Unit: Second Language Studies
Program: Second Language Studies (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Sat Sep 26, 2015 - 11:49:20 pm

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

SLS knowledge base - SLS PhD graduates will develop advanced understanding in three of the four broad areas of SLS:

(a) Second Language Analysis

(b) Second Language Use

(c) Second Langugs Learning

(d) Second Language Education

Mastery and application of appropriate research methods in SLS

SLS PhD graduates will develop mastery of research methods appropriate to their specific area of expertise in SLS.

SLS PhD graduates will demonstrate a commitment to professional engagement and will be recognized for excellence in their selected areas of SLS:

(a) Presenting at conferences

(b) Publishing research           

(c) Teaching in area of expertise        

(d) Assuming a leadership role in an area of expertise

SLS PhD graduates should be prepared for a variety of academic and professional career paths, and in particular for tenure-track university positions.


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.hawaii.edu/sls/graduate/phd/phd-program/
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: Currently under revision
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: NA
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online:

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)
Other: Annual PhD student progress report

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

1. PhD students’ progress in the program is monitored using course evaluation procedures primarily involving
long term projects. Particularly important major assessments related to student learning outcomes (and the
educational factors that contribute to them) naturally include the dissertation itself and staged work leading up to it.
The dissertation assessment also includes the public presentation and defense components, as well as a formal
comprehensive exam and proposal development. We interpret the dissertation for program evaluation purposes as

The dissertation reflects the PhD student’s ability to: (a) engage in thorough-­going research that is relevant to
the field of SLS;; (b) persist in long-­term research projects, from inception to dissemination; and (c) produce high-­
quality publishable writing. This three-­part analysis allows assessment to offer valuable insights into the extent to
which students have achieved primary learning outcomes (notably those listed in the initial answers above). Each
of these assessments involves multiple stages of proposal, research, writing, feedback, and completion.

2. Graduating student survey: In the College of LLL exit survey, questions have been generated specifically for the
PhD program, and these questions target both the levels of learning in key outcomes areas and the perception of
professional value of these outcomes. In addition to these department-­internal questions, SLS stakeholders have
advised the College of LLL on the design of general questions to ask of all graduating students in the college.

3. Alumni survey and review. A listing of PhD graduates is maintained on the website. The department tries to stay in regular contact with these students. In particular, the employment placement of recent graduates is closely analyzed and provides input into curriculum and learning objectives. Our ability to collect and utilize this data is improving as we strengthen alumni relations in general.

4. Annual PhD student progress report: Following an OGE initiative, advisors of PhD students, in consultation with their advisee, complete an annual advising and progress form, which records the student's progress towards graduation along with a listing of professional presentations and publications. This is a formal instrument and consultation process which allows for formative evaluation of students’ achievement of learning outcomes as well as providing input into the adequacy of those outcomes. In the past year we have improved our archiving of these materials in ways that facilitate review and Graduate Chair oversight.

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: Graduates' employment. Our graduates secure positions in prestigious programs and universities domestically and abroad.
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 PhD students and faculty, in various respects; alumni to a lesser degree except for employment.

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.

Overall, the results of our assessment efforts in the PhD program are positive, indicating that the program is
functioning well. During the past year we have not found areas that need major improvement, but our departments'
history indicates that when and if we do so, we will review the issues seriously, drawing on input from fellow
scholars who are expert in the area of assessment.

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.

The PhD in SLS program, within the broad guidelines and learning objectives alluded to earlier, is a flexible
program whose educational success substantially depends on individual relationships of a mentoring and advising
nature between PhD student and dissertation chair. A PhD student’s advisor, normally the dissertation
chair, monitors student progress and achievement of learning objectives on an ongoing, individually tailored basis
and is in a position to make course corrections early on the basis of any observed inadequacies in learning.
Broader problems with overall observed limitations in general achievement of learning objectives would result in
suggestions for program change being brought up at graduate faculty meetings.

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.

Not on this occasion.

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