Standard 2 Achieving Educational Objectives and Student Success-(2024)

STANDARD 2  Achieving Educational Objectives and Student Success

The institution achieves its educational and student success objectives through the core functions of teaching and learning, and through support for student learning, scholarship, and creative activity. It promotes the success of all students and makes explicit its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The institution demonstrates that core functions are performed effectively by evaluating valid and reliable evidence of learning.

CRITERIA FOR REVIEW (CFR)

Degree Programs

CFR 2.1 The institution’s degree programs are appropriate in content, educational objectives, and standards of performance relevant to the level of the degree. All degrees are defined in terms of entry requirements and levels of student achievement necessary for graduation.

All curricula as they pertain to degree programs, modifications of existing programs, and any new degrees require quality review by faculty and administration at the department, college-, and institution level per a process managed by the office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. College-level curriculum review committees and college deans must ensure: (1) the availability of resources, including teaching personnel, space requirements, and operating budget; (2) that any cross-program or departmental implications have been identified, verified and resolved; (3) academic integrity, i.e., the proposed course or program reflects intellectual rigor and teaching excellence; (4) program coherence, e.g., articulation with other existing courses, determining placement within the major; and (5) that the impact on course and seat capacity can be managed; and that there is (6) consistency with the university mission and strategic plan.

Once approved, all courses and degrees are posted in UH Hilo’s Catalog. Degrees are published with mission statements; student learning outcomes; credits required for majors, minors, and certificates; and links to general education requirements. Specialized programs (such as Nursing) and graduate programs also post admissions policies.

CFR 2.2 Degree programs engage students in an integrated course of study of sufficient breadth and depth. These programs ensure the development of core and professional competencies relevant to the level of the degree.

All degree programs include courses that integrate the many different skills and knowledge needed for the degrees they offer as reflected in their program learning outcomes and curriculum matrices, which are posted for each department on the program review website under the column “Assessment.”  Examples:

CFR 2.3 The institution clearly identifies and effectively implements student learning outcomes and expectations for achievement. These outcomes and expectations are reflected in and supported by academic programs, policies, and curricula, and provide the framework for academic advising, student support programs and services, and information and technology resources.

    • UH Hilo adopted WSCUC core competencies as its institutional learning outcomes that in turn serve as the foundation for our general education program, which maintains a certification process for courses by which syllabi are reviewed for how well they support student attainment of GE SLOs. Programs also set discipline-specific learning outcomes (see CFR 2.2)
    • All UH Hilo degree programs have adopted student learning outcomes, which are posted in the UH Hilo Catalog under each degree program. All programs report both core competency (graduate and undergraduate) and programmatic assessment (which are based on these SLOs) to the ALO, who posts them on the UH Hilo Accreditation website. Programmatic assessment is listed per each department in each college under the column “Assessment” in the various program review webpages.

CFR 2.4 The institution conducts periodic reviews of its degree programs. The program review process includes analysis of student achievement of the program’s learning outcomes.

All academic departments are required to undergo program review, which is a recurring cycle of 5-7 years.  Our program review handbook foregrounds the importance of our compliance with accreditation standards regarding assessment. All self-studies must include a section called “Evidence of Program Quality” within which academic programs review their SLOs, curriculum matrix, core competency data, programmatic assessment data, and evidence of faculty productivity. All self-studies are publicly posted on our program review website along with reviews by the accreditation liaison officer, the dean of the college, the vice chancellor for academic affairs, and the external reviewer in a transparent process that culminates in a plan of action spanning five to seven years.

Faculty

CFR 2.5 The institution has faculty with the capacity and scale to design and deliver the curriculum and to evaluate, improve, and promote student learning and success.

CFR 2.6 The faculty exercise effective academic leadership and act consistently to ensure that the quality of academic programs and the institution’s educational purposes are sustained.

    • The UH Hilo Faculty Congress is the institution-wide governing body that oversees faculty governance as well as key faculty driven initiatives, such as General Education, assessment; the Faculty Congress also provides consultation to administration on a number of issues, such as budget and program review.
    • Each college in UH Hilo also maintains a Faculty Senate, with representatives reporting to the larger Faculty Congress.

CFR 2.7 The faculty are responsible for creating and evaluating student learning outcomes and establishing standards of student performance.

Individual faculty set SLOs in their syllabi vis-à-vis core competency and program learning goals. Academic departments are responsible for developing program learning outcomes and maintaining quality control via programmatic assessment.  Data from programmatic assessment, which are run by faculty, are posted on the program review website for each department under the column “Assessment.”  Examples:

Core Competency Assessment at the undergraduate level is overseen by the Accreditation Liaison Officer who also chairs the Faculty Congress Assessment Support Committee, which is comprised of faculty representatives from CAS, CNHS, and CAFNRM. Core Competency Assessment at the graduate level is managed by the Graduate Council, which is a consortium of faculty directors.

CFR 2.8 The institution has clear expectations for faculty research, scholarship, and creative activity that are commensurate with the mission and degree portfolio.

Expectations for faculty research, scholarship, and/or creative activities are articulated in unit-specific (college) guidelines for tenure and promotion and in unit-specific guidelines for five-year post-tenure review.

Student Learning and Performance

CFR 2.9 The institution demonstrates that graduates consistently achieve stated learning outcomes and standards of performance. Faculty evaluate student work in terms of stated learning outcomes.

UH Hilo maintains a regular cycle of core competency assessment by which student artifacts across the campus are developed then analyzed by faculty committees.  Cross-institution analyses are posted yearly for undergraduate core competencies and graduate core competencies.

CFR 2.10 The institution demonstrates that students make reasonable progress toward and complete their degrees in a timely manner.

CFR 2.11 The institution monitors and analyzes the success of its students following graduation.

Student Support

CFR 2.12 The institution ensures that all students understand the requirements of their academic programs and receive timely, accurate, and complete information and advising about academic requirements.

    • UH Hilo’s catalog provides information on degree requirements, GE and Integrative course requirements for UH Hilo graduates, the academic calendar, and tuition/fees.
    • The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs also posts four-year academic plans for all degrees that are designed to “help students plan a course of study to complete their degree program in four years.”
    • Advising is mandatory for all incoming freshman, who are guided by the Career and Academic Advising Center. Declared majors are then assigned a faculty member in the department that oversees the major.

CFR 2.13 The institution offers student support and co-curricular programs and services sufficient in nature, scope, and capacity to promote all students’ academic, personal, and professional development.

CFR 2.14 The institution assesses the effectiveness of its student support and co-curricular programs and services and uses the results for improvement.