During fall 2015, the Student Affairs Executive Team developed division-wide learning outcomes. The team began by reviewing the learning outcomes of other student affairs divisions, the Learning and Development Outcomes established by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, and the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes developed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. They then imagined a student walking across the stage at graduation and answered the question, "If the student could only demonstrate three areas of knowledge, skills, or abilities that they learned as a result of our programs and services, what should those three areas be?" Through this exercise, the team identified the most important knowledge, skills, and abilities students should possess as a result of participating in our programs and services.

In the end, the team agreed on the following learning domains: social and emotional competence, purpose and intentionality, cultural and human appreciation, community engagement, and problem solving. The team's goal was to make the learning domains broad enough to encompass all of our programs and services, yet, specific enough to measure. They were written intentionally to address the learning experiences of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The team then turned the learning domains and outcomes over to the Student Affairs Assessment Advisory Group who developed the following:

The Assessment Advisory Group also examined the overlap between our learning outcomes and other learning outcomes across the university. Throughout the process, the group provided regular updates to the Student Affairs Executive Team and Leadership Council. They also incorporated staff and student feedback into the learning domain descriptions.

Next Steps

Going forward, our goals are to:

  • Share the division's learning outcomes more broadly
  • Obtain feedback on the learning outcomes and assessment plan from staff at other institutions
  • Review and implement new assessments as appropriate
  • Increase and update technology for tracking participation data
  • Continue working with staff on collecting program and service participation data
  • Develop an assessment plan for measuring graduate student learning
  • Explore the possibility of creating a comprehensive set of university-wide co-curricular learning outcomes
  • Develop and share our first division-wide learning outcomes report