University of Hawai?i at Hilo


Alumni Survey



Summer, 2001



Executive Summary



The 2001 Alumni survey was sent out to approximately 1500 UH Hilo students who graduated before the 1999-2000 academic year.? Approximately 10% of these individuals (153) returned surveys to UHH by the end of the data collection period.? Although a larger return rate and a larger sample would have been preferable, a great deal of valuable quantitative data can be gleaned from this survey, particularly from the open-ended comments by alumni in response to the last three questions of the survey.


I will leave readers to draw their own conclusions from the open-ended responses, which are provided verbatim by major between pages 18 and 31. They are in general extremely positive and do a wonderful job of showcasing the unique strengths of UH Hilo?in particular its caring and approachable faculty.? The following is a brief summary of some of the key findings from the rest of the survey:



Again, please be sure to read the open-ended responses pages 18 through 31.?


Table of Contents




Executive Summary??..???????????????.????.i


Table of Contents????..??????????????????.ii


I.???????? Introduction??????..???????.. ???? ????1


II.                  Findings?????????..???????.???????2


III.                Open-ended Responses by Major?????..??????..18


In retrospect, what campus factors/contiditions/ programs/

?etc. do you think contributed most to your educational gains

?while at Hilo??????????????????????15


What was the most disappointing thing about your

experience at Hilo??????????????.?????.21


Knowing what you know now, what changes in undergraduate

Education would you recommend at Hilo?????????..27


IV.               Data Tables?????????????????????..32


V.                 Appendix (Questionnaire)???????????????..47
























I.                   Introduction


???? Spring semester of 2001, the UH Hilo Assessment Committee awarded an assessment grant to the UH Hilo Marketing department to conduct an alumni survey.? The survey instrument to be used was one developed at the University of Hawai?i at Manoa and administered every three years?to the UH Manoa alumni class which was three years out from graduation.


????? Marketing and Institutional Research at UH Hilo collaborated on this project, the Marketing department doing the data collection and the IRO office doing the data tabulation and analysis.? Another objective of the assessment grant was to update the alumni database, so it was decided to send surveys to all alumni in the University of Hawai?i foundation?s database who graduated before 1999.? There were approximately 1,500 names on the mailing list, but only 153 surveys were returned by the close of the data collection period?resulting in only about a 10% return rate.? This return rate is disappointing and one cannot help but assume that a non-response bias exists in the data.? In other words, there is reason to suspect that respondents may be statistically different than non-respondents.? However, the survey still provides a rich body of qualitative information?especially in the generous open-ended responses of the alumni on the last three questions.


???? The small size of the sample precludes division by subgroups, so most of the data has been presented in terms of the total group.? Open-ended responses, however, have been divided by majors, so divisions and departments can get some idea of how their graduates responded to these questions.? The open-ended responses are most valuable when read verbatim, so no attempt has been made to tabulate the responses beyond separating them by major.? I highly recommend that these responses be read as they were offered up by the alumni, who took their time to offer thoughtful and sincere comments about their UHH experience.


???? I recommend that the Alumni survey instrument be revised before the next administration of an Alumni survey, that it be directed at the class of 1999 and administered in the Spring or Summer of 2002, and that three waves of surveys be sent out to increase the return rate.? During our preparations for our upcoming accreditation visits, I recommend we administer the survey annually, moving eventually to a two or three year administration schedule.










II.                 ?Findings


Impact of Undergraduate Experience at UH Hilo


What did you gain from your overall experience at Hilo?


The most frequently cited gains from the overall college experience at UH Hilo were Increased knowledge in an academic field, selected by 79.6% of respondents, Increased self-confidence, selected by 62.5%, Increased ability to be independent, self-reliant and adaptable, chosen by 61.8%, and Increased understanding of other people and their points of view, chosen by 59.9%. (See complete data table, page 32.)


What is the most important thing you have gained from your college experience at Hilo?


When asked to choose the most important thing they gained from their college experience at UH Hilo, 16% of alumni said it was Increased knowledge in an academic field, 14.6% said it was Preparation for a job, 14.6% said it was an Increased ability to be independent, self reliant and adaptable, and 13.2% said it was Preparation for graduate or professional study.? (See data table page 33.)


How would you rate your overall undergraduate experience at Hilo?


Ninety-one percent (91%) of alumni respondents said their overall undergraduate experience at UH Hilo was either Excellent (41%) or Good (50%).? (See data table page 33.)



To what extent did your undergraduate education at UH Hilo help you with each of the following skill areas?


Alumni felt their undergraduate education at UH Hilo helped them a great deal with developing as persons (42%), gathering information and learning on their own (41.1%), and gaining desirable employment (39.5%).? They felt that same education helped them only a little or not at all to Use mathematics in everyday life and work (56.2%),? and to Understand relationships between technology and the natural environment (53.7%).? Two other areas where nearly half the respondents felt their UH Hilo educations helped little or not at all to develop were Developing a sensitivity to current scientific issues and events (49%), and Understanding and enjoying literature and the arts (46.3%).? (See complete data table page 34.)


How important were each of the following skill areas during your undergraduate experience at UH Hilo?


In general, about nine out of ten of the alumni surveyed felt that the five most important skill areas?Developing as a person, Writing effectively, Defining, analyzing and solving problems, Gaining desirable employment and Gathering information and learning on my own were also the skill areas with which their undergraduate education at UH Hilo helped the most.?? Alumni felt that three skill areas, Appreciating the different cultures of Hawai?i, Learning to get along with people from different races and Developing a sensitivity to current scientific issues were less important than the development they received by their UH Hilo educations, and that Developing leadership abilities and Understanding world affairs, economics and politics were developed to a lesser degree by their UH Hilo educations than their importance merited.? (See complete data table, page 35.)




How satisfied are you with the academic preparation you received at Hilo?


A third of the alumni respondents were Very satisfied with the academic preparation they received; nearly all of them (96%) were either Satisfied or Very Satisfied.? (See data table, page 36.)



Which of the following best represents how you feel about your baccalaureate degree from Hilo; which best represents your perception of how others view your baccalaureate degree?


Overall, alumni respondents felt the quality of their baccalaureate degree from UH Hilo is higher than they feel others perceive it to be.? Still, nearly six out of ten (58.2%) felt their UH Hilo degree was of average quality, compared to nearly four out of ten who felt their degree was of above average quality.? Nearly eight out of ten of the alumni felt others perceived their baccalaureate degree from UH Hilo to be of average quality.? (See data tables, page 36.)? One of the highest leverage points for university advancement for UH Hilo is to improve perceptions of the quality of its degree programs.? It can do this by making a sincere commitment to outcomes assessment and continuous improvement, using and publishing the results of the National Survey of Student Engagement and continuously improving its retention and graduation rates.?


Since earning your bachelor?s at UH Hilo, have you pursued further higher education?


More than half the alumni respondents (55.9%) said they pursued further higher education after earning their bachelor?s degree at UH Hilo.?? In fact, from their answers to the following question, Beyond your first bachelor?s degree, what is the highest level of study you have completed or are now pursuing, 119 or 78.1% of the respondents actually did take at least some college courses beyond the bachelor?s degree.? (See data tables, page 37.)


?        43.7% of these students took courses but did not pursue another degree

?        15.1% completed or were pursuing a professional diploma such as for education

?        44.5% completed or were pursuing a Master?s degree,

?        3.4% were pursuing a law degree, and

?        5.8% were pursuing a doctorate or a first professional degree such as a D.D.S


Where have you completed or are now pursuing further higher education?


?        22.7% had completed or were pursuing further higher education at UH Manoa

?        29.1% went to UH Hilo????????

?        5.5% went to a UH Community College????

?        14.9% went to another Hawai?i college or university

?        35.5% went to a mainland school and

?        2.1% went to a foreign school.


How well did your UH Hilo education prepare you for your post-baccalaureate study?


More than a third (36.4%) of the alumni responding to this question said that UH Hilo did Very well in preparing them for their post-baccalaureate study, 46.6% said it did Moderately well, 14.8% said it did Adequately, and 2.3% (two students) said that UH Hilo did a poor job in preparing them for further study.? (See data table, page 38.)


If you pursued post-baccalaureate studies at an institution other than Hilo, what was the primary reason for not attending Hilo?


The primary reason given for not attending UH Hilo by alumni responding to this question was that their program of interest was not available (51 students or 71.8% of the students who responded to this question).? Education was the post-baccalaureate field of study for the largest group, twenty-seven or 32.9% of the alumni who answered this question.? (See data table, page 38.)


Current Employment? and Other Activities


Please tell us something about your current activities.


Nearly nine out of ten (87.6%) of the alumni respondents were employed, 15.7% were currently attending school, 8.5% were working in a non-compensated capacity, such as homemaker or volunteer work, 5.9% were not employed but seeking employment, and 1.3% were not in school, not employed and not seeking work.? (See data table, page 39.)


After graduating, how long did it take you to find a job?


One hundred forty-two (142) out of the 153 respondents answered this question.? Three quarters of the respondents (74.6%) found employment within six months of graduation.? Two students wrote in that they had already been working before graduation, but a portion of the missing responses to this question might also have been from students who became employed before graduation, as that response was not provided.? (See data table, page 40.)


Are you employed full time or part-time?


Of the 136 alumni who responded to this question, more than eight out of ten (84.6%) were employed full time.? (See data table, page 40.)


What sector is your current primary job in?


Of the 137 respondents who answered this question, the largest percentage (32.1%) work for state government, followed by 28.5% who work in private industry.? About ten percent (9.5%) are employed by non-profit organizations, and the tourist industry, city or county government and self-employment claim another nine alumni (6.5% of the total) each. About five percent (5.1%) are employed by the federal government.? (See data table, page 40.)


Where are you currently employed?


Over half of the 137 respondents responding to this question (54.7%) are working on the Big Island, 15.3% are working on O?ahu, 8.8% on a neighboring island, 16.1% on the U.S. mainland, and 5.1%? in a U.S. possession or a foreign country.? (See data table, page 41.)


What are your current annual earnings from your primary job?


Nearly six out of ten of our alumni respondents earn between $25,000 and $49,999; about three out of ten earn below $25,000 and about 10% (9.8%) earn $50,000 or more (see detailed table on page 41 for smaller earnings breakdowns).


Is your current primary job one in which you will continue your career?


More than three quarters of the 136 respondents who answered this question said they would definitely (29.4%) or probably (47.1%) continue their career in their current primary job.? Only 5.9% said they would definitely not do so.? (See data table, page 42.)






How well did your undergraduate education at Hilo prepare you for your current primary job?


Respondents were divided roughly into thirds when it came to how well they felt their undergraduate education at UH Hilo had prepared them for their current primary job.? Thirty-two percent (32.1%) said it had prepared them very well, 31.4% said it had prepared them moderately well, and 30.7% said it had done an adequate job in preparing them for their current job.? Only 5.8% of the respondents said they had been poorly prepared for their current primary job by their undergraduate education at UH Hilo.? (See data table, page 42.)



Is your current primary job directly related to your major field of undergraduate study?


About half of the respondents (48.5%) said their primary job was directly related to their major field of study, about a third (32.4%) said it was indirectly related, and two out of ten (19.1%) said their job was not at all related to their major field of study.? (See data table, page 43.)


If your current job is not directly related to your major field of study, what is the main reason for selecting your present occupation?


Reasons given most often for selecting an occupation not in their major field of study were that the alumni became more interested in their current job area (16 respondents); that the alumni developed new skills/abilities which enabled them to move in another direction (16 respondents), and that jobs related to their major were not available (11 respondents).? Nine respondents said they were not sufficiently qualified for a job in their major, and 8 respondents said that their current jobs paid better than jobs in their major field.? (See data table, page 43.)



Demographics of Survey Respondents


(Data tables presenting the demographics of survey respondents are on pages 41 ? 46.)


More than two-thirds (68%) of the survey respondents are women, about six out of ten (59.5%) are under the age of thirty-five.






Over a third of the respondents (36.2%) are Caucasian or Portuguese, 20.1% are Hawaiian or part Hawaiian, 20.1% are Japanese, 10.7% are mixed, 4.7% are Filipino, and 6.7% are some other race or ethnicity.? The largest numbers of respondents majored in Social Sciences (34), Business Administration ()19), Natural Sciences (13), and Arts and Humanities (12).





The majority of respondents (56.5%) graduated from UH Hilo in 1997 or 1998, 41.5% graduated between 1993 and 1996, and 2% graduated at some other time.


How many semesters, excluding summer sessions, did it take you to complete your baccalaureate degree?


More than two-thirds of the alumni surveyed (66%) took more than four years to complete their baccalaureate degree; about a third (31.3%) took four and a half to five years to complete their degree.? (See data table on page 46.)




III.? Open-ended Responses


Respondents were asked to respond to three open-ended questions:?


In retrospect, what campus factors/conditions/programs/etc. do you think contributed most to your educational gains while at Hilo?


What was the most disappointing thing about your experience at Hilo?


Knowing what you know now, what changes in undergraduate education would you recommend at Hilo?


The response of the alumni to these questions was enthusiastic.? Rather than try to quantify them, I have divided responses by major and am presenting them here verbatim.


In retrospect, what campus factors/conditions/programs/etc. do you think contributed most to your educational gains while at Hilo?


Arts and Humanities Majors:


There were many classes that I liked but did not do well in.? My main love is theater.? There are no jobs in this field here, except maybe for teaching.? In hindsight, I should have gotten a degree in psychology or social work.


Instructors:? their rich backgrounds, breadth of experience and ability to motivate learners.?

Administrative backup:? Admissions, registrar:? all top-notch providing good customer service.


I majored in English and I thought the English department was outstanding.? The faculty was almost always available to help students.


Sense of community.


The wide range of ethnicities and personalities in the Humanities division.? The large, non-traditional student body.


History department was very demanding--helped prepare me for grad school.


The English dept. at UH Hilo is very good and they care about their students.? I appreciated the close contact with professors.


The teacher education program provided a license to teach in only two semesters of work.? I started working full-time the next school term.? The creative stimulation of auditing music education (MU 419) and chorus (MU 102), attending concerts and plays.


Language, Linguistics & Literature:


The student activities council; women's center.


Meet different ethnic groups.


Active participation and involvement with student activities/campus life.? Very supportive and accommodating/accessible professors.


I didn't attend Hilo Campus.? I took most of my courses at the West Hawai'i Campus.

The class/campus size is small and the professors always are available for one-on-one meetings.?


My English professors encouraged me immeasurably.? If it weren't for them, I never would have applied to grad school.


Small class size.? Individual attention from quality instructors.? Good academic advising.

Natural Sciences:


I majored in biology and found the botany and cell biology classes to be excellent.? I also took a few agriculture classes and found those to be extremely useful on a daily basis (owning land/growing plants here).? I think taking Hawaiian classes is also an excellent way to understand Hawaiian culture.


Conditions:? that I was allowed admission and given credit for college work done over 3 decades, which then allowed me to complete a degree.

?Factors:? Excellent Profs:? Don Hemmes, Grant Garrish, Bruce Matthews, Brent Gallzgher, Leon Hallzcher, Ron Amund

The small classes and direct interaction with my professors.


The excellent and very professional chemistry department (I teach at a mainland college and find it a far cry from professional or student oriented).


I enjoyed the student-teacher ratio and the opportunity to communicate on-one with my professors.

Good teachers who challenged me, but who also cared about me.? The caring with the challenge encouraged me to work hard in the classes.? I had other teachers who were tough, but distant and uncaring.? It seemed that if the teacher didn't care about me, I didn?t do the work.


Good professors and friends.


Faculity--very good!? Older students make up a good portion of classes.


Student work-study programs assist would-be graduates to directly gain needed work experiences in their related field of choice.? Therefore, the university should expand these programs to provide undergraduate students with needed practical skills necessary to prepare for work.

Smaller class sizes that allowed students to have the one to one interaction.


Social Sciences:


Very good teachers from the sociology department who encouraged students to finish their education.? Library hours; access to computers.? Good student-teacher relationships.


Small campus with lots of activities to participate in and lots of encouragement from faculty.


Campus factors:? located on Hawai'i, small library with easy access via computer, helpful librarians, inter-library loan with other UH Campuses.?

Campus conditions:? moderate temperature, outdoor areas to meet others.?

Campus programs:? excellent psychology, anthropology, and biology programs.

S.W. class with Paul Diners.? Research & Statistics with G. Aguiar.


Exceptional Political Science Faculty.


Small class sizes.? Some faculty took a personal interest in my education/success.


Alton Okinaka was a terrific prof.


I enjoyed the small community at UHH.? It allowed me to personally know my professors in my major and minor field.? The convenience of the campus in respect to the community.? I greatly enjoyed my experience at UHH. I currently work with high school students in state and continuously encourage my students to attend UHH.

The psychology department professors were instrumental in contributing to my educational gains at Hilo.? My academic advisors and professors knew my desire to excel and continue on to graduate school and their advisement and support was phenomenal.? Susan Brow, Jerry Johnson and Bill Higa have helped me meet my goals.


Multi-cultural, ethnic population.? Wonderful educators.


Library, small class size.


Professors and instructors who really cared about me.? Professors and instructors who continued their own professional development.


Good professors:? Dr. Castberg, Dr. Watson, Dr. Okinaka.? Small class sizes.? Good student services center.? Flexible class schedules.


Small class size, compassionate professors.


Educators that spent genuine time making sure that subject material was understood; genuine concern of educators that students were successful in school.? Personal relationship building that communicated to the student that he/she was more than a student but a special worthwhile individual.

Small class size, more individualized attention, availability of professors, good programs and variety of classes in different fields of study. Towards the end of my years at UH Hilo, class sizes started increasing.


Being a part of the Hawaiian Leadership Development Program was a great resource for academic and personal growth.? Smaller class sizes really personalized the learning experience.


Caring faculty and small classes.


Teachers were fantastic!


Gaining valuable research experience gave me a better comprehension of applying learned skills to a job immediately.? Also obtained invaluable skills in directed studies, which were formatted to better suit my needs.? Received incredible undergraduate course guidance from Ginger Hamilton, Daniel Brown, Craig Severance & Pila Wilson.


?Professors and fellow students from the mainland U.S. and other countries (in other words, the multicultural aspect of the campus). The UHH summer study program in Segovia, Spain (1972).? We studied Spanish language, history, culture and art. The program was organized by Dr. Magda Area.

Multi-cultural campus where students & professors shared views openly and helped me to increase my sensitivity of other cultures than my own.? I had the best of both worlds by getting my Assiciates and Core classes at HCC and continuing in Sociology at UH.



I attended UH Manoa and HCC on O'ahu.? I want to school four years at UH Hilo and found my experience enriching, both academically and socially.? I appreciated the mix of ethnic diversity, the variety of majors and many different activities Hilo had to offer.? The personal teacher student relationship was outstanding.? I didn't feel lost in the crowd.

The teachers and staff were always available for me.? I felt this was one of the most important factors.? The encouragement given enabled me to pursue my Master's degree and even get through my undergraduate degree.


Great professors, small classes, nice island.


Other Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies:



Small class size, able to talk to professors.


Good instructors, variety of work, good support.


There are two things that really stood out in contributing to my education: 1) study hall 2) study groups.? Being a student athlete, study hall really helped.? I got a lot of important studying time at study hall.? Studying with fellow classmates also was a big help.? We would get together and study each other's notes and absorb more knowledge from each other.


General Arts & Sciences/Pre-professional:


I had an advisor who really helped me to focus on a field of study.? He encouraged me to take risks and informed me about special programs for which I would qualify.? These programs have greatly influenced my post-graduate success as well as my ability to understand and appreciate certain aspects of my current job.? My thanks go to Dr. Jerry L. Johnson, Dept. of Psychology!

Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies:


Excellent Japanese studies program.


Small, close-knit campus environment resulting in meaningful dialogue with faculty.


Excellent Hawaiian studies faculty.


Wonderful instructors:? high quality and good teachers.? Hawaiian Leadership Development Program.? Hawaiian Studies.


A diverse student body, small class size, instructors who devote more time to instruction and not research, instructors from diverse geographic and academic backgrounds.? LOW TUITION. The reason many local students go to UHH is because of the low tuition


All my courses contributed to my educational gain because it helped me see different perspectives of different fields.? College was a great experience in my life.


Ocean and Earth Science and Technology:


Small class size, available professors for consultation.? Field work with labs in Marine Science.? Professors that LOVE the subject.


Small class size, instructor involvement, extra-curricular activities.


Business Administration:


Delta Sigma Pi Business fraternity.? With the exposure gained from this fraternity, it was easy to see what direction I wanted for a career.


Small class size.? Good (quiet) place to concentrate on students (not many distractions).


Having professors who took the time to explain thoroughly, especially new and/or difficult concepts.? Mahalo.


I ENJOYED THE SMALLER CLASSES WHICH ENABLED ME TO GET TO KNOW THE STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTORS ON A MORE PERSONAL LEVEL.? It was more comfortable to share my thoughts and experiences--sure beats large lecture classes.? I'll always be grateful for the opportunities that UH Hilo provided by offering a 4-year degree program at the West Hawai'i campus.? Thank you!

Dorm life.


Very supportive and knowledgeable business teachers.


Small, intimate classes in Kona


I attended West Hawai'i Campus.? I was already employed and seeking a second degree.? The staff, both in Kona and Hilo were very supportive and caring.


Well, as I got closer to completing my credits and courses, I found that a few of the professors were really helpful and great to work with.? This would probably be within the last four semesters when I was really in my field (Business Administration).


Small class size.? Friendly atmosphere.? Part-time work on campus.




Small class size.? Caring professors.? Availability of professors.? Approachable professors.


Instructors were very generous of time and experience.? The relationships with them added to my learning.? Instructor's assignments were rigorous, expectations were high.? Projects and papers were given rather than just reading and taking the test.






The word gains is a joke.? Your Ed. Dept. is hopeless.? You turn people away from wanting to teach and not one of your instructors has taught in a classroom in over 20 years.? You call that a good program?? Rules are always changing but not improving.? When applying for a job UH Hilo graduates are chosen last and that's a fact!

Tropical Agriculture and Hum Resources:


The Hilo campus life.? Less students number in class.? The friendly staff, the family staff--the inclusion of many Polynesians who helped each other.


Hilo campus offered me a one-on-one relationship with my professors because of the small class size.? The hands-on education was invaluable and the field trips to farms in the Hilo area was exceptional.


?Agriculture and Horticulture programs.

Working with professors on their research projects gave me insight into what was to be done to implement and complete a research project.


The department of Agriculture contributed most to my education.? Most professors helped a lot? as well as the Dean at that time.


Agriculture, and I'm very proud I attended Hilo.? Everything is OK:? the faculty, campus, people are so generous.? The best school ever in the Pacific region.




?Financial aid.? Scholarships.? Library.? The faculty teachers were great!


The cohort of students I entered with.? Excellent faculty.? Hawaiian studies programs on campus.? Dance programs on campus--as contrast to scientific study, as exercise and stress release.


Secure campus allowed for evening classes.? The math lab was very useful.


Excellent professors.


Social Work:


N/A I commuted from Kona




The small sizes of the Biology and Marine Science department were exceptional, combined with excellent professors who were masters of teaching (and not research obsessed!).? The personal attention I received from these family-like departments contributed to my success in academics and the personal realm.? Also, the marine science program's ability to get students into actual research projects in the marine field is second to none.

Small class size.? Caring professors.? Availability of professors.? Approachable professors.


UH Hilo's Agriculture program provided me with a great deal of hands on experience.? I think the most important elements were the small class sizes, interesting, caring professors and a wonderful farm for lab classes.


The university theatre was wonderful.? The staff as well as the classes were terrific.? It was as if we were all part of the theatre family.


Dorm life taught me what kind of person I am:? to deal with relationships, friends, boyfriends: to deal with issues such as abortion, loyality, drugs, infidelity, birth control, etc.? I learned college education can be tough.? I saw how much more I can learn.

I would have to say that the quality of the instructors was the most helpful, also the very helpful library staff along with the quality of the library research equipment.


Helpful library staff, dedicated College of Agriculture staff, support staff and excellent farm facilities.


The small, comfortable campus and relaxed feel made my experience thoroughly enjoyable.? The programs may need more development (I.e. a full psychology PH.D. program) but I enjoyed my undergraduate years.


The instructors (with the exception of__________) were excellent! Having started my degree at the community college environment, I found the transition very comfortable. ?Hilo has the same type of nurturing environment and caring professors that you find at the community college.


Knowledgeable professors who were willing to dedicate their time and effort to help students develop, progress and achieve the goals set by the students.

What was the most disappointing thing about your experience at Hilo?


Arts and Humanities Majors:


I had a bad experience with a playwriting teacher who asked me to do an independent study class and when I went for help she would not help me.? And the Dean of the school did not support my problems.? This was a great source of anguish for me.


No career information/development programs.? No viable post-graduate study opportunities - no opportunity to keep learning.


Sometimes classes were rarely offered and that was disappointing.? I was also disappointed that the tuition skyrocketed so much while I was there.? I think that made me rush to graduate when I wish I had taken my time.


Limited number of appealing 300/400 level classes I could take within my field of study.

No graduate study programs to chose from.


Leaving!? I look forward to pursuing higher education and am pleased they now offer them (classes).


Having to take World Civilization over because "Western Culture"--what I took at Linfield college for my first B.A. didn't completely match.


I wanted to complete a B.A.? In music! One professor I longed to study with resigned (Sharon Van Nest), two went on sabbatical (Drs. Lee and Kuzinsky), and the substitute (Xiao Li) was difficult to understand.? However, I learned much from Dr. Lee, Ms. Yuda,Yamasaki, Jackie Johnson, Celeste Cloud.? The greatest disappointment was the university's decision to stop the music major.? Such a move is incomprehensible--not to support music in Hawaii, the most musical place!



Language, Linguistics and Literature:


Not enough English courses in writing.




P0s often took longer than 3 months to process.


The difficulty of trying to commute from the Kona side of the island.




No graduate degree in English or Literature.

Natural Sciences:


A lot of students had old tests and some professors were lazy about changing the tests from past years.? I found this extremely frustrating.


Firstly that there is no post-graduate degree in my field offered at UHH - e.g. M.A. or M.S. in forestry, agro-forestry, agriculture or environment.? Secondly, I returned to work on the Certificate in Tropical Forestry, completing 18/21 of the credits required.? Disappointed in the quality of that program and the under-fundedness of the College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Forestry in general.? In fact, it sucks, and the experience has tainted my appreciation of UHH.


The lack of a bachelors of science for the natural sciences.


In some courses, the profs were well versed in their individual subject areas, but lacked the quality to communicate info effectively.


Probably that I didn't push myself more.? You reap what you sow.? So yes, there were instances where the harvest was not great, because I failed to plant and take sufficient care of the seeds.


Didn't prepare me for a job.


Lack of rigorous academics - I.e. standards were low in sophmore level classes (English, Geography).


Enough cannot be said for more vehicular parking!? The sheer volume of students who depend on vehicles to get to classes require additional parking.? Additionally, more security should be available for parked vehicles on university premises.


At times courses and availability and staffing are limited.


Social Sciences:


Advising!? Some advisors have to be better trained.? They do not know what courses are required for majors.? They guess a lot!? I finished with 120 credits but only because I was very careful which class I chose to graduate.? If I would have listened to some of the advisors, I would have taken the wrong courses.? PLEASE OFFER A MASTER'S PROGRAM IN SOCIAL WORK OR COUNSELING.


Not being able to pursue graduate education there!


I commuted from Kona and this posed challenges with scheduling desired courses. Once I took a semester off to have a child.? I was automatically noted as a new Kona student, despite many years at UHH!? This resulted in difficulty accessing upper division classes.? It was a mess and I was given little help by UH Hilo staff.


It did not offer a Master's program (MSW) which is of primary importance for employment for the Big Island.? Also a BSW program.


Lack of social activities, library facilities were inadequate.


?None, I loved attending UHH.


That there were not more social activities geared toward non-traditional students.


My own mainland, competitive Haoli nature; grade pressures.


Profs who weren't "excited" about what they taught.


Restrictive schedule, lack of multiple sections in upper level courses.? Library:? lack of current social science journals or low availability.


Computer facilities not adequate.? My freshman advisor was anything but helpful.? Campus bldgs. Need updating.? Bookstore too small.? Apathy on campus in school related functions.


Entered a field that I do not enjoy.? Wasted a lot of time taking useless courses.


Disparity between majors.? People in one major hung together, but people with differing interests or majors seemed apart.? There needed to be more collaboration between majors.


Not offering post-graduate (masters) programs in social work or counseling.


Too many restrictions in the dormitories.? Others view a degree from UHH as not being of very high quality.? Their attitude is, "Wow!? UH Hilo, anybody can graduate from there!"


I was in such a rush to get my degree, that I rarely had time to enjoy Hawai'i.


A few courses that I took and a few professors of the courses I took.


Sociology was not a strong department at UHH with very limited courses for preparation in the fields of Family Social Work or Gerontology.? I would like to see a more broad range of sociology courses, instead of upper level 400 courses in Hunger/AIDS/etc.

No Master's degree program for social work or for counseling (H.S. counselor).


Graduating was the biggest accomplishment of my life.? I was a double major, but finding a job on the Big Island was hard.? I had to move to O'ahu or the mainland to find work.? I also wanted to pursue a graduate degree in counseling or communications.



Sometimes the liberal slant by Hilo professors would find an appreciation for ignorance under a mask they referred to as "cultural relativism."? It was still a good experience.


Other Arts & Sciences/Liberal Studies:


Not many activities besides sports.


Not many extra curricular activities available for students. Not many activities for those who dormed.


None comes to mind.


The worst experience to me was dorm life.? After my freshman year, the dorms turned into a prison.? We had so many rules to follow that it made me feel like a prisoner.? I felt we were treated like little kids at camp.? We were students and adults and should be treated that way.

General Arts and Science/Pre-Professional:


I feel that the Education Dept. was always in a state of change.? The professors who contributed most to my education certificate left or were asked to leave.? I feel that this turnover has left a serious gap in teacher education.


Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies:


A Master's program in Japanese language or Japanese studies is not offered.


El Nino!? One year, over 200" of rain (sea-level!!!).


Ridiculously loud dorms.? There needs to be stricter enforcement.? Not everyone drinks or wants to hear neighbors party.? More attention needs to be given to noise abatement at the student housing.? There is a need for a late night convenience store on campus.


Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology:


Leaving Hawai'i!


Hard time with financial aid.

Business Administration:


No travel industry management program.? With all the hotels/resorts on the Kohala coast, it would be beneficial and most attractive to many graduating high school seniors.


The increased number of writing intensive courses necessary to graduate.


Having to go through an agonizing time of having to fulfill basic graduation "required" courses that I will never use in my life.? It was wasted time, energy, student loans, effort.? That's what took me such an incredible amount of time to graduate!


Can't really think of any disappointing experiences--generally positive (West Hawai'i).


Not having more tourism classes available when I attended there.


It wasn't enough to qualify me for a better-paying job.


Missed out on activities and cultural events usually associated with the college experience.


They did not offer job placement or more opportunities to work in my field.


There was no internship to learn about occupations.


For me the most disappointing thing would have to be that UH-Hilo Business Administration program became accredited right after I graduated.



?Poor teachers, lack of organization.? There is no one to get advice from that stays long enough to see students through a program.


Not many activities for those who dormed.


?Being forced to go to school at home (Hilo).? A lot of non-engaging instruction.


Too much unnecessary "busy" work;? too much wasted time and effort makes life too stressful.? I would have preferred to spend more time on [important] stuff.? Also disappointing was the fact that many professors are expected to make work harder if there were too many ?A?s? in their class.? When lots of students get A's, it doesn't necessarily mean the work is too easy and they are not learning;? it could mean that students today are putting greater effort into their education due to the increasing demands of American society.


Tropic Agriculture and Hum Resources:


My first ever exposure to computer use.


I know that throughout the university system there were budget crunches.? It was disappointing that the chemistry lab was so ill-equipped.? I also felt that the cleanliness of the labs should be taken more seriously, especially since we worked with bacteria.



I did not participate more in the various cultural activities.


Nothing.? I enjoyed every single moment in Hilo.




Can't think of any.


Lack of clinical experience.


RN to BSN program was structured to occur on weekdays during the usual business day.? This made it difficult to arrange my hours at continued employment as an RN during the course of study.


The length of the program, requiring 15-18 credits per semester to attain a 4-year degree.


Nursing practice lab was not adequately equipped.


Social Work:


The lack of communication with West Campus.






Graduation!? I hated having to leave!? (Although I was very excited about receiving a fellowowship to work on a Ph.D. at USC).?? Also, having transferred to UHH from a small private college in New England, I felt that the Arts/Humanities and Social Sciences offered at UHH were very utilitarian and generally too structured (in the sense that the professors seemed bound by course curriculum...Professors seemed unable to create unique courses that showcased their individual talents).

UH Hilo does not receive the respect it deserves as an institution.? It is looked upon as a lesser university in comparison to Manoa, but I feel I received a better education from Hilo.


Leaving!? I look forward to pursuing higher education and am pleased they now offer them (classes).


The racism toward Caucasian (Haole) people.


I wish I had a taste of higher education like Yale or Harvard quality, just to see the difference, if any, in the quality of education.


It went by too fast.


Lack of resources at West Hawai'i campus,.? Lack of recognition that there was a West Hawai'i campus.? The "library" there, and library services that came from Hilo were pitiful.


That I was unable to continue my education here in Hilo.? In order to get a Ph.D. in Psychology I need to leave Hilo.? I like it too much here in Hilo.


?The classes need to be more difficult, the level should be raised.


No after graduation employment support.? The guy at the career center was less than helpful, and that's putting it nicely.


The fact that I lost out on subsidized loan money because my financial aid form was returned to me with incorrect information on it.? By the time everything got fixed, I was told all the money had been distributed


?Relatively few course electives to choose from.


Knowing what you know now, what changes in undergraduate education would you recommend at Hilo?


Arts and Humanities:


If people are going to live here, they need to be trained for jobs here.? I went with what I enjoyed doing and was good at.? I feel like that was a mistake for me.? I've been on welfare, living in poverty and I can't pay my student loans.? My life is miserable.


Career information/career development programs--including internships.


Offer more variety in classes, stabilize tuition costs, open the library later (extend library hours).? All in all, I'm glad I went to UH Hilo.? It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.? I only wish I could have stayed in Hilo after college.


Raise academic standards.? Be more selective in freshman enrollment and make it tougher to graduate (perhaps by requiring a 50 - 100 page graduation thesis).


Keep classes small; keep parking available; increase computer access in library with Internet and for personal use to write papers.


Not requiring Western Civ. If the student already has a B.A. or similar coursework.


The music department and performing arts, although small, offers excellent programs, which benefited me tremendously.? But now you have stopped allowing music majors!? I wanted to study music more intensively, but only limited courses were available.


Language, Linguistics & Literature:


Better and more (across the majors) internship programs and/or credit for working.? Mentorship programs.? Awards and recognition for co-curricular work.


1.? More open-minded in school management. 2.? More academic activities to gain reputation. 3. More ads in U.S., then outside of U.S.


The tension between some staff under the OSS resulting in misinformation being communicated to students especially with the Campus Center.? Financial Aid office was very inaccessible and very unfriendly.


Make more degree courses available at the West Hawai'i campus on the Kona side.


My major was English.? The department did not emphasize theory enough, not did it outline what would be expected of me as a grad student (attend conferences, etc.).? This may be because UHH does not have a grad program.


Natural Sciences:


Professors should have higher standards and expect more from students.


The AG College is under-funded and underutilized.? Build it into the potential it has of being an Agro-forestry resource for the Pacific Basin as well as a resource for tropical forestry here on the Big Island?or allow it to pass into non-existence.?


Offer a B.S. degree in the natural sciences and courses to show practical use of science material (perhaps offer chemical engineering.)


To thoroughly educate new students in the ins and outs of college planning:? WD deadlines, add/drop, cross-referencing courses to satisfy major/minor regs.


Quality teachers.? While academic/business accomplishments are a plus, I think the professors need to have that desire to pass on that knowledge, not because it?s a job requirement or because it is an ego booster, but because they have a genuine desire to teach.

Computer science would be my major if I came back.


Broader curriculum, wider range of degrees, more graduate degrees in the sciences.? Upgrade science equipment.? Faculty is excellent, facilities/equipment is outdated.


To include more student work-study programs for respected choice of study.? This will solidify technical skills with practical work skills.? Credit hours should be granted to students since it does provide students the opportunity to relate college technical studies to the real world.

?Social Sciences:


Develop more "job readiness" courses.? How will your academics relate to your actual employment.? Have more evening classes for working people.


More night classes.? MBA program in Math/Science Vocational careers. Health field courses for our community to develop more "white collar" employment in the workforce.? Expand our programs for computer, health care, hotel, tourism, agriculture.


More focus on world issues.


Expand library--journals.? Utilize HITS or other technology to allow students more options.? Increase professor payscale to retain good teachers/researchers.? Continue to meet the needs of minority students and include non-minorities in programs on a space-available basis.

Develop a MSW program.? Develop a BA program in social work (BSW) to prepare for MSW.? This would prepare qualified employees on the Big Island and $ to UHHilo perhaps.

I'm very disappointed in your alumni relations program.? This is the first piece of correspondence I've received since graduating in 1997.? How about a yearly newsletter or something?


Have more research opportunities available for undergraduates.


?More recruiting of students from within the state public school system.

If you are preparing students for post-bachelor educations you need to have more Masters level and Doctoral level programs.? Not everyone can afford to go to the mainland for further education.? Non-traditional students are often responsible for families.


A grading system that does not encourage one-up-manship, competition and exclusion.


Better profs.


More statistics tutors in learning labs.? Add more sections of required courses -- e.g. English 100, etc.


Fewer general education requirements.? I took classes that were a complete waste of time to this day.? I regret having wasted all that time when I could have been concentrating on both my major and minor degrees, which might have made me feel better about my education at UH Hilo.


More career counseling.


Create more group learning opportunities with different majors so as to prepare for connections and opportunities to work further together in communities.


Providing a career center program that is a lot more inviting and engaging for the student.

Challenge the students more by making classes harder and more intense.? A lot of the exams I took were simple multiple-choice exams.? Almost anybody could pass it.? Cheating on tests was easily done.? I personally observed many "younger" students cheating.



None. They already do an outstanding job.


My undergraduate studies were over too long ago to comment.


A B.S.W. option with education in fields of Marriage & Family, Gerontology, and more education in statistics.? A stronger, more varied staff in Sociology (representing strengths in many sociology fields) who can educate the students & communicate/advise them adequately.

More sociology courses to choose from.


At this time I can't think of anything.? Everything I experienced at UH Hilo was a positive learning experience for me.


Put more emphasis on a traditional college environment without being so worried about being too "Western."? Westernization should be appreciated in the sense of higher "western education".? Being #1 for diversity is great, but #1 for an academic program is even better!


Other Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies:


Availabililty of classes, flexible scheduling.


Need more awareness of current job opportunities in classes and career center.


The only thing I have to add is that I wish they would have more variety in degrees.

General Arts and Science/Pre-professional:


Organize the Education Dept.? Make sure there is a balance between theory and practice.? The professors should practice what they preach.


Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies:


Esprit de Corps!? Conceptualizing, executing and promoting of cutting-edge programs that will want to make people choose UHH over Harvard, Yale and simultaneously giving the Alumni pride.


Stronger writing courses--critical/analytical thinking required.


Keep tuition low.? Also my #1 concern besides tuition is the flagrant disparity between tuition waivers given to foreign students versus local students.? I know many of my close Japanese friends who received waivers by just writing a letter.


Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology:


Not much, keep up the field work for Marine Science.


Business Administration:


More classes in hotel operations/management.


Try to incorporate internships into the programs.


Get rid of the courses in the basic graduation requirements and gear undergraduates to any and every course needed in their major.? As an older person trying to get a bachelor degree, it took me much too long to acquire it because of all the wasted energy.


I would recommend that instructors use different approaches to delivering information.? Lecturing can be quite boring--it is one-sided and does not challenge the students in any way.? Students need to learn to explore, inquire and interact among themselves.

?Adding more classes directed at your degree as a requirement.? Example:? BBA.? Most jobs require shorthand dictations?no classes are offered in this subject.


Reduction of course offerings in Kona.


Offer more hands on job experiences.


To have an internship program.


Have more hands on activities.? Use a community mentoring system where about to graduate students get to go out into the community and use their new skills in businesses related to their degree.? A placement program would be very useful also.




Let the students express themselves.? How can you create leaders with suppression in classrooms?? When was the last time someone in the Chancellors office sat in on a class?




Offer a variety of fields of study.? Making learning relevant and meaningful for students.


Less "busy" work; more [relevant] education and experiences.? Fair expectations and grading.? Greater sensitivity to students' emotional health; don't turn college into a rigid initiation to the real world--life's too short!


Tropical Agriculture and Hum Resources:


Talking about agricultural studies, programs which need improvement and promotion include IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Mulching, compost use, sustainable agriculture, agro-forestry, the idea being to minimize pesticide use.


I would recommend Hilo for certain courses of studies that I feel Hilo is strong in, such as agriculture, oceanography, Hawaiian studies.? I probably would not recommend Hilo to a pre-med student.


Adding Agro Business.


I would probably implement an internship in the area of study that the student is interested in.


?I really want to see Hilo have a graduate program.? I will go back to Hilo for my Master degree in Agriculture if they have one in the future.



?No recommendations.


?Make options more friendly to employed, parenting and mature students.? They are a big component of the student body.


Better basic writing courses.? I learned more about paper writing in nursing school than in my English class.


More flexibility I.e. Internet classes.

Social Work:


Better co-ordination with West side (Kona).




Improved Humanities and Social Sciences.


None in the educational system.? The facilities need improvement.? For the most part the teachers are Great!! Especially the Econ. Dept.


I would recommend that an effort be made for agriculture students to take more chemistry, physics, microbiology, calculas and other hard sicence/engineering classes.? They definitely pay off and they end up heading to grad school.


Develop some program to help graduates find jobs in Hawai'i and the mainland as well.? Right after I graduated all the jobs I applied for felt I wasn't being truthful about having a degree because it was from Hawai'i and others felt it was an inferior degree.

As a first semester freshman, I wish someone taught me about the waiting list for teachers during registration and to know the difference between quality of different teachers; to learn add-drop.


Keeping pace with technology.


Roll back tuition so that it is once again affordable for our children to stay here for school.


Offer more classes in the area of psychology.? I looked forward to various courses during my stay, but found courses were closed due to a lack of teachers.? The good professors will have full classes, so lets get more classes available with the good professors.

Make the classes for science harder.? Require greater levels of math skills, calculous I & II, and make Physics and chemestry calculous based.? Do not puss out on the difficulty of the program.? Do not give in to students' demands.? If they can't hack it, let them drop out!

The school needs to actively try to bring job recruiters to campus, even though the jobs are on the mainland.? Graduates need to see some results for their efforts.


More course electives and sub-majors offered as opposed to generalized degrees beyond those certificates and more writing courses to be requirements.









IV.? Data Tables





Impact of Undergraduate Experience at Hilo


What did you gain from your overall college experience at Hilo?


Percent of Cases

Increased knowledge in an academic field



Increased self-confidence



Increased ability to be independent, self-reliant and adaptable



Increased understanding of other people and their points of view



Lasting friendships



Preparation for a job



Skills and attitudes that enrich life and foster self-development



Preparation for graduate or professional study



Increased leadership skills



Increased awareness of and involvement in community issues



Increased involvement in cultural and artistic activities



A meaningful philosophy of life



















































Multiple Response Frequencies



???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Pct of? Pct of

Dichotomy label????????????????????????? Name?????? Count? Responses? Cases


Employed???????????????????????????????? Q18A???????? 134???? 68.0???? 87.6

Attending school???????????????????????? Q18B????????? 24???? 12.2???? 15.7

Not employed but seeking employment????? Q18D?????????? 9????? 4.6?? ???5.9

Not in school, not employed and not seek Q18E?????????? 2????? 1.0????? 1.3

Working in a non-compensated capacity (i Q18F????????? 13????? 6.6????? 8.5

Other??????????????????????????????????? Q18G????????? 15????? 7.6????? 9.8

???????????????????? ?????????????????????????????-------??? -----??? -----

???????????????????????????????? Total responses????? 197??? 100.0??? 128.8


0 missing cases;? 153 valid cases