Fall 2014 Undergraduate Catalog
The University

University learning outcomes

Each of the major areas of study at Bowling Green State University holds high and explicit expectations for student learning; these expectations are embodied in learning outcomes for each of the majors. Even though the learning outcomes are necessarily different from major to major – to accommodate the specialized knowledge of music to marketing; health to history; teacher preparation to technology – all our majors share fundamental educational values, which are described by the University Learning Outcomes. The University Learning Outcomes are also expectations of our general education program and of the many facets of student life, ranging from residence halls to student clubs and organizations. Thus, the University Learning Outcomes are a statement of our common responsibility for shared educational values, despite differences in the content of the many majors, disciplines, and activities offered at Bowling Green State University.

Intellectual and Practical Skills

  • Critical and Constructive Thinking
    • Inquiry – a close examination of an issue or situation in a search for information or truth; determining what questions should be asked; recognizing opportunities; formulating hypotheses; seeking information and evaluating claims; making discoveries and reaching new understandings; and making informed judgments.
    • Examining Values – observing carefully and critically to identify the values, principles, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable in a dilemma, situation, problem, or decision.
    • Solving Problems Creatively – generating a solution for a problem through original, imaginative, innovative, or artistic effort, including problems that are complex, ambiguous, and difficult to formulate.
  • Communication
    • Writing – communicate clearly and effectively to an identified audience. To be effective, written communication should be informed by audience analysis, demonstrate reflection, employ critical thinking, and make appropriate use of supporting argument and citation.
    • Presenting – speak, show, demonstrate, exhibit, or perform for an individual or group. Effective presentation engages the intended audience, includes the use of non-verbal forms of communication, and may employ a variety of media.
  • Engaging Others in Action
    • Participating – active engagement in some activity, including shared effort, understanding others’ points of view, the lively exchange of ideas, compromise, and contributing to the group’s product.
    • Leading – guiding or influencing a group to achieve its goals. Leading does not require formal authority or power but rather is a matter of influence, integrity, spirit, and mutual respect.

General and Specialized Knowledge

To be an effective and prepared citizen, capable of understanding and responding to the diverse challenges present in the modern world, students must be conversant with the core concepts of disciplines in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities and arts, along with knowledge related to human learning, interaction, and enterprise. Just as breadth of knowledge is a cornerstone of a liberal education, so too is expertise in a particular disciplinary area or major. Both breadth and depth are important concepts, not just in terms of acquired disciplinary knowledge, but also for development of the skills and methods necessary to explore issues that arise in day-to-day life.

Personal and Social Responsibility

BGSU recognizes and intentionally fosters a learning environment in which students strive for excellence, cultivate personal and academic integrity, contribute to a larger community, take seriously the perspectives of others, and develop competence in ethical and moral reasoning, as shown by:

  • Interacting with and understanding diverse perspectives.
  • Engaging communities as a participant and leader using civic and professional knowledge as a basis for values-driven action.
  • Giving full consideration to ethical integrity and actions consistent with one’s principles as part of each individual’s exploration of purpose. A balanced approach to questions of meaning also includes preparation for students' multiple and changing roles, including work, citizenship, family, and membership in multiple communities.

Integrate, Apply, and Reflect
Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies as evidenced in project-based work systematically collected throughout the duration of the student’s enrollment. Such projects draw on all of the skills and fields of knowledge described above. What has been learned from accumulated experiences is recorded in written reflections.

A BGSU education provides the foundation for a lifetime of continued learning, self-awareness, career success, contribution to community, and purposeful living. Evaluating the achievement of these University Learning Outcomes is critical and may take many forms, including the use of electronic portfolios and proposed national metarubrics (see http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/provost/value/index.html). Demonstrating quality performance on each of the learning outcomes is the hallmark of a BGSU graduate.