Unit: Urban & Regional Planning
Program: Urban & Regional Plan (MURP)
Degree: Master's
Date: Fri Oct 12, 2012 - 11:39:51 am

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

Upon completion of the MURP degree, students should be able to:

 a.   Describe and explain historic, social and economic processes leading to the transformation of human settlements and their habitats;

 b.    Articulate justifications for planned interventions; 

c.    Think critically about how to create more socially just and environmentally sustainable regions, cities and communities;

d.    Apply methods of social and spatial analysis to gather, organize, display and interpret social-spatial information at a variety of scales; 

e.    Work with clients to clarify organizational, neighborhood or regional problems, generate and assess potential strategies to address these problems and assemble strategies in a plan or professional reports;

 f.     Collaborate with residents, agency officials and others to design and implement strategies for identifying, acknowledging, gathering, and collectively assessing and prioritizing individual and group perceptions and knowledge; 

g.    Make a public presentation of a plan, professional report or public commentary in a coherent and persuasive fashion;  

h.    Acknowledge and take responsibility for the ethical implications of the choices we make as professionals.

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

Department Website URL: http://www.durp.hawaii.edu/
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: http://www.durp.hawaii.edu/pages/academic/murp.html
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: http://socialsciences.people.hawaii.edu/esyllabi/?subject=plan

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.

The assessment goals for the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) this year were to 1) develop mechanisms to systematically collect data over time for the use of programmatic assessment and 2) to meet the assessment criteria of the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB), as we are currently being reviewed this academic year. 

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.

Data Gathering

To more systematically collect data for programmatic assessment, two tools were created.  The first is an assessment form for use by faculty during the Masters degree student’s final capstone project (written and oral presentation).  The assessment form connects to the departmental student learning objectives as well as provides a rubric for students in regards to quality and substance guidelines.  The assessment form was created with the help of the Assessment Office.  Over time, the information provided in the assessment form will help inform the department in its efforts to: 1) revise master degree curriculum, 2) raise quality standards, and 3) reassess student learning outcomes.  The form was used in draft form in Spring 2012 and will be fully implemented Fall 2012.  This means that all committee members will fill out this form for each student during his/her oral examination.

The second effort was to create a Student Exit Survey.  This survey gathers information on the student’s experience while in the department, such as the satisfaction with the advising relationship, opportunities for service learning and application, and opportunities for professional networking.  A number of questions are asked about course materials, including the capstone experience.  This survey is still in draft form, and will be tested on graduating students this semester.  It is expected to be fully implemented Spring 2013. 

Planning Accreditation Board

The department is currently undergoing assessment from the PAB.  The Department has prepared an extensive self-study report, due to the PAB this fall, and will be visited by PAB representatives in March 2013.  The Self-Study requires the faculty to reflect upon student learning outcomes, faculty pedagogy, research and service activities.  Of particular note is that the PAB is in the process of changing its guidelines in terms of assessment of student learning outcomes.  Because the PAB is in transition, the full assessment activities are not necessarily required within this report.  However, they are looking for evidence of institutionalizing assessment activities for the future.  The two data gathering instruments discussed above are critical to the department’s demonstration to the PAB of assessment tools and activities in the future.  To gather data for the current report, a survey of recent graduates was completed.  This provides information on employment and indicators of satisfaction with the program (see below).

The department is also working with its Professional Council and will be developing an Employer Survey for additional data gathering. 

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

Capstone Assessment Form.  All Master degree students completing the oral presentation and written Capstone project will be assessed using this form, by three faculty committee members.

Student Exit Survey.  All graduating students, both MA and PhD, will fill out this form prior to graduating.

PAB Self-Study Alumni Survey.  All graduates within the past seven years (from the time of DURP’s last accreditation) for whom we have a current email address were surveyed via “survey monkey.”  Ninety-seven people were surveyed with a 44% response rate. 

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.

The following table summarizes the PAB Student Assessment portion of the Report.  They are in relationship to the Department’s Goals & Objectives in regard to student learning.  The evidence/data are from the recent alumni survey as well as faculty and departmental records (as noted in the table).

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

The data collected from the Capstone Assessment Form, Student Exit Survey, and the future Employer Survey, will help the department to refine the above metrics as well as measure them more systematically over time (rather than in a one-time alumni survey).

Specifically, the Department underwent a strategic planning initiative in 2011 (summarized in the 2011 Assessment Report) to revamp the Master Degree curriculum.  The faculty, with student input, has developed ideas on ways to streamline the Department’s course and distribution requirements.  This is a multi-year process to achieve the new curriculum and a number of courses have been created or modified to help the transition.  For example, PLAN 620 was altered from Environmental Planning and Programs to Environmental Policy and Planning.  In addition, a course on Planning History will be offered in Spring 2013.  Such changes fill “gaps” that were identified in the curriculum within the strategic planning retreat. 

In addition, information on the Capstone Assessment Form is aimed to help the department revise its Student Learning Outcomes.

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.

Mainly we have discovered that we need to more systematically collect information – and are working to do so.

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.