Institutional Information

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is accredited by the Senior Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WSCUC). This accreditation was reaffirmed on July 11, 2022, for a period of 6years. The next WSCUC review is scheduled for Spring 2024.

Compliance with Criteria for Review (CFR) Under WSCUC

Note: Guidelines are in parentheses following definitions for each CFR; evidence for each CFR is listed as bullet points.

WSCUC contact information
Mailing address:
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
985 Atlantic Avenue, Ste. 100
Alameda, CA 94501

Phone: (510) 748-9001
Fax: (510) 748-9797
Website: https://www.wscuc.org/.

Undergraduate Core Competency

Core Competency Assessment Indicators 

According to UH Hilo’s external accreditor, the WASC Senior Commission of University and Colleges (WSCUC), “Institutions of higher education have a responsibility to document that students acquire knowledge and develop higher-order intellectual skills appropriate to the degree earned.” This mandate comes from the U.S. Department of Education which requires universities to ensure “baseline levels of acceptable quality and performance” in order to participate in the distribution of federal student aid.

Below is a list of what WSCUC considers “core competencies” and a minimum level of skills that all undergraduate students, regardless of their major, should master by the time they graduate with their baccalaureate degrees.  These are skills that are not taught by any one class, but are mastered through the collective study of multiple disciplines and subjects.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is about analysis, decision-making, planning, and the synthesis of information and evidence into one’s own work that results in a unique, insightful, and purposeful “product”—whether that be a scholarly paper, an artistic composition, a field experiment, or a lab report.

There is no separate rubric for this skill as it is embedded in four of the below-stated competencies—Written Communication, Quantitative Reasoning, Oral Communication, and Information Literacy. Please refer to the rubrics for these areas for further information.

Written Communication

The ability to logically construct a line of reasoning in well-organized and eloquent prose that effectively communicates information makes a convincing argument, and/or expresses important viewpoints to an intended audience is a marketable skill in the professional world.

Written Communication Rubric

Quantitative Reasoning

Students may not need to master advanced algorithms, but all individuals need to understand numbers and what they mean (and don’t mean). Often, poor arguments are based on haphazard or misuse of data and statistics—completing a college degree ensures students will have the ability to identify & solve problems from a quantitative perspective through the critical collection and scrutiny of data and how to best visually produce data in ways that are effective.

Quantitative Reasoning Rubric

Oral Communication

Oral Communication refers to verbal/oral eloquence (spoken language). Students should be able to choose appropriate language for any given audience (professional or casual), and deliver a message or main points through an organized and engaging speech or presentation that may employ visual aids, body language, and other non-verbal elements that enhance the meaning or argument put forth.

Oral Communication Rubric

Information Literacy

College-level writing often stresses proper citation formatting in terms of bibliographies and cited material. However, Information Literacy is also about learning to avoid plagiarism (whether intentional or unintentional) as well as locating and utilizing credible sources of information as opposed to just taking anything from the internet as “fact.” Universities try and instill in students an ability to question and to reject information or arguments that are clearly inaccurate or false.

Information Literacy Rubric

Cultural Diversity

Because UH Hilo is located in a very specific place in Hawai‘i, we hope to instill in our students a better understanding of this unique place and its unique peoples and cultures, including the values and histories of Native Hawaiians. We also hope to push students’ understanding of the larger world that is home to differing religions, lifestyles, and beliefs; and, we hope to instill in students a sense of empathy and shared interests for even the most difficult and polarizing of issues.

Cultural Diversity Rubric

Core Competency Assessment Indicators Segregated by Program

GRADUATE Core competency

Core Competency  Assessment Indicators

Per the standards of accreditation set forth by the WASC Senior Commission of Universities and Schools,  “The institution’s graduate programs establish clearly stated objectives differentiated from and more advanced than undergraduate programs in terms of admissions, curricula, standards of performance, and student learning outcomes. Graduate programs foster students’ active engagement with the literature of the field and create a culture that promotes the importance of scholarship and/or professional practice. Ordinarily, a baccalaureate degree is required for admission to a graduate program” (CFR 2.2b).

The descriptors below are for key core competencies maintained at the post-baccalaureate level by the various graduate programs at UH Hilo.

Written Communication

Graduate students demonstrate the ability to construct a coherent and convincing argument in support of original insights into the content. Writing is well organized and appropriate for the intended audience which can include highly specialized language.

Written Communication Rubric (Graduate)

Written Communication Rubric (Graduate)

Quantitative Reasoning

Graduate students exhibit the ability to design a rational method of inquiry, and collect, analyze and interpret data.  Graduate students are able to use and justify the appropriate mathematical or statistical methods appropriate to addressing a topic of inquiry or issue in a primary field. Graduate students demonstrate the ability to reformulate and adapt principal ideas, techniques or methods at the forefront of the field.

Quantitative Reasoning Rubric (Graduate)

Information Literacy

Graduate students demonstrate the ability to use relevant, appropriate and credible sources. Graduate students are able to examine and adequately synthesize information. Graduate-level writing internalizes proper citation formatting in bibliographies and cited material, in line with discipline specific style guides.

Information Literacy Rubric (Graduate)

Oral Communication

Graduate students demonstrate the ability to use appropriate language and effective delivery techniques and processes. They have the ability to organize in a logical sequence, and structure the content of their message in a concise and engaging manner.

Oral Communication Rubric (Graduate)