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

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Review Year: College: Program:

College: Kapiolani Community College
Program: Natural Science

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The last comprehensive review for this program was on 2013, and can be viewed at:
STEM Program

Program Description

The goal of the Kapi‘olani Community College STEM Program is to improve the overall quality of education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  This is accomplished through various outreach programs such as the Summer Bridge Program and undergraduate research projects as well as through traditional instructional classes here at the college.  These efforts are designed to:

The program itself was born in August of 2005 with a $1.25 million Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the development and implementation of the STEM program. The college has since leveraged this initial funding and has received nearly $11 million in external funding in support of its STEM efforts.  

The primary objective of the Associate in Science in Natural Science (ASNS) degree at Kapi‘olani Community College (KapCC) is to (1) transfer students into baccalaureate degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM), the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UHH) and other universities in Hawai‘i and on the US Mainland and (2) prepare KapCC STEM students for a career in a STEM field. The entire ASNS curriculum consists of courses articulated across the University of Hawai‘i system that meet requirements or serve as electives for STEM majors at UHM and UHH. This program is also well suited for nontraditional students who need to attain proficiency in fundamental math and science courses in order to retrain for a STEM career. Much of the core ASNS curriculum is offered online to allow access for working professionals and others whose commitments may make it difficult to attend on-campus classes. The degree provides potential STEM employers with assurance that ASNS graduates have successfully completed courses in calculus mathematics, computer science, and fundamental sciences, and have a firm grasp of the scientific method, how to make presentations, how to write scientific reports and how to work as a team member.

Part I. Quantitative Indicators

Overall Program Health: Healthy

Majors Included: NSCI     Program CIP: 30.1801

Demand Indicators Program Year Demand Health Call
10-11 11-12 12-13
1 Number of Majors 219 220 297 Healthy
1a     Number of Majors Native Hawaiian 56 48 63
1b     Fall Full-Time 45% 46% 45%
1c     Fall Part-Time 55% 54% 55%
1d     Fall Part-Time who are Full-Time in System 7% 6% 6%
1e     Spring Full-Time 40% 48% 48%
1f     Spring Part-Time 60% 52% 52%
1g     Spring Part-Time who are Full-Time in System 7% 9% 5%
2 *Percent Change Majors from Prior Year 94.2% 0.6% 35%
3 SSH Program Majors in Program Classes 686 1,075 1,476
4 SSH Non-Majors in Program Classes 3,628 3,678 3,425
5 SSH in All Program Classes 4,314 4,753 4,901
6 FTE Enrollment in Program Classes 144 158 163
7 Total Number of Classes Taught 65 75 74

Efficiency Indicators Program Year Efficiency Health Call
10-11 11-12 12-13
8 Average Class Size 22.3 20.8 22.1 Cautionary
9 *Fill Rate 81.6% 78.5% 80.4%
10 FTE BOR Appointed Faculty 0 0 0
11 *Majors to FTE BOR Appointed Faculty 0 0 0
12 Majors to Analytic FTE Faculty 33.0 27.6 38.2
12a Analytic FTE Faculty 6.6 8.0 7.8
13 Overall Program Budget Allocation $753,196 $863,110 $952,075
13a General Funded Budget Allocation $753,196 $637,650 $762,365
13b Special/Federal Budget Allocation $0 $0 $0
13c Tuition and Fees $0 $225,460 $189,710
14 Cost per SSH $175 $182 $194
15 Number of Low-Enrolled (<10) Classes 5 6 5
*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
16 Successful Completion (Equivalent C or Higher) 69% 66% 67% Healthy
17 Withdrawals (Grade = W) 151 184 149
18 *Persistence (Fall to Spring) 70.7% 66.5% 71.2%
18a Persistence Fall to Fall     43.8%
19 Unduplicated Degrees/Certificates Awarded Prior Fiscal Year 11 14 30
19a Associate Degrees Awarded 11 14 30
19b Academic Subject Certificates Awarded 0 0 0
19c Goal 11 11 12
19d *Difference Between Unduplicated Awarded and Goal 0% 27.2% 150%
20 Transfers to UH 4-yr 11 19 35
20a Transfers with degree from program 0 0 6
20b Transfers without degree from program 11 19 29
20c Increase by 3% Annual Transfers to UH 4-yr Goal 3 3 3
20d *Difference Between Transfers and Goal 266.6% 533.3% 1066.6%

Distance Education:
Completely On-line Classes
Program Year  
10-11 11-12 12-13
21 Number of Distance Education Classes Taught 4 3 2


22 Enrollments Distance Education Classes 106 73 67
23 Fill Rate 79% 77% 96%
24 Successful Completion (Equivalent C or Higher) 53% 52% 69%
25 Withdrawals (Grade = W) 17 14 9
26 Persistence (Fall to Spring Not Limited to Distance Education) 55% 76% No Fall Courses

Performance Funding Program Year  
10-11 11-12 12-13
27 Number of Degrees and Certificates     30


28 Number of Degrees and Certificates Native Hawaiian     1
29 Number of Degrees and Certificates STEM     30
30 Number of Pell Recipients     116
31 Number of Transfers to UH 4-yr     35
*Data element used in health call calculation Last Updated: January 27, 2014

Glossary | Health Call Scoring Rubric

Part II. Analysis of the Program

Demand: The demand indicators moved from "Cautionary" status to "Healthy" due to the 35% increase in the number of majors from last year.  Another highlight of the demand indicators is the increase in the number of Native Hawaiian students by 15 from last year.  This brings the percentage of Native Hawaiian students to 21% of all ASNS majors, a percentage higher than in the general College population.      

Efficiency: The efficiency health call remains in the "Cautionary" status mainly due to the fact that there are no FTE BOR appointed faculty members in the ASNS program.  The faculty members teaching the major courses are AA program FTE BOR appointed.  As a result, the ratio of Majors to FTE BOR Appointed Faculty will always negatively impact the health status of the program in this category.  The class fill rate is a robust 80.4%. 

Effectiveness: The effectiveness health call remains in the "Healthy" status due to strong persistence and also impressive increases in the number of graduates and transfers. The number of students who withdrew from ASNS major courses fell significantly while the success rate inched up by 1%.  Several interventions aimed at improving success in core STEM courses may be credited for the strong showing in this category. 

Action Plan Follow-Up: External funding sources continue to be pursued to support the STEM initiatives.  The STEM program applied for and received a small grant from the Kamehameha Schools foundation. 

Successful interventions for student success continue to be implemented including PLUS (Peer Led Unit Study), URE (Undergraduate Research Experience), peer mentoring, and peer tutoring.  These initiatives continue to be funded primarily through federal grants.  To address the faculty workload issue for faculty supporting the STEM initiatives, two initiatives have been put into place.  Courses with an RI designation allow URE to take place in a classroom setting, allowing faculty members to conduct URE within their normal credit workload.  SCI 295 allows faculty members to earn teaching equivalency credit for mentoring undergraduate research students. 

Summary: The ASNS degree program provides students with a clear pathway for majoring in the sciences.  It has allowed the college to become an important provider of STEM education for students in this state.  In addition, the STEM program  has attracted a significant number of Native Hawaiian students, contributing to the UH system goal of becoming a leading indigenous serving institution.  The ASNS now enrolls a higher percentage of Native Hawaiian students than the college as a whole.  Federal grant money (mainly from the National Science Foundation) has allowed the STEM program to implement best-practices for student success. 


Part III. Action Plan

The Natural Sciences/STEM program commits to enhancing the community's awareness of its important successes in persistence, graduation, and transfer.  ARPD metrics from this program indicate that KCC's Natural Sciences program is among the state's strongest.  We must, however, better position ourselves to become a top of mind choice for students beginning at a UHCC with the intent of earning a Bachelor's degree. This program will actively participate in the development of overall marketing plans for the college to realize this action plan.

The ASNS degree program is dynamic and it changes to meet the needs of the students and to ensure their success.  There are three changes proposed for the upcoming year.  Such changes will enhance ARPD-reported enrollment, transfer, and persistence measures. 

1. New Concentration in ICS.  The purpose of this new concentration in Pre-Information and Computer Sciences is to create a clear and focused pathway for students intending to pursue an Information and Computer Sciences degree at a four-year institution.  The “T” of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) can now be represented and supported by a new and strong degree program.

2.  SCI 295 as ASNS Elective.  SCI 295 allows students to get involved in undergraduate research projects for credit.  By making the class an elective in the ASNS degree, it would further encourage STEM students to participate in URE.  URE has been found to be a best-practice for student transfer and success.

3.  ASNS SLO Revision.  The current ASNS program SLOs will be revised to better reflect the outcomes of all concentrations of the ASNS degree.  In addition, the new program SLOs will allow for an authentic assessment of the ASNS degree program outcomes.

Part IV. Resource Implications

Funds and resources will be needed to support the following ARPD data-driven needs:

The number of program majors continues to grow at a faster rate than any other program at the College.  Funds will be needed to continue to support the disciplines enrolling large numbers of intended transfer students.  This means, particularly, support for all concentrations in the ASNS, for the disciplines which are part of the AA w/Concentration intiative, and for those subjects which provide education in support of clear transfer pathways (eg., Hawaiian Studies.)

Funds to support a broader awareness of the institution's strong transfer mission are needed.  This will work to offset weakening General Education enrollment and will protect Arts & Sciences from enrollment decreases caused by the weakening in demand for other non-A&S programs.   

A dramatic drop of over 20 FT faculty over the past two years threatens to undermine the strength of the College's core Liberal Arts and transfer program disciplines.  In the Arts & Sciences, faculty who have retired or resigned have been replaced at a very unfortunate 2-to-1 ratio.  There is need to quickly build a new generation of leadership before large numbers of senior faculty retirements begin. Faculty lines will need to be returned to A&S.

The number of transfer students and Associate's degree completers continue to rise.  Non-personnel resources (supplies, equipment, supplemental allocations, etc.) to continue to support KapCC's historically-strong transfer, AALA/ASNS/AAHS programs, and classroom innovation in support of student engagement, learning, and success will be needed.

Undergraduate research experience (URE) has been identified as a best-practice for student transfer and success.  Several KapCC STEM faculty members invest countless hours mentoring the URE students in preparation for national conferences, competitions, and in classroom settings.  The URE is being institutionalized through SCI 295 and the RI designation, and URE  is described at length in grant reporting as a key factor in the success of the KapCC STEM program.  For URE to continue successfully, space for students to conduct the research is desperately needed. 

The recent integration of the Maida Kamber Center for Career Exploration, Graduation & Tranfser into Arts & Sciences may merit an additional infusion of resoureces -- human & physical -- as the full meaning and implications of ARPD data on these Counselors are reviewed.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

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

this year?
Program Student Learning Outcomes


Express scientific knowledge and understanding to different audiences for a range of purposes.


Apply scientific knowledge, skills, and understandings to issues in daily life.


Articulate the ethical issues of the impact on people and on the local and global environment of the processes and likely products of science.


Relate how the physical environment of Earth and its position in the universe impacts the way we live.


Relate the scientific concept of energy to our existence and quality of life.


Explain the interdependence of their own biology and that of other living things.

A) Expected Level Achievement

It was expected that 70% or more of the students would be competent in the two learning outcomes assessed. 

B) Courses Assessed

Biology 171 and Biology 172 were assessed.  These are core courses for the Life Sciences concentration of the ASNS degree, and elective courses for the other ASNS concentrations.

C) Assessment Strategy/Instrument

Faculty members teaching the assessed courses included common short answer questions in their semester and final exams. Responses were categorized as "not meeting," "meeting," or "exceeding" the competency by the faculty member teaching the course. 

D) Results of Program Assessment

The ASNS assessed Program SLOs on a three-year cycle.  All Program SLOs are assessed at least once during that time period.


For the learning outcome "Apply scientific knowledge, skills, and understandings to issues in daily life" the following results apply. 

Biology 171: 96% of students met or exceeded the comptetency, based on the single exam question addressing this outcome. 

For Biology 172, two questions addressed the competency.  69% of students met or exceeded the competency on first question while 76% met or exceeded the competency on the second question.  If we were to combine the two scores for this competency, the total percentage is 72.5%. 

For the learning outcome "Relate the scientific concept of energy to our existence and quality of life" the following results apply. 

Biology 171: 97% of students met or exceeded the competency, based on the exam question addressing this outcome. 

Biology 172: 75% of students met or exceeded the competency. 

E) Other Comments

Counseling SLOs for use across campus were developed in 2010.  Since that time, units have assessed these SLOs.  Completed templates and summaries of the assessment cycle for counseling support of this program are available at the OFIE website at

In an effort to better align terminology and respond to feedback gained in previous assessment cycles, on November 21 and 22, 2013, an assessment retreat was held to revise these SLOs.  The revised Counseling SLOs will be assessed in the upcoming year.

Through the process of assessing the ASNS SLOs in 2011 and 2012, it became apparent that the program SLOs needed to be revised to better reflect the ASNS program outcomes.  A small group of STEM faculty met over the course of the 2012 -2013 academic year and came up with a draft of proposed program SLOs in December 2012.  Data from spring 2013 were used to pilot the new SLOs, and further revisions were made.  The SLOs were distributed to the Math and Sciences department members for feedback in Fall 2013 and final revisions were made.  These proposed ASNS program SLOs were submitted to the Curriculum Committee for approval in October 2013.  The revised ASNS SLOs are listed here.

Upon successful completion of the Associate in Science degree in Natural Science, the student should be able to:


F) Next Steps

A rough assessment plan was outlined in the Spring of 2013 for the proposed ASNS SLOs.  This assessment plan will be revised and finalized early in the Spring 2014 semester, and data will be collected from the relevant ASNS courses during the Spring 2014 and subsequent semesters.