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Music Quality Improvement Plan

Department/Program: Bachelor of Art in Music
Review Date: November 6-8, 2018
Last Updated: November 29, 2018


*Visiting Team Recommendations **Update on Actions Taken/ Status Completed Date

1.Program Learning Outcomes -We recommend that the learning outcomes include an item that directly addresses the University goal of “preparing men and women with the intercultural and leadership skills necessary to promote world peace and international brotherhood, to address world problems, and to be a righteous influence, in families, professions, civic responsibilities, social affiliation, and in the Church.”

Recommendation: To relate more directly to the University’s mission, the music program could expand upon the learning outcome that includes “an increased sensitivity to... world music.” We recommend including a phrase that would highlight how increased sensitivity to diverse music promotes world peace. The program learning outcomes could also address leadership more directly. It is clear that the program provides opportunities for ambassadorship and service both in the local community and abroad. The wording of the program outcome could highlight the music program’s commitment to developing leadership skills through service.

2.Syllabi -The program shows some engagement with publicizing their program outcomes and helping students see how their courses fit into the big picture. The committee reviewed syllabi available on the University website from Winter 2015-16 to the present. Course syllabi available included Music 103, 105, 159, 160, 161, 277, 333, 345, 385, and 466. All of these syllabi included the music program outcomes addressed in the course. Many of the syllabi included useful additional information explaining how course outcomes were evaluated and how they related to the overall outcomes desired by the department. Several syllabi also addressed the University Learning Framework: Prepare, Engage, Improve. In particular, syllabi for Music 160 and 390 outlined clear and specific expectations for engagement.

Recommendation: Each faculty member should prepare syllabi each semester that incorporate Program Learning Outcomes. These syllabi should be made available either in a department archive or on the assessment website.

Recommendation: Program Learning Objectives should be published on the music program website.

3.Assessment plan -While certain assessment activities are evident, the program needs to create a comprehensive, effective, and meaningful assessment plan with a more clear approach to the collection of, and response to, assessment data. At a minimum, the program is encouraged to complete the annual assessment report requested by the Assessment and Curriculum Office.

Recommendation: To get the assessment process organized and running, we recommend that a course release be provided for a program assessment coordinator. We advise that the coordinator work with Rose Ram and her office to get appropriate training. Once a viable framework is in place, the need for a course release could be reassessed.

4.Better communication and music advising -There is substantial confusion among students regarding degree requirements and timelines because information about these requirements appears to be delivered to them in an inconsistent manner. Students did not agree on the timeline, content of, or manner of, preparation for the piano proficiency requirement (Music 105R and 159R). They felt that jury repertoire requirements (number of pieces, languages, time periods, etc.) were not clearly defined across the board. Although syllabi for the piano courses do include criteria for success, the review committee found that piano proficiency and specific jury requirements were not prominently displayed on the website. Furthermore, what was posted on the website was not reliable—the wording was vague, and the information was out-of-date. Likewise, students indicated that concert attendance requirements are either unclear or students are not consistently held accountable for them.

Recommendation: Create one document that correctly describes all degree requirements for degree and end-of-semester proficiencies (juries). This information should be published and easy to find on the program website.

Recommendation: Organize a matrix (four-year plan) to display when courses are offered. An attempt should be made to distribute courses relatively evenly across the semesters out of consideration for regularity of student workload.

Recommendation: Music faculty need to take responsibility for advising students on area-specific coursework such as applied lessons, proficiency courses (105R, 159R), and ensembles. We recognize the impact this would have on faculty workload; however, teaching is at the center of this institution, and we feel that proper music advising is an integral element of student learning and success and should be part of the faculty’s teaching charge. Coordination of student advising should be a prominent feature of regular faculty meetings. Faculty should ensure that division of advisory assignments is fair and that policies and requirements are consistently represented.

5.Recruitment and Program Visibility -The program struggles to provide an organized and effective web presence that includes advertising information for upcoming events and general music offerings. In this age of digital information, we note that an attractively presented set of information on the web is critical to the health of the program in terms of recruitment and general visibility to the University and community. A more consistent presence outside of the University would also significantly strengthen the program’s image beyond the local community. Regular faculty and ensemble visits to neighbor islands are important recruitment activities and would also help increase community engagement and support. Additionally, when feasible, international touring should represent all ensembles equally. Faculty expressed concern that in recent years not all ensembles have been able to tour beyond the neighbor islands, thus limiting visibility of the program’s full range of ensembles to all potential students in the target area.

Recommendation: Prioritize developing the music program website to become fully functional, and keeping the events page current. Add high quality videos of ensembles and student performances to represent the program to prospective students and other stakeholders. Doing so will require, at minimum, additional resources in the form of recording equipment (see further comments in “Capacity”) and appropriately trained staff support.

Recommendation: Support and encourage faculty and ensemble tours on the local and regional levels as well as internationally. Prepare high quality materials to distribute on tours that prominently display the program’s website. Faculty should develop a recruiting plan to keep a presence in the community that includes all major ensembles and areas on a rotating basis.

6.Music education: While some interest in developing a music education program was expressed in the student meeting, we recognize that the curricular infrastructure that would allow student success in this field is not in place. The committee commends the music faculty for attempting to work with the Education program; however, there are important differences between training music educators and training educators in other fields. Curricular evidence revealing a lack of appropriate skill training shows that students attempting this route are simply not getting the training they need to be equipped to work in the field.

Recommendation: Given the fact that no additional FTE will be granted, the Evaluation Committee recommends that plans for a degree in Music Education be abandoned. Faculty members and students interested in music education are encouraged to take advantage of the many continuing education opportunities available through local music organizations such as HMTA, NAME, and ACDA. Students should take advantage of currently available pedagogy courses and focus on studio teaching.