Student Learning Outcomes or SLOs identify what students will know, be able to do, or be able to demonstrate when they have completed or participated in a program/activity/course/project. These outcomes are usually expressed as measurable gains in knowledge and skills and the successful integration of values and attitudes into the educational experience. SLOs enable students to articulate and quantify the learning incorporated in their co-curricular experience and select co-curricular experiences that facilitate achieving their personal development goals.
SLOs are aggregated under Divisional Learning Outcomes (DLOs). Taken as a whole, Divisional Learning Outcomes represent co-curricular education goals that the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life has established for all UMass Amherst students and represent the knowledge, skills and attitudes that students obtain from engaging within the total learning environment of UMass Amherst.
Intellectual growth refers to the ability to synthesize multiple sources of information to solve problems, and use ones experiences and other sources of information to create new insights and generate problem solving approaches. These learning outcomes facilitate this process by fostering intellectual curiosity and the ability to access information from diverse sources as well as relating knowledge to daily life and defining issues within larger contexts.
- Analyze and reflect upon information and experiences
- Develop, organize, and evaluate short and long term processes
- Solve problems and make decisions effectively
- Understand multiple perspectives and points of view
- Apply academic knowledge in practical and creative ways
- Utilize critical thinking, reflective listening and effective reasoning skills
Diversity and Global Consciousness
Success in a diverse world requires a broad understanding of and appreciation of cultural and human differences as viewed from an interconnected framework. These learning outcomes increase openness to ideas different from or in conflict with ones own including those rooted in different cultures and awareness of societal and institutional factors influencing assumptions, prejudices, and privileges. Inherent to these outcomes is the development a life-long zest for engaging in opportunities for cross-cultural interaction with those who differ from oneself and a commitment to work toward achieving a more just and equitable society.
- Define one’s identity in relation to cultural and social differences
- Understand and analyzes the interconnectedness of societies worldwide
- Engage in opportunities for cross-cultural interaction with those who differ from oneself in beliefs, behaviors, values, or views
- Demonstrate interpersonal skills to allow effective functioning in diverse groups
- Understand the impact of power and privilege on self and society
- Identify systematic barriers to equality and inclusiveness
- Contributes to achieving a more just and equitable society
Life Skills and Personal Development
This set of learning outcomes includes both practical skills for daily living and student development incorporating initiative, motivation, integrity, life-balance and a sense of meaning and context beyond oneself. This includes assessing personal strengths and weaknesses, recognizing and engaging in learning experiences outside the classroom, making informed decisions, and acting on those decisions to enhance personal and community health and well-being. These skills are manifested as the ability to articulate complex thoughts and convey rationales with interpersonal efficacy and confidence through verbal and non-verbal communication that is purposeful, professional, organized, and audience appropriate.
- Communicate effectively in writing and verbal forms
- Prioritize and manage resources effectively (time, money, etc.)
- Ability to manage and resolve conflict productively
- Master independent living skills (legal, healthcare, etc.)
- Establish and maintain balance in life
- Practice physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness
- Appropriately use communication technology and media
- Develop a variety of leadership skills
Active citizenship includes meeting our individual responsibilities to demonstrate ethical behavior, take action against injustice, be informed and participate in communities. These learning outcomes facilitate students to engage in the world with passion, curiosity, and good judgment, and set the stage for a lifelong engagement with learning. By recognizing and fulfilling their responsibilities to self, community, and society; recognizing the impact of self on others; engaging in life-long learning and utilizing their knowledge and education to improve the well-being of others, students are prepared to engage as responsible stewards of our future.
- Develop a personal code of ethics to guide decision-making rooted in a sense of responsibility as a member of society
- Contribute to the positive welfare of the campus, local, and broader community
- Demonstrate concern and respect for the rights of others
- Create, build, and sustain community by applying knowledge to help others
- Identify and implement practices of economic and environmental sustainability
- Understand and participate in relevant political and governance systems
- Develop well-informed, multi-faceted understanding of local, national, and international issues
These learning outcomes prepare students to effectively engage in the professional world and serve as a bridge for translating acquired knowledge to practical employment skills that contribute to the success of organizations and businesses. Professional development requires the ability to collaborate, to build and sustain personal and professional relationships based on respect, to engage effectively in multicultural teams, to identify meaningful career options and different professional roles, and to build the skills, abilities and knowledge to flourish in a changing job market. These outcomes also include workplace skills such as teamwork, problem solving, positive work ethic, effective use of technology, and understanding workplace culture.
- Explore possible life and career options
- Utilize competitive job search skills to secure a personally meaningful position
- Develop realistic career and professional goals
- Translate acquired knowledge to employment skills
- Identify strengths and interests and match these to a chosen career path
- Build and sustain professional relationships and networks