Unit: American Studies
Program: American Studies (MA)
Degree: Master's
Date: Tue Oct 14, 2014 - 9:29:38 am

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

  1. ·        Broad knowledge of U.S. history, society, and culture.
  2. ·        Understanding of several key disciplinary methods to U.S. history, society, and culture.
  3. ·        Critical analysis and writing skills.
  4. ·        Independent research skills involving primary sources.

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

Department Website URL: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/amst/
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: NA

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.

For the period under review, the assessment question was: "Are MA students in the Department of American Studies developing a broad knowledge of U.S. history, society, and culture by the end of their MA program?" This question correlates with SLO #1.

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.

qualitative data: Faculty advisors are assigned to incoming students until students form a committee with a chair, at which point the chair of the committee assumes advising duties. Faculty advisors meet with advisees at least once per semester and generate a report on student progress. Those reports were submitted in April 2014 to the Graduate Chair and the faculty as a whole, who met to confer about each student's performance in the MA program.

Quantitative data: Students in the MA program complete their degree with a final thesis defense or written and oral MA examination. The MA examinations are given a score of pass, low pass, or fail, while the thesis defense is registered as either a pass or fail. The Graduate Chair and Graduate Coordinator gathered the results of all MA examinations and MA theses defenses conducted in the Department between Fall 2009 and Spring 2014 in order to assess students' demonstrated achievement of SLO #1 by the end of their program.

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

The sample includes data from all MA students who took their final examinations or defended a thesis between fall 2008 and spring 2014 as the culmination of their degree program. The sample consisted of a total of 31 students.

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: Graduate Chair, Graduate Coordinator

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)
Other: compiled exam results

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

28 students successfully passed their examinations or thesis defense at or above the level of achievement expected by the department. 3 students received a low pass on part or all of the examination. No students failed the final MA examination.

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

Overall, students who progress to the point of taking exams or completing theses are achieving SLO #1.

The department could next turn to an assessment of performance earlier in the academic program. At present, faculty advisors have been asked to contact and to provide additional mentoring to students who are not performing as expected in their coursework. In the coming year, the Graduate Chair will also contact each student who is confronting challenges in coursework to develop a plan for remediation.

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.

We have implemented a plan to monitor more closely each student's performance every semester. The Graduate Chair will continue to take an active role in contacting both students and faculty advisors, in order to assist with academic planning and to address academic problems as they arise.


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.