Unit: Natural Resources & Environmental Management
Program: Natural Resources & Environmental Mgt (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Fri Oct 12, 2012 - 10:18:14 am

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

1. acquire skills to solve Natural Resource and Environmental Management problems

2. acquire quantitative reasoning and critical thinking

3. communicate effectively both orally and in writing

4. acquire practical experience to be job ready

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

Department Website URL: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/nrem
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/nrem/students/downloads/NREM_Graduate_Student_Guide.pdf
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/nrem/students/phd.html
UHM Catalog. Page Number: http://www.catalog.hawaii.edu/schoolscolleges/ctahr/nrem.htm
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online:

3) Select one option:

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2012:

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) Did your program engage in any program assessment activities between June 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012? (e.g., establishing/revising outcomes, aligning the curriculum to outcomes, collecting evidence, interpreting evidence, using results, revising the assessment plan, creating surveys or tests, etc.)

No (skip to question 14)

6) For the period June 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012: State the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goals. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

Faculty from the NREM department are currently conducting a thorough analysis (Curriculum Review) of curricular needs for our various graduate degree programs (M.S. Plans A, B and C; and Ph.D.) that began during the past academic year. The results of this Curriculum Review have been collected, but not summarized so this is still a work in progress.  We anticipate having much more to report based on these efforts during next year’s Annual Assessment report, as this is a priority for our department. Attention in the recent past has gone towards reviewing and revising our undergraduate program’s SLOs.  As such, we are now concentrating on the overall curriculum, including SLOs, for our graduate degree programs.
NREM is now 10 years old, and we felt that is was timely to review our graduate degree program given an order of magnitude growth in graduate student numbers during this time period. In addition to a burgeoning graduate student population, there has been a fair bit of turnover in our full-time graduate faculty, along with the addition of numerous cooperating and affiliate graduate faculty in NREM.
The objectives of our Graduate Program Curricular Review are fourfold: (1) understand the academic and curricular needs of current and prospective students; (2) assess how the NREM graduate program is addressing the needs and expectations of current and prospective students; (3) ensure that NREM graduates have the knowledge and skills needed to be effective managers, successful professionals, and respected researchers; and (4) map out priority areas for both NREM faculty and students.

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

We conducted four key curriculum review activities to address the four objectives highlighted above: (a) review of other NREM-related programs in other states (program goals/objectives, degree requirements – number of required core courses and electives, required core courses); (b) compilation and review of syllabi of NREM-based courses as well as popular electives from other departments commonly taken by NREM graduate students; (c) curriculum review survey of current students; and (d) curriculum review survey of alumni.

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

Approximately 50% of our current graduate student body (~80 students) participated in the survey (M.S. Plan B = 14 students; M.S. Plan A = 10 students; and Ph.D. = 14 students). Results of the alumni survey, conducted in August, 2012, are forthcoming, so it is unknown at this point how many alumni participated in this effort.  In addition, faculty consultations are forthcoming this semester as well.

9) 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)

10) 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)

11) For the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goal(s) stated in Question #6:
Summarize the actual results.

This process is ongoing, and only preliminary results are available at this point.  Given that a large focus will be given to this effort over the coming academic year, we refrain from summarizing actual results here. It is our interpretation of these preliminary results that: (a) we are very comparable to peer departments across the country; (b) overall, our graduate student body is pleased with the quality of education that they receive in NREM,and their professional preparedness upon graduate; and (c) we have plenty of room to improve, particularly regarding our core, required courses.

12) State how the program used the results or plans to use the results. Please be specific.

NREM plans to use the results of this effort to modify, if needed, our graduate program to better serve the needs of our graduate students. In particular, we are soliciting detailed feedback from current and past students and faculty on how well our graduate program prepares professionals for work in natural resource management.  Potential outcomes of this process include revisions to: (a) required, core graduate courses; (b) elective graduate course offerings; and (c) professional development opportunities, including the capstone experience (M.S. Plan B), thesis (M.S. Plan A) and dissertation (Ph.D.) endeavors. This process includes a comprehensive analysis of similar graduate degree programs from leading Universities across the country.

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

See response to #11, above.

14) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please explain.
Or, if the program did engage in assessment activities, please add any other important information here.

As part of our larger and ongoing efforts to assess the curriculum associated with our various graduate degree programs, we will continue to re-consider the need to update the stated SLOs for the graduate program.  As a result, the planned activities from 2011 will be continued throughout this academic year.