Unit: American Studies
Program: American Studies (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Fri Nov 16, 2018 - 11:12:06 am

1) Program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and Institutional Learning Objectives (ILOs)

1. Broad knowledge of U.S. history, society, and culture.

(1. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge in one or more general subject areas related to, but not confined to, a specific area of interest.)

2. Understanding of several key disciplinary methods to U.S. history, society, and culture.

(2. Demonstrate understanding of research methodology and techniques specific to one’s field of study.)

3. Critical analysis and advanced writing skills.

(3. Apply research methodology and/or scholarly inquiry techniques specific to one’s field of study., 4. Critically analyze, synthesize, and utilize information and data related to one’s field of study., 5. Proficiently communicate and disseminate information in a manner relevant to the field and intended audience.)

4. Mastery of two fields of the student�s specialization, plus broad knowledge of the history of American Studies as a field.

(1. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge in one or more general subject areas related to, but not confined to, a specific area of interest., 2. Demonstrate understanding of research methodology and techniques specific to one’s field of study., 3. Apply research methodology and/or scholarly inquiry techniques specific to one’s field of study., 4. Critically analyze, synthesize, and utilize information and data related to one’s field of study.)

5. Pedagogical skills and experience for college-level teaching.

(4. Critically analyze, synthesize, and utilize information and data related to one’s field of study., 5. Proficiently communicate and disseminate information in a manner relevant to the field and intended audience., 6. Conduct research or projects as a responsible and ethical professional, including consideration of and respect for other cultural perspectives., 7. Interact professionally with others.)

6. Advanced research skills necessary to complete a book-length project of original scholarship.

(3. Apply research methodology and/or scholarly inquiry techniques specific to one’s field of study., 6. Conduct research or projects as a responsible and ethical professional, including consideration of and respect for other cultural perspectives.)

2) Your program's SLOs are published as follows. Please update as needed.

Department Website URL: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/amst/
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:
Other:
Other:

3) Please review, add, replace, or delete the existing curriculum map.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2018:

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.

0%
1-50%
51-80%
81-99%
100%

5) Does the program have learning achievement results for its program SLOs? (Example of achievement results: "80% of students met expectations on SLO 1.")(check one):

No
Yes, on some(1-50%) of the program SLOs
Yes, on most(51-99%) of the program SLOs
Yes, on all(100%) of the program SLOs

6) Did your program engage in any program learning assessment activities between June 1, 2015 and October 31, 2018?

Yes
No (skip to question 17)

7) What best describes the program-level learning assessment activities that took place for the period June 1, 2015 to October 31, 2018? (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)
No (skip to question 17)
Investigate other pressing issue related to student learning achievement for the program (explain in question 7)
Other:

8) Briefly explain the assessment activities that took place.

Discussed program learning assessment procedures

In fall 2016, a faculty subcommittee headed by the Graduate Chair reviewed the structure and process of our qualifying exams. Our goals were to maximize the depth of students’ mastery, reduce their time to degree, and emulate the best practices of peer programs. This committee developed proposals which were approved by the faculty by the end of the semester.

      Collected/evaluated student work to determine SLO achievement.

As data for measuring SLO achievement, faculty evaluated students’ performance in core courses, elective American Studies, qualifying exams, dissertations, and oral defenses.

      Used assessment results to make decisions.

As a result of these assessment procedures, we made changes to the structure and process of the qualifying exams, and we adjusted the structure of the third core course, AMST 603.

      Investigated other pressing issues.

In faculty meetings throughout AY 2016-17 and 17-18, we discussed how to better recruit and retain doctoral students, how to more efficiently guide them through coursework toward the dissertation, how to provide more uniform training in conceiving and producing a dissertatio, and how the program can respond more proactively in cases where a student is not making adequate progress.

9) What types of evidence did the program use as part of the assessment activities checked in question 7? (Check all that apply.)

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
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
Assessment-related such as assessment plan, SLOs, curriculum map, etc.
Program or course materials (syllabi, assignments, requirements, etc.)
Other 1:
Other 2:

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

Number of students who submitted and successsfully dissertations in this period = 16.

Number of students who took qualifying exams in this period = 36.

Number of students who took new form of qualifying exams (Literature Reviews) = 4.

Number of faculty who submitted syllabus, evaluated the work of doctoral students, and participated in review of doctoral program policies on website = 13.

11) 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)
Dean/Director
Other: Graduate Chair

12) 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)
Other:

13) Summarize the results of the assessment activities checked in question 7. For example, report the percentage of students who achieved each SLO.

 

Discussed program learning assessment procedures.

The faculty subcommittee concluded, and the rest of the faculty concurred, that our qualifying exams format had required too many books (200) for students to master and/or for faculty to measure mastery. We also learned that peer institutions conduct qualifying exams differently, and decided to emulate what we consider to be their best practices.

      Collected/evaluated student work to determine SLO achievement.

As data for measuring SLO achievement, faculty evaluated students’ performance in core courses, elective American Studies seminars, dissertations, qualitative exams, and oral defenses. Although seven students withdrew or timed out in this period, 16 completed and successfully defended dissertations, 36 passed Qualifying Exams ((6 with High Passes and 2 with Low Passes on either the written and the orals.) On the basis of these findings, I would estimate that our SLOs were 85-100% achieved.

      Used assessment results to make decisions.

As a result of these assessment procedures, we made changes to our qualifying exams. advisement procedures during coursework, and the structure of the third core course, AMST 603.

Investigating other pressing issues.   

Throughout AY 2016-17 and 17-18, we responded to the desire of doctoral students to participate more fully in departmental decisions. We also discussed how to better recruit good doctoral students, observing that we lose some of our best applicants to programs that can provide better financial packages. We addressed the fact that many of our students’ papers are accepted for presentation at academic conferences, but the students are not able to attend due for lack of funding. Finally, addressing the fact that several students timed out of the program in this period, we concluded that we needed to establish, announce, and enforce firmer departmental timelines for the stages of the program.

 

14) 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)
Other:

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

 In Fall 2016, the faculty approved the following policy adjustments:

  • To reduce the number of books required by our Qualifying exams from 200 total to 120-150 total (40-50 books per list).
  • To change the format of the two field exams from a take-home essay (written over 4 days) to a (20-25 page) lIterature reivew for each field, begun during coursework, refined under the guidance of field advisors, and normally completed in the third year.
  • To create tracks in the doctoral program, as advisement tools (not requirements), so that students can begin buidling their fields and dissertation from the start of coursework.
  • To focus AMST 603 on the production of the dissertation prospectus, providing students with a uniform understanding of the nature of a dissertation, the process of creating a prospectus, and the standards by which the prospectus and the dissertation will be assessed. This also ensures that students attain ABD status in a timely fashion.

    In response to other pressing issues, we made the following additional changes:

  • Re-instituted the position of elected grad students representatives, who can attend all non-confidential department meetings, participate in discoussions, and place items on the agenda.
  • Created a fund (from faculty and alum contributions) to support student travel for research and conference presentations.
  • Created a policy (stated on our new webiste) for departmental probation of students not making adequate academic progress. 

 

 

16) 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.

See 15 b.

17) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please justify.