Unit: Mechanical Engineering
Program: Mechanical Engineering (MS)
Degree: Master's
Date: Fri Oct 21, 2011 - 7:17:54 am

1) Below are your program student learning outcomes (SLOs). Please update as needed.

 The Department of Mechanical Engineering adheres to the student learning outcomes (SLOs) 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) Your program's SLOs are 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:

3) Below is the link(s) to your program's curriculum map(s). If we do not have your curriculum map, please upload it as a PDF.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2011:

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) For the period June 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011: State the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goals. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

The goals of Assessment Activities are to assess the level of achievements of the Department SLOs on Course, Thesis/Report, and Seminar Requirements by our MS graduates and ensure that our MS graduates have acquired our SLOs 1 through 4 (see responses to Question 1), and hence SLOs 1 through 4 were assessed.  The assessments for 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.  Thesis/Report are assessed by the students’ advisors (and the thesis committee members).  For the Seminar, the faculty in charge of the Seminar for that semester, makes the assessment.

6) State the type(s) of evidence gathered to answer the assessment question and/or meet the assessment goals that were given in Question #5.

 6.1. Assessment at Admission Level:

 Master’s Degree Entry Requirements:  Admission to the graduate program in Mechanical Engineering depends on undergraduate 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 M.S. program.  TOEFL and GRE scores as well as course transcripts are useful in evaluating skills needed to pursue graduate study.  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 M.S. 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 M.S. 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:

MS 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 M.S. programs.

Research Requirement, Thesis/Report (SLOs 1 thru 4):  Students must demonstrate a novel contribution made to their area of concentration by writing and orally defending a thesis documenting their work.  The thesis committee members in case of Plan A and the advisor in case of Plan B assess the quality and the level of acceptability of the students’ performances.  For the Master’s degree, a thesis (Plan A) or report (Plan B) is required.  In addition, the student must make an oral defense of these documents.  The thesis and oral presentation are judged and must be approved by the student’s M.S. committee comprised of three faculty members in case of Plan A.  The report and presentation for Plan B should be approved by the advisor.

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

MS Level:

About 30 students.

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

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

3. Research Requirements &Performances (Thesis, Report, Oral Presentations; Assessed by Thesis Committee Members)

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

8) 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)

9) 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)

10) For the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goal(s) stated in Question #5:
Summarize the actual results.

MS Level:

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 MS Plan A students write an average of one conference and/or one journal paper at the completion of their degree.  Also, the Department Graduate Handbook should be updated.

11) State how the program used the results or plans to use the 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.  Also, the Chair and Graduate Chair will be updating the Department Graduate Handbook.

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.
Please note: If the program did not engage in assessment, please explain. If the program created an assessment plan for next year, please give an overview.

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.

The assessments tools explained here are implemented continuously every year.