Unit: Pacific Islands Studies
Program: Pacific Islands Studies (MA)
Degree: Master's
Date: Mon Oct 20, 2014 - 1:58:49 pm

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

MA SLO 1 Students can evaluate Pacific Studies as an organized, interdisciplinary field of study that includes indigenous epistemologies and perspectives.

MA SLO 2 Students can demonstrate a wide range of historical, geographic, and cultural knowledge about Oceania

MA SLO 3 Students can analyze conceptual, political, cultural, and ethical issues confronting students of Oceanic societies.

MA SLO 4 Students can analyze a specialized aspect of the history, culture, politics, or international relations of one or more of the island societies of Oceania.

MA SLO 5 Students can interact with Pacific Islander communities in culturally sensitive research, collaboration, and advocacy.Certificate in Pacific Islands Studies.

Certificate SLOs

1.1 Students can demonstrate a wide range of historical, geographic, and cultural knowledge about Oceania

1.2 Students can demonstrate expertise in a Pacific-related specialty area relevant to the student’s research focus in another graduate program.

1.3 Students can analyze contemporary conceptual, political, cultural, and ethical issues confronting students of Oceanic societies.  


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: NA
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: http://www.hawaii.edu/cpis/psi/index.html (some, not all courses)

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.

1) Review and revise program SLOs for the MA program (effective AY 2014-2015) to mirror development of the performance/creativity strand in the undergrad degree and reflect new course options offered by new faculty

2) Align new courses to program SLOs and revise curriculum map for AY 2014-2015,

3) Collect evidence of SLO2 across the three core courses,

4) Interpret evidence collected,

5) Based on last year's assessment activity results, create and utilize a new rubric (all MA program SLOs) for assessment of MA theses/portfolios, and MA written comprehensive exams, 

6) Analyze results of comprehensive exam assessment and thesis/portfolio assessment, and

7) Conduct informal exit interviews with graduating MA students.

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.

Program SLOs were revised and updated.

The MA curriculum map was reviewed given a change in faculty for PACS 603. New courses are not fully developed so they were not yet added to the new map.


Evidence was gathered in two courses to demonstrate student profiency. PACS 601 collected student research proposals. PACS 602 selected student essays.

Comprehensive Exams of 11 students (100%) were evaluated using a rubric.

Five graduating students' theses/portfolios were evaluated using a rubric.

Informal exit interviews were conducted by committee advisors. 

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


PACS 603: Five student research proposals were submitted for assessment, approximately 40% of class.Every third student's research proposal was selected

PACS 602: Seven student essays were submitted for assessment, approximately 50% of the class. Every other student's essay was selected.

All (11) MA students submitted comprehensive exams for assessment 

100% of Spring 2014 graduates' theses/portfolios were assessed (5).


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.


Summary results revelaed:

PACS 603 revealed: 40% Acccomplished, 40% Competent, 20% Developing profiency with SLO2.

PACS 602 revealed:43% Competent, 43% Developing, and 14% Beginning proficiency with SLO2. 



Summary results revealed:

SLO1: 27% Accomplished, 45% Competent, 27% Developing

SLO2: 18% Accomplished, 56% Competent, 27% Developing

SLO3: 27% Accomplished, 56% Competent, 18% Developing

SLO4: 27% Accomplished, 56% Competent, 18% Developing

SLO5: Not assessed in written exam.



Summary results revealed:

SLO1: 20% Competent, 20% Developing. Remainder not assessed for this SLO.

SLO2: 40% Competent.Remainder not assessed for this SLO.

SLO3: 20% Accomplished, 40% Competent. Remainder not assessed for this SLO.

SLO4: 60% Accomplished, 40% Competent. Remainder not assessed for this SLO.

SLO5: 80% Accomplished. Remainder not assessed for this SLO.

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

As a result of the assessment process and the inclusion of new faculty, we discussed an overall review of the MA program in terms of current understandings of this interdisciplinary field and our current program SLOs. A surevy of the program courses, SLOs, and student feedback is set for AY 2014-2015.

OUr discussions have led to collaborations and greater efforts to build writing and research skills in PACS 601 and PACS 602, to better prepare students for research design in PACS 603. 

Faculty need to designate assignments for assessment and be reminded to save and scan student work. We will meet at the start of each semester to clarify assignments that can demonstrate student progress toward program SLOs.

Although we used last year's results to create and utilize a rubric for comprehensive exams and student theses/portfolios, we struggle to assess all SLOs through final projects. We will adapt our thesis defense/portfolio defense processes to insure assessment of all program SLOs per student and continue to utilize an adapted rubric to be more effective.

We will also add new questions to MA comprehensive exams to better assess student engagement and advocacy in communities.

In response to informal interviews suggesting a need for greater cohort support in the second year of the program, we are beginning a weekly writing/cohort support meeting to encourage steady progress toward research and writing goals and timely student completion of the program. 

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.

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.