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OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR

STATE OF HAWAI‘I

 

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Follow-Up Audit of the Management of the College of Education

Report No. 99-22 

Summary

The Office of the Auditor conducted a follow-up audit on the management of the College of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa for the period fron December 1995 to May 1999The follow-up audit examined the extent to which the college has addressed the findings and recommendations contained in our Management Audit of the College of Education, Report No. 95-24.

Our follow-up found that the College of Education has made some changes since the previous auditSpecifically, the college has clarified and achieved consensus on its missionIn 1995, we reported that the college had muddled along, at times trying to stratify its various missions, at other times expressing conflicting prioritiesIn 1997, the college’s mission was statutorily amended to reflect it primary activities of instruction, research, and serviceFurthermore, extensive faculty involvement in the development of the new mission has ensured that faculty agree that the new mission accurately reflects the college’s activities.

Despite some improvements, the college continues to fall short of satisfactory management of its program development processWe found that the college still lacks adequate guidance for its program development processRoles and responsibilities are not sufficiently delineated, new program proposals lack required information, program goals and objectives are unclear, issues centered on its cohort structure have not been resolved, and control over course objectives remain deficientConsequently, the college can neither ensure that programs are adequately planned and implemented efficiently and effectively nor ensure the consistency of knowledge, skills, and abilities learned by students.

In addition, we found that little has been accomplished in regard to our 1995 finding that the college’s evaluation efforts were inadequate and our recommendation that a coordinated evaluation process be developed for all programsThe college still lacks a coordinated evaluation process and responsibility over evaluations remains unclearFurthermore, we found that existing evaluations are conducted irregularly and unsystematicallyAs a result, the college is unable to adequately assess the efficiency and effectiveness of its programs.

Notably, the College of Education is currently pursuing accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.  The council is nongovernmental, professional accrediting body of schools, colleges, and departments of education recognized bythe U.SDepartment of EducationMany ofour current audit findings regarding program development and evaluation will be addressed if the accreditation standards are met; however, pursuit of national accreditation should not be the primary catalyst for changes needed at the College of EducationThe college hopes to achieve national accrediation by 2001

Recommendations and Response

We recommended that the college continue to communicate its mission to relevant stakeholders and ensure that programs and activities are appropriate functions of the missionThe college should also provide adequate guidance for its program development process by establishing written policies and procedures, resolving governance issues, ensuring that all new program proposals provide required information, and conducting a comprehensive impact assessment of the cohorted field-based programsFinally, we recommended that the dean of the college clarify responsibility for program evaluation and develop and implement a coordinated evaluation process for all programs.

In its response, the University of Hawaii stated that the report provides useful information that can benefit the college as it continues to improve programsWhile the university found some of our findings valid, it disagreed with our "criticism" of the cohort programs and program developmentIt stated that most of our findings need to be viewed in the context of program innovations at the college, faculty attempts to meet state needs, and attempts at restructuringThe university also noted its belief that many of our findings will be addressed as the college pursues national accreditationWe assert that program innovation and pursuit of national accreditation do not justify inadequate guidance over program development or insufficient program evaluationFinally, we made some changes to our report based on additional information provided by the university to clarify data on faculty instructional, research, and service workload activities for 1997.


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