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Religious Education Quality Improvement Plan

Department/ Program : Religious Education
Review Date : November 16, 2018
Last Updated : December 4, 2018


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

1. Alignment with University and Religious Education Mission
Commendation: The faculty are to be commended for their general commitment to the mission of BYU–Hawaii and Religious Education. They are united in their desire to bless students. It was clear that the students are top priority to the faculty.

Recommendation: Although the faculty are committed to the overall mission, this committee felt hat there was not a clear, succinct mission statement for Religious Education and statement of program outcomes. We recommend that the faculty counsel together to formulate such statements. It is virtually impossible to assess whether Religious Education is being successful without first articulating the mission and expected outcomes. As the faculty develop a shared vision/mission statement and outcomes, there will be greater unity among the faculty and appreciation for what each faculty members brings to the fulfillment of that mission.

2. Faculty
Commendations. The faculty are student-centered. They show genuine love for their students and commitment to their having a great experience in their religion classes. Recommendations. From our discussions with all the faculty and many students, we see that there is need for 1) greater communication among the faculty and counseling together on important matters, and 2) improved training and in-service of faculty. To meet these needs we recommend the following:
  • Hold frequent and regular faculty meetings with a specific goal in mind (at least monthly until needed tasks are completed). These faculty meetings should include full-time, special instructors, and CES missionaries.
  • Create a Religious Education handbook of policies and procedures and ensure that it is updated continually. An electronic copy of this handbook could then be sent to special instructors and CES missionaries as part of their advance preparation to teach in Religious Education.
  • Provide pre-service and on-going, content-specific training for all new faculty, particularly special instructors and CES missionaries. Full-time faculty can provide perspective and expertise to these new faculty. The Center for Learning and Teaching should play an important role in this pre and in-service training.
  • Improve communication with CES Missionaries PRIOR to their arriving in Hawaii. Send them a statement of expectations and available resources. Consider making these resources available online, such as training videos, the Religious Education handbook, sample course outlines and learning outcomes specific for each course.
  • * Consider a “faculty-exchange” program with BYU (Provo) Religious Education, whether on a semester, annual or two-year basis. This arrangement could mutually benefit the Provo and BYU-H faculties by sharing different faculty expertise and teaching experiences. Opportunities to teach in a different setting and rubbing shoulders with a different faculty for a period of time could do much to infuse new ideas and perspective into Religious Education as a whole.
3. Scholarships
Recommendation:
As a faculty formulate a clear statement of expectation for Religious Education scholarship.

4. Curriculum and Learning Outcomes Assessment
Commendation. Availability of all core courses each hour of the day (although students report their desire for more full-time faculty teaching these courses). Students have a good variety of choices of Religious Education courses that will help them to meet the requirements in a timely way.

Recommendations.

  • As a faculty develop Course Outcomes or each of the four core (required) courses. This will take considerable discussion and involvement from each faculty member.
  • After the general Course Outcomes are developed and accepted, the faculty needs a consensus on the course “Essentials” (content, concepts, skills to be acquired, etc.) that must be included in every section of each of the core courses.
  • Develop a system of assessment for measuring how well each outcome is met and to ascertain that the “Essentials” are included in each course and by each faculty member.
  • Once these are developed, consider posting them online to inform what they can expect in each course.