Unit: Physics & Astronomy
Program: Astronomy (MS, PhD)
Degree: Master's & Doctorate
Date: Fri Oct 09, 2015 - 10:48:17 am

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

The objective of our PhD program is to prepare students for careers in astronomical research and university-level education. To accomplish this, we emphasize:

  • Acquisition of a broad knowledge of astronomy and familiarity with both observational and theoretical techniques;
  • Exposure to a variety of advanced and specialized topics in modern astronomy;
  • Extensive "hands-on" research, including supervised research projects undertaken in the first years of graduate school;
  • Experience presenting talks reviewing the literature and describing new research.
  • Formulation of an original dissertation research project;
  • Experience writing research papers and observing proposals;
  • Publication of results in peer-reviewed journals; and
  • Public defense of the research before IfA astronomers and other scientists.

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.ifa.hawaii.edu/gradprog/introduction.shtml
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number: 103
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/gradprog/graduate_courses.shtml

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?


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.)


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


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


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


10) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected? (Check all that apply.)


11) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence? (Check all that apply.)


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


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


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


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.

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

The Astronomy Graduate Program is in the process of revising it's list of advisory committees and procedures for course assessment in preparation for transitioning to the proposed "School of Astronomy" which, hopefully, will be approved by this time next year.   At that time, we plan to reconvene our formal annual assessments of all courses and student learning outcomes.   Until then, we are continuing our informal process of internal assessment of graduate teaching effectiveness and student success in their postdoctoral careers.  Most of our effort this past year has gone into establishing our new BA and BS programs in Astronomy and Astrophysics, respectively. 

[Note: We continue to have a 100% success rate at placing our graduate students in top postdoctoral postions and faculty positions.  In 2014 and 2015, our students Emily Levesque and Jabran Zahid, received the  Nations highest astronomy award  for their PhD Thesis research - the Trumpler Prize (given anually for the best astronomy PhD Thesis awarded by a US Institution).   Also, 40% of our graduate PhDs in 2014 were awarded prestigous National Fellowships.]