Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education

General Education Outcomes Topics from Sample Institutions

This list represents the topics from a variety of schools, that represent what every student will know or be able to do when they graduate with any degree from that college. Specific outcomes can be written within each discipline area based upon competency in these general areas. These areas, while unique to each institution and reflecting the values and mission of that institution, overlap in the general areas of Oral Communication, Written Communication, Analytical Skills, Problem Solving or Critical thinking, and Social responsibility.

 

Alverno College

The specific abilities identified by our faculty as central to our approach to liberal arts and professional education are:

bullet Communication
bullet Analysis
bullet Problem Solving
bullet Valuing in Decision-Making
bullet Social Interaction
bullet Developing a Global Perspective
bullet Effective Citizenship
bullet Aesthetic Engagement

Alverno's unique emphasis on learning the abilities needed to put knowledge to use -- commonly called "ability-based education" -- has gained national praise.

University of North Carolina

bullet Analytical Skills
bullet Oral Communication Skills
bullet Written Communication Skills
bullet Teamwork and Project Management Skills
bullet Information Competency
bullet Technology Skills
bullet Self-Learning Skills
bullet Ethics and Professionalism
bullet Systems Thinking
bullet Creative Problem Solving Ability skills.

UNC has a useful link to many assessment resources

St Scholastica

bullet Problem Solving
bullet Value-based decision making
bullet Social Responsibility
bullet Effective Communication
bullet Disciplinary Understanding
bullet Aesthetic Response
bullet Living with Diversity 

Babson College

bullet Rhetoric – ability to communicate
bullet Numeracy – Effectiveness in quantitative work
bullet Ethics and Social responsibility
bullet International and Multicultural Perspective
bullet Leadership/Teamwork/Creativity

Hutchinson Community College

bullet Demonstrate the ability to think and make reasonable judgments by acquiring, analyzing, combining, and evaluating quantitative and non-quantitative information.
bullet Demonstrate the skills necessary to access and manipulate information through various technological and traditional methods.
bullet Demonstrate effective communication through writing and speaking.
bullet Demonstrate effective interpersonal

 

South Seattle Community College

bullet Communication
bullet Computation
bullet Human Relations
bullet Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
bullet Technology
bullet Personal Responsibility
bullet Information Literacy
 

California State University Northridge

Students will be able to do many or all of the following:

bulletinterpret and critically assess different texts, including those that reflect multicultural images and perspectives, making connections and comparing ideas among these texts;
bulletuse clear, focused, unified, and coherent organization;
bulletuse the conventions of Edited American English (for example, with respect to syntax, mechanics, grammar and diction);
bulletuse logical support—including informed opinion and fact, as well as their interpretations—to develop ideas, avoiding fallacies, biased language, and inappropriate tone;
bulletuse multiple drafts to develop various purposes, styles, and voices for specific audiences;
bulletincorporate ideas derived from a variety of sources (for example, the World Wide Web, library resources, and interviews) and document them correctly;
bulletwrite in a variety of modes (e.g., autobiography, reports, editorial, case study, inquiry, and research) with complexity and appropriate detail;
bulletuse various computer applications such as word processing, email, and HyperNews to facilitate writing.

California State University San Bernardino

bullet Appreciation of the Diversity of Cultures and Intellectual Points of View
bullet Understanding of Ethical Issues and Responsibilities
bullet Ability to Work Effectively with Others
bullet Skills Useful to Function Effectively as a Professional in Their Fields
bullet Skills Consistent with Continuing Development and Learning in Their Field
bullet Skills Necessary to Communication Effectively with Others
bullet Meaningful Experiences Involving the University Community or the Community outside the     University
bullet Mastery of Higher-order Objectives (i.e. Problem Solving Skills) in his/her field
bullet Growth and Mastery in Subject Matter Knowledge of Discipline
bullet Awareness of and Knowledge about Impact and Effect of Computer Technology on Society
bullet Professional Skill necessary to promote social and Economic Justice and Combat Institutional Discrimination
bullet Appreciation of Values of Democracy, Equal Opportunity, Work Ethic, Ongoing Personal Growth and Renewal, and Satisfactions derived from Personal Success

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

bullet

Write effectively

bullet

Speak effectively

bullet

Understand and apply scientific principles and methods

bullet

Understand and apply mathematical reasoning

bullet

Think critically. Locate, screen, and organize information. Draw conclusions after weighing evidence, facts, and ideas

bullet

Create original ideas and/or products

bullet

Effectively use technology

bullet

Understand and appreciate cultural and ethnic differences. Get along with people whose attitudes and opinions are different from theirs

bullet

Work cooperatively in groups

bullet

Work in a global/societal context

bullet

Understand values and ethical standards

bullet

Learn independently.

California State University Monterey Bay

bullet

Community Participation

bullet

Creative/Artistic Expression

bullet

Culture and Equity

bullet

Democratic Participation

bullet

English Communication

bullet

Ethics

bullet

Language

bullet

Literature/Popular Culture

bullet

Mathematics Communication

bullet

Science

bullet

Technology/Information

bullet

United States Histories

bullet

Vibrancy

(Each term is linked to explanations.)

 Lane Community College
Core Ability Outcomes —students completing general education will:

bulletCommunicate effectively
bulletThink critically and solve problems effectively
bulletIncrease understanding of the relationship between self and community, including self-awareness, personal responsibility, and the development of cultural competence
bulletExplore academic disciplines

 

Austin Community College General Education

bullet

Possess sufficient literacy skills in writing, reading, speaking, and listening to communicate effectively above the 12th grade level.

bullet

Understand numerical data and their implications for daily living

bullet

Possess consciousness of our society. Think and analyze at a critical level

bullet

Appreciate multi-cultural, multi-ethnic contributions to our country

bullet

Understand our technological society

bullet

Possess basic skills in the use of computers.

San Joaquin Delta College

GENERAL EDUCATION OUTCOMES.

bullet Speak and Listen Effectively
bullet Critical Thinking
bullet Access, Analyze and Use Information
bullet Citizenship
bullet Interact Productively with Others
bullet Diversity
bullet Quantitative Literacy
bullet Wellness
bullet Aesthetics
bullet Technology
bullet International/Intercultural

 

Louisiana State University

Statements of Expected Student Learning Outcomes:

Specifically, these courses are designed to produce students who have developed:

bullet an effective command of written and spoken English;
bullet an informed appreciation of the roles of the arts and the humanities;
bullet a familiarity with the nature and function of the social sciences;
bullet an appreciation of the methods of critical inquiry;
bullet an ability to deal with moral and ethical issues;
bullet a rational basis for selecting a vocation;
bullet an understanding of other cultures and other times; and
bullet a comprehension of how knowledge is acquired and applied.

 

Notice the similarity, yet the unique nature, amongst these various institutions general education areas. Reviewing these sample general education areas in light of the ACCJC-WASC standards provides good guidelines for creating General Education Outcomes. Remember, courses become part of the General Education Programs based upon the alignment of course and GE outcomes.

 How do you assess General Education outcomes?

Janet Fulks
Assessing Student Learning in Community Colleges (2004), Bakersfield College
jfulks@bakersfieldcollege.edu
07/11/2006