Program: Atmospheric Sciences (PhD)
Date: Tue Sep 29, 2015 - 4:51:16 pm
1) Below are your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs). Please update as needed.
Doctoral student learning outcomes:
Meets all the standards expected for a Master’s student learning outcomes, plus:
1. Design and execute a path of study resulting in the publication of original work that contributes to a sub-discipline in the atmospheric sciences.
2. Explain fundamental concepts to both undergraduate and graduate students.
3. Write clear, concise reports and a dissertation.
4. Become a viable candidate for employment at major operational centers, research laboratories and universities world-wide.
1) Institutional Learning Objectives (ILOs) and Program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
2) Your program's SLOs are published as follows. Please update as needed.
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: www.soest.hawaii.edu/met/met_syllabi.shtml
Other: supplied in hard copy to each student enrolled in the class
3) Please review, add, replace, or delete the existing curriculum map.
- File (03/16/2020)
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.)
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.
Conducted interviews with students about the curriculum. Reviewed the performance of the students in several classes to determine better ways to present the material. Conducted exit interviews with graduating 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)
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
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
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.)
9) State the number of students (or persons) who submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.
About 6 PhD students, some just finishing and the others about a year away from finishing, were interviewed. Given our small size the faculty felt that this was superior to designing a survey.
10) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected? (Check all that apply.)
Ad hoc faculty group
Persons or organization outside the university
Advisors (in student support services)
Students (graduate or undergraduate)
11) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence? (Check all that apply.)
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.
All students who received a B or higher in a class are considered to have acheived the SLO for that class. Successful completion of the PhD program is considered when the student defends his/her dissertation and the committee signs the document. Losses in the PhD program are due to students deciding to pursue other interests or a lesser degree. The percentage of students who fail to complete their PhD are approximately 20% of those who started the program. Many of these simply never complete a document as their focus has changed, but a few cannot pass the comprehensive exam.
13) What best describes how the program used the results? (Check all that apply.)
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)
Other: Recruitment is the key - poor choices by the faculty are the primary cause of PhD students not completing the program.
14) Please briefly describe how the program used the results.
Classes are tuned based on student feedback. Earlier assessment of PhD candidates is now done, pushing some to complete a MS first. Again the importance of sound recruitment choices was stressed.
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.
The faculty currently feels that recruiting the right students is the most important factor that predicts success. Excellent students more easily handle weaknesses in the program. These weaknesses are either poor teachers that the Dean's office ignores or better faculty that simply travel too much resulting in a less than ideal course. The focus on research does have trade-offs. Recent PhD graduates have an enviable publication record and have found good post-doc positions or other jobs in the field.
16) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please explain.