Oregon State University

College of Liberal Arts

APAA - Assessment

1. Department of Anthropology

Upon completion of the anthropology major, and regardless of concentration (cultural, archaeology or biocultural), students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate cultural sensitivity in interpersonal and cross-cultural interactions;
  • Define cultural relativity and ethnocentrism and explain how these concepts can either inform or hinder the understanding of different worldviews and practices;
  • Demonstrate the ability to work effectively in groups where not all members share an identical worldview.
Learning Outcomes Cultural Anthropology Concentration
Upon completion of the cultural concentration, students will be able to:
  • List and describe basic concepts in cultural anthropology and apply them to different social groups and social processes;
  • Identify unequal relationships of power within groups, within societies, and globally;
  • Conduct ethnographic research, analyze outcomes, and communicate findings in both oral and written formats.
  • Learning Outcomes - Biocultural Anthropology Concentration
Upon completion of the biocultural concentration, students will be able to:
  • Identify the three interconnected influences of the biocultural approach -- evolutionary biology, political-economy and culture -- and discuss how an integrated biocultural framework informs theoretical and applied research in human variation, human biology, and medical anthropology;
  • Trace the historical development of the "new" biocultural synthesis, and describe how it has informed the anthropological discipline generally and medical anthropology more specifically;
  • Write and defend, both verbally and in written format, thesis statements that successfully use the biocultural paradigm.
Learning Outcomes – Archaeology Concentration
Upon completion of the archaeology concentration, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate the field and laboratory skills necessary to collect, analyze, and curate the material remains of past cultures and their environments, and to interpret those remains within the context of current archaeological theory;
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the diversity of past cultures and life ways dating to the prehistoric and early historic eras of North America, and be able to place specific sites within their environmental and culture-historical context. 
  • Discuss ethical issues and legal responsibilities concerning cultural resource management, and demonstrate the ability to follow professional standards for the acquisition, study, and curation of prehistoric and historic cultural remains.
  • 2. Department of Art

    • To prepare students adequately for admission into Graduate Level programs in Art History.
    • To provide students with a broad understanding of Western and European Art.
    • To provide students with a strong background in non-Western Art.
    • To provide students with an exposure to international travel.
    • To enable Art History students to develop writing/communication skills in the area of clarity, style, appropriate use of writing convention, voice, and presentation.
    • To provide students with exposure to research methodologies appropriate to Art History.
  • 3. Department of Economics

    • Present economic theory and applications in written and oral form.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory.
    • Apply economic theory to issues in fields of economics.
    • Explain basic estimators and their properties, estimate economic models using data, test hypotheses, forecast, and interpret estimates.
  • 4. School of Writing, Literature, and Film

    At completion of degree requirements, the English major should be able to:

    • Write effective arguments about a variety of literary and cultural texts.
    • Use information literacy and new technologies to plan and conduct research appropriate to initial and advanced study in English.
    • Recognize and interpret a wide variety of texts and genres (may include visual, material, inter-cultural texts), using a range of theoretical and interpretive strategies, including close reading.
    • Demonstrate the role of context(s) in production, reception, and transmission of literary and cultural texts (across periods, histories, geographical/national spaces, and cultural differences).
  • 5. Department of Ethnic Studies

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the experiences and histories of people of color in the United States, not as separate histories, but as intrinsic to U.S. and world history
    • Critically engage and learn from different voices and perspectives in creative literature, art, and film produced by members of racialized ethnic groups
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the politics of representation as they affect racialized ethnic groups
    • Demonstrate knowledge of:
      • traditional scholarship which explores the root causes and effects of racism, prejudice, discrimination
      • more current social and cultural theories which explore the construction and articulation of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality
      • the historical and contemporary causes of immigration to the United States
      • the experiences of immigrants in the United States and the ways in which they historically have been incorporated or excluded from national agendas
      • how the ebb and flow of Third World migrations impact the various ethnic minority groups in the U.S.
      • how people of color have cooperated at various historical moments in struggle against racism, sexism, economic exploitation, heterosexism, and for the rights of indigenous people throughout the world
    • Demonstrate an understanding of ways in which oppressions such as racism, sexism and heterosexism not only involve individual acts and attitudes but function systemically as well
    • Develop and utilize a critical framework for understanding dynamics of race and/or ethnicity in the world in which they live
    • Demonstrate experience working in a social service agency or organization which serves communities of color through their internship requirement
    • Demonstrate strong analytical and communication skills both in oral and written form
  • 6. Department of Foreign Languages

    • Improve skills to communicate interculturally in order to devise and exchange ideas clearly and effectively.
    • Acquire knowledge and critical appreciation of the diversity of human cultural and social experiences
  • 7. Department of History

    Upon graduating from OSU with a Bachelor of Arts in History, students will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of the major themes, chronology, and central historical dilemmas of United States and European history, as well as an area of non-U.S .and non-European history.
    • Speak and write about human systems from a historical perspective and conduct an intentional exploration of interconnected social, cultural, political, and economic forces contributing to change over time.
    • Develop significant historical questions and arguments, understanding the differences between significant and trivial historical questions.
    • Read widely, critically, with increased maturity and an appropriate grounding in disciplinary standards at an advanced undergraduate level—i.e., with critical curiosity about an author's argument but not necessarily an advanced familiarity with the literature of the field, and with the ability to ask appropriate questions to contextualize a primary document but not necessarily the knowledge to identify the substantive touchstones within the document.
    • Demonstrate curiosity about and comfort with sources of historical evidence, distinguish among primary and secondary sources, and assess the reliability of individual sources and their claims in the light of their perspectives, their limitations, and their interests.
    • Evaluate comparative methods of research, choose methods and sources appropriate to the historical question at hand, and pursue research aggressively and with confidence in its centrality to answering any historical question.
    • Write critically, accurately, informatively, and historically.
    • Pull together the above-named skills in an article-length senior thesis that is researched and written in the capstone senior-year seminar (HST 407).
    • As part of the Bachelor of Arts requirements, demonstrate proficiency in a second language at the level of intermediate college study.
  • 8. Department of Liberal Studies

    • Manage Information the ability to sort, compile, rank; apply knowledge to specific problems; and synthesize facts, concepts, and principles.
    • Design and Plan ~ identify options, set goals and priorities, develop plans, implement strategies, anticipate results, assess trends and needs
    • Research and Investigate know how to access information, test validity, formulates research questions, describe processes, design and plan projects
    • Communicate -listen, articulates messages, use various styles and approaches, express, convey positive self-image
    • Manage Interpersonal Relationships lead, maintain cooperation, interact, express feelings, use persuasive techniques, teach skills, understand others
    • Think Critically ~ assess, identify, adapt concepts, analyze, interpret data
    • Manage and Administer identify people and resources, delegate, motivate, organize, initiate change, take risks
    • Apply Values -asses long-range effects; make decisions for the collective good; appreciate art, literature, science and technology, know personal values, and understand diverse perspectives
    • Develop a Successful Career and Personal Life-learn from experience, match knowledge and skills with needs and values, develop ongoing learning goals, persist, dare to dream and accept consequences of one's action
  • 9. Department of Music – Instrumental Music Program

    Outcomes for undergraduate students involved in the instrumental music program (includes music majors/minors and non music-degree students).

    • Through individual applied lessons relevant to their instrument, students will play a large and varied repertoire that will challenge and develop their technical and listening skills in performance.
    • Through term-ending jury requirements, students will demonstrate technical proficiency, musicality, and skills-based development on their respective instrument
    • In their Senior year, instrumental education/performance major's all play a solo senior recital that demonstrates their individual mastery of their instrument.
  • 10. Department of New Media Communications

    • Appraise the relative merits of media technologies on multiple grounds, including:
      • their potential for individual and collective creative expression;
      • their potential to connect individuals to one another;
      • their potential to promote community; and
      • their potential as investments or business opportunities.
    • Choose media appropriate to a given task.
    • Evaluate and recommend public policy regarding media. Manage change in the media environment.
    • Evaluate media content using historic and emerging standards.

    11. Department of Philosophy

    • Critical Thinking:  Students demonstrate a capacity for critical thinking through class discussions, papers, and essay exams.  Students will show proficiency in recognizing and understanding argumentation, presenting an argument fairly and fully, and critiquing arguments through identifying mistakes in reasoning.
    • Foundational Competence:  Students demonstrate competence in the foundational areas of philosophical inquiry – history, logic, metaphysics and epistemology, and value theory.  Students will be conversant with major philosophical ideas and figures; modes of reasoning and argument-testing; views about the world, nature, and reality; and forms of relating ideas and actions in everyday experience. Students enter into this conversation through distinctive philosophical methods of questioning and dialogue.
    • Philosophical Quests and Questions:  Philosophy courses educate majors (and other students) in the defining questions that make the philosophical enterprise – the purpose of our existence, the nature of reality, and imperative for justice, etc.  Philosophy majors will understand the answers philosophers and other thinkers have given to these insistent questions or mortality, will challenge these answers with their own questions, and will initiate a life-long quest of developing their own answers.
    • Polished Writing:  Our students have opportunities to practice the various genres of philosophical expression through both informal and formal writing assignments.  Students will be proficient in writing traditional academic essays such as thesis or position papers and research papers, as well as opportunities to explore other genres of writing, such as the philosophical essay, journaling, case analysis, and reviews of scholarly books.  Students are encouraged to follow the departmental guidelines for the “writing process” so that their writing will be a journey as well as a polished outcome.  See http://oregonstate.edu/cla/philosophy/student/writing_guide.pdf
    • Practical Deliberation:  The philosopher John Dewey described “deliberation” as an “Imaginative rehearsal of alternatives in one’s mind.” In courses in applied philosophy, students demonstrate skills in practical deliberation through case studies and simulations.  Students will show proficiency in being able to identify moral problems, reflect creativity and imagination in suggesting practical alternatives to resolve the problem, apply processes of moral reasoning, assume responsibility for their own positions, decisions, and actions, and show respect and tolerance for positions that may differ from their own.
    • Creating Community:  Our students become part of the larger community of scholarship through participating in various collaborative learning activities, workshops, and group presentations.  Students in such projects will learn and display reliability, commitment, perseverance, peer education and review, and thoughtful listening.
  • 12. Department of Political Science

    • Utilize methods and approaches appropriate for accumulating and interpreting information applicable to the discipline of political science.
    • Conceptualize problems and apply tools to critically analyze and resolve political arguments, information, and theories.
    • Communicate effectively and defend in written and oral format normative and empirical argument.
  • 13. Department of Psychology

    The psychology department will specify student learning outcomes for each of its courses.

    The psychology department will specify overall student learning outcomes for the BA/BS program in psychology. These learning outcomes are:

    • Demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, and empirical findings in psychology
    • Understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design and interpretation.
      • Explain at least two different research methods used by psychologists
      • Evaluate the appropriateness of conclusions derived from psychological research
      • Identify or generate an empirically testable psychological question
      • Design and conduct basic studies to address psychological questions
      • Follow the APA Code of Ethics in the treatment of human and/nonhuman participants in the collection and reporting of psychological research
      • Generalize research conclusions appropriately based on the parameters of a particular research paradigm employed
    • Respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and when possible, the scientific method to solve problems and answer questions related to behavior and mental processes.
    • Understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.
      • Describe major applied areas of Psychology (e.g., Clinical, counseling, industrial/organizational, health, sports, etc.)
      • Articulate how psychological principles can be used to explain social issues and inform public discourse.
      • Apply research concepts, theories, and research findings as these relate to everyday life.
      • Recognize that ethically complex situations can develop in the application of psychological principles to a real life setting.
    • Value empirical evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that define psychology as a science. Specifically,
    • Recognize the necessity for ethical behavior in all aspects of the science and practice of psychology
    • Demonstrate reasonable skepticism and intellectual curiosity of asking questions about causal statements.
    • Actively seek and critically evaluate scientific evidence for psychological claims
    • Recognize and respect human diversity and understand that psychological explanations may apply only to specific populations and contexts.
    • Understand the limitations of their own psychological knowledge and skills
  • 14. Department of Sociology

    • Comprehend: be able to recognize and interpret existing sociological knowledge
    • Conceptualize: be able to construct sociological explanations for social phenomena
    • Analyze and Compute: be able to conduct sociological inquiry
    • Interpret: be able to make sociological sense of relevant data
  • 15. Department of Speech Communication

    • Demonstrate understanding and the value of communication competence in public speaking, argumentation and critical discourse, and interpersonal communication as they pertain to personal and professional activities and contexts.
    • Articulate relevant theory and research in the contexts of their practical applications.
    • Recognize the social, cultural and historical significance of rhetoric and other communication phenomena.
    • Be prepared to pursue further professional or academic endeavors in one’s selected communication discipline.
    • Define, explain, analyze and enact, in spoken and written assignments, processes by which people give reasons to gain adherence and to justify beliefs and actions;
    • Analyze, evaluate and rationally responds to the arguments of others;
    • Express through examinations and written work fundamental principles of argumentation theory
    • Present effective arguments and rebuttals
  • 16. Department of Theatre Arts

    Oregon State University students successfully completing an undergraduate degree in a Theatre Arts option will be able to:

    • Implement and coordinate teamwork, imagination and organizational skills in the theatrical process and academic sphere.
    • Contribute artistically as a spectator, supporter or participant in the cultural environment of the community.
    • Evaluate and support the multi-faceted nature of the production process and the variety of artistry and skills that contribute to a finished theatrical presentation.
    • Analyze and critique the social significance and cultural resonances of theatrical endeavor as reflected in theatre history and dramatic literature.
    • Illustrate preparation for further professional/academic training through theatre production and scholarship.
  • 17. Department of Women Studies

    • Identify and explain the diversity of women’s lives and experiences
    • Analyze current social and political situations from feminist perspectives
    • Understand contemporary social problems in order to offer effective strategies for change
    • Articulate how institutions in society affect individuals, identifying patterns of privilege and discrimination in their own lives
    • Develop elements of critical thinking, i.e. identify main arguments and assumptions of texts and be able to evaluate them in the context of concepts learned in the course.
  • Contact Info

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