Defining Student Learning Outcomes
How are students different when they exit a program?"
The first step of the assessment process is to answer this question with approximately 3-5 outcomes that map to the knowledge and capabilities students should demonstrate upon completing a program.
Learning outcomes will vary from program to program, and may shift over time as faculty update the curriculum and degree requirements. Well-defined outcomes should always follow SMART criteria to ensure that they continue to provide realistic, usable data for program-level assessment.
Examples of Student Learning Outcomes
BA, European and Mediterranean Studies
Upon completion of program requirements, students are expected to have developed:
- The ability to conduct research, including the use of library resources, archives, and relevant technologies.
- Effective written and oral presentation skills.
- The ability to think about European issues from the perspective of multiple disciplines, possibly including history, politics, political theory, international relations, sociology, anthropology and the arts.
- Knowledge of the current circumstances of the European Union and European politics.
- An understanding of a particular European region, possibly including the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, Western Europe, the British Isles, or Iberia.
Adv. Cert., Public History and Archives
All students in the Advanced Certificate Program are expected to accomplish the following:
- Master the core theoretical issues, conceptual frameworks, and literature that inform their area of concentration by reading the literature of the field.
- Demonstrate proficiency in applying theoretical concepts in their area of concentration by developing and implementing projects in collaboration with archives or public history institutions.
- Demonstrate the ability to conceptualize and conduct research projects in their area of concentration by developing an original piece of scholarship.
- Master the legal, ethical, and professional standards that define their area of concentration, as well as the historical issues that inform those standards by reading relevant literature in participating in professional organizations and discourses.
- Use relevant technologies and methodologies common to practitioners in their area of concentration by conceptualizing and implementing research projects.
PhD, Neural Science
Upon completion of the PhD program, students will have acquired the skills necessary for becoming a successful neuroscientist. These include:
- A firm grasp of the background literature that is relevant to the student’s field of study. Students are expected to become experts in their specialties but also be knowledgeable about basic principles in the many areas of neuroscience.
- The ability to produce original research in a chosen specialty, including the development and formulation of a testable hypotheses, and design and execution of experiments to test the hypotheses.
- The ability to give oral presentations about their data to their peers. Students should be able to explain their results to a broad audience consisting of undergraduate students to experts in their fields.
- Be aware of ethical issues regarding research. This includes the use of human subjects and animals, research misconduct, and publication practice
- Be proficient in writing articles for submission to scientific journals.
- The ability to write and submit grant proposals to federal and private funding agencies.
Departmental goals for all chemistry graduate students receiving a master’s degree:
- Mastery of fundamental technical/mathematical knowledge of foundational areas of Physics. This includes mastering of Classical Electromagnetism, Dynamics, Statistical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics, as well as being fluent in the use of numerical techniques applied to solutions of physical problems.
- A full understanding of and familiarity with experimental techniques such as setting up an experiment, analyzing data, separating spurious effects from data etc.
- The ability to either: a) perform supervised research on an assigned research topic, either in an experimental setting or in a theoretical setting; or b) master advanced knowledge, either theoretical, mathematical or experimental, specific to the area of specialization of the student.
- The ability to communicate results of research and established knowledge to various audiences.
PhD, Media, Culture, and Communication
- Display fluency in core texts and scholarly literature, contemporary theory, and key debates in media, culture, and communication.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the range of research and methodological approaches relevant to the study of media and communication. In addition, students will demonstrate mastery of one specific methodology through original research.
- Acquire advanced specialist knowledge in several specific areas of study: Global and Transcultural Studies, Technology and Society, Visual Culture and Sound Studies, Media Institutions and Politics, Critical Theories of Media and Communication.
- Analyze and synthesize scholarship in a range of disciplines related to media, culture, and communication and understand the ways in which these disciplinary perspectives are integrated and transformed through interdisciplinary study.
- Produce original research on topics of media, culture, and communication.
BA, Social and Cultural Analysis
- Develop the intellectual tools for critical thinking about the social, cultural, and political formations in the major area.
- Acquire a general familiarity with main theoretical constructs relevant for thinking about race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, space, and nation in relation to social, cultural and political phenomena.
- Develop proficiency in written and oral communication.
- Develop skills in the research methods and approaches of social and cultural analysis:
- ethnographic; and
- Demonstrate engagement and familiarity with primary texts in the field.
Allied Health Science
MPH, Community and International Health
The program's goals are to prepare health professionals to:
- Identify and assess preventable health problems among diverse population groups in the United States and internationally.
- Identify the social, cultural, economic, environmental, and institutional factors that contribute to the risk of health problems among diverse populations.
- Develop educational and other population-based intervention strategies to improve morbidity and mortality and to improve quality of life.
- Develop policies to reduce barriers to improved health status.
- Apply population-based research findings to the development and implementation of health policies and programs in the United States and in low-income and developing countries.
- Apply principles of ethical reasoning and professional practice to advance health equity and social justice in the United States and in international settings.
MS, Clinical Research in Dentistry
By the end of the Master of Science in Clinical Research Program, each graduate will be able to independently demonstrate the following competencies:
- Identify, construct, and analyze the key elements of a randomized controlled trial (RCT), and understand how each element is executed.
- Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate the clinical research literature from both observational and experimental studies in relation to study design, sample size and power, statistical tests applied, validity of the observed results, and the impact of the study on the field.
- Apply statistical methods to data to test a hypothesis using the appropriate analytical methods and derive valid conclusions.
- Distinguish the elements of ICH-GCP E6 Good Clinical Practice as a format for conducting a clinical trial.
- Define the U.S. Good Clinical Practice regulations and the appropriate federal groups that oversee clinical trials.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the Belmont Report, including the difference between research and therapy, the ethical principles, the characteristics of autonomy, and the special review of vulnerable populations.
- Analyze and evaluate data collection forms (CRFs) and design databases to collect data for a simple clinical study.
- Query and validate data obtained during a clinical study.
- Develop statistical programs that are typically used in industry-based RCTs.
- Demonstrate the ability to analyze the grade level language used in an informed consent form.
- Demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate a completed RCT protocol and a grant proposal.
- Demonstrate skills in writing an NIH-style clinical trial research grant proposal.
- Identify the various types of observational epidemiological studies, the elements comprising such studies, the strengths/weaknesses of observational studies, and the analytical approach used to analyze these studies.
- Demonstrate judgment and skills in administratively solving ‘real’ problems posed in a virtual (or simulated) clinical trial.
- Demonstrate skills in performing aspects of an ongoing clinical research study such as recruiting study subjects, obtaining informed consent, collecting and managing data, auditing and monitoring data, and analyzing data, as appropriate to the study.
MM, Theory and Composition
- Students will compose pieces of their own design.
- Students will select the best practices necessary for their career in music composition.
- Students will integrate choreographers, visual artists, writers, filmmakers and other scholars in other fields into their own works.
- Students will develop musical, technical and interpersonal skills through immersion into the profession, such as exposure to leading professional figures, associations, and environs.
- Students will develop an enterprising and creative spirit.
Upon completion of the requirements of the MFA in Acting, students are expected to have developed the following:
- The skills and techniques required to become a flexible, robust actor in an ever-changing world.
- Curiosity and the ability to observe human behavior with accuracy and without sentimentality.
- The ability to approach performance in a conservatory setting.
- The ability to prepare for the rigors and discipline of performance in a professional venue.
- The ability to work with an ensemble and to embrace the historical continuum of training at Acting.
- An awareness of the human condition and a sensitivity to the responsibility of portraying a human being in a complex society.
MA, Education and Social Policy
- Students will apply principles of economics and sociology to formulate and analyze K-12 and higher education policies.
- Students will conduct descriptive and inferential statistical analyses using large longitudinal education databases to interpret and identify causal effects of programs and policies and to apply conclusions to make policy recommendations.
- Students will understand the policies already implemented as well as needs for additional policies in their chosen areas. They will be able to participate in quantitative studies to further evaluate existing policies and to provide evidence on the possible effects of new policies.
- Achieve proficiency: Students will achieve professional levels of competence in core functions of business, including written communication skills, and understanding of the principle theories of international politics and economics.
- Intellectualism: Students will exhibit intellectual curiosity, high levels of intellectual engagement, and open mindedness to new ideas and alternative points of view.
- Global experiences: Students will demonstrate their understanding of different cultural and political environments around the world and their ability to work professionally in a cross cultural environment.
- Social impact: Students will achieve an understanding of the role of business within our global society.