specifically for the PhD program, and these questions target both the levels of learning in key outcomes areas and the perception of professional value of these outcomes. In addition to these department-internal questions, SLS stakeholders have advised the College of LLL on the design of general questions to ask of all graduating students in the college

3. Alumni survey and review. A listing of doctoral graduates is maintained on the website and the department tries to stay in regular contact with these students, to a greater extent than MA graduates. In particular, the employment placement of recent doctoral students is closely analyzed and provides input into curriculum and learning objectives. Our ability to collect and utilize this data is improving as we strengthen alumni relations in general

4. Annual doctoral student progress report: Following an initiative of the Graduate Division, advisors of doctoral students, in consultation with doctoral students, complete an advising and progress form each semester, which includes a listing of professional presentations along with an indication of progress towards graduation. This is a formal instrument and consultation process which allows for formative evaluation of students’ achievement of learning outcomes as well as providing input into the adequacy of those outcomes. In the past year we have improved our archiving of these materials in ways that facilitate review and Graduate Chair oversight.

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

All doctoral students and faculty, in various respects; alumni to a lesser degree.

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)

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.

Overall, the results of our assessment efforts in the PhD program are positive, indicating that the program is functioning well.  During the past year we have not found areas that need major improvement, but our departments' history indicates that when and if we do so, we will review the issues seriously, drawing on input from fellow scholars who are expert in the area of assessment.

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

The SLS doctoral program, within the broad guidelines and learning objectives alluded to earlier, is a flexible program whose educational success substantially depends on individual relationships of a mentoring and advising nature between doctoral student and dissertation chair. A doctoral student’s advisor, normally the dissertation chair, monitors student progress and achievement of learning objectives on an ongoing, individually tailored basis and is in a position to make course corrections early on the basis of any observed inadequacies in learning. Broader problems with overall observed limitations in general achievement of learning objectives would result in suggestions for program change being brought up at graduate faculty meetings.

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.

Not on this occasion. We expect to shift administrative arrangements concerning assessment reporting slightly in the coming year, however.

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.