Unit: Architecture
Program: Architecture (DArch)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Sat Oct 24, 2009 - 5:05:20 pm

1) List your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs).

SLO’s have been developed at the course level for all required courses as part of a curriculum revision implemented AY 08-09.  The SLOs correspond to the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) Student Performance Criteria (SPC’s) and are called "SPC" in complinace with the language of our accrediting agency. These are revised every three years by the accrediting agency.  We use the terminology of the Accrediting Agency, not the term "SLO" as two terms for the same idea is confusing. We tried both terms for two years and it did not work with either faculty or students.

There will be new NAAB SPCs in 2010; a comment draft is now under review by member schools. These  will be integrated into our program for the 2010-2011 academic year.  The students are very aware of the requirement for SPCs in every class and often evaluate the instructor with regard to whether these SPC were part of the objectives of the class.

Source: National Architectural Accrediting Board, 2009 Conditions, http://www.naab.org/accreditation/2009_Conditions.aspx

Student Performance Criteria: The SPC are organized into realms to more easily understand the relationships between individual criteria. 

Realm A: Critical Thinking and Representation: 
Architects must have the ability to build abstract relationships and understand the impact of ideas based on research and analysis of multiple theoretical, social, political, economic, cultural and environmental contexts.  This ability includes facility with the wider range of media used to think about architecture including writing, investigative skills, speaking, drawing and model making. Students’ learning aspirations include:

  • Being broadly educated.
  • Valuing lifelong inquisitiveness.
  • Communicating graphically in a range of media.
  • Recognizing the assessment of evidence.
  • Comprehending people, place, and context.
  • Recognizing the disparate needs of client, community, and society.

A.1. Communication Skills: Ability to read, write, speak and listen effectively.
A. 2. Design Thinking Skills: Ability to raise clear and precise questions, use abstract ideas to interpret information, consider diverse points of view, reach well-reasoned conclusions, and test alternative outcomes against relevant criteria and standards.
A. 3. Visual Communication Skills: Ability to use appropriate representational media, such as traditional graphic and digital technology skills, to convey essential formal elements at each stage of the programming and design process.
A.4. Technical Documentation: Ability to make technically clear drawings, write outline specifications, and prepare models illustrating and identifying the assembly of materials, systems, and components appropriate for a building design.
A.5. Investigative Skills: Ability to gather, assess, record, apply, and comparatively evaluate relevant information within architectural coursework and design processes.
A. 6. Fundamental Design Skills: Ability to effectively use basic architectural and environmental principles in design.
A. 7. Use of Precedents: Ability to examine and comprehend the fundamental principles present in relevant precedents and to make choices regarding the incorporation of such principles into architecture and urban design projects.
A. 8. Ordering Systems Skills:  Understanding of the fundamentals of both natural and formal ordering systems and the capacity of each to inform two- and three-dimensional design.
A. 9. Historical Traditions and Global Culture: Understanding of parallel and divergent canons and traditions of architecture, landscape and urban design including examples of indigenous, vernacular, local, regional, national settings from the Eastern, Western, Northern, and Southern hemispheres in terms of their climatic, ecological, technological, socioeconomic, public health, and cultural factors.
A. 10. Cultural Diversity: Understanding of the diverse needs, values, behavioral norms, physical abilities, and social and spatial patterns that characterize different cultures and individuals and the implication of this diversity on the societal roles and responsibilities of architects.
A.11. Applied Research: Understanding the role of applied research in determining function, form, and systems and their impact on human conditions and behavior.

Realm B: Integrated Building Practices, Technical Skills and Knowledge: Architects are called upon to comprehend the technical aspects of design, systems and materials, and be able to apply that comprehension to their services. Additionally they must appreciate their role in the implementation of design decisions, and the impact of such decisions on the environment. Students learning aspirations include:

  • Creating building designs with well-integrated systems.
  • Comprehending constructability.
  • Incorporating life safety systems.
  • Integrating accessibility.
  • Applying principles of sustainable design.

B. 1. Pre-Design: Ability to prepare a comprehensive program for an architectural project, such as preparing an assessment of client and user needs, an inventory of space and equipment requirements, an analysis of site conditions (including existing buildings), a review of the relevant laws and standards and assessment of their implications for the project, and a definition of site selection and design assessment criteria.
B. 2. Accessibility: Ability to design sites, facilities, and systems to provide independent and integrated use by individuals with physical (including mobility), sensory, and cognitive disabilities.
B. 3. Sustainability: Ability to design projects that optimize, conserve, or reuse natural and built resources, provide healthful environments for occupants/users, and reduce the environmental impacts of building construction and operations on future generations through means such as carbon-neutral design, bioclimatic design, and energy efficiency.
B. 4. Site Design: Ability to respond to site characteristics such as soil, topography, vegetation, and watershed in the development of a project design. 
B. 5. Life Safety: Ability to apply the basic principles of life-safety systems with an emphasis on egress.
B. 6. Comprehensive Design: Ability to produce a comprehensive architectural project that demonstrates each student’s capacity to make design decisions across scales while integrating the following SPC:

A.2. Design Thinking Skills
B.2. Accessibility
A.4. Technical Documentation
A.5. Investigative Skills
A.8. Ordering Systems
A.9. Historical Traditions and Global Culture
B.3. Sustainability
B.4. Site Design
B.5. Life Safety
B.8. Environmental Systems
B.9. Structural Systems

B. 7 Financial Considerations: Understanding of the fundamentals of building costs, such as acquisition costs, project financing and funding, financial feasibility, operational costs, and construction estimating with an emphasis on life-cycle cost accounting.
B. 8 Environmental Systems: Understanding the principles of environmental systems’ design such as embodied energy, active and passive heating and cooling, indoor air quality, solar orientation, daylighting and artificial illumination, and acoustics; including the use of appropriate performance assessment tools.
B. 9. Structural Systems: Understanding of the basic principles of structural behavior in withstanding gravity and lateral forces and the evolution, range, and appropriate application of contemporary structural systems.
B. 10. Building Envelope Systems: Understanding of the basic principles involved in the appropriate application of building envelope systems and associated assemblies relative to fundamental performance, aesthetics, moisture transfer, durability, and energy and material resources.
B. 11. Building Service Systems: Understanding of the basic principles and appropriate application and performance of building service systems such as plumbing, electrical, vertical transportation, security, and fire protection systems.
B. 12. Building Materials and Assemblies: Understanding of the basic principles utilized in the appropriate selection of construction materials, products, components, and assemblies, based on their inherent characteristics and performance, including their environmental impact and reuse.

Realm C: Leadership and Practice:
Architects need to manage, advocate, and act legally, ethically and critically for the good of the client, society and the public.  This includes collaboration, business, and leadership skills. Student learning aspirations include:

  • Knowing societal and professional responsibilities.
  • Comprehending the business of building.
  • Collaborating and negotiating with clients and consultants in the design process.
  • Discerning the diverse roles of architects and those in related disciplines.
  • Integrating community service into the practice of architecture.

C. 1. Collaboration: Ability to work in collaboration with others and in multi­disciplinary teams to successfully complete design projects.
C. 2. Human Behavior: Understanding of the relationship between human behavior, the natural environment and the design of the built environment.
C. 3 Client Role in Architecture: Understanding of the responsibility of the architect to elicit, understand, and reconcile the needs of the client, owner, user groups, and the public and community domains.
C. 4. Project Management: Understanding of the methods for competing for commissions, selecting consultants and assembling teams, and recommending project delivery methods.
C. 5. Practice Management: Understanding of the basic principles of architectural practice management such as financial management and business planning, time management, risk management, mediation and arbitration, and recognizing trends that affect practice.
C. 6. Leadership: Understanding of the techniques and skills architects use to work collaboratively in the building design and construction process and on environmental, social, and aesthetic issues in their communities.
C. 7. Legal Responsibilities: Understanding of the architect’s responsibility to the public and the client as determined by registration law, building codes and regulations, professional service contracts, zoning and subdivision ordinances, environmental regulation, and historic preservation and accessibility laws.
C. 8. Ethics and Professional Judgment: Understanding of the ethical issues involved in the formation of professional judgment regarding social, political and cultural issues in architectural design and practice.
C.9. Community and Social Responsibility: Understanding of the architect’s responsibility to work in the public interest, to respect historic resources, and to improve the quality of life for local and global neighbors.

2) Where are your program's SLOs published?

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: NAAB SPCs are in all syllabi
Other: National Accrediting Board; http://www.naab.org/accreditation/2009_Conditions.aspx

3) Upload your program's current curriculum map(s) as a PDF.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2009:

4) What percentage of courses have the course SLOs explicitly stated on the course syllabus, department website, or other publicly available document? (Check one)


5) State the SLO(s) that was Assessed, Targeted, or Studied

Every six years the program is accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB). From the NAAB web site:  "Architectural accreditation review and site visits are conducted by a team of educators, practitioners, regulators and students. These colleagues review the self-study and serve on the visiting team that reviews the program after the self-study is complete. Teams, in addition to the peers described above, may also include public members (non-academics who have an interest in architectural education), program sponsored observers or NAAB observers."

Every year we provide a self study to NAAB and every six years we are reviewed. All SPCs were assessed in October 2007 during our accreditation visit by NAAB. Adjustments are made to curriculum after review by the NAAB Visiting Team.  The NAAB team represents the AIA, AIAS, NCARB, and ACSA, all the collateral organizations comprising the accrediting body. This team reviews collected materials (approximately 840 examples of student work that are both high and low pass). We find these results out in the Spring of 2008 and respond to the team's concerns.  Our students' work was found to have met all 34 Student Performance Criteria.  This is a significant achievement.

We also have two places in our program that have a formal assessment of the SPC which are done internally. The course work in our program and the SPC as required by NAAB have the intent of teaching skills and knowledge to attain architectural licensure. Consequently we assess the SPC  for how well they are integrated into the studio projects. Once in year three and once in year six.  The SPC  knowledge must be assimilated into the studio projects. 

Every  3rd year level student is assessed by a portfolio submittal which illustrates the successful integration of all SPC from 100-300 level of their coursework into the studio projects.  Students must pass this review before they can proceed into the fourth year of our program.

Graduate level student course work is evaluated in the  integration shown in the comprehensive studio project,  ARCH 544 in the sixth year of our program as well as the DArch I and DArch II projects.

6) State the Assessment Question(s) and/or Goal(s) of Assessment Activity

Review of portfolios to assess the extent to which all SPC are successfully integrated

7) State the Type(s) of Evidence Gathered

Each student submits an individual portfolio exemplifying their integration of all SPC into their knowledge as shown by the "architecture" of the studio projects. Studio is the cumulative effect of all coursework taught and all SPC.

This is also evaluated in the sixth year Comprehensive studio  and in the final terminal DArch project by collected projects of all students at that level.

8) State How the Evidence was Interpreted, Evaluated, or Analyzed

Each 3rd year submittal portfolio is reviewed by a formal portfolio review process. Three faculty who have not recently taught the student in studio are assigned to evaluate ten portfolios using established criteria (see portfolio guideleines).  Each faculty grades the portfolio with Pass, Conditional Pass, Borderline, or Fail. Any portfolio receiving any grade of conditional pass, borderline, or fail is then reviewed by the portfolio committee (five faculty) in order to make a final determination. Students who do not pass receive counseling out of the program or additional coursework.  A recurrent pattern of not meeting the SPC from a particular studio instructor also initiates a conversation with that instructor by the curriculum committee.

The Comprehensive studio is also evaluated in the formal NAAB accreditation visits. The DArch project is evalauted by a committee of three to five for each student before they receive a pas in the Project.

Link to Portfolio Review Guidelines

9) State How Many Pieces of Evidence Were Collected

Twenty two portfolios were collected in May 2009.  We expect about twenty five additional portfolios to be submitted in January 2010, because the “gateway” class is a Spring class.  Normally we receive about fifty portfolios every year but several students figured out they could delay the portfolio one semester.

44 Students are in the Comprehensive studio at this time. 41 students are in DArch project I and 16 DArch project II. The evidence from each of these students is collected and evaluated at the end of each semester. DArch Proect is evaluted by a committee of three to five selected faculty members.

10) Summarize the Actual Results

In the portfolio process seven students were  “conditional pass” and were required to resubmit in January 2010 before proceeding in the program.  For these students their submittal was not complete enough to provide the evidence for a clear pass.  Four were “borderline” students and required to take additional studio coursework and resubmit in January 2010.  No student failed.  In the DArch process 14 students received a conditional pass and were required to take an additional semester to complete the work.

11) Briefly Describe the Distribution and Discussion of Results

Each individual student was advised independently by a letter from the Chair of the Portfolio Committee. Students who are “fail,” “borderline,” or “conditional pass” meet individually with the portfolio review committee. Faculty discuss the portfolio results during a faculty meeting.

12) Describe Conclusions and Discoveries

Conclusions from the portfolio process determined that included that there is a need for additional emphasis relating to site work and topography. We also needed to adjust the timing of the submittals to allow for time for any additional coursework in studwent receiving a borderline determination.

13) Use of Results/Program Modifications: State How the Program Used the Results --or-- Explain Planned Use of Results

These results were distributed to the 200 level instructors, who have this essential responsibility.  The Curriculum Committee discusses additional requirements needed in the program after feedback from the portfolio committee.

14) Reflect on the Assessment Process

The number of submittals was less than expected.  We had given the option to the students to submit after ARCH 342 or before ARCH 415.  Many waited to submit until they absolutely “had” to submit.  This will not allow them to take additional coursework before ARCH 415.  We have readjusted the timing requirements.

15) Other Important Information

We previously had a comprehensive exam at the end of the program for all students similar to the architectural licensing exam.  We have found this portfolio process allowed a much more immediate feedback system for the assessment of synthesized information and gave us the ability to adjust our program as needed.

The final three years of the Program is evaluated by a Comprehensive DArch project whcih has the same review process of three to five faculty on a formal committee.

16) FOR DISTANCE PROGRAMS ONLY: Explain how your program/department has adapted its assessment of student learning in the on-campus program to assess student learning in the distance education program.


17) FOR DISTANCE PROGRAMS ONLY: Summarize the actual student learning assessment results that compare the achievement of students in the on-campus program to students in the distance education program.