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Institutional Learning Outcomes

Institutional learning outcomes describe the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes UNC envisions for all students.  Our institutional learning outcomes articulate qualities that all college-educated people should possess as well as the unique characteristics that define graduates of the University of Northern Colorado.

UNC’s current institutional learning outcomes were developed nearly 20 years ago.  In our recent HLC self-study, we identified updating our institutional learning outcomes as an area for future action.  In response to this finding, the Provost charged the University Assessment Council to lead the campus in developing institutional learning outcomes through a process that

  • Is inclusive and transparent;
  • Offers broad opportunities for input from faculty, staff, and students; and
  • Results in a set of clearly articulated learning goals that reflect the values and priorities of the UNC community.

Institutional Learning Outcomes Process

UNC’s current institutional learning outcomes (ILOs) first appeared in the 1996-1997 Catalog.  Minor revisions occurred in 2002-2003, but they have remained essentially the same since their adoption in the 1990s.  The current ILOs were created in the 1990’s and have become outdated and not widely known or used at UNC.  In response to the Provost’s charge, the University Assessment Council developed a first draft in spring 2016, and information from campus surveys and feedback meetings was used to make revisions. A final version that reflects broad input from the UNC community was completed in academic year 2016-2017.  

Information about the process used to develop the ILOs is available in the following reports:

UNC's Institutional Learning Outcomes

Based on broad input from faculty, staff, alumni, and students, the University Assessment Council developed the following institutional learning outcomes:

  1. Mastering Foundational Skills
    1. Describe how knowledge is discovered in various fields of study. 
    2. Apply critical thinking to analyze, integrate, and evaluation information. 
    3. Apply ethical principles to evaluate and make decisions. 
    4. Make informed decisions using numeric and scientific information. 
    5. Express ideas through multiple media and modes of communication. 
  2. Strengthening Interactions with Others
    1. Develop the capacity to understand and interact effectively with other whose identities, beliefs, behaviors, and values differ from their own. 
    2. Demonstrate teamwork skills that enable collaboration. 
    3. Develop and sustain mutually beneficial relationships. 
    4. Demonstrate the capacity to engage in civic, social and political responsibilities. 
  3. Connecting Ideas and Experiences
    1. Apply multidisciplinary perspectives to gain new insights into issues and concepts. 
    2. Describe issues from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, geographic, and global perspectives. 
    3. Evaluate the social, economic, political, and environmental consequences of individual and group actions. 
    4. Connect experiences in and out of the classroom.
  4. Developing Professional Competence
    1. Use the tools, terminology, and methods related to their program of study. 
    2. Apply the standards and practices of their major or program of study.
  5. Engaging in Healthy Behaviors
    1. Describe factors that impact the health and wellness of individuals and their communities. 
    2. Reflect critically on their own personal growth. 
    3. Demonstrate practices that promote health and well-being.