Assessment of Student Learning

Hawai’i Community College engages in systematic assessment of learning outcomes to ensure continuous improvement while increasing opportunities for student success.

The learning outcome approach makes student learning more meaningful and effective. Students are able to identify relevance and value in their education.

The learning outcome approach also increases student success by building educational experiences based on what students will be able to do with their acquired knowledge and skills. These diverse and rich educational experiences correlate directly to the desired learning outcomes. And since CTE program learning outcomes are regularly discussed with program advisory boards, course and program content is relevant to industry certification requirements.


Using the assessment of learning outcomes to improve teaching and learning is a joint responsibility of faculty, lecturers, staff, and administrators. All have a role to play. The Hawai’i CC Assessment Committee is charged with facilitating the process of developing and assessing learning and unit outcomes, and providing information and support to programs.

At the course, program, and student level, departments are responsible for identifying learning outcomes, assessing the results, and making decisions about what actions to take once the results have been analyzed. Departments determine their own mechanisms of conducting meaningful assessment. Each member of the faculty, including lecturers, and staff at Hawai’i CC has a professional responsibility to contribute to the overall assessment efforts of the department.

All departmental faculty and staff are responsible for maintaining documentation and record keeping of collected assessment data over time.

The college’s Academic Senate Curriculum Review Committee (CRC) also has a role in ensuring  programs crosswalk academic core and career and technical education outcomes to assure a strong academic core that is contextually relevant to rigorous CTE course contest.  When a proposal for a new course or program, or modification of an existing course or program comes before the Curriculum Review Committee, members consider the learning outcomes, program and course content, and other relevant factors, such as student reading and math capabilities.  Hawai’i CC administrators are also responsible for review of curriculum, further ensuring that it is appropriately rigorous and industry relevant.

Administrators are also responsible for supporting faculty and departments in their assessment efforts and ensuring compliance with accreditation expectations. This responsibility includes ensuring opportunities exist for faculty and departments to receive training in the development and assessment of student learning outcomes; creating structures where the results of assessment can be reported; and for fostering institutional dialogue. Administration’s funding and hiring of an institutional assessment coordinator is evidence of its desire to provide faculty and staff with the training needed to successfully develop and assess learning outcomes, and utilize assessment results to improve programs and courses.

Assessment Process

The assessment process used by CTE programs at Hawai’i CC is designed for continuous improvement: once step 8 is reached it is time to start over at step 1. The eight steps in the process are:

  1. Develop/review student learning outcomes.
  2. Design/alter course to achieve student learning outcomes.
  3. Create/review methods to assess student learning outcomes.
  4. Engage in the teaching-learning process.
  5. Assess whether or not student learning outcomes are achieved.
  6. Participate in discussions on ways to improve instruction and student success.
  7. Make changes to achieve learning outcomes and for continuous program improvement
  8. Document process and report results

Assessment Cycle

Hawai’i CC Learning Outcomes

CTE programs at Hawai’i CC have four categories of outcomes: institutional, general education, program and course level. Course level outcomes coincide with one or more program level outcomes. Course outcomes provide opportunities to assess and measure student attainment of technical skills and employability skills, such as persistence, accuracy, flexibility, integrity, and ethical conduct.  Course outcomes are tied to one or more program outcomes.

The college’s Assessment Policy, HAW 5.202, states that “standards and criteria from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), as well as accrediting bodies providing oversight for career and technical education programs (i.e. Perkins), serve as the overall guidelines within which the college establishes and revises its assessment activities.” 

The college’s Assessment Handbook provides  a more comprehensive look at the Hawai’i CC assessment process.

Note: Much of the above content was developed by  Resheal DuPuis, Ph.D., Hawai'i CC Institutional Assessment Coordinator.