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The Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching, and University Assessment

Assessment: Student Success Plan


1) Students will engage in CRITICAL THINKING.

Thinking critically promotes imagination and intuition along with reasoning and evaluation. These diverse abilities contribute to achieving perspective, constructing and discerning relationships, and gaining understanding. Confidence in working with data and materials, skepticism in analyzing arguments or presentations, persistence in engaging complex problems and facility in communicating about technical matters are central to thinking critically. A skillful use of written and spoken languages, and informed use of mathematics and an ability to employ contemporary information sources are integral to thinking critically.


Liberal learning cultivates the perspective that present cultural circumstances are an historical and a changing situation. Decisions about what is to be studied, the forms in which knowledge appears and the ways reasoning develops are to be continually examined. Ways of knowing need active attention: gender, class, racial identity, ethnicity, economic status and regional identity condition our understanding; temporal and spatial relationships, institutional traditions, religious commitments, philosophic perspectives, and political objectives shape our assumptions; influences originating beyond geographic and social boundaries affect what we know. Crucial to our future is knowledge of the conceptual frameworks and achievements of the arts, sciences, and technology, as well as understanding of the earth’s ecosystem and the character of global society.


A healthy exchange of conflicting ideas and differing viewpoints encourages rethinking of accepted perspectives; it requires making choices and taking risks. Diversity among learners, a supportive atmosphere of group work, active listening, opportunities for presenting and criticizing the results of inquiry and creative effort encourage learning, aid growth and stimulate imagination. Thoughtful and systematic inquiry about the learning process supports shared efforts, and positive advising situations and experiences outside the classroom reinforce them.

4) Students will REFLECT AND ACT.

Thinking critically and understanding contexts for knowledge in an engaging learning situation lead to reflection and informed action. Making thoughtful decisions and examining their consequences enhance personal moral commitment, enrich ethical understanding, and strengthen civic participation.

Adopted by University Council, April 6, 1987

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