Office of Academic Assessment

Student Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) represent the knowledge and skills a program has determined are most important for students to acquire - they state what students should know and be able to do after completing the program. SLOs should be specific and measurable so programs can accurately assess how well students have achieved the outcomes.  Programs then use this achievement data to improve their programs and support even greater student success. When programs have specific and measurable SLOs, they can also more clearly align their programs with college and institution mission and values.

Here is a link to Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment Plans for all academic programs:

According to NILOA’s Transparency Framework, Use of Student Learning Evidence represents the extent to which programs and the institution make use of their data. Evidence of student learning should be used to identify potential changes in policies and practices that may lead to improvement, inform institutional decision-making, identify problems, plan and set goals, guide faculty and staff development, guide course revision and,- program review, and to demonstrate accountability for accreditation self-study.

UW-Whitewater is committed to providing experiences that enhance student learning and development, which is articulated in the university's Strategic Plan 2017-2022. Goal 2 of the Strategic Plan states that we will build upon the strong foundation of our LEAP (Liberal Education and America's Promise) initiative to define, establish, and promote High-Impact Practices (HIPs).

Participation in UW-Whitewater High-Impact Practices

UW-Whitewater is committed to providing experiences that enhance student learning and development, which is articulated in the university's  Strategic Plan 2017-2022. Goal 2 of the Strategic Plan states that we will build upon the strong foundation of our  LEAP (Liberal Education and America's Promise) initiative to define, establish, and promote  High-Impact Practices (HIPs). The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater seeks to define High Impact Practices and communicate their relevance in an effort to promote a culture of engagement, increase participation of HIPs among underrepresented populations, and promote effective implementation for optimal engagement for all students. UWW participates in a wide range of High Impact Practices such as: Honors; Learning Communities, Freshman Year Seminar (New Student Seminar); Study Away; Undergraduate Research Program; Student Employment, Athletics, and Community Based Learning. UWW offers a “suite” of HIPs, making several HIPs available from the moment students arrive on campus and continuing throughout their experience at UWW. Several opportunities extend across multiple years, giving students the chance to continue in experiences they find rewarding.

NASH TS3 HIPs at UW-Whitewater

The National Association of System Heads (NASH) selected the University of Wisconsin System as one of four systems to participate in a focused project within its Taking Student Success to Scale (TS3) initiative. This project is focused on defining, assessing, and "scaling up" High Impact Practices (HIPs) to make them accessible and of high quality and impact for all students. UW-Whitewater will initially focus on Community-Based Learning and Student Employment.

The work on defining best practices for these two HIPs will inform the scaling of other HIPs across our university.

A one-day, two-track workshop took place on Wednesday, January 16th. One track focused on Community-Based Learning (CBL), and the other track focused on Student Employment. The aim of the workshop was to define the essential learning outcomes for CBL and Student Employment at UW-W, and to create a rubric to evaluate them in all CBL courses and in all student employment experiences.

University Learning Outcomes

According to NILOA’s Transparency Framework, “ Student learning outcomes statements clearly state the expected knowledge, skills, attitudes, competencies, and habits of mind that students are expected to acquire at an institution of higher education”.  UW-Whitewater has the following Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Baccalaureate Essential Learning Outcomes (LEAP ELOs).
  • General Education Learning Outcomes (GELOs).
  • Master's-Level Education Learning Outcomes (MELOs).

UW-Whitewater's Baccalaureate Learning Outcomes (ELOs)

In 2010, UW-Whitewater adopted the Essential Learning Outcomes from the Association of American Colleges and Universities as our baccalaureate learning outcomes for our campus.  All students seeking a bachelor's degree are expected to achieve the UW-Whitewater Essential Learning Outcomes through their studies in general education, their major and minor, their elective courses, and through experiences gained in co-curricular  and extra-curricular activities.

These ELOs are:

  1. Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World
    • Through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts
  2. Intellectual and Practical Skills
    • Inquiry and analysis
    • Critical and creative thinking
    • Written and oral communication
    • Quantitative literacy
    • Information literacy
    • Teamwork and problem solving
  3. Personal and Social Responsibility
    • Civic knowledge and engagement - local and global
    • Intercultural knowledge and competence
    • Ethical reasoning and action
    • Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
  4. Integrative Learning
    • Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies

General Education Learning Outcomes (GELOs)

General Education Program provides the foundation for success in college, work and life. Rapid change, globalization and
diversity are the hallmarks of today's world. The general education program ensures that all Warhawks have the opportunity
to develop the intellectual and practical skills, breadth of knowledge and appreciation for interconnections among areas of
study that employers and society expect of today's college graduate.

The goals of the general education program are to help students develop the skills and knowledge that are needed for success
in our rapidly changing, increasingly diverse and interconnected world.

These GELOs are:

  1. Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Natural World
  2. Critical and Creative Thinking
  3. Communication Skills
  4. Information Literacy
  5. Quantitative Reasoning
  6. Personal and Civic Responsibility
  7. Foundations for Life-Long Learning

The School of Graduate Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater oversees programs whose goal is to provide high quality, practitioner-oriented programs that use knowledge and skills acquired through baccalaureate degrees as a foundation for advanced preparation and professional development for careers in business and industry, education and human services. The graduate programs achieve this through provision of learner-centered processes which couple professional experiences with advanced knowledge and highly-refined analytic, communicative and functional skills such that their students are capable of performances that characterize the best practices of their profession. 

Master's-Level Education Learning Outcomes (MELOs)

  1. Advanced abilities in gathering, investigating, documenting, analyzing, interpreting, evaluating, and synthesizing complex information from the discipline and its practice.
  2. Ability to apply discipline-specific skills (e.g., procedures, techniques, craft, technology and tool use) and knowledge (e.g., ideas, problems, concepts, vocabulary, history and theory of the discipline) to real-world contexts.
  3. Highly developed functional skills and behaviors necessary for maturing professionals including self-direction, problem-solving, decision-making, collaboration, and the capacity for networking and leadership.
  4. Writing skills that reflect advanced practice in professional contexts.
  5. Effective oral communication and interpersonal skills that support successful interaction with colleagues and professionally relevant constituents.
  6. A capacity to recognize ethical challenges relevant to disciplinary practice and the ability to articulate and justify a professional response.
  7. The ability to understand and respond effectively to the diverse interests and needs of domestic and global colleagues and constituents served by the discipline and its practice.
  8. Recognition of the need for continuous professional development through self-directed learning and on-going engagement with colleagues and other professionals.