Unit: Mechanical Engineering
Program: Mechanical Engineering (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Mon Nov 15, 2010 - 11:29:13 am

1) Below are the program student learning outcomes submitted last year. Please add/delete/modify as needed.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering adheres to the student learning outcomes of the Graduate Division:  “In general, a student who has successfully completed the graduate degree requirements should be able to

1. Demonstrate mastery of the methodology and techniques specific to the field of study.

2. Communicate both orally and in writing at a high level of proficiency in the field of study.

3. Conduct research or produce some other form of creative work.

4. Perform in their field of study at a professional level.”

2) As of last year, your program's SLOs were published as follows. Please update as needed.

Department Website URL: http://www.me.hawaii.edu/
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number: 228
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online:
Other:
Other:

3) Below is the link to your program's curriculum map (if submitted in 2009). If it has changed or if we do not have your program's curriculum map, please upload it as a PDF.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2010:

4) The percentage of courses in 2009 that had course SLOs explicitly stated on the syllabus, a website, or other publicly available document is indicated below. Please update as needed.

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

5) State the assessment question(s) and/or goals of the assessment activity. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

The goals of the Assessment Activities are to assess the level of achievements of the Department SLOs on Course, Research/Dissertation, and Seminar Requirements by our PhD graduates and ensure that our PhD graduates have acquired our SLOs 1 through 4 (see responses to Question 1), and hence SLOs 1 through 4 were assessed.  The assessments for the Courses are done by the ME Faculty/Instructor at the time of the course offering as well as the Graduate Chair towards the completion of the degree.  For the Qualifying Exam, the Qualifying Committee, composed of three ME Faculty, makes the assessment of the students’ capability, in being able to conduct independent research and present them in a professional manner, for the student to continue in the program or drop out of the program.  For the Comprehensive Exam, which will be conducted after the course work is complete, the Comprehensive Committee is composed of four ME Faculty and one outside of the discipline faculty member who make the assessments of the students’ fundamental knowledge acquired through the course work as well as research quality and capability for the student to advance as a PhD candidate (All-But-Dissertation: ABD) towards the completion of the Dissertation.  For the Dissertation, the Dissertation Committee (which is the same as the Comprehensive Committee, in most cases) is composed of four ME Faculty and one outside of the discipline faculty member who make the assessment of the students’ research accomplishments in developing an independent research capability and contributing uniquely to the field of study by judging the students’ Dissertation Document and Final Defense Oral PresentationSeminar Requirements are judged by the faculty in charge of the Seminar.

6) State the type(s) of evidence gathered.

6.1. Assessment at Admission Level:

PhD Degree Entry Requirements:  Admission to the graduate program in Mechanical Engineering depends on MS Degree performance, TOEFL, and GRE scores, letters of reference, any program course deficiencies, and the applicant’s Statement of Objectives.  To be accepted by the Graduate Division, applicants must have the equivalent of a B average at the University of Hawaii (determined by Graduate Division).  Foreign students from universities that do not teach in English must pass the TOEFL examination with minimum scores of 550, or 600 (Paper-based, or an equivalent on a Computer or Internet based) for teaching assistants.  All students must submit a record of their GRE scores.  Students with above-average scores normally are accepted into the PhD program.  TOEFL and GRE scores as well as course transcripts are useful in evaluating skills needed to pursue a PhD degree.  Letters of recommendation generally must be positive.  Applicants from Mechanical Engineering programs at some universities and from fields other than Mechanical Engineering might not have a sufficient background to pursue an PhD degree in the chosen area of concentration.  The Graduate Chair bases acceptance on an acceptable number of deficiency courses.  For those applicants who are accepted, the Graduate Chair has an initial advising session with the applicant to make a final determination of any deficiency courses that must be taken in addition to the course requirements for the PhD degree.  An applicant’s Statement of Objectives is helpful in determining if the applicant’s career goals can be met by the Department’s programs and available resources.

6.2. Assessment at Program Level:

PhD Level:

Course Requirement (SLO 1):  There is a minimum GPA to maintain in course work via grade-based written and, occasionally, oral exams.  Written exams in courses are used to assess mastery of subjects pertinent to a student’s area of concentration for PhD programs.  The assessments for the Courses, to comply with the program requirements, is also done by the Graduate Chair

Qualifying Exam (SLOs 2&3):  Students submit a Qualifying Report and give an Oral Presentation to the Qualifying Committee, which is composed of three ME Faculty who make the assessment of the students’ capabilities in being able to conduct independent research and present them in a professional manner, for the student to continue in the program or drop out of the program.

Comprehensive Exam (SLOs 1&2):  The Comprehensive Exam will be conducted after the course work is complete.  Students submit a Comprehensive Report and give an Oral Presentation to the Comprehensive Committee, which is composed of four ME Faculty and one outside of the discipline faculty member who make the assessments of the students’ fundamental knowledge and mastery on topics related to the dissertation acquired through the course work as well as research quality and capability for the student to advance as a PhD candidate (All-But-Dissertation: ABD) towards the completion of the Dissertation.

Dissertation Document (SLOs 1, 2, & 3):  The doctoral dissertation is expected to be a scholarly, original contribution to knowledge resulting from independent research and should be suitable for publication.  Students must demonstrate a novel contribution made to their areas of concentration.  The students submit their dissertation document to the Dissertation Committee (which is the same as the Comprehensive Committee, in most cases) and is composed of four ME Faculty and one outside of the discipline faculty member who make the assessment of the students’ research accomplishments in developing an independent research capability and contributing uniquely to the field of study by judging the students’ Dissertation Document.

Final Examination based on the Student’s Dissertation (SLOs 1 thru 4):  Students must demonstrate a novel contribution made to their areas of concentration.  The students present their dissertation research as an Oral Examination for the Dissertation Committee members who make assessments of the students accomplishments for SLOs 1 through 4.

Seminar Requirement (SLOs 2 & 4):  To ensure that our students are able to communicate orally and in writing at a high level of proficiency and are able to perform in their field of study at a professional level, the students submit 15 reports over the course of their PhD studies in our Department and give a presentation on their research topics and achievements during their last semester prior to graduation.  The faculty in charge of the Seminar makes the assessment and recommends improvements.

7) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected?

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:

8) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence?

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:

9) State how many persons submitted evidence that was evaluated.
If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.

About 10 students.

1. Course Requirements & Performances (Assessed by Faculty Instructor)

2. Examinations (Qualifying, Comprehensive, and Dissertation with Oral Presentations; Assessed by Committee Members)

3. Research Requirement (Scholarly and Novel Contribution to the Area of Concentration; Assessed by Committee Members)

4. Seminar Requirements & Performances (Assessed by Faculty Instructor)

5. Conference & Journal Publications (Assessed by External Peer Reviewers)

10) Summarize the actual results.

Currently, the number of courses offered at graduate level is not sufficient (as also voiced by the graduate students), due to recent retirements (two faculty) and resignation (one faculty).  We have received these three positions back due to severity of the faculty shortage in DME.  Although, the Dean’s office is committed to give the ME Department additional two positions; however, due to the economic down-turn, these positions are contingent to the availability of funds.  The PhD students write an average of two conference and/or two journal papers at the completion of their degree.

11) How did your program use the results? --or-- Explain planned use of results.
Please be specific.

Any possible modifications problems are reported to the Graduate Curriculum Committee chaired by the Graduate Chair of the Department.  The committee considers recommendations for modifications and takes action.  Currently, the number of courses offered at graduate level is not sufficient (as also evident from the students’ assessments); however, the three faculty positions we recently received (to replace two recent retirements and one recent resignation) will remedy these problems to some extent.

12) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries? This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, program aspects and so on.

The main issue is that; currently, the number of courses offered at graduate level is not sufficient; however, the three faculty positions we recently received (to replace two recent retirements and one recent resignation) will remedy these problems to some extent.  In terms of Course Requirements for the graduate students, the faculty and students expressed that the number of courses offered at graduate level was not sufficient as related to research work as well as graduation (particularly, due to two recent retirements and one recent resignation).  The graduate committee considered the issue and recommended to the Department Chair and the Dean to hire more faculty to remedy the problem.  The Chair and Dean have taken action and obtained three positions to replace the recent retirements and resignations.

13) Other important information:

It is recommended that the Department Graduate Students Association meet with the Department Graduate Curriculum Committee for direct feed back from the graduate students.  The Department Chair and Graduate Chair are in the process of putting this process in place.