Assessment of Student Learning

Wilson College is committed to implementing a comprehensive, college-wide student learning assessment program. The mission of the student learning assessment program is to ensure a Wilson College culture of continuous academic enhancement that is driven by student learning and development.

Institutional Learning Goals

The Institutional Learning Goals* articulate seven essential learning goals for students at Wilson College and reflect the values in the college’s mission. A specific set of learning outcomes follows each essential goal in order to help students, faculty, and staff develop a fuller, shared vocabulary for learning. These goals and outcomes apply across the curriculum and co-curriculum; thus, students will be provided multiple opportunities to develop relevant skills and knowledge through classes in the liberal arts curriculum, in their majors, and during experiences beyond the classroom. The goals and outcomes are stated broadly so that students, faculty, and staff may adapt them to a variety of learning contexts.

Overall, the learning goals represent the common core skills and knowledge students will attain during their years at Wilson College. They are:

COMMUNICATION (W1): Students will write and speak well in different contexts.

Outcomes: Communication skills are demonstrated by the student’s ability to

a)      use composing processes to write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences;

b)      deliver effective oral presentations;

c)     achieve proficiency in a language other than English at the intermediate-low level or above.

CRITICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING (W2): Students will analyze, synthesize, and interpret texts, images, beliefs, experiences, or other information.   

Outcomes: Critical and/or creative thinking skills are evidenced by the student’s ability to

a)      demonstrate quantitative literacy;

b)      demonstrate information literacy;

c)      analyze and interpret texts, images, or experiences;

d)      analyze evidence to make a judgement or solve theoretical, practical, or aesthetic problems.

DISCIPLINARY AND INTERDISCIPLINARY KNOWLEDGE (W3): Students will learn across the Wilson College Foundations and Liberal Arts curriculum, achieving depth of knowledge in at least one field of study and breadth of knowledge through study in science, mathematics, social science, humanities, history, languages, and the arts.

Outcomes: Depth and breadth of knowledge are evidenced by the student’s ability to

         a)      demonstrate understanding of the histories, traditions, and/or institutions of western cultures;

         b)      analyze environmental issues and/or human interactions with nature;

         c)      develop strategies for overall wellness and physical fitness.

ETHICAL AWARENESS (W4): Students will become practiced at ethical reflection.

Outcomes: Ethical awareness is demonstrated by the student’s ability to

a)      identify and analyze moral claims and make ethical arguments;

b)      work cooperatively and responsibly within a group, in keeping with the Wilson College Honor Principle.

ENGAGING DIVERSITY (W5): Students will demonstrate awareness of their own culture in comparison with other cultures and communities, within the United States and globally. Additionally, students will learn about the obstacles women and minorities face now and historically and the contributions they have made to cultures despite those obstacles. 

Outcomes: Engaging diversity is demonstrated by the student’s ability to

a)      analyze the implications of global interdependence in relation to cultures, languages, worldviews, politics, economics, and/or environmental issues;

b)      demonstrate understanding of the historical and/or contemporary position of women and minorities in the U.S. or in other cultures.

RESEARCH (W6): Students will conduct research, collaboratively or independently, using methods and tools that are appropriate to their discipline.

Outcomes: Research skills are evidenced by the student’s ability to

a)      demonstrate proficiency in at least one field of study through required coursework in the major including at least one capstone experience, such as a senior thesis, art exhibit, senior-level course, internship, service learning project, or portfolio of written work;

b)      effectively implement the research process in the major.

INTEGRATION AND APPLICATION OF LEARNING (W7): Students will integrate learning in the major and across the Wilson College Liberal Arts curriculum to deepen engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring.

Outcomes: Integration of skills and knowledge is demonstrated by the student’s ability to

a)      connect learning from multiple courses;

b)      connect learning inside and outside of the classroom.


*These goals and outcomes are modeled on The Essential Learning Outcomes as identified in a number of AAC&U documents, including Greater Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College (2002) and others. The format and tone are modeled on IUPUI’s Principles of Undergraduate Learning.  Some competencies have been modeled on documents from the American Library Association and the Writing Program Administrators. 


Wilson College
1015 Philadelphia Ave.
Chambersburg, PA 17201
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