Unit: Sociology
Program: Sociology (MA)
Degree: Master's
Date: Fri Nov 20, 2020 - 10:42:29 am

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

1. Demonstrate understanding of a broad range of sociological theories and research methods.

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

2. Demonstrate ability to design a research project to address a sociological problem or issue of theoretical interest.

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

3. Apply principles to protect human subjects in the design of sociological research.

(6. Conduct research or projects as a responsible and ethical professional, including consideration of and respect for other cultural perspectives.)

4. Demonstrate ability to carry out an independent research project to collect and analyze research data.

(3. Apply research methodology and/or scholarly inquiry techniques specific to one’s field of study.)

5. Demonstrate ability to interpret research results in relation to sociological theory.

(4. Critically analyze, synthesize, and utilize information and data related to one’s field of study.)

6. Demonstrate clear and effective verbal and written communication skills.�

(5. Proficiently communicate and disseminate information in a manner relevant to the field and intended audience., 7. Interact professionally with others.)

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

Department Website URL: https://sociology.manoa.hawaii.edu/ma-program/
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: https://sociology.manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: https://sociology.manoa.hawaii.edu/ma-program/
UHM Catalog. Page Number: http://www.catalog.hawaii.edu/schoolscolleges/arts-sciences/departments/soc.htm
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: http://socialsciences.people.hawaii.edu/esyllabi/index.cfm

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

Curriculum Map File(s) from 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.)

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)
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.

All sociology faculty continue to meet every Spring semester to conduct an Annual Review of Graduate Students.  This review evaluate MA and PhD students, placing them in three categories: "satisfactory progress", "warning", and "drastic action" based upon time in program and accomplishment of major progress milestones.  For MA Plan A students, this includes coursework requirements, Thesis Proposal Defense, and Thesis Defense.  Plan B students complete a final report.  Signs of partial progress such as formation of Guidance or Thesis Committees may also affect the evaluation.  The Chair of that student's guidance/thesis committee presents an evaluation of the student, and  other relevant faculty also provide feedback, such as if the student was in a class or was a teaching assistant or graduate research assistant.  The faculty then agree on an assessment for each student in that meeting.  Then, the Chair of the Graduate program sends each student an Annual Review letter describing the student's review status, such as "satisfactory progress" and suggestions for next steps, and in the case of "warning" or "drastic action", the goals that must be taken to achieve satisfactory progress.

Each SLO should be achieved at latest by a particular milestone as follows: Coursework: 1, 2  MA Plan A: (Thesis Proposal Defense: 3, 4.  Thesis Defense: 5, 6.)  MA Plan B: (Final Report: 3, 4, 5, 6).

The faculty have decided to more directly incorporate discussion of SLOs into our Annual Review standards, and discussions will be ongoing on how best to do so.  The Graduate Studies Committee met recently to discuss how to incorporate the SLOs into our Annual  Review of Graduate Students meeting.  We are also considered self-reports by graduate students to evaluate how they have met the SLOs that we can collect as data to evaluate.  Another idea was having the MA thesis committee chair or the entire committee evaluate students who recently graduated and the extent to which they met each SLO.  The graduate studies committee is very satisfied with the Annual Review process and wants to discuss in a faculty meeting how to evaluate SLO achievement levels and if we want to use the same categories as the undergraduate studies committee to be consistent.   There was discussion about what "excellence" would actually mean and how to assess it reliably.

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: Thesis proposal
Other 2: Thesis proposal defense

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

We evaluate all students' progress in our MA program during the Annual Review of graduate students every spring semester with all faculty.  We evaluate with a rubric whether they have achieved milestones in a timely manner and are making "satisfactory progress."  The sample size can vary each semester/year.   The number of students enrolled in our MA program was 9 in Spring 2019, 3 in Fall 2019 (3 transferred to our PhD program), 5 in Spring 2020, and 5 currently in Fall 2020.  

There were 6 MA degree graduates in Spring 2019 (3 were an MA enroute to a PhD). The MA enroute can be granted after coursework is completed and the Qualifying Review is passed for our PhD students, if they don't already have an MA in sociology from another university. There was 1 MA degree completed in Summer 2019 and 1 MA enroute degree in Spring 2020.  

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)

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)

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.

We evaluate all students' progress in our MA program during the Annual Review in the Spring semester and whether they have achieved milestones in a timely manner.  The number of students enrolled in our MA program was 9 in Spring 2019, 3 in Fall 2019 (3 transferred to our PhD program), 5 in Spring 2020, and 5 currently in Fall 2020.  

There were 6 MA degree graduates in Spring 2019 (3 were an MA enroute to a PhD), so all 6 of the 9 (67%) students had achieved all SLOs by completing their degrees (theses and theses oral defenses) and the 3 out of the 9 (33%) students remained enrolled students and were on track "making satisfactory progress" in their degrees with coursework (SLOs 1 and 2). The MA enroute can be granted after coursework is completed and the Qualifying Review Exam is passed for our PhD students, if they don't already have an MA in sociology from another university. There was 1 MA degree completed in Summer 2019 and 1 MA enroute degree in Spring 2020.  That means 1 out of 5 (20%) students enrolled in Spring 2020 completed all SLOS by graduating and the remaining 80% of students were making "satisfactory progress" (which is the highest level of evaluation) with coursework completed (SLOs 1 and 2).  During the next Annual Review of Graduate Students, I want to collect these data specific to our SLOs when I complete the Annual Review letters in the spring semester rather than going back to check it when the assessment reports are due.  Overall, we are very proud of the sucess of ours students.    

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)

15) Please briefly describe how the program used its findings/results.

We used our findings to celebrate student success.  

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.

Beyond the results, we concluded that we have been successful recruiting students into our PhD program from the MA program.  We've noticed that some first generation college students try an MA program rather than applying directly for our PhD program and once they realize that they enjoy graduate school and that they could be a professor in the future, they often transfer into our PhD program.  Therefore, our MA program is an important stepping stone into our PhD program.  We want to do everything possible to retain our direct-entry MA program and grow it by aiming to recruit more students from UH, Hawaii, the mainland and other countries.

Finally, we are working with the Undergraduate Studies Committee to create a BA to a Master's degree (BAM), which we believe will help to increase the enrollment of our MA program.  We are very proud of our students!

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