Unit: Political Science
Program: Political Science (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Tue Oct 29, 2013 - 4:43:32 pm

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

We assume students who enter graduate level study have been given appropriate training in the fundamentals of the discipline and possess the qualities necessary to produce graduate-level work. From the admissions process on, students are assessed upon several important outcomes.

1. The ability to produce quality scholarship.

At the graduate level we anticipate that students will use their knowledge of the fundamentals of the discipline as well as the critical evolution of the discipline over time to help contribute to that field through their own research.

2. Mastery of one or more of the sub-fields offered in the major.

Our program offers subfields that form the specialization a graduate student will develop while enrolled in the program. We expect students graduating from the program to have mastered one or more of these subfields. Specifically, they should have an understanding of the traditional and critical literature of the subfield and be able to demonstrate a mastery of these fields.

3. Ability to think politically. Much like our expectations of the undergraduate majors, we require students to think politically about social phenomenon. Comprehending that all social, economic, and cultural processes are also political is a crucial learning outcome. That comprehension creates knowledgeable citizenry capable of acting on policy decisions and conduct. That no knowledge is innocent, but that all knowledge has consequences is key to this learning outcome.

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

Department Website URL: http://www.politicalscience.hawaii.edu/graduate-program.html
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: http://www.politicalscience.hawaii.edu/graduate-program.html
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
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, 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.

Based in part on Graduate Division's mandate that a "Doctoral Students Annual Progress Form" be filed for all students who are NOT making satisfactory progress, and on our own departmental efforts to improve the retention, advising and time-to-completion numbers of grad students in our program, we have made some significant changes to the ways in which we assess our graduate students. In summary form these are: (a) students admitted into the PhD program will be assessed at the end of their first, second and third semesters in terms of their likely ability to complete a quality dissertation in the near future; (b) the end of the 3rd semester evaluation is a particularly critical rite of passage as a 3-member committee consisting of faculty members with whom they have done courses will assess whether or not they should continue on to the proposal-comprehensives-and-dissertation stage or whether they should exit the program or if they need further course work and mentoring/advising to strengthen their prospects; and (c) an annual progress form that has to be filled out by their main advisor, going into specifics about their strengths and weaknesses which will be submitted to the Grad chair. We are hopeful that with this continuous-monitoring advising system, fewer PhD students will fall through the cracks, and we will be able to intervene early to either help students find their way through the program or (in a small number of cases) advise them that a doctorate is not in their future.

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.

For every doctoral student, their coursework will end not merely with the filing of a grade by the instructor but with a paragraph-length narrative evaluation of their performance in the course, and specifically addressing the likelihood of their completing a quality dissertation in the near future. These narrative reports will form a critical component of the assessments made of grad students at the end of each of their first 3 semesters (when they will be mainly engaged in doing course work) and especially for the crucial end-of-3rd-semester decision on their continuance in the program. These reports, in addition to their GPA, will be the main instruments of assessment. 

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

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.

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

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.

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.