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Liberal Studies Student Learning Outcomes

It is the joint responsibility of both the major and minor to prepare future teachers to evaluate information critically, to study and research independently, and to communicate knowledge effectively. The following four program goals have been established for the Liberal Studies Degree. Goal 1 is largely the responsibility of the Liberal Studies major and Goal 4 the responsibility of the Elementary Education minor; benchmarks for Goals 2 and 3 have been designed across the entire degree program.

1. Acquisition of Knowledge. Graduates are broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences:

  •  Understanding the significant ideas, concepts, structures and values within disciplines, including theoretical, ethical, and practical implications.
  • Mastering content knowledge in all areas taught in elementary schools: the arts, math literature and language, social sciences, sciences, and human development and learning.
  • Balancing a breadth of knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences with depth of knowledge within a discipline.

2. Construction of Knowledge. Graduates demonstrate habits of thinking, including analytical skills, independent thinking, reasoned judgment, mature values, and imagination:

  • Utilizing the tools of inquiry of the humanities, arts, mathematics, and behavioral, social, and natural sciences to understand and evaluate ideas.
  • Developing habits of critical intellectual inquiry, including self-direction and self-reflection.
  • Making connections from different intellectual perspectives and multiple viewpoints to form cross-disciplinary connections.
  • Utilizing research skills of the liberal arts and sciences, including library and data retrieval skills, to study and evaluate information.

3. Communication of Knowledge. Graduates communicate effectively:

  • Writing clearly in a variety of academic and practical formats.
  • Speaking effectively in a variety of settings.
  • Utilizing technology as a tool to inform and communicate.

4. Application of Knowledge. Graduates create standards-based learning experiences that make knowledge accessible, exciting, and meaningful for all students:

  • Using multiple representations and explanations of disciplinary concepts that capture key ideas and link them to students’ prior understandings.
  • Using different viewpoints, theories, “ways of knowing,’ and methods of inquiry in teaching of subject matter content.
  • Evaluating curriculum for their comprehensiveness, accuracy, and usefulness for representing particular ideas and concepts.
  • Engaging students in generating knowledge and testing hypotheses according to the methods of inquiry and standards of evidence used in the discipline
  • Developing and using curricula that encourage students to see and interpret ideas from diverse perspectives.
  • Creating interdisciplinary learning experiences that allow inquiry from several subject areas.