Unit: Cell & Molecular Biology
Program: Cell & Molecular Biology (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Sun Sep 20, 2015 - 1:34:25 pm

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

1.  Knowledge and Understanding

     A. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge in Cell and Molecular Biology which includes understanding of related research methodology and techniques.

     B.  Demonstrate familiarity with principles of measurement, design and conduct of scientific experiments and interpretation of current literature with respect to one's own field of study.

     C.  Show an understanding of hypothesis-driven research.

2.  Intellectual and Applied Skills

     A.  Demonstrate ability to develop concepts and synthesize information and data related to one's field of study to hypothesize, plan, execute and critically analyze experimental work.

     B.  Exhibit mastery in research methodology and investigative techniques.

     C.  Prove a sufficient degree of understanding and scientific maturity to critically assess the work of others.

     D.  Demonstrate ability to participate in collaborative research projects.

     E.  Demonstrate depth and breadth of knowledge sufficient to teach college-level biology classes.

     F.  Show an understanding of the administrative procedures common to academic departments.

3.  Communication Skills

     A.  Demonstrate ability to present oral presentations of one's work at scheduled laboratory meetings and conferences of scientific societies in the form of seminars and/or formal presentations.

     B.  Show writing skills and familiarity with scientific reporting sufficient to prepare abstracts, posters, and publications for peer-reviewed journals.

     C.  Exhibit sufficient knowledge to successfully prepare reports, grants and/or contract applications for various types of funding.

4.  Professional Responsibility

     A.  Conduct research and projects as a responsible and ethical professional including consideration and respect for Native Hawaiian and other cultural perspectives.

     B.  Professionally interact with peers.



1) Institutional Learning Objectives (ILOs) and Program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

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

Department Website URL: www.hawaii.edu/cmb/
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: www.hawaii.edu/cmb/
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number: 393-94, 242-244
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: http://www2hawaii.edu/~lesaux/cmb621/Home
Other: SLOs are distributed along with other information to prospective applicants by e-mail

3) Please review, add, replace, or delete the existing curriculum map.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2015:

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 learning assessment activities between June 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015?

No (skip to question 16)

6) What best describes the program-level learning assessment activities that took place for the period June 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015? (Check all that apply.)

Create/modify/discuss program learning assessment procedures (e.g., SLOs, curriculum map, mechanism to collect student work, rubric, survey)
Collect/evaluate student work/performance to determine SLO achievement
Collect/analyze student self-reports of SLO achievement via surveys, interviews, or focus groups
Use assessment results to make programmatic decisions (e.g., change course content or pedagogy, design new course, hiring)
Investigate curriculum coherence. This includes investigating how well courses address the SLOs, course sequencing and adequacy, the effect of pre-requisites on learning achievement.
Investigate other pressing issue related to student learning achievement for the program (explain in question 7)

7) Briefly explain the assessment activities that took place in the last 18 months.

This past school year the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Program (CMB) Executive and Curriculum Committees met regularly over several months to update and revise our Graduate Program Handbook.

The final product was reviewed by faculty and students.  Suggestions and improvements were carefully considered and incorporated.

The addition of a timeline and chart showing clearly and simply the requirements for a PhD degree from CMB were added to our new handbook and also to our website.

All courses had students do evaluations on the last day of class each semester and the results were distributed to the faculty.

The curriculum committee also revised the SLOs for our program and distributed them to the faculty and students.

8) What types of evidence did the program use as part of the assessment activities checked in question 6? (Check all that apply.)

Direct evidence of student learning (student work products)

Artistic exhibition/performance
Assignment/exam/paper completed as part of regular coursework and used for program-level assessment
Capstone work product (e.g., written project or non-thesis paper)
Exam created by an external organization (e.g., professional association for licensure)
Exit exam created by the program
IRB approval of research
Oral performance (oral defense, oral presentation, conference presentation)
Portfolio of student work
Publication or grant proposal
Qualifying exam or comprehensive exam for program-level assessment in addition to individual student evaluation (graduate level only)
Supervisor or employer evaluation of student performance outside the classroom (internship, clinical, practicum)
Thesis or dissertation used for program-level assessment in addition to individual student evaluation
Other 1:
Other 2:

Indirect evidence of student learning

Alumni survey that contains self-reports of SLO achievement
Employer meetings/discussions/survey/interview of student SLO achievement
Interviews or focus groups that contain self-reports of SLO achievement
Student reflective writing assignment (essay, journal entry, self-assessment) on their SLO achievement.
Student surveys that contain self-reports of SLO achievement
Other 1:
Other 2:

Program evidence related to learning and assessment
(more applicable when the program focused on the use of results or assessment procedure/tools in this reporting period instead of data collection)

Assessment-related such as assessment plan, SLOs, curriculum map, etc.
Program or course materials (syllabi, assignments, requirements, etc.)
Other 1:
Other 2:

9) State the number of students (or persons) who submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.

21 students submitted evidence that was evaluated.



10) 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)

11) 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)

12) Summarize the results of the assessment activities checked in question 6. For example, report the percent of students who achieved each SLO.

100% of our PhD students met our SLO requirements.

13) What best describes how the program used the results? (Check all that apply.)

Assessment procedure changes (SLOs, curriculum map, rubrics, evidence collected, sampling, communications with faculty, etc.)
Course changes (course content, pedagogy, courses offered, new course, pre-requisites, requirements)
Personnel or resource allocation changes
Program policy changes (e.g., admissions requirements, student probation policies, common course evaluation form)
Students' out-of-course experience changes (advising, co-curricular experiences, program website, program handbook, brown-bag lunches, workshops)
Celebration of student success!
Results indicated no action needed because students met expectations
Use is pending (typical reasons: insufficient number of students in population, evidence not evaluated or interpreted yet, faculty discussions continue)

14) Please briefly describe how the program used the results.

Our program used the assessment results to revise and update our handbook and SLOs.

The students especially responded well to the new timeline and chart detailing clearly and simply what is required each semester from admission to graduation for a PhD in CMB.

Our new grant writing class (CMB 669) has proved very successful.  It received excellent ratings from the students who participated and the weekly course has been expanded from 1 credit to 2 credits at the request of the students and faculty so more time can be spent by the students presenting and reviewing their new grant applications.  Both the students and faculty participate in the review process.


15) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries? This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, and great achievements regarding program assessment in this reporting period.

Several PhD students have received awards due to skills developed in our new grant writing class (CMB 669) Instructor: Michelle Tallquist, PhD.

Malina Ivey F31 Fellowship (NRSA) $31,630 per year plus fringe benefits for 2 years 

Jessic Swonger(Eby) F31 Fellowship (NRSA) $31,630 per year plus fringe benefits for 2 years

Sara McCurdy American Heart Association Grant

16) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please explain.