Unit: English
Program: English (MA)
Degree: Master's
Date: Mon Nov 03, 2014 - 8:36:15 am

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

1) Foundational knowledge of the theories and methods of two concentrations within English

2) Ability to account for continuing relevance of earlier cultural formations and literary and rhetorical practices

3)  Awareness of the contributions of Oceanic and/or Asian cultures to the formation of the field of English Studies in the 21st Century

4) Understanding of advanced research methods and/or creative techniques

5) Written and oral ability to place one’s own creative and/or scholarly work within broader artistic and/or critical conversations

6) Independent research (using primary and secondary sources) and/or creative skills 


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

Department Website URL: http://www.english.hawaii.edu/grad/grad.html
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.

This year, we undertook an extensive assessment activity at the PhD level, which will be discussed in that report. Consequently, we did not engage in a specific assessment project at the MA-level; however, our Associate Dean Kimi Kondo Brown runs an exit survey out of her office that is keyed to the SLOs on our curriculum map, and I will report on those, with more attention going to the SLO 3:  Awareness of the contributions of Oceanic and/or Asian cultures to the formation of the field of English Studies in the 21st Century.

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.

The Associate Dean conducts an exit survey with recent graduates. Separate exit surveys are given to BA, MA and PhD graduates.  The Chair and Graduate Director also hold a meeting with the graduate students each spring to discuss any specific concerns and at which the curriculum map provides a foundation for curricular discussions. Given the open-ended nature of this discussion, curricular concerns are not the sole focus.

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

During the AY 2013-2014, 13 MA graduates were invited to fill out the online exit survey adminstered by the Associate Dean of LLL. Of those 13, 5 responded for a response rate of 38 %. Approximately 23 graduate students attended the meeting with the Chair and Graduate Chair. Of those 23 students, 7 were MA students. This meeting was held at a time when no classes are held.

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.

In terms of the MA exit survey, the survey specifically asks about how prepared they now feel in relation to each SLO. For SLO # 3 "Demonstrate awareness of the contributions of Oceanic and/or Asian cultures to the formations of literary and rhetorical practices" students were asked to rate their preparedness on a scale of 1 (not at all) to 5 (very well). Two students rated themselves a 4 and three students rated themselves a 5. This sampling is sadly small, but suggests that the course requirement does give students exposure to and knowledge of the practices of both people indigenous to the Pacific and/or in the wider region of Asia and the Pacific in which UHM is situated.

One of the concerns raised in advance of the graduate student meeting with the Chair and Graduate Director was the purpose of the requirement that both MA and PhD students take one course that has substantial content related to Hawaii, Asia or the Pacific. Although this question was raised by one PhD student who was concerned that the program website does not adequately make clear the department's commitments to and focus on this area; another seven students (four at the MA level and 3 at the PhD) had a different question related to SLO 3: "what is the place of the non-indigenous student in classes that focus on indigenous Hawaiian or Pacific materials?" Students at the meeting asked that this question be given priority over others expressed in advance of the meeting. 

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

Although the requirement is stated in the Graduate Manual (available on the web and given as a hard copy to each student during their first advising appointment during which program requirements are reviewed), it became clear that not all students read the website carefully. Moreover, the department's IT person had passed away the summer before leaving parts of the website unrevised. A new website was launched sometime later. 

At the meeting with the Chair and Graduate Director, both students indigenous to the Pacific and those who are non-indigenous had a good discussion about the awkwardness of attending HAP content classes when students come with a vast differences in knowledge, access to cultural knowledge, and ability to read Pacific languages. Students discussed the possibility of having  smaller group discussions of some of the questions raised. Two students who are Hawaiian or Pacific islander offered to answer questions. The Graduate Director explained that for the graduate seminar in Hawaiian literature that we offer each year, we have been alternatively years where the class is more introductory and years where the content requires more advanced knowledge. This kind of information is given in the course descriptions available before registration. She, therefore, impressed upon them the importance of reading the descriptions and having a good sense of what they want to take and why before coming to their required advising sessions each semester. The Chair offered to organize colloquia on the teaching of Pacific and Hawaiian literature for the AY 2014-2015.

Many of the same students who attended the meeting with the Chair and Graduate Director also were at a department meeting on a revision to the undergraduate curriculum, which made a similar course requirement, though specifically for Hawaiian and indigenous Pacific content, for all BAs. It should be noted that they were also invited because discussion of a possible MFA program was also on the agenda. Their participation, as students getting a sense of faculty governance as part of their professionalization and as GAs who teach undergraduates, contributed to the faculty discussion. Although this requirement passed in the department vote, it is clear that not all faculty feel comfortable with it, and he thus reiterated his commitment to having colloquia and forums on the teaching of Hawaiian and Pacific literatures within the English  department. One such forum took place in September 2014. As we are in the midst of an election for Chair, it remains to be seen what additional forums and colloquia will be scheduled for the next semester. 

One of the things that the GPC began discussion of in AY 2013-2014 was the possibility of increasing the HAP requirement to 2 courses for our PhD students, and possibly requiring that at least one be taken in the department, which has 1-3 seminars that fullfill the requirement each year. That discussion is being conducted this year, AY 2014-2015. Any such proposal would have to be voted on by the department. 

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.

What emerged from our annuall discussion with the graduate students and its confluence with curricular discussions taking place at the undergraduate level demonstrates the importance of qualitative methods for identifying and working to resolve misunderstandings or concerns within the graduate program. 

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.

Because we had a large assessment project at the PhD level we did not do anything specific to the MA program in AY 2013-2014 other than the exit surveys and meeting with the Chair and Graduate Director. This AY 2014-2015, we will be assessing the oral communication skills of our graduate students at both the MA and PhD levels.