Unit: Plant & Environmental Protection Sciences
Program: Entomology (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Tue Nov 03, 2009 - 2:42:52 pm

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

1. Acquire and demonstrate competency/skills as a biologist.

2. Acquire and demonstrate entomological knowledge necessary for professional success.

3. Acquire and demonstrate communication and literacy skills.

4. Demonstrate the ability to apply creative and critical thinking in the independent development and conduct of research.

2) Where are your program's SLOs published?

Department Website URL: http://www.hawaii.edu/peps
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:

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

Success in meeting all 4 SLOs was assessed with respect to student performance in the proposal seminar, qualifying exam, defense and dissertation; and success after graduation.

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

We wanted to determine whether student performance with respect to SLOs was average or above average, to assess whether program changes were advisable. We also wished to measure our success in producing students who found employment in their field following graduation. Finally, we wished to determine whether faculty had suggestions for program improvement, or had made changes in their behavior as a result of student interactions.

7) State the Type(s) of Evidence Gathered

A 13-question questionnaire was developed by the Graduate Chair and Department Chair, with input from faculty, and distributed to all graduate faculty.

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

The Graduate Chair and Department Chair collected the surveys, tabulated the results, and distributed them to faculty via email for discussion.

9) State How Many Pieces of Evidence Were Collected

Surveys were requested of all graduate faculty members. Eight surveys were received, each with answers to 13 questions.

10) Summarize the Actual Results

FY 2009 Success in Meeting SLOs:

                                    1                      2                      3                      4

799 (Proposal)             +++                  +++                  +++                  ++

799 (Defense)              ++++                +                      +                      +

Qualifying Exam         +++                  ++++                +++                  ++

Dissertation                  ++++                +                      +                      +

+          All Rated Average

++        Majority (or Half) Rated Average

+++      Majority Rated Above Average

++++    All Rated Above Average

1 paper published from PhD dissertations.

11) Briefly Describe the Distribution and Discussion of Results

Results were distributed to graduate faculty by email, with discussion both by email and at a faculty meeting.

12) Describe Conclusions and Discoveries

PhD students demonstrated excellent biology competency and communication skills. Results were very mixed with respect to student entomological knowledge and communication skills, and the lowest ratings were in the area of creative and critical thinking. Suggestions made included a new course in insect taxonomy/systematics, requiring certain courses (or course credits) for all PhD students, advisors taking a closer interest in student progress, and/or replacing the current seminar requirement with journal club-type courses focusing on rigorous analysis and discussion of current research.

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

Although no immediate decision to amend graduate requirements was made, changes to these requirements, possibly adding a new course, and modifying the seminar requirement are still being discussed.  Faculty discuss the graduate program each year, and have made changes in the past to reflect faculty and student input.

14) Reflect on the Assessment Process

The faculty questionnaire went well, but should be supplemented with additional student input, preferably after graduation. Faculty are discussing a possible exit interview, but information provided after employment would be more useful. The open-ended questions on program improvement were considered very useful, since they stimulate discussion.

15) Other Important Information


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.