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: Paralegal

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

Program Description

Program Description

Kapi‘olani Community College's Paralegal program is the only Hawai`i-based paralegal program in the UH system. Since 1978, it has been an American Bar Association-approved program and has been the major source of trained paralegals in the Hawai`i legal community. A paralegal is a legal professional who assists in the delivery of legal services, generally under the supervision of an attorney. A paralegal is a member of the legal team in private law offices, government agencies, and corporations, performing technical and paraprofessional responsibilities. These include interviewing and assisting clients, legal research and writing, communicating effectively, implementing legal procedures, preparing instruments and documents, assisting in judicial and administrative appearances, representing clients in selected administrative hearings, completing client projects, calendaring, and coordinating office functions. These functions overlap with those of an attorney. The program graduate will be qualified to work in a private law firm, corporation, public agencies, and public law firms. A paralegal may not provide legal services directly to the public.

Program Mission Statement

The Paralegal Program’s mission is to provide paralegal education to students interested in careers as paralegals or for positions where communication, analytical, and organizational skills as well as knowledge of law and legal procedures are necessary. The program provides the foundation for students to think critically and act ethically in the workplace and in the community. The program also prepares students to continue educational pursuits and encourages lifelong learning and community service.

Part I. Quantitative Indicators

Overall Program Health: Healthy

Majors Included: LEGL,LGLS     Program CIP: 22.0302

Demand Indicators Program Year Demand Health Call
10-11 11-12 12-13
1 New & Replacement Positions (State) 22 31 45 Healthy
2 *New & Replacement Positions (County Prorated) 17 21 35
3 *Number of Majors 128.5 113.5 110
3a     Number of Majors Native Hawaiian 24 26 23
3b     Fall Full-Time 28% 29% 31%
3c     Fall Part-Time 72% 71% 69%
3d     Fall Part-Time who are Full-Time in System 3% 0% 1%
3e     Spring Full-Time 24% 29% 31%
3f     Spring Part-Time 76% 71% 69%
3g     Spring Part-Time who are Full-Time in System 1% 2% 2%
4 SSH Program Majors in Program Classes 1,446 1,377 1,362
5 SSH Non-Majors in Program Classes 288 246 315
6 SSH in All Program Classes 1,734 1,623 1,677
7 FTE Enrollment in Program Classes 58 54 56
8 Total Number of Classes Taught 31 28 29

Efficiency Indicators Program Year Efficiency Health Call
10-11 11-12 12-13
9 Average Class Size 18.6 19.3 19.3 Cautionary
10 *Fill Rate 74.2% 77.2% 73.7%
11 FTE BOR Appointed Faculty 1 2 2
12 *Majors to FTE BOR Appointed Faculty 128.5 56.7 55
13 Majors to Analytic FTE Faculty 39.0 38.8 34.9
13a Analytic FTE Faculty 3.3 2.9 3.1
14 Overall Program Budget Allocation $148,500 $274,238 $259,225
14a General Funded Budget Allocation $148,500 $265,721 $213,116
14b Special/Federal Budget Allocation $0 $0 $0
14c Tuition and Fees $0 $8,517 $46,109
15 Cost per SSH $86 $169 $155
16 Number of Low-Enrolled (<10) Classes 3 2 2
*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) 76% 81% 82% Healthy
18 Withdrawals (Grade = W) 53 35 32
19 *Persistence Fall to Spring 71.7% 73.2% 77.4%
19a Persistence Fall to Fall     53.3%
20 *Unduplicated Degrees/Certificates Awarded 24 16 25
20a Degrees Awarded 21 13 25
20b Certificates of Achievement Awarded 0 0 0
20c Advanced Professional Certificates Awarded 0 0 0
20d Other Certificates Awarded 3 3 0
21 External Licensing Exams Passed   Not Reported Not Reported
22 Transfers to UH 4-yr 3 3 4
22a Transfers with credential from program 0 1 2
22b Transfers without credential from program 3 2 2

Distance Education:
Completely On-line Classes
Program Year  
10-11 11-12 12-13
23 Number of Distance Education Classes Taught 7 6 4  
24 Enrollments Distance Education Classes 165 167 115
25 Fill Rate 87% 93% 96%
26 Successful Completion (Equivalent C or Higher) 66% 75% 73%
27 Withdrawals (Grade = W) 21 13 12
28 Persistence (Fall to Spring Not Limited to Distance Education) 68% 78% 71%

Perkins IV Core Indicators
Goal Actual Met  
29 1P1 Technical Skills Attainment 90.00 90.48 Met  
30 2P1 Completion 50.00 26.19 Not Met
31 3P1 Student Retention or Transfer 74.25 77.55 Met
32 4P1 Student Placement 60.00 69.39 Met
33 5P1 Nontraditional Participation 17.00 13.43 Not Met
34 5P2 Nontraditional Completion 15.25 20.00 Met

Performance Funding Program Year  
10-11 11-12 12-13
35 Number of Degrees and Certificates     25  
36 Number of Degrees and Certificates Native Hawaiian     6
37 Number of Degrees and Certificates STEM     Not STEM
38 Number of Pell Recipients     26
39 Number of Transfers to UH 4-yr     4
*Data element used in health call calculation Last Updated: January 27, 2014
Glossary | Health Call Scoring Rubric

Part II. Analysis of the Program


The Paralegal program overall rating is "Healthy," two ranks up from the previous year, when it was ranked as unhealthy. This is attributable to the fact that there has been a substantial uptick in the number of new and replacement positions reported.  Evan with the increase in new and replacement positions reported, these numbers do not fully reflect the job market for paralegals.  While the program continues to place its graduates in a variety of positions (including those that are not classically “Paralegal” in nature), the program is appreciative of the fact that the number of positions explicitly labeled as paralegal have increased in the county and the State.


In terms of “Efficiency,” the program is rated “Cautionary.”  The cut-off percentage between cautionary and healthy in fill rates is 75%, and the program is just under that percentage with a fill rate of 73.7%.

In the last three Annual Program Reviews there was an emphasis on the need for an additional BOR FTE position, both to improve the faculty/majors ratio and also to allow the program to offer more online courses. While the program uses a number of lecturers who are attorneys currently working in the field, the downside to this is that these lecturers are not professional educators and are not available to invest the time to put their courses online, on cable or to teach during the day.  This reliance on adjuncts handicaps the program’s ability to offer more of the popular distance education courses.  While American Bar Association requirements restrict the overall number of online courses that can be offered, the paralegal program is not near that limit, and will not approach it without additional full time faculty.

The “analytic faculty ratio” is at 3.1, and there are only two FTE faculty in the program.  This ratio indicates an increasing need for instructional faculty.  The two existing Paralegal faculty do not teach full time for the program. One faculty member is the program coordinator and has the one course teaching equivalency each semester to run the program. The other full time faculty member was tenured in another department and is eminently qualified to teach the paralegal skills courses, but not the substantive law courses.  She presently serves as department chair and has a reduced workload; however even when she teaches full time, she has been regularly teaching ICS courses in the IT program in addition to LAW courses to fill her teaching load.  The program therefore relies heavily on lecturers who teach the majority of the courses.


Effectiveness has improved to a "Healthy" status.  The success rate has a one point uptick of 82%, and the persistence rate is up more than four points to 77.4%.  The number of degrees awarded has almost doubled. Pursuant to last year's Action Plan, the program has submitted to the curriculum review process a Certificate of Achievement for paralegal students who already have completed a B.A.  This type of certificate is often offered by paralegal programs and can be completed in one year, full time, which will help improve the program’s completion statistics both in this category and also under the Perkins indicators.


In terms Perkins IV Core Indicators, the program met four of them  – technical skills attainment, student retention or transfer, student placement, and nontraditional completion.  This is an increase over the three Perkins goals met the previous year.  The program is low in completion, where the rating was 26.19%, (goal: 50%). As stated in above, given the paralegal student population (with a substantial number of working professionals) and their goals, some of which are to only take a few courses to sharpen their skills in their existing job or to prepare them for law school, the program expects to be a lower than the norm in completion statistics. 

The program's non-traditional participation rate at 13.43%.  This number has dropped a little from the previous year, probably because a significant number of non-traditional participants graduated this year, as reflected by the fact that the program met its non-traditional completion goal.

Part III. Action Plan

Long term plans for the Paralegal program are guided by the college’s strategic plan.  In the intermediate term, plans are guided by the accounting program’s three-year comprehensive program review (CPR).  The actions indicated in this report provide short term measures which will contribute to the goals of the three year comprehensive program review, aligned with the college’s strategic plan. 

Paralegal Action Plan

  1. The program will investigate options in increasing non-traditional participation through targeted counseling.  The program director also received a Perkins grant this academic year for software to improve online courses by incorporating non-traditional student "avatars" in the video content.  This application is particularly relevant for LAW 101, which is the gateway course for the program.  It is expected that the implementation of this will encourage student participation, including non-traditional students.
  2. The program will continue to explore ways in which to offer non-traditional courses (online; cable; and weekday courses, which are non-traditional for the typical paralegal student, to meet student needs and increase their options.
  3. The program will continue to pursue the option of adding a third BOR-approved FTE faculty member to improve its efficiency rating and enable it to offer more non-traditional courses.
  4. The program will continue to support its proporal for a Certificate of Achievement for paralegal students who already have completed a B.A., which is currently in the curriculum approval process. 

Part IV. Resource Implications

Paralegal Program Resource implications:

The program needs a third BOR-approved FTE faculty member.  The program is aware that under current budgetary restrictions, no new instructional positions are likely to be added; however, the campus has some unfilled positions and the program will be requesting that one of them be shifted over to support the Paralegal.  Further growth in online courses will most probably only be possible with a BOR-approved faculty member, as attorneys are unlikely to want to devote the significant time to create and run an online course.

The program will also be looking at options in expanding its offerings to the Neighbor Islands.  There may be travel expenses related to setting up and running courses on the Neighbor Islands, even if Neighbor Island instructors are recruited.

Department Resources Requirements:

Apart from the specific resources related to the program, there are department-wide activities requiring resources to generally support all of the programs in the department.  The Business, Legal and Technology Education Department (BLT) will seek a combination of campus funds, general funds (faculty investment of time and energy), special funds, grants, private donations and other campus support services to ensure the achievement of our planned outcomes.


Marketing Materials, $500 per year

Student Engagement Activities – Approximately $500 per year

Tracking certificates, degrees, transfers – to be determined

Student tutors, peer mentors (additional funding for renovated lab and classrooms extended hours of usage – See reference to BLT Technology Plan below

Student Fee Collection – College and departmental support; to be determined

Equipment/Supplies – See reference to BLT Technology Plan below

Professional Development – Approximately $5,000 per program (Accounting, Information Technology, Marketing and Paralegal) per year

Kopiko Renovations, Phase I completion and Phase II plans – To be determined

Per the Business, Legal and Technology Department Technology Plan, Table 1. BLT Technology Budget, Academic Year 2013-2014, Total $262,262

Includes – infrastructure upgrades, annual software upgrade, non-annual software upgrades, IT National Membership Fees, Computer equipment and servers, support equipment, consumable products, technical support staffing, staffing to enhance student retention, and professional development and training.

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


1. Ethics: Identify ethical issues that arise and apply rules of professional conduct to determine how to resolve them. (e.g., show awareness of legal ethics, confidentiality, and unauthorized practice of law issues).


2. Communication: Demonstrate oral and written skills required in legal settings (e.g., convey knowledge and ideas clearly and precisely).


3. Critical Thinking: Demonstrate basic principles of legal analysis and apply critical thinking skills. (e.g., integrate and synthesize concepts, generate options, and make logical and rational decisions).


4. Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrate adaptability, flexibility, and sensitivity in working with diverse types of people, identify and resolve problems and disputes (e.g., establish effective working relationships with attorneys, coworkers, clients, and others).


5. Professionalism: Demonstrate organizational skills to perform and prioritize assignments and utilize time efficiently. (e.g., manage workflow, adhere to procedural deadlines, use resources and time efficiently).


6. Technology & Information Literacy: Identify, evaluate, and use appropriate technology and resources to effectively investigate, research, and present legal issues (e.g., conduct library and online legal research, and prepare, edit, and transmit legal and court documents).

A) Evidence of Industry Validation

Evidence of industry validation

The program faculty (the majority of whom are practicing attorneys) and the faculty worked on revising the PLOs in fall 2010.  The Paralegal Program has an Advisory Committee composed of practicing paralegals, paralegal managers, attorneys, faculty, a student, and an outside community member.  The Advisory Committee reviewed the Paralegal Program PLOs in spring 2010, revised them, and approved them.

The Paralegal program is an "approved" program of the American Bar Association.  The program underwent a review by the ABA in 202-13 and was successul in maintaining its approved status.  This review provides further evidence of industry validation. 

B) Expected Level Achievement

Expected level of achievement

The expected level of achievement for all PLOs is 70%.

C) Courses Assessed

For PLO 1, Ethics, courses assessed were LAW 101, LAW 145, and LAW 293P.

For PLO2, Communication, courses assessed were LAW 151, LAW 202, LAW 203, and LAW 293P.

D) Assessment Strategy/Instrument

Assessment strategies/instruments were as follows:


LAW 101: assessment via graded assignment and final exam.
LAW 145: assessment via graded tests.
LAW 293P: assessment via portfolio and final report.


LAW 151: assessment via class debate and oral report.
LAW 202:  Assessment via 6 role-playing exercises and rubric.
LAW 203:  Assessment via 9 graded writing assignments.
LAW 293P:  Assessment by internship sponsor.

E) Results of Program Assessment

Students achieved a level of 70% or higher.

F) 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.

G) Next Steps

The program will review SLOs 3 and 4 in the next academic year.