Unit: Pacific Islands Studies
Program: Pacific Islands Studies (MA)
Degree: Master's
Date: Fri Oct 11, 2013 - 4:19:10 pm

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

MA SLO 1 Students can evaluate Pacific Studies as an organized, interdisciplinary field of study that includes indigenous epistemologies and perspectives.

MA SLO 2 Students can demonstrate a wide range of historical, geographic, and cultural knowledge about Oceania

MA SLO 3 Students can analyze conceptual, political, cultural, and ethical issues confronting students of Oceanic societies.

MA SLO 4 Students can analyze a specialized aspect of the history, culture, politics, or international relations of one or more of the island societies of Oceania.

MA SLO 5 Students can interact with Pacific Islander communities in culturally sensitive research, collaboration, and advocacy.Certificate in Pacific Islands Studies.

Certificate SLOs

1.1 Students can demonstrate a wide range of historical, geographic, and cultural knowledge about Oceania

1.2 Students can demonstrate expertise in a Pacific-related specialty area relevant to the student’s research focus in another graduate program.

1.3 Students can analyze contemporary conceptual, political, cultural, and ethical issues confronting students of Oceanic societies.  

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

Department Website URL:
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: NA
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: http://www.hawaii.edu/cpis/psi/index.html (some, not all courses)

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.

The Center's mission is to be student-centered in its efforts to promote an understanding of the Pacific Islands and issues of concern to Pacific Islanders. We asked ourselves how well we succeed in meeting the needs of our students and supporting them as they proceed through the currently designed program. We wondered what data from our current exit survey might teach us about student needs and our program outcomes.

We also examined overall program outcomes through reviewing student theses and comprehensive exams over the course of AY 2012-2013.  

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 gathered results from 2 years of exit exams as well as all MA student comprehensive exams and theses.

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

We reviewed 16 exit surveys, 8 theses, and 8 comprehensive exams (100% of sample).

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.

In regard to exit surveys and meeting student needs results were not clear. Students rated themselves highly in terms of their abilities to meet program outcomes though many were not previously aware of the particular program outcomes.

Assessment of program outcomes through student theses/portfolios and comprehensive exams was limited by the design of the exams which is not yet revised to more widely assess the program outcomes. SLO 1 and 3 were most relevant for assessment. 

SLO1 - 20% Accomplished, 60% competent, 20% developing.

SLO3 -40% Accomplished, 50% competent, 10% developing.

Assessment of program outcomes through review of student theses and portfolios was similarly challenged and unclear. More collective discussion and guidance is required for the evaluation of program outcomes in theses.

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

We plan to broadly distribute program SLOs in the coming year, and post all course syllabi  and program SLOs on the Center's website. We will discuss the SLOs with incoming students and review them with exiting students.

We will limit the exit survey to mostly quantitative data to eliminate uncertainties about diverse responses to qualitative questions. We will also invite graduate students to be involved in assessment planning and activities.

The curriculum committee will draft new comprehensive exam questions and guidelines so that it more effectively assesses the program SLOs. Discussions about the timing of the exam and its function in assessment resulted in selecting a specific timeframe for students to take their comps, the fall of second year.

Further, the committee has decided to revise the rubric for reviewing theses/portfolios. Students in PACS 603 will be advised in ways they may demonstrate mastery of the program SLOs. Two faculty have agreed to work collaboratively (and include students) in the assessment rubric design.

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 discussions based on exit surveys faculty learned that students need more support in the second year of their studies. We will make changes to our MA curriculum so that students taking thesis hours will need to form writing groups and attend weekly meetings which will follow regular CPIS public seminars. Providing social and writing support, and regular contact with faculty is hoped to enhance student success and timely graduation rates.

We will be pursuing these issues with graduate students in academic year 2013-2014.

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.