Program: American Studies (PhD)
Date: Fri Nov 13, 2020 - 3:33:33 pm
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 studentï¿½s 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.
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) Please review, add, replace, or delete the existing curriculum map.
- File (11/13/2020)
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) 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):
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 November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2020?
No (skip to question 17)
7) What best describes the program-level learning assessment activities that took place for the period November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2020? (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 other pressing issue related to student learning achievement for the program (explain in question 8)
8) Briefly explain the assessment activities that took place since November 2018.
Graduate Chair and faculty consultation with graduate students through individaul advisement and input from elected graduate student representatives.
Graduate Chair led discussions among Grad Faculty about how to better standardize the timeline policies for the Qualifying Exams and dissertation.
9) What types of evidence did the program use as part of the assessment activities checked in question 7? (Check all that apply.)
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.)
10) State the number of students (or persons) who submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.
Between November 1, 2018 and November 1, 2020, a total of nine doctoral students took the Qualifying exams. Eight passed and one failed after retaking the exam. Ten students took Comprehensive Exams. FIve students defended their dissertations in this period. Four passed and one failed.
11) 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)
12) 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)
13) Summarize the results from the evaluation, analysis, interpretation of evidence (checked in question 12). For example, report the percentage of students who achieved each SLO.
90% of the students who took the Qualifying Exams met the relevant program SLOs.
80% of the students who defended dissertations met the relevant program SLOs.
14) 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)
15) Please briefly describe how the program used its findings/results.
We observed certain difficulties with our Qualifying exam and dissertation processes, and we have adjusted certain deadlines to alleviate them.
In our former Qualifying Exam procedure, students would prepare for their exams under the guidance of their field advisors and under the rubric of AMST 650 (which our doctoral students take 2-3 times). The advisors would then prepare two questions (or sets of questions) which the student had up to 72 hours to answer. If the written exams were passable, the oral portion would then be scheduled within 4 weeks. If the student failed the Qualifying Exams, she could retake them once, within four weeks. Under the new system, students write literature reviews for each field, and the reviews go through much revision at the direction of the field advisors. The problem was that there was no expressed limit to how long the revision process may go on and at what point the student should be considered to have failed the exam. In one case, this allowed the process to stretch on for two years, after which the student unfortunately failed.
Regarding dissertations, our former policy was that a complete draft of the defense-ready work should be made available to the committee at least four weeks in advance of the defense. The assumption behind this policy was that the chair and committee members would already have seen chapter drafts, and would have asked for and received revisions over many months before this deadline.
However, students do not always submit chapters for staged revisions. Especially when a PhD candidate is reaching the end of an extended deadline, they may present a full version of the work to committee members who have never seen it before. When this is accompanied by a deadline-driven demand to defend within a few weeks, the result is that undue pressure is placed upon the committee members to pass a dissertation without adequate review.
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.
To repair the problems of Qualifying Exams, we have adjusted our policy to state that students are expected to have completed the literature reviews within five months after the completion of their final AMST 650. In the event of a failure, students can still retake the exams once within four weeks. We also have retained our former policy that any student who had not passed the Qualifying Exam by the end of their fifth year may be placed on departmental probation at the discretion of the Grad Chair.
To repair the problem of dissertations being handed in with insufficient time for committee review, we have re-instituted an old policy that PhD candidates must turn in a full draft of the dissertation by the beginning of the semseter in which they expect to defend.