Student Assurance of Learning Goals

What is Assurance of Learning?

What should business school graduates know and be able to do as they move from their college classes to their professional careers?  How do we know that UW-Whitewater students are graduating with the skills and knowledge that they will need in order to succeed in business? 

Our process, called “assurance of learning,” develops and reviews goals or outcomes for student learning, measures those goals in classes, and then assesses student strengths and weaknesses in meeting the goals and standards.

If faculty discover a challenge or weakness, they will work together to find better ways to teach and engage students so that the weakness is addressed and student learning is improved.  They might suggest different homework assignments, new presentations, new readings, or different ways of learning, such as using online practice sets, or even new courses or curricula. 

The college continuously develops and revises goals, working with our alumni, advisory boards, and recruiters as well as reviewing research on business expectations.  Faculty monitor changes in their own fields and what students will need to be able to do as they graduate.  Instructors report students’ performance regularly, and each fall all business faculty gather to review the data and make plans for helping students be even more successful, to “assure” that they are learning all the skills they will  need.  Below are the learning goals for both undergraduates and MBA students.

Goals for Bachelor of Business Administration Graduates

The College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater is cultivating graduates prepared to be successful business leaders.  By graduation, it is our goal that all students will be:

  • Ethical and able to identify ethical issues
  • Globally aware
  • Sound decision makers
  • Analytical

Faculty teaching core business courses will measure and track students’ performance on these goals.  The college reports results to faculty, to advisory boards, to students, and to accreditors.  We strive to improve student performance on these goals by regular review and changes in teaching and curriculum.

These ideas and goals will be present throughout each student’s College of Business and Economics experience, with certain courses focusing specifically on selected goals.  Students will learn the importance of each objective and how it can be applied to their future careers.

Goals for Master of Business Administration Graduates

The University of Wisconsin – Whitewater’s MBA program is advancing students to be leaders and executives in their professions.  The College of Business and Economics wants its MBA graduates to be able to:

  1. Think Globally
    1. Evaluate the impact of culture on business strategies.
    2. Develop business strategies that adapt to international environments.
  2. Behave Ethically
    1. Apply appropriate theories and models to assess divergent perspectives of ethical dilemmas.
  3. Innovate
    1. Create strategies and identify structures, and processes that exploit technology for innovative business opportunities and solutions.
  4. Make Strategic Decisions
    1. Generate alternative strategic actions in business situations.
    2. Choose and defend strategies that sustain competitive advantage.
  5. Think Critically
    1. Define the problems in business situations.
    2. Identify relevant information for making business decisions.
    3. Analyze quantitative and qualitative information useful in determining actions
  6. Communicate, Negotiate, and Persuade
    1. Develop messages that are appropriate in style, tone, and content for communications situations.
  7. Manage Projects
    1. Plan and allocate resources for completing projects.
    2. Determine means for evaluating project success.
  8. Lead
    1. Determine means for leading, evaluating, and motivating staff.
    2. Lead teams effectively.

The College of Business and Economics requires students to take classes with these goals interwoven into the course subject matter.   Faculty keep goals of the program as constant themes in each course, whether or not the subject matter is specific to one particular goal. 

Students complete courses in three major module areas:  technology, global, and strategic.  Graduate faculty measure student outcomes each time they teach selected MBA courses.  Every year, faculty meet together to discuss student performance and set goals for improving teaching and learning.