Unit: Sociology
Program: Sociology (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Tue Sep 29, 2015 - 2:11:19 pm

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

Revised and approved SLOs: 

1. Demonstrate understanding of a broad range of sociological theories and be able to apply them to frame a research problem and to conduct a research project.

2.  Demonstrate understanding of a range of quantitative and qualitative methods for conducting sociological research.  

3. Apply principles to protect human subjects in a sociological research project.   

4. Acquire a professional level of knowledge in selected subfields of sociology in order to be

equipped to teach courses on the subject and to develop research projects that will advance

the field in the particular area.

5. Demonstrate ability to carry out a research project that will contribute new knowledge to the

field using appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative methods.  

6. Demonstrate ability to analyze research data and to write clearly and effectively for a professional academic audience

7. Demonstrate ability to present research findings clearly and effectively in a professional setting, such as a classroom or academic conference.


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: http://www.sociology.hawaii.edu/graduate/index.html
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: e-syllabi college of social sciences website

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.

The graduate studies committee revised our Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) with the help of our graduate student representative Holly Sevier, the whole faculty approved the new SLOs, and a new curriculum map was created.  To achieve our goal from our assessment report last year, we have now posted the new SLOs on our Sociology Department Graduate Program website:  http://www.sociology.hawaii.edu/graduate/index.html

The faculty conducted its usual annual review of students.  All faculty had a meeting to assess the progress of each PhD student in our program in February 2015.  A rubric was used to assess progress.  The Chair of that student's guidance committee or dissertation committee presented an evaluation of the student.  Other relevant faculty also provided feedback.  The faculty agreed on an assessment for each student.  Then, the Chair of the Graduate program sent the students letters about whether they were making satisfactory progress in the program.  

The Graduate Studies Committee also continued discussion about the Qualifying Review (QR) and whether it should be changed; students were also consulted.  The Graduate Chair provided a proseminar about the QR for the graduate students to provide more clarity.  It was well attended. 

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.

All faculty participated (n=11.5).  We have 35 PhD students. 

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.

The results are a set of revised program SLOs and a new curriculum map linked to the new SLOs.

The students indicated that the proseminar on the Qualifying Review was helpful in clarifying expectations. 

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.

Use is pending because the faculty approved the revised SLOs this Fall 2015.

The Graduate Studies Committee will continue its discussion of the Qualifying Review in order to decide whether one paper is sufficient demonstration of the SLOs or if the program should continue requiring two papers.


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.

We have concluded that the new SLOs and curriculum map are an improvement and that it is good that the SLOs are posted on our graduate program website now.

Planning for the 2016 annual assessment report.

·      We plan to ask faculty to incorporate 1-3 SLOs onto their graduate course syllabi based on the curriculum map. 

·       The graduate studies committee and faculty will decide on an overall plan to better evaluate student competency based on the SLOs. 

The first option that will be presented to the faculty will be the following: Create a “developmental rubric” that can be used during our regular annual review of graduate students. The developmental rubric will reflect the SLOs and the levels of quality from "novice" to "expert." Then, evidence of the students meeting the SLOs will be provided by the faculty during the annual review meeting.  We have been given examples of developmental rubrics from the assessment office so that we can consider this option as we move forward.  

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