Institutional Accreditation

Essay Five: Our Sense of Place (Integrative Essay) (UPDATED July 10, 2014)

Essay Five
(Updated July 15, 2014)

Ele‘ele Hilo ē, panopano i ka ua hana mao ‘ole:
Dark Hilo, blackened in the rains that never cease.
– Hawaiian Proverb

The purpose of this revised version of Essay Five is to meet the original goals spelled out for the Integrative Essay in the “Outline of the Report,” which is to provide an “overall assessment of [our] institution based on [our] own review in the areas above” and to “[s]ummarize areas and plans for improvement that were identified in [our] review1.” Parts of this essay also address certain issues raised in the “Lines of Inquiry” that can be addressed at this time.

As we had stated in the original version of this essay, it is only fitting that as we began our Institutional Report with an ‘ōlelo no‘eau (proverb) that we should end with one. The image of the rains of Hilo feeding the verdant beauty of the ‘ōhi‘a forests are contrasted with the understanding that these same incessant downpours can weigh heavy on a place. The metaphor of rain is a befitting one in speaking of UH Hilo, for in many ways our “place” is both a source of strength and our greatest challenge.

There is no denying that the resources of this Island directly benefit the scholarship of faculty and the learning of students. Our diversity as a people, our dynamic mix of cultures, a thriving indigenous language, and our physical landscape (which hosts two of the world’s tallest volcanoes, eleven of the world’s thirteen recognized climate zones, and a range of plant and animal life found nowhere else) make for an educational experience that is unparalleled to that offered by other institutions of higher education. As Essay Three and the sampling of student narratives suggest, students thrive in such an environment2. As the only baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate institution on our island of 4,028 square miles, we serve a special need for the community that hosts us – a community that relies on us as a major economic engine (as stated in the Introduction). That we offer a wide array of majors and degrees is a testament of our understanding of kuleana and pono – a responsibility to do what is right by the people of this Island, which also includes the many students from elsewhere who come seeking knowledge.

For this reason, UH Hilo is a leader in many areas, including indigenous language, marine science, tropical agriculture and conservation, and pharmaceutical research3. Much of our marketing strategy has attempted to highlight these areas through the following concepts:

  • Island Laboratory
  • Hands-on Learning
  • Research Opportunities
  • A Diverse Campus
  • Unique in Hawai‘i and the Nation4

Brochures for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani (College of Hawaiian Language), and the Natural Sciences Division of the College of Arts and Sciences stress all five major concepts5. Marketing materials for the College of Pharmacy also highlight the importance of the program’s active involvement “in improving the health and well-being of Hawaiʻi’s diverse population6.” Such an approach is one reason why the School of Pharmacy has been successful in drawing State support of its facilities, allowing it to continue in compliance with ACPE standards as it undergoes an on-site visit this September with review by the Board in January of 20157.

In many ways, these key areas are what give meaning to our degrees. In recent years, the University has been expanding student opportunities to participate in one or more of the areas noted above. The 2009 NSSE showed some weakness regarding participation in a community-based project (Item 1k), freshmen and seniors reported less activity than their counterparts at selected peer institutions: UH Hilo Freshmen 1.56 versus 1.79 for Selected Peer II (p<.05); UH Hilo Seniors 1.90 versus 2.02 at Selected Peer II (p<.001)8. UH Hilo students also reported less experience with practicums and internships (Item 7a) and community service/volunteer work (Item 7b) than their counterparts in the Selected Peer II group9.

However, by the 2011 NSSE, UH Hilo first-time students actually reported participating in community service or volunteer work (item 7b) at greater percentages than all comparison groups: UH Hilo at 42% versus 34% for Far-West Public, 34% for Selected Peers II, and 39% for the overall NSSE populations10. Diversity has been consistently identified as strength in both the 2009 and 2011 NSSE:

Highest Performing Benchmark Items Relative to Far West Public (2009)

First Year Students UH Hilo Far West Public Selected Peers II NSSE 2009
10c EEE Said institution substantially encourages contacts among diverse peers 64% 57% 58% 59%
First Year Students UH Hilo Far West Public Selected Peers II NSSE 2009
1u EEE Had serious conversations with students of another race or ethnicity 71% 60% 52% 65%

Figure 36. National Survey of Student Engagement, “Executive Snapshot 2009 (University of Hawai‘i at Hilo)11".

Highest Performing Benchmark Items Relative to Far West Public (2011)

Seniors UH Hilo Far West Public Selected Peers II NSSE 2009
10c EEE Said institution substantially encourages contacts among diverse peers 63% 52% 61% 51%

Figure 37. National Survey of Student Engagement, “Executive Snapshot 2009 (University of Hawai‘i at Hilo)12".

These figures show that UH Hilo has been highly successful in achieving its stated goal: “We celebrate different people, their backgrounds and history, and the unique cultural mosaic of Hawai‘i that brings the feel of a global community to our local campus13.”

Overall satisfaction with the campus has been rising, as seen in the following comparison between 2009 and 2011:

Executive Snapshot 2009 Class UH Hilo Far West Public Selected Peers NSSE 2009
Level of Academic Challenge (LAC) How challenging is your institution's intellectual and creative work? First-year Senior 49 57 - - -
Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL) Are your students actively involved in their learning, individually and working with others? First-year Senior 40 52 + - -
Student-Faculty Interaction (SFI) Do your students work with faculty members inside and outside the classroom? First-year Senior 31 47 + - - +
Enriching Educational Experiences (EEE) Do your students take advantage of complementary learning opportunities? First-year Senior 25 40 - -
Supportive Campus Environment (SCE) Do your students feel the institution is committed to their success? First-year Senior 62 60 + +

FIGURE 38. National Survey of Student Engagement, “Executive Snapshot 2009 (University of Hawai‘i at Hilo)14".

Executive Snapshot 2011 Class UH Hilo Far West Public Selected Peers NSSE 2009
Level of Academic Challenge (LAC) How challenging is your institution's intellectual and creative work? First-year Senior 52 58
Active and Collaborative Learning (ACL) Are your students actively involved in their learning, individually and working with others? First-year Senior 43 51 + - -
Student-Faculty Interaction (SFI) Do your students work with faculty members inside and outside the classroom? First-year Senior 34 44 + -
Enriching Educational Experiences (EEE) Do your students take advantage of complementary learning opportunities? First-year Senior 27 39
Supportive Campus Environment (SCE) Do your students feel the institution is committed to their success? First-year Senior 62 62 +

FIGURE 39. National Survey of Student Engagement, “Executive Snapshot 2011 (University of Hawai‘i at Hilo)[^167]”.

Two weaknesses for the Senior populations continue to reoccur. In the 2009 and the 2011 NSSE, UH Hilo Seniors under-reported two areas of academic preparation in contrast to peer groups. The first is completion of foreign language coursework (item 73): UH Hilo respondents were at 29% in 2009 and 31% in 2011 in comparison to Far West Public at 40% and 37%, Selected Peer II at 34% and 40%, and NSSE overall populations at 41% and 40%15. Of bigger concern is the percentages of Seniors reporting completing a culminating senior experience, such as a capstone, thesis, or comprehensive exam (item 7h): 29% of UH Hilo Seniors in 2009 and 20% of UH Hilo Seniors in 2011 self-identified as having undertaken such work in respective comparison to Far West Public at 33% and 30%, Selected Peers II at 31% and 34%, and NSSE overall populations at 33% and 32%16.

Part of the problem may lay with needing more courses for certification for Global and Community Citizenship (GCC) per our new General Education requirements17. As more departments are solicited to submit senior-level courses for this area in General Education, more hands-on learning and capstonetype assignments are expected to be generated. More work is needed in undertaking assessment for GCC; the Coordinator for the Office of Applied Learning Experience is working with Chairs of academic departments with substantial internship programs to draft a rigorous method for evaluating the efficacy of these activities and to ensure that students are meeting the learning outcomes for GE GCC and for the learning goals set by departments. Assessment in this area, especially if the rubrics and learning goals are widely publicized among the students, will go a long way in encouraging student awareness that the work they do is in line with the goals and mission of the University.

While the NSSE results indicate a relatively positive learning experience for students, the institution is experiencing some difficulty in ascertaining the reasons why students leave in relation to the data generated on retention and completion (such as the statistics pulled for the WASC R&G Report). Entering Student Surveys, administered by the Office of Institutional Research, reveal that in AY 2008- 2009 (n = 351), upwards of 10% entered with the intent “To prepare to transfer to another college or university; not to complete a degree program here”; 15.4% of respondents said they would complete their bachelor’s degrees elsewhere18. In AY 2009-2010 (n = 201), the numbers were 9.5% and 19.4% respectively19. Self-selected students who participated in withdrawal surveys reported themselves as having originally intending to transfer: 9.8% in AY 2009-2010 (n = 72); 6.8% in AY 2010-2011 (n = 59), and 12.1% in AY 2011-2012 (n = 33)20. However, the main reasons for departure for these students were due to circumstances outside of the institutional environment. In AY 2009-2010, the five most reported influences for leaving school were: “health-related problems” (18.1%), “family responsibilities” (16.7%), “not doing well in classes” (16.7%), “college costs” (15.3%), and “accepted a full-time job” (11.1%)21. In AY 2020-2011, the categories remained the same but in a different order of ranking: “college costs” (20.3%), “accepted a full-time job” (15.3%), “family responsibilities” (11.9%), and “health-related problems” (10.2%); the 5th most reportedly influential factors – “not doing well in classes,” “class scheduling problems,” “health-related problems of a family member,” and “financial problems other than financial aid” – were all tied at 8.5%22. In AY 2011-2012, there was a slight shifting in the reporting of responses; nevertheless, the most frequent responses all related to factors outside of the Institution: “Health-related problem” (30.3%), “Health-related problem of a family member” (24.2%), “Experienced emotional problems” (24.2%), “Not doing well in classes” (21.2%), and “Family responsibilities” (18.2%)23. Since these surveys – the reports for which did not include explanatory methodology – two separate studies have been conducted – one by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA) and the other by the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts and Sciences. The OVCSA’s “Departer’s [sic] Survey” of October 2013 (n = 75, response rate = 11.2%), which queried 671 undergraduates who attended Spring 2013 but did not re-enroll in the Fall of 2013, reported that 64.9% of that population was enrolled in a college or university with another 27% employed. However, the same survey found that the primary reason for leaving was “academic” (45.2%), including reasons such as dissatisfaction with “quality of instruction” (28.8%) or “major” (28.8%)24. On the other hand, the CAS Dean’s Office ran a direct, open-ended question phone survey of 146 CAS students who had not enrolled from Fall of 2013 to Spring of 2014 (response rate of 46%) and found that the top three reasons for not returning were: already transferred to another institution (23.28%), financial aid difficulties (14.38%), and personal reasons (9.58%)25.

Reconciling such varying data results is an important goal of the institution, which is looking forward to the permanent hire of an IRO for the production of consistent management data.

One of our largest challenges is our physical isolation. Sharing our research with colleagues elsewhere, providing our students with access to the larger world, and simply maintaining our infrastructure are heavily impacted by cost which is exacerbated by our distance to the State Capitol in Honolulu, to the continental U.S., and to other countries. Travel to and from key venues (including WASC-sponsored events) becomes an expensive activity. The State of Hawai‘i has the highest cost of living in the nation26. Everything from the cost of food to utilities has to be factored in and weighed vis-à-vis our educational goals and aspirations in ways many of our “peer” institutions may not experience. Retaining faculty due to higher costs of housing and research/travel has been difficult at times. Another challenge is reaching out to the many communities on the Island that are far flung and still do not have reliable access to internet, telephone, or public transportation. Operating costs are an increasing concern, as are resources needed for maintaining quality programming and assessment. Moving forward, our challenge is enhancing and balancing revenue streams with the quality and mix of our program delivery.

To return to the issues identified by faculty, staff, and administration in the Self-Review under the Standards, the following are the two most important tasks we will need to address in order to meet the fiscal challenge posed by our physical isolation:

  • 3.1 The institution employs personnel sufficient in number and professional qualifications to maintain its operations and to support its academic programs, consistent with its institutional and educational objectives.

  • 3.5 The institution has a history of financial stability, unqualified independent financial audits and has resources sufficient to ensure long-term viability. Resources are aligned with educational purposes and objectives. If an institution has an accumulated deficit, it has realistic plans to eliminate the deficit. Resource planning and development include realistic budgeting, enrollment management, and diversification of revenue sources27.

Firstly, the Long Range Budget Committee is increasing its faculty membership and plans to work in a more integrative fashion with the Strategic Enrollment Management Team (EMIT) to align fiscal prioritization with institution outcome goals28. Secondly, UH Hilo is moving towards evidence-based decision-making, which is being spearheaded by the larger University of Hawai‘i System.

The “Proposed UH Productivity and Efficiency Metrics” (April 2, 2014) that was presented to all campuses ties the Hawai‘i Graduation Initiative “55 by ’25” (by which the State of Hawai‘i attains the goal of enabling 55% of working adults to attain a two- or four-year degree by 2025) to a projected 6% growth across the board29.

There are several ramifications for this movement into fiscal alignment with larger system initiatives. One of the first is reconciliation of what can sometimes be different numbers being reported at the system level versus at the lower institutional level.

The following “Productivity Measures” are being proposed for uniformity in reporting and in discussions about the allocation of resources:

  • Productivity Measure 1: The number of degrees and certificates (which includes setting growth targets);
  • Productivity Measure 2: The number of students who graduate on time, to be calculated as 100% (within four years) and 150% (within six years) using First-time, full-time or FTFT IPEDS definition, with comparisons to peer/benchmarks and analysis of discrete populations (i.e. Native Hawaiian, URM, and Pell);
  • Productivity Measure 2a: Graduation rate for part-time students, , to be calculated as 200% (within eight years) and 300% (within twelve years) using FTFT IPEDS definition;
  • Productivity Measure 3: Number and success rate of FTFT students who transfer, which for UH Hilo will include transfer anywhere per National Student Clearinghouse;
  • Productivity Measure 4: Post-graduate outcomes (to be determined at a later time)30.

These are to be weighed against proposed “Efficiency Measures,” which by definition reflect the overall cost of education:

  • Efficiency Measure 1: Institutional Support Expenditures over total Education and General Expenditures (including general administration, fiscal, legal, and personnel in comparison to peer/benchmark institutions);
  • Efficiency Measure 2a: Educational and institutional costs per FTE student (E&R Spending = Cost of instruction (salaries and wages, fringe benefits, other expenditures), student services, and the instructional share of academic support, institutional support and operations & maintenance (excludes cost of research, public services and CIP);
  • Efficiency Measure 2b: Educational and institutional costs per completion (E&R spending over all degrees and certificates awarded in one year in comparison to peer/benchmark institutions);
  • Efficiency Measure 3: Average number of credits of graduates (at time of completion);
  • Efficiency Measure 4: Number of programs with 5 or less graduates in one year (for all programs averages over four years, excluding those in existence for less than three years);
  • Efficiency Measure 5: Ratio of students to faculty, to staff, and to E/M employees (in comparison to peer/benchmark institutions);
  • Efficiency Measure 6: SSH per FTE faculty (in comparison to peer/benchmark institutions);
  • Efficiency Measure 7: Share of credits earned by distance learning;
  • Efficiency Measure 8: Cost of utilities;
  • Efficiency Measure 9: Ratio of total tuition and fees over median state personal income;
  • Efficiency Measure 10: Classroom utilization31.

These measures will likely mean that UH Hilo may have to engage in conversations about increasing the ratio of students to instructional faculty and SSH production to instructional faculty as well as scrutinizing programs that produce less than five (5) graduates per year.

FTE students per FTE instructional faculty - UH Hilo comparison group (2004-2012). Graph shows relatively stable values across all years for IPEDS group, 17.0; Peer group, 16.4; and UH Hilo, 14.8.

FIGURE 40. UH Hilo’s FTE students per FTE faculty ratio32.

Programs with 5 or less graduates at University of Hawaii System Campuses from 2010-2012. UH Manoa with 42, UH Hilo 6, West Oahu 8, Hawaii CC 15, Honolulu CC 22, Kapiolani CC 8, Kauai CC 12, Maui CC 15.

FIGURE 41. Number of programs with 5 or less average degrees awarded from Fiscal Years 2010-1233.

These mandates obviously need to be negotiated in light of institutional concerns over “adequate staffing” vis-à-vis the academic integrity of programs and the overall mission of UH Hilo, which includes servicing a population that has a very different demographic profile than that of either Mānoa or Maui. For example, two different sets of students are at risk of non-completion – local Big Island students who come in “academically underprepared” (incoming GPA of under 3.0) and local Big Island students who come in with “adequate preparation” (incoming GPA of 3.0-3.5). Responding adequately to both groups requires prioritization within the larger discussion of increasing graduating rates for all students in general. The ongoing work with the Math and English Departments through the P-20 Consortium is one way UH Hilo is addressing this need with both programs taking key leads in writing curriculum and developing aligned assessment in partnership with the State Network of Educators and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s national digital library of instructional and professional development material (Common Core State Standards).

Nevertheless, UH Hilo is undertaking efforts to stabilize and make transparent budgeting processes by moving to a “base-budget” model that takes into account quantitative measures of success, such as SSH and the overall number of majors as part of the discussion about the quality of instruction and teaching. In the past, academic units have had multiple lines of budgets to cover full-time staff salaries, adjunct and casual hires, and operating monies. Going forward, units will be allotted “base” budgets to allow flexibility in terms of staffing versus operational costs to be decided at the department or program level. Hires will also be made on the basis of SSH and enrollment data as opposed to simply replacing lost positions. Furthermore, per the Chancellor’s Executive Council of May 2, 2014, discussion took place on proposed “rationales” for units and programs to link budgetary request to campus priorities and strategic initiatives. The Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs has also led discussions during his monthly meetings with unit heads to discuss this move towards collective decision-making with regard to budget allocations and program efficacy. In the June 4, 2014 Council of Deans, Directors, and Division Chairs, the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs openly shared budget allocations among colleges and among the divisions in the College of Arts and Sciences; the meeting also addressed the system imitative of scrutinizing low major counts. Talks then began in the CAS Dean’s Council and have led to the scheduling of meetings with “under-performing” programs to develop action plans to revitalize existing majors. This mode of communication reflects our efforts at disseminating information and engaging faculty in a way that will hopefully incentivize underperforming programs to think about reorganization and better recruitment strategies (such as revising outdated majors or adding innovative areas to existing coursework). The recently adopted Program Review Guidelines, developed by the Faculty Congress, will hopefully encourage departments to further think of “academic integrity” beyond just the absolute number of tenure-track positions.

GE Assessment is an area that needs further work. The Faculty Congress – through leadership provided by the ALO (who attended the WASC ALA) and key members working on P-20 initiatives – has been able to develop and disseminate universal rubrics (for Written Communication, Oral Communication, Information Literacy, and Quantitative Reasoning) and undertake Core Competency Assessment at the freshman and the senior level for Writing with Quantitative Literacy (to be disseminated as a short test in 100- and 400-level classes) to follow this coming Spring34. However, GE assessment has been slower to develop given implementation problems that linger with Curriculum Central. Discussions among the ALO, the Chair of Assessment Support, and the Chair of GE have led to a proposal for the sampling of 200- and 300-level GE courses to be included in the larger annual Core Competency Assessment to simplify the process; however, such a plan has not yet been formally adopted by the Faculty Congress, academic units, and Administration, though all entities involved are committed to working out a workable plan of action.

In further need of quality improvement is Distance Learning. Having recently lost its Distance Learning Coordinator, who retired in 2013, UH Hilo has been operating with streamlined staffing consisting of Cindy Yamaguchi, the Online Teaching and Learning Specialist; Janet Ray, the Professional Development Liaison for Academic Affairs; and a new Media Specialist who will start within the next four weeks. Given that the new Program Review Guidelines ask Departments to review online versus face-to-face student outcomes, more resources and training will be needed to enable faculty to engage in such assessment. Such training may help to resolve issues, like the one faced by the College of Business (CoBE). The College of Business and Economics offers a Distance Learning Program that provides students in Kona with the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree; traditional courses are broadcast to the west side of the Island via Polycom. This cohort program only serves between 2 and 4 students each semester, thus these students have not been included in the college’s ongoing assessment activities because of the limited cohort sizes. While students in the College of Business and Economics participate in the CLA test to assess their writing abilities on the main campus, deploying the same test in Kona would be inefficient and costly as a faculty member would need to drive to Kona to administer the exam. Developing an alternative model to this face-to-face method is one area that can be better addressed through faculty training using different modalities for assessment.

Furthermore, work is needed to revise faculty evaluations to help gather meaningful data in this different delivery platform. For example, the following question “Students feel comfortable interacting with and asking questions of the instructor” solicits student impressions about the face-to-face environment, but may not be suitable in asking about an asynchronous learning environment, even if the instructor utilizes the Chat Room, Discussion, and Forum tools in Laulima (the online classroom management software for the UH System). Revising the current evaluation form or developing one strictly for DL courses may help in encouraging better response rates.

Overall work of the Faculty Congress is leading to a faculty-led model of assessment. While some schools rely on a single coordinator, the faculty body at UH Hilo have voiced the desire to keep this responsibility within the hands of units. This approach has been successful in helping us to align our curriculum with Hawai‘i Community College (HAWCC); a joint assessment retreat in 2012 resulted in the crafting of a ENG 22 (Developmental Writing) rubric that is being tested by the English faculty at HAWCC. Likewise, the “peer-encouragement” approach has helped in moving the Core Competency assessment project for AY 2013-201435. We have collected data and analyses for over 200 student artifacts from by every college (with the exception of the College of Pharmacy which does not offer a traditional BA program) and from almost every program, including the Department of Communication though with the exception of five other programs from the College of Arts and Sciences. This represents a more than 90% response rate of units for the Senior-level Writing Competency Assessment initiative.

The initial data analysis by the Associate Dean of CAS shows that students showed the greatest weakness in the categories that required higher order cognitive skills: Line of Reasoning (median score of 2.5) and Organization/Structure of Argument (median score of 2.69). A more thorough analysis of data and an updated compilation of programmatic reports (per the Inventory of Educational Effectiveness Indicators (see FIG. 42) will be uploaded to the UH Hilo Accreditation website and reported to WASC as soon as they are completed.


LineReason OrgStruc Content LangGram
N Valid 229 229 229 229
N Missing 0 0 0 0
Mean 2.7161 2.6914 2.7755 2.8536
Median 2.5000 2.5000 2.8000 3.0000
Mode 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00
Std. Deviation 0.65779 0.63993 0.69551 0.62962
Minimum 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Maximum 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00


Have formal Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) or Student Learning Outcomes (SLOS) been developed? Published where? (website) Do PLOs include or imply link to Core Competency? (AY 2013- 2014: Written Comm)? Process of Core Competency Assessment: 1. Course (400-level) 2. Assignment 3. Type of Student Artifact 4. Rubric or other instrument Data (measurement of the competency) Action Taken in Response to the Data (What will you do in response to the findings?) Date of Last Program Review
BA-ADMIN OF JUSTICE YES; "Goals for Student Learning in the Major" https://hilo. catalog/ administra ion-of- justice.html Yes, "All graduates... should [...] be proficient in writing, [...] be able to develop a research design." 1. POLS/GEOG 325 "Legal Geography" 2. Students will critically analyze a locally researched place of legal geography and will engage with how that place is a site of legal geography. 3. 3800 Word Research Paper with 11 supporting academic sources. 4. GE Rubric for Written Communication Twenty-one papers (n=21) were read by the Assessment Committee, with a majority (13 or approx. 60%) of papers scored below or near "emerging" (score of "2"). The readers noted that the papers showed the most weakness with grammar and syntax; papers exhibited mistakes not normally seen with native speakers of English (i.e. irregular pronoun usage, awkward particle and preposition usage, awkward plural/singular shifts, irregular tense shifts, lack of parallel construction in sentences, etc.) It was also noted that a substantial number of students referred to themselves as non-native speakers. The Department has reviewed the data and will adopt the following: (1) Increased peer review with drafting and revision strategies; (2) Solicit help of tutoring services (such as Kilohana); and (3) Request TESOL involvement to assist with writing difficulties Slated for AY 2014- 2015

FIGURE 42. Sample Inventory of Effectiveness Indicator (Programmatic Level).

Assessment is also underway in a number of co-curricular units. In particular, Kilohana: The Academic Success Center (which falls under the Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs) has been working with Monica Stitt-Bergh of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Assessment Office and Associate Dean Susan Brown of UH Hilo’s College of Arts and Sciences to undertake a methodologically sound, quantitative approach to assessing efficacy of tutoring in Kilohana, which has begun tracking success rates for students who utilize services versus those who do not, as represented in the sampling of data from its AY 2013-2014 Annual Report:

Total hours spent in center (F2009 - Sp2014) show peaks during fall and spring semesters and nearly no use during the summer semesters. Science students consistently utilize Kilohana more, followed by math, and lastly writing.

FIGURE 43. Data on Student Usage of Kilohana36.

Fig. 44: Students who did not visit represented in a pie chart. C or higher = 62%, C- or lower = 36%, and I/W = 2%. Fig. 45. Students who did not visit represented in a pie chart. C or higher = 71% and C- or lower = 29%.

FIGURES 44 and 45. Grade Distribution Comparison of CHEM 12437.

Assessment has also been long-ongoing in the Mookini Library (which likewise falls under the ViceChancellor of Academic Affairs). The following represents data collection for ENG 100T tutorial sessions:

Academic Year Pre-test Post-test Difference
2009-2010 65% 81% 16%
2010-2011 64% 85% 21%
2011-2012 64% 84% 20%
2012-2013 66% 84% 18%
2013-2014 66% 83% 17%

FIGURE 46. Raw Scores for Library Pre- and Post-Test (ENG 100T)38.

Library pre-test/post-test results (2009-2014). Post-test is consistently higher each year than pre-test.

FIGURE 47. Library Pre- and Post-Test (ENG 100T) Comparison39.

Lastly, assessment in the Division of Student Affairs has become more robust under the new leadership of the Interim Vice Chancellor. This unit is working to update the history and processes for Program Review as well as quantitative assessment of such initiatives as the Freshmen Pre-Built Schedules, Intrusive Advising, and the Freshmen Village. Work is also being done to collect and report on the qualitative data collection for programs like the Advising Center and Kīpuka (Native Hawaiian Student Center), which fall under Student Affairs but for whom data was not included in Essay Three.

Come rain or shine, UH Hilo stands on a proud heritage and tradition of service and excellence. We meet our challenges with the same fortitude as those who preceded us and who understood the duality of place: hiki mai nō ka ‘ino, a hiki mai ka mālie, “bad weather comes, but good weather comes too.”

The primary author of this updated document is Seri I. Luangphinith (ALO), with input from Marcia Sakai (Vice-Chancellor of Administrative Affairs), Susan Brown (Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences), Mitchell Anderson (Chair of Assessment AY 2013-2014), Yu Yok Pearing (Marketing and Alumni), Cindy Yamaguchi (Online Teaching and Learning Specialist), Kim Furumo (Chair of the Faculty Congress), Thora Abarca (Mookini Library), and Karla Hayashi (Director of Kilohana).


  1. Western Association for Schools and Colleges, Pilot Institutions Workshop, September 7, 2012, p. 11. ↩︎

  2. Anecdotes of student success can be found on our accreditation website under Item 1, Essay Three:↩︎

  3. For more information on research and scholarly activity, many of which involve students, please see “Keahou: UH Hilo Research in the News,”↩︎

  4. “Why Students Choose UH Hilo,”↩︎

  5. Office of Marketing and Alumni, “CAFNRM College of Agriculture & Natural Resources.”; “CHL Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke‘elikōlani College of Hawaiian Language,”; “MATS Natural Sciences Division,”↩︎

  6. “College of Pharmacy Ambassadors,”↩︎

  7. John Burnett, “Budget panel agrees to fund UH-Hilo pharmacy college building,” April 26, 2014, ; Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education, “Report of Proceedings – June 18-22, 2014,” , p. 4. ↩︎

  8. UH Hilo IRO, NSSE Means Comparison, August 2009,↩︎

  9. UH Hilo IRO, NSSE Means Comparison, August 2009, 7a. Practicum, internship, field experience, co-op experience, or clinical assignment: UHH FY .07 to .09 Peer II; UHH SR .46 to .51 Peer II; 7b. Community service or volunteer work: UHH FY .30 to .48 Peer II (p<.001); UHH SR .59 to .61 Peer II. ↩︎

  10. UH Hilo IRO, NSSE Executive Snapshot 2011,, p. 2. ↩︎

  11. UH Hilo IRO, NSSE Executive Snapshot 2009, , p. 2. ↩︎

  12. UH Hilo IRO, NSSE Executive Snapshot 2011,, p. 2. ↩︎

  13. University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, Papahana Ho‘olālā Hikīaloa 2011-2015, 4,, p. 5. ↩︎

  14. UH Hilo IRO, NSSE Executive Snapshot 2009, , p. 4. ↩︎

  15. UH Hilo IRO, NSSE Executive Snapshot 2009, , p. 3; NSSE Executive Snapshot 2011,, p. 3. ↩︎

  16. UH Hilo IRO, NSSE Executive Snapshot 2009, , p. 3; NSSE Executive Snapshot 2011,, p. 3. ↩︎

  17. Fall 2014 General Education & Integrative Requirements,↩︎

  18. UH Hilo IRO, “Fall 2008 & Spring 2009 Entering Undergraduate Item Response Analysis,” , p. 1 and 4. ↩︎

  19. UH Hilo IRO, “Entering Undergraduate Survey AcYR 0910—Fall 2009 & Spring 2010,” , p. 1 and 4. ↩︎

  20. UH Hilo IRO, “Withdrawing Student Survey F09 S10,” , p. 1; “Student Counseling Withdraw Survey, Academic Year 2010/2011,” , p. 1; “Student Counseling Withdrawal Survey, Academic Year 2011/2012,” , p. 2. ↩︎

  21. UH Hilo IRO, “Withdrawing Student Survey F09 S10,” , p. 11, 7, 2, and 10. ↩︎

  22. UH Hilo IRO, “Student Counseling Withdrawal Survey, Academic Year 2011/2012,” , p. 10, 7, 11, 2, 5, and 8. ↩︎

  23. UH Hilo IRO, “Student Counseling Withdrawal Survey, Academic Year 2011/2012,” , p. 8, 6, 9, 2, and 6. ↩︎

  24. Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, “Departer’s Survey Highlights, October 2013,”↩︎

  25. Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, CAS Phone Survey Report,↩︎

  26. Treena Shapiro, “CNBC: Hawaiʻi has best quality of life, most expensive cost of living,” Honolulu Magazine, July 16, 2013, . ↩︎

  27. WASC Preliminary Self-Review (Survey), Fall 2013,↩︎

  28. Information on the Long Rage Budget Committee can be found at↩︎

  29. Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, “Proposed UH Productivity and Efficiency Metrics,” April 2, 2014,, p. 5 & 7. ↩︎

  30. Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, “Proposed UH Productivity and Efficiency Metrics,” April 2, 2014,, p. 4, 8, 17, & 20. ↩︎

  31. Ibid., p. 25, 27, 33,0 42, & 65. ↩︎

  32. Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, “Proposed UH Productivity and Efficiency Metrics,” April 2, 2014,, p. 47. ↩︎

  33. Ibid., p. 47. ↩︎

  34. Assessment Support Committee, See various reports under academic years. ↩︎

  35. Seri I. Luangphinith, “Report on Assessment Committee Activities and Accreditation Update,” April 19, 2012,, p. 1. The rubric can be found at:↩︎

  36. Karla Hayashi, “Kilohana: The Academic Success Center: A Comprehensive Report For Vice Chancellor Matthew Platz,” July 3, 2014,, p. 16. ↩︎

  37. Ibid., p. 22. ↩︎

  38. Thora Abarca et al. “Library Assessment,” July 6, 2014,↩︎

  39. Ibid. ↩︎