University of Hawaii Community Colleges
Instructional Annual Report of Program Data (ARPD)

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Review Year: College: Program:

College: Hawaii Community College
Program: Early Childhood Education

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The last comprehensive review for this program was on 2010, and can be viewed at:
http://hawaii.hawaii.edu/program-unit-review/docs/2010_ece_comprehensive_instructional_program_review.pdf

Program Description

The Early Childhood Education Program is designed to provide attitudes, skills and knowledge for people who work with young children and their families in a variety of early childhood programs.  The Certificate of Completion (C.C.) or Certificate of Achievement (C.A.) prepares students for support roles in early childhood programs.  An Associate in Science (A.S.) degree prepares students to be teachers or lead practitioners in early childhood programs.

The Hawai`i Community College Children's Center, located on the Manono Campus, provides a setting for early childhood students to gain practical experience with young children.  The Center provides early education and care for children 18 months to 5 years of age and serves children of students, faculty, and staff from Hawai`i Community College and the University of Hawai`i at Hilo.  The Center is nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  (NAEYC)  The budget numbers included in the data under efficiency does NOT include the cost for the Children's Center.

The Early Childhood Education Program prepares individuals to work with young children and their families in a variety of roles in the community.  The program graduates either entered the job market, started their own homecare business or continued to pursue their education at a UH Hilo or UH West Oahu. The Hawai`i Community College Children's Center provided quality care and education to 8 toddlers and 15 preschoolers each semester, of Hawai`i Community College and UH Hilo students, faculty and staff.  The Center also served as a laboratory site for 4-8 students a semester and a site for numerous other Early Childhood Education, Liberal Arts and Nursing students who completed course assignments.

Program Mission

The mission of the Community Colleges of the University of Hawai`i system with regard to early childhood education is twofold:

To provide training and education programs for the development of competent and nurturing caregivers and teachers for all Hawai`i's young children and their families.

To provide quality education and care services for the children of students, faculty, and staff in the Community Colleges.  These services will represent the best of current practices and will serve as a practicum for programs related to early childhood education as well as providing  a demonstration of quality care and education for the larger community.

Part I. Quantitative Indicators

Overall Program Health: Cautionary

Majors Included: ECED     Program CIP: 13.1210

Demand Indicators Program Year Demand Health Call
10-11 11-12 12-13
1 New & Replacement Positions (State) 312 105 103 Unhealthy
2 *New & Replacement Positions (County Prorated) 15 5 4
3 *Number of Majors 113 113.5 89
3a     Number of Majors Native Hawaiian 58 58 47
3b     Fall Full-Time 47% 41% 42%
3c     Fall Part-Time 53% 59% 58%
3d     Fall Part-Time who are Full-Time in System 4% 3% 2%
3e     Spring Full-Time 44% 40% 42%
3f     Spring Part-Time 56% 60% 58%
3g     Spring Part-Time who are Full-Time in System 3% 1% 1%
4 SSH Program Majors in Program Classes 501 564 650
5 SSH Non-Majors in Program Classes 232 213 195
6 SSH in All Program Classes 733 777 845
7 FTE Enrollment in Program Classes 24 26 28
8 Total Number of Classes Taught 20 19 20

Efficiency Indicators Program Year Efficiency Health Call
10-11 11-12 12-13
9 Average Class Size 11.8 13.3 13.7 Cautionary
10 *Fill Rate 71.8% 73.6% 62.4%
11 FTE BOR Appointed Faculty 2 2 2
12 *Majors to FTE BOR Appointed Faculty 56.5 56.7 44.5
13 Majors to Analytic FTE Faculty 44.2 47.9 37.6
13a Analytic FTE Faculty 2.6 2.4 2.4
14 Overall Program Budget Allocation $219,395 $182,742 $179,721
14a General Funded Budget Allocation $205,211 $171,659 $167,050
14b Special/Federal Budget Allocation $14,184 $0 $0
14c Tuition and Fees $0 $11,083 $12,671
15 Cost per SSH $299 $235 $213
16 Number of Low-Enrolled (<10) Classes 10 8 7
*Data element used in health call calculation Last Updated: January 27, 2014

Effectiveness Indicators Program Year Effectiveness Health Call
10-11 11-12 12-13
17 Successful Completion (Equivalent C or Higher) 73% 74% 74% Cautionary
18 Withdrawals (Grade = W) 17 17 9
19 *Persistence Fall to Spring 77.4% 55.4% 60%
19a Persistence Fall to Fall     41.4%
20 *Unduplicated Degrees/Certificates Awarded 13 12 11
20a Degrees Awarded 10 11 10
20b Certificates of Achievement Awarded 1 1 0
20c Advanced Professional Certificates Awarded 0 0 0
20d Other Certificates Awarded 3 1 1
21 External Licensing Exams Passed   Not Reported Not Reported
22 Transfers to UH 4-yr 5 8 10
22a Transfers with credential from program 2 3 4
22b Transfers without credential from program 3 5 6

Distance Education:
Completely On-line Classes
Program Year  
10-11 11-12 12-13
23 Number of Distance Education Classes Taught 1 1 2  
24 Enrollments Distance Education Classes 27 26 45
25 Fill Rate 100% 100% 90%
26 Successful Completion (Equivalent C or Higher) 63% 73% 76%
27 Withdrawals (Grade = W) 2 4 3
28 Persistence (Fall to Spring Not Limited to Distance Education) 0% 0% 65%

Perkins IV Core Indicators
2011-2012
Goal Actual Met  
29 1P1 Technical Skills Attainment 90.00 92.59 Met  
30 2P1 Completion 50.00 40.74 Not Met
31 3P1 Student Retention or Transfer 74.25 72.34 Not Met
32 4P1 Student Placement 60.00 80.00 Met
33 5P1 Nontraditional Participation 17.00 1.98 Not Met
34 5P2 Nontraditional Completion 15.25 7.69 Not Met

Performance Funding Program Year  
10-11 11-12 12-13
35 Number of Degrees and Certificates     10  
36 Number of Degrees and Certificates Native Hawaiian     5
37 Number of Degrees and Certificates STEM     Not STEM
38 Number of Pell Recipients     68
39 Number of Transfers to UH 4-yr     10
*Data element used in health call calculation Last Updated: January 27, 2014
Glossary | Health Call Scoring Rubric

Part II. Analysis of the Program

Overall Health -- Cautionary

Demand -- Unhealthy

The early childhood professional can fill many different positions in the community; private home childcare provider, home visitors, special needs assistance in classrooms, as well as preschool teachers and childcare providers.  The demand was determined to be unhealthy due to numbers of new and replacement positions (4) compared to the number of majors (89).  The position number was limited to only one CIP which does not accurately reflect the various positions that are available to graduates of the program.  Due to the unknown source from which position numbers are derived from it is difficult to determine the accuracy of that number. An important need in the community is for highly qualified home care providers -  private individual businesses was not considered in the number of positions available nor other positions mentioned above. 

A strength of the program is that over half of the majors are Native Hawaiian indicating that it is a major and its opportunities are considered attractive to the Native Hawaiian population. 

The Early Childhood Education courses contribute to the broader education of students outside of the major.  Approximately 30% of the SSH are accounted for by nonprogram majors.  The Early Childhood Education Program, each semester, offers two courses that students can take to fulfill their general education area requirements in Social Sciences. All other Early Childhood Education classes can be considered as elective classes by the AA, AS and AAS degree program students

In reviewing the percentage of part and full time students it can be seen that 58% of the students in the program are attending part time.  This may indicate that the early childhood education students have many competing commitments, often family and/or employment.

The number of classes taught has remained consistent.  The number of classes taught in a year enables a student attending in East Hawaii to be able to complete the program course requirements in four semester. The challenge is in providing courses to the students in West Hawaii.  The Early Childhood Education online courses that are offered through our College and other system Community Colleges are on a somewhat regular schedule and has assisted majors in completing a degree.  Several students have driven from Kailua-Kona to Hilo to take complete Early Childhood Education courses to earn the Early Childhood Education degree.  The Early Childhood Education faculty have also accommodated Kailua-Kona practicum students enrolled in the Hilo practicum course.  The faculty would drive to Kailua-Kona two to three times a semester to conduct student observation and provide feedback to the student in regards to their work with young children in the classroom.

Efficiency -- Cautionary

The average class size was calculated at 13.7 based on 20 classes.  This figure can be further analyzed taking in consideration of the differences in class capacity.  When removing the two lower capacity classes (ED 190 and ED 291) the average class size was determined to be 16. This low number was also impacted by the two courses offered in Kailua-Kona and one course offered in Hilo.  The average class size of 16 at a class capacity of 25 indicates approximately 64% of the class capacity was met. 

The number of low enrolled classes is impacted by several factors. Two program classes, Early Childhood Laboratory (ED 190) and Early Childhood Practicum II (ED 291) have lower enrollment capacity of 10.  Classes offered in at the University Center at West Hawai`i have run with low numbers because the classes offered are program-required courses.  Low enrollment figure can be determined by comparing the % of enrollment capacity to the actual enrollment numbers, which calculates to approximately 40%.  When using the 40% figure the number of low enrolled class drops from 7 classes to 5 classes.  When examining the courses that are low enrolled two are program-required courses that were offered in West Hawaii.  The two Early Childhood Education courses offered in West Hawaii are curriculum courses that are not offered online by any campus.  Three required class in East Hawaii included two laboratory classes.  The enrollment capacity for the laboratory class was expanded to 12 in anticipation of meeting a need, however upon reviewing the expanded capacity number with the Children’s Center coordinator it was decided that the addition of 2 adults in the classroom would be detrimental for the children in the program.  The enrollment capacity has been returned to the original number of 10 to meet the needs of both the children at the Center and the needs of the laboratory students.  

The number of majors to FTE BOR Appointed Faculty was found to be unhealthy at 44, where the range for healthy is 15-35.  The Analytic FTE Faculty was determined at 37.6 which puts the number closer to the healthy range.  An Analytic FTE Faculty to be determined healthy for the 89 majors would be 2.5 FTE Faculty.  Although 27 credit hours is the usual faculty load the two faculty members of the Early Childhood Education program both had reassigned time to carry out additional responsibilities for the college or program.  In addition, in Spring 2013, one faculty member was on partial leave.  In addition with no faculty in West Hawai'i, lecturers must be hired to teach early childhood education courses offered there. 

When compared to previous years, the number of students to FTE BOR Appointed faculty has dropped as a result in the decline in number of majors.  This makes the efficiency of the program moving towards healthy however a drop in majors can become a concern if the source of the decline is not determined.  A continuous decline in number of majors may reflect a decline in the economy since the need for childcare by families is linked to the economy and employment.  With an open door policy and no premajor requirements for Early Childhood Education majors, the number of majors is beyond the control of the program. 

The funding has continued to decline over the past years.  The reason for the continued decline in funding and what would be considered an efficient cost per students is unknown by this author. In a communication with the VCAA, Chancellor Onishi shared, "The budget is based on a formula and programs are expected to maintain expenses within that given budget. .. More attention is given to other data elements like class fill rate, number of majors, withdrawals."  The class fill rate of 62% or adjusted 64% are considered cautionary but its contribution to the decline in funding is unknown.  There was a drop in the number of majors from 113.5 to 89, this may have contributed to the decline in funding. The number of withdraws in 2012-13 was 9 which was substantially lower than the 2011-12 rate of 17, however this decline's impact on the funding is also unknown.

Effectiveness -- Cautionary

The program is able to maintain students through an academic year at 60% however find a decrease to 39% after the summer break.  Attempts have been made in the past to offer a summer class to maintain momentum, however due to the higher tuition of summer classes, the classes were canceled due to not meeting the minimum enrollment numbers.

The large percentage of part time students impacts the effectiveness of the program - with the various priorities and often family commitments, perhaps the students find it difficult to maintain the commitment to school after the summer break. Considering over half of the students are part time students it is not surprising that the persistence rate from Fall to Spring is 60% and Spring to Fall is 39%.

The Early Childhood Education program presume that some individuals who declare the Early Childhood Education as their major are under prepared and begin with remedial courses, become discouraged and discontinue their education.  Other students, after taking program courses leave the program after learning that this is not their field.  Some students enter the program with a mistaken belief that this program provides them a pathway to teach in the elementary school.  There are also students who will declare the Early Childhood Education major to take advantage of funding which is available to Career and Technical Education majors, then later switch their major to Liberal Arts.  These presumptions should be further explored to determine their validity.

Some evidence for this might be seen in the number of students who transfer from the program to a UH 4 year institution without a credential.  The reasons why individuals do not complete a certificate or degree are multiple and could be further explored to ascertain if the assumptions made above are correct and to find a solution to improve the ratio of awarded certificates and degrees to the number of majors becomes 20% or greater.

The number of degrees/certificates awarded compared to the number of majors is at 12%.  This rating is considered as unhealthy.  As noted above with 58% of the students being part-time students and persistence from Spring to Fall at 39% this is not unexpected.  With a development of a greater understanding as to why students do not persist, a plan can be developed to improve the effectiveness of the Early Childhood Education program.

On a positive note with the articulation of the Early Childhood Education degree to UH West Oahu, students are beginning to include this in their academic journey. There is also a new MOA with Chaminade University.  There are possibilities of a MOA with University of Hawai'i - Manoa.

 

Significant Program Actions for 2012 - 2013

1.  The Early Childhood Program founder and full time faculty member retired in March 2012 after over a decade of leadership and service to the Program and College. Her position is in current recruitment.

2.  The Hawai`i Community College Children's Center was reaccredited for 3 years with NAEYC.

 

Previous Program Actions

1.   Monitor the transfer and completion rate of students from the ECE program to University of Hawai`i at West Oahu (UHWO) BASS-ECED.  The Hawai'i Community College AS-ECE is articulated with the UHWO Bachelor's Degree in Social Science with a concentration in ECE.  Hawai'i Community College students completing their AS-ECE degree receive automatic admission to UHWO.

 

Perkins IV Core Indicators

Completion - The completion rate has remained fairly consistent 40.00 in 2010-2011 and 40.74 in 2011-2012 although this does not met the goals that were set by the System.  It is believed that many early Childhood Education majors enter college under prepared and must take remedial courses prior to being eligible to take early childhood education courses, a requirement of completion of Eng22 or Compass placement of Eng100 is required for all Early Childhood Education courses.  Some students may become discouraged and lack motivation to continue attending college thus leaving school before entering into program courses. Additional societal factors may impact completion, particularly with the high percentage of Early Childhood Education students being female, child care and family issues tend to greatly impact them.

Student Retention or Transfer

Student Transfer - There has been a steady increase of students transfering to 4-year institutions.  6 out of 10 who transferred  had earned an A.S. Early Childhood Education degree.  4 students  transferred without earning a degree.

Nontraditional Participation - Greater societal and cultural issues as well as economic factors impact the participation of the male gender in the field of early childhood education.  Until there is greater renumeration for individuals working in the early childhood education field it will be difficult for males to consider this as a viable career.  Females who are employed in the early childhood education field often have an additional source of income from a higher earning spouse.  Societal beliefs also play a role, caring for young children is considered a traditional female role and men, who are very important in this field, must also combat negative stereotypes.

Nontraditional Completion - Due to the low number of males enrolled in the program in any given year and the length of the program, it is not expected that there will be a male who completes the program each year.

Part III. Action Plan

Program Action Plan

1.  Increase certificate and degree completion.

2.  Program Action 2 aligns with Student Completion: Graduation, Remediation and Workforce Training and Student Transfer by determining what is needed in West Hawai'i's workforce and developing a consistent course offering to meet the need.  Program Action 2 meets ILO 3 by providing training to individuals so that they are capable early childhood professionals who can be employed in the early childhood field meeting the Department of Human Services requirements. Program Action 2 also meets the Strategic Plan A2.1 by determining what is needed in West Hawai'i.  The College should be able to increase enrollment to an underserved region of Hawai'i.

Part IV. Resource Implications

Cost item 1

Finger puppets and Brochures                           Equipment                                $500

Cost Item 1 addresses providing appropriate advising to students so they are able to meet their academic and career goals in an informed, economical and efficient manner.  Academic Advising also provides students with academic options that they may not be aware of such as transfer to UH West Oahu.  Academic Advising also provides an opportunity to promote retention of students by meeting with program faculty on a one to one basis.  This provides time for faculty to provide encouragement and support in helping the students to meet their career and academic goals. The Finger puppets  provides students with a tangible reward that may encourage students to come to ECE faculty for academic advising.  Once receiving the Finger puppet the students can also use them to support their teaching of young children.

The brochure will inform students of their possible opportunities beyond the two year degree to consider and plan for transferring to earn a 4 year degree.  As programs move towards improving quality they will be hiring more qualified individuals.  Individuals with a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education will become a greater need.

Cost Item 2

Independent contractor                                    Personnel                                  $ No cost indicated

This Cost Item 2 of hiring an independent contractor would assist in determining what would best meet the academic needs of the Early Childhood Education community in West Hawai'i. Preschool and daycare programs must meet Department of Human Services requirements to operate and it is known that staff turnover is a fact, determinatoins of  how existing programs are meeting the academic requirements required by the State need to be made.  The HawCCÊ»s Early Childhood Education needs to uncover what needs to be done to promote the programÊ»s courses to meet the State requirements.  This needs assessment could be combined with other program needs assessment for the Palamanui Campus as the campus is being developed.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

For the 2012-2013 program year, some or all of the following P-SLOs were reviewed by the program:

Assessed
this year?
Program Student Learning Outcomes

1

No
Use knowledge of child development and individual children to create healthy, challenging learning environments and experiences.

2

No
Build respectful partnerships with children's families and their communities.

3

No
Observe, document and assess all children's development and learning in partnerships with families.

4

No
Build positive relationships and guide children through supportive interactions.

5

No
Use content knowledge and appropriate pedagogy to create/design, implement and assess learning experiences.

6

No
Use reflective practice to demonstrate professionalism.

A) Evidence of Industry Validation

The Early Childhood Education Advisory Council met  on April 10,2013.  The Advisory Council members were invited to participate in assessment of artifacts Fall 2013.

B) Expected Level Achievement

See below

C) Courses Assessed

The Early Childhood Education Program chose to assess Program Learning Outcomes based on Key Assignments that were assigned to ED 131, ED 140, ED 245, ED 190, ED 264 and ED 291.

D) Assessment Strategy/Instrument

 PLO #1

       Professional Portfolio (ED 291)

       o   5 artifacts were collected Spring 2013 all were reviewed

       o   Performance Rubric is attached

       o   Expectation for student achievement – 70% of artifacts will achieve “Meets expectations (3)” or “Meets expectations with excellence (4)”

 

       Child Portfolio Key Assignment (ED 190)

       o   4 were collected Spring 2013 all will be

       o   Performance Rubric is attached

       o   Expectation for student achievement – 85% of artifacts will achieve “Meets expectations (3)” or “Meets expectations with excellence (4)”

 

      Activity Plan Key Assignment (ED 264) –

      o    16 artifacts were collected during Fall 2012 all were reviewed

      o    Performance Rubric is attached

      o    Expectation for student achievement – 85% of artifacts will achieve “Meets expectations (3)” or “Meets expectations with excellence (4)”

 

PLO #2

       Professional Portfolio (ED 291) see PLO#1

       Family Interview Project (ED 245)

       o   8 artifacts were collected Fall 2012 and randomly selected for assessment 

       o   Performance Rubric is attached

       o   Expectation for student achievement

 

 PLO #3

      Child Observation Assignment (ED 131) was collected Spring 2013 from students.

      Child Portfolio Key Assignment (ED 190) see PLO#1

      Professional Portfolio (ED 291) see PLO#1

      Activity Plan Key Assignment (ED 264) see PLO#1

 

PLO #4       

       Profession Portfolio (ED 291) see PLO# 1

      Guidance Strategies Key Assignment (ED 140)

      o    15 artifacts were collected  all were reviewed for assessment

      o    Performance Rubric is attached

      o    Expectation for student achievement

 

PLO #5

     Activity Plan – Key Assignment (ED 264) see PLO#1

     Professional Portfolio (ED 291) see PLO#1

 

PLO #6

    Professional Portfolio (ED 291) see PLO#1

    Ethics Case Study (ED 245)

    o      Artifacts were collected from 3 small groups in Fall 2013  – This project was given to the ED 245 students.  Three small groups of students were formed and each group selected a case study related to family issues and completed their project.

    o      Performance Rubric attached

    o      Expectation for student achievement

 

E) Results of Program Assessment

Professional Portfolio

- Results: on a 1-4 point scale the average scores ranged from 1.37-2..75.  75%  "Met Expectations" and 25% "Approached Expectations"

- Conclusion: This expectation was met

-Discussion:

     -      This was a trial run of the assessment rubric.  It was the first time the rubric was applied   to the Professional Portfolio.  The rubric had not been given to the students and were unaware of some of the criteria

     -      Many of the low scores could be attributed to artifacts not including a reflection or including an inadequately written reflection for each of the program learning outcomes.

     -      The artifacts that were presented for each of the PLOs were adequate, although greater guidance may be provided to present enough artifacts to fully demonstrate the student’s understanding.

     -      The five major Key Assignments were not included in all of the Professional Portfolio – an essential component that would need to be included when NAEYC accreditation of the early childhood education program is sought in the future.

 

Child Portfolio

- Results: On a 1-4 point scale.  Average scores ranged from 2.86-3.48. 

- Conclusion: 100% of the artifacts met the expectations

- Discussion:

       -    This was a trial run and the first time the rubric was applied to the Child Portfolio.  The rubric had not been given to the students and were unaware of some of the criteria

       -    The assignment given to the students did not have all of the requirements found in the Key Assignment.

        -   The weakest area in all of the artifacts was the “Child Development Summary” which asked for “plans to support and enhance development”.  It was the plans that were missing from all the portfolios.  This was not part of the assignment that was provided to students and will be added to the assignment in Fall 2013

       -    The assessment rubric was modified from the original Child Portfolio assignment.  A colleague from Honolulu Community College designed the assignment and full implementation of the project, as written, will be used, beginning Fall 2013.

 

Activity Plan

- Results:  On a 1-4 point scale.  Average scores ranged from 2.8-4.0.  56% "Met Expectations with Excellence" and 43% "Met Expectations".

- Conclusion: The students were able to meet the expectations for PLO#1, #3 and #5

- Discussion:

      -     A revision should be made of the rubric used for assessment to reflect only criteria addressed in the PLOs. 

      -     Collection of the artifacts should be on the final activity plan submitted only, although collection of one from midterm and one at the end illustrated an improvement between the two sets of artifacts was useful information it is the final results that demonstrate proficiency.

 

Guidance Strategies

- Results: on a 1 to 4 point scale.  Scores ranged from 2.9-3.9.  The average score was 3.51

- Conclusion: All artifacts "Met Expectations" or "Met Expectations with Excellence"

- Discussion: This assignment will be continued to be used in the upcoming year.

 

Family Interview

- Results:  the three group scores were: 3.5, 3.6, and 2.9 with the average score being 3.33 on a 1 to 4 point scale

· Conclusion: 66% of the artifacts were assessed as meeting the expectations and 33% was assessed as approaching expectations

- Discussion:

  – slight revisions has been made to the assignment.  Previous changes improved outcomes for this project.

F) Other Comments

Surveys were distributed to alumni and graduates of the Early Childhood Program during the Hawai'i Childcare Conference on April 19 and 20, 2013.  The alumni and graduates were asked to assess the six Program Learning Outcomes on a 1-4 scale (did not meet needs, approached meeting needs, met needs and met needs with excellence).  30 individuals responded to the survey.

 

                                                               Survey of Graduates

                      Did not meet Needs    Approached       Met needs      Met needs with Excellence

PLO#1                           0                     3.3%                    10%                  86.7%

PLO#2                           0                     3.1%                    15.6%               81.3%

PLO#3                           0                     9.4%                    28.1%               62.5%

PLO#4                           0                     6.3%                      6.3%               87.5%

PLO#5                           0                     3.2%                      9.7%               87.1%

PLO#6                           0                     6.5%                    12.9%               80.6%

G) Next Steps

The Early Childhood Education Program Learning Outcomes (PLO) as well as Course Learning Outcomes (CLO) were created with collaboration with Honolulu CC, Kauai CC and Maui College and adopted by all four campuses.  A systematic alignment of the all CLO with PLO and Key Assignments needs to be completed.  In addition activities or assignments that are used in each of the courses could be aligned with the CLO.  This alignment could assist instructors in understanding each course’s role in meeting the PLOs.

Professional Portfolio

-Review the Assignment with instructors

-Provide students with the assessment rubric and review with them the criteria

-Provide students further guidance in writing reflections and greater understanding of the PLOs

 

Child Portfolio

-Review the Key Assignment with instructors

-Provide students with the assessment rubric and review with them the criteria

 

Employer survey

-Conduct an employer survey with two employers to assess their general evaluation of program graduates that they have hired