Unit: Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language
Program: Hawaiian (MA)
Degree: Master's
Date: Fri Oct 11, 2013 - 10:26:41 am

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

Upon completion of a M.A in Hawaiian, our students should be able to . . .


Demonstrate comprehension of traditional literary texts.


Demonstrate comprehension of native speaker dialog


Offer a quality* public presentation in Hawaiian

*Quality defined as proper use of the Hawaiian language and demonstration of Hawaiian concepts (i.e., welina, hua ʻōlelo, pilina ʻōlelo, ʻōlelo noʻeau, kūkulu manaʻo, kuanaʻike)


Demonstrate competence in formal writing skills that have practical/contemporary application


Demonstrate the ability to apply cultural norms in a range of communicative events


Construct a culturally sensitive research project that utilizes/analyzes relevant existing resources and contributes to the overall Hawaiian knowledge base

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

Department Website URL: website to launch this semester
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: via Native Hawaiian Student Services website http://manoa.hawaii.edu/nhss/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Kawaihuelani-Grad-Student-Handbook.pdf
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: NA
Other: website for Native Hawaiian Student Services http://manoa.hawaii.edu/nhss/academicadvising/kawaihuelani-majors/undergraduate-program-requirements/

3) Select one option:

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2013:

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, 2012 and September 30, 2013? (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, 2012 to September 30, 2013: State the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goals. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.


Our first assessment activity that we continued from last academic year was an assessment of all MA program SLOs through evaluation of final theses/Plan B papers and oral defenses of our graduate students. Our program was interested in seeing how well and to what extent our students were meeting the MA program SLOs listed below at the end of their studies.

Upon completion of a M.A. in Hawaiian, students should be able to . . .

  • Demonstrate comprehension of literary texts.
  • Demonstrate comprehension of native speaker dialog.
  • Offer a quality public presentation in Hawaiian.
  • Demonstrate competence in formal writing skills that have practical/contemporary application.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply cultural norms in a range of communicative events.
  • Construct a culturally sensitive research project that utilizes/analyzes relevant existing resources and contributes to the overall Hawaiian knowledge base.


The main assessment activities, however, that we undertook in the last year were going through the UH Program Review process and the pursuit of full, 10-year accreditation for Hawaiʻinuiākea from the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). The self-study reports developed for both of these processes as well as the Final Report from our WINHEC accreditation site visit team are available upon request. 

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.


One of the outcomes of our assessment workshop back in September 2011 was the decision by the graduate faculty to collect and evaluate two student assignments/artifacts against MA program SLOs using a rubric designed by our professors and used by the students’ MA committees.

  1. For students completing a PLAN A, the final thesis and oral defense would be evaluated.
  2. For students completing a PLAN B, the final written paper and oral defense would be evaluated.

The primary reason for this decision was because the MA students assessed during Mūkīkī Wai were assessed against two of the five MA program SLOs (speaking and culture); therefore, Kawaihuelani needed an additional activity that targeted the other SLOs (reading, writing, listening, and research). Graduate faculty worked throughout the Spring 2012 semester developing rubrics for the thesis and Plan B final written product and the oral defense/public presentations, accompanying score sheets, and an implementation process for the collection and review of these pieces of student work.


These two processes involved:

  • years of data collection and analysis in the form of student work, student reported data from surveys and focus groups, faculty productivity numbers in terms of teaching, research and service, acceptance and graduation rates, enrollment numbers, funding numbers, etc.;
  • documenting and interpreting our findings in our WINHEC Self-Study Report and in our UHM Self-Study Report to request our graduate program go from Provisional to Established status;
  • hosting a site visit team made up of respected indigenous scholars, educators, researchers, and community leaders who were tasked to meet with our faculty and students to ʻike maka  or see and experience first-hand for themselves the work we are doing towards our mission of Hawaiian culture and language revitalization through quality Hawaiian education.

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


Two students successfully defended/presented their research publically in Summer 2013 and are expected to finish revisions to their papers and graduate this Fall 2013 semester. Therefore, two oral defenses were assessed using our department’s rubric since our last annual assessment report. Faculty sitting on these two students’ committees met immediately after the defenses to review and discuss them before agreeing as a committee on levels of performance in terms of each SLO and overall. Once their final papers are turned into their committee members this semester, they will meet again as a committee discuss the papers before agreeing as a committee on levels of performance in terms of each SLO and overall.


All faculty and staff of Kawaihuelani contributed evidence that we used to review and interpret for these two large assessment activities. Student work from our courses as well as final theses/Plan B papers and defenses/public presentations from our graduates were included. Acceptance and graduate rates, enrollment numbers, and other kinds of related data were collected by our schools assessment team and were provided in some cases by UH Graduate Division and ORS.

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)
Other: WINHEC accreditation site visit team

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.


Table 1 below provides a summary of the results of our assessment of two student oral defenses/public presentations held in Summer 2013.

Table 1: Rubric Results for Hawaiian M.A. Student Plan B Public Presentations

(How many students were rated at each level? N=2)

Student Learning Objectives

Exemplary/ Distinguished

Competent/ Proficient

Developing/Not Yet Competent

Speaking: Public Presentation




Culture: Worldview, Cultural Norms




Listening Comprehension: listening and response



(for listening to questions)


(for responding to questions)





Both students were defined as competent overall in the eyes of their committee members, after considering their levels of performances in the areas of speaking, culture, and listening. We are encouraged that the contributions of these two students will have a positive impact on the understanding of Hawaiian and the development of the teaching and learning of Hawaiian. An area that caught our attention was the area of listening comprehension—the committee for one of our students could not settle on a signal score for listening comprehension; they were split between competent in terms of her listening but developing in terms of her response to questions from the committee and audience.


I am happy to report that…

  • the BOR subcommittee on academic affairs voted unanimously on October 4th to convert our MA provisional programs to established programs of UH Mānoa; and
  • Hawaiʻinuiākea received full, ten-year accreditation from WINHEC, the first indigenous college/school within a research one university to receive this level of accreditation

In addition, we got anecdotal comments from the BOR committee that they were very impressed by our thorough, comprehensive, and informative report.

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


As stated in answer #11 above, the committee for one of our students could not settle on a signal score for listening comprehension; they were split between competent in terms of her listening but developing in terms of her response to questions from the committee and audience. This review from our faculty will likely lead to a review of the rubric and scoring sheet this year and making the appropriate changes so as to account for this layered understanding of listening comprehension when future students defend their research. It may also lead to conversations about our 602 Kākāʻōlelo (Oratory) class where students practice their public presentation skills. There may need to be additional emphasis in this class around listening, comprehending, engaging, and responding appropriately to audience questions and comments.

We also received another comment from one of the students committee regarding the areas assessed on the rubric for defense/public presentation. They suggested we consider adding an area in order to assess content and the ability of the student to defend that content. The graduate faculty will consider this recommendation and deal with the aforementioned listening comprehension issue this academic year and make appropriate changes to the defense/public presentation rubric and accompanying score sheet.


Here are some of the recommendations from the WINHEC site visit team related to student services that we plan to address in the years to come:

  • Scholarship funding opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students is a priority for HSHK to continue to develop, especially for financially stressed poorer students.
  • More space is needed at both student services sites. Overcrowding will hinder the staff’s ability to serve the Hawaiian students properly.
  • Encourage other Schools/Colleges across campus to contribute to HSHK’s efforts in serving all Hawaiian students regardless of which college they are enrolled in during the academic year. Currently all other colleges are benefiting from HSHK’s efforts at no cost to their budget, yet HSHK staff and resources are being overstressed.
  • The UHM should look at increasing the HSHK Native Hawaiian Student Services budget and staff with institutional funds (hard) and wean itself from relaying on grant funds (soft) to carry out its obligations to its Native Hawaiian students. When the grant funds run their course UHM could be faced with a major drop off of Native Hawaiian students if the efforts of HSHK student services suffers a staff and programmatic cut back. 

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.


In addition to providing the graduate faculty with evidence of student achievement and challenges that will inform improvements to the program curriculum, this assessment activity will benefit our students as they complete the program by giving them insight into what is expected of them and what they should strive for, thus ensuring more widespread success among our majors. These rubrics are now a part of the Kawaihuelani Graduate Student Handbook available online via the Native Hawaiian Student Services website. Sharing them with our new and currents students is important so that they are not only familiar with the Program SLOs but are also clear about what elements make up each one and what they look like at different levels of proficiency.


Here are some of the other interesting commendations and recommendations from the WINHEC site visit team that we plan to work with UHM to address in the semesters and years to come: 

As an indigenous-oriented School, Hawai`inuiākea is in a strong position to establish itself as an indigenous leader at a global level of tertiary education. Hawai`inuiākea has the potential to serve as the face of UHM and thus transform indigenous education not only in Hawai`i and the USA, but across the world through a unique culturally-based educational experience. UHM should take all appropriate actions to make the commendation outlined above a reality.

Given the apparent strengths of the MA programs in addressing Kanaka Maoli aspirations, it would be to the University’s advantage to move the MA programs from provisional status to permanent status, which would attract more graduate students, and move the School forward toward the implementation of a PHD in Hawaiian Knowledge

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.


We plan to continue the MA thesis/defense assessment activities described above whenever a new graduate student is ready to defend and graduate. Results of these assessments will be included in next year’s annual assessment report. Since it will be two years next Spring when we first developed and implemented our rubrics, we will definitely be revisiting them and making adjustments given faculty feedback.


Because of funding and faculty limitations last Spring 2013, we were unable to run Mūkīkī Wai Nā Mamo o Mānoa, our Hawaiian language competition/showcase for our undergraduate and graduate students. We hope to hold Mūkīkī Wai in Spring 2014 again and use rubrics to assess our graduate students oral presentations like we did in the past.