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Sustainability Student Learning Outcomes


Meghann Jarchow, Shane Nordyke, Paul Formisano, Matt Sayre

All academic majors at most universities have student learning outcomes (SLOs).  These SLOs state the knowledge, attitudes, and competencies that students are expected to have gained through the major.  Because sustainability is relatively new as an academic field of study, there has only been a limited amount of research assessing SLOs for sustainability.  The focus of our research on SLOs at USD is (1) to make our SLOs available to the public and (2) test student progress toward our SLOs.

The SLOs for the sustainability major at USD are:

  1. Students will demonstrate mastery of sustainability knowledge.

    1. Students will demonstrate mastery of social or environmental sustainability knowledge within their chosen area of specialization.

    2. Students will demonstrate mastery of interdisciplinary thinking.

  2. Students will work cooperatively to address sustainability issues using a systems-thinking approach.

    1. Students will work with others respectfully to accomplish shared goals.

    2. Students will use a systems-thinking approach to assess issues.

  3. Students will communicate proficiently about sustainability, both orally and in writing.

    1. Students will deliver well-organized content orally to designated audience(s).

    2. Students will compose readable prose that effectively conveys content to designated audience(s).

  4. Students will apply their knowledge of the social or environmental aspects of sustainability within their chosen area of specialization.

    1. Students will apply their knowledge of sustainability to a real-world issue.

    2. Students will identify, participate in, and reflect on sustainability-related community-based or experiential learning activities.

Members of the Sustainability Advisory Committee are using student assessments to examine student progress towards these SLOs.

Sustainability SLO background photo.JPG
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