ENVS Student Learning Outcomes

Evaluation is essential to determine if the department’s and faculty's goals for our programs and courses are being met. Faculty member Gene Myers, who teaches a course on educational program evaluation, explains, “Evaluation should be useful, and to be useful there needs to be specific people who want the information and intend to use it. Deciding what to evaluate about the [classes] is as important as deciding what to put in [them], because they are part of the same process. Neither can be done well (i.e., usefully) without participation.”

As a first step to assessment, we identify the attributes of a Huxley graduate. These attributes, hopefully, are the result of achieving expected learner outcomes in coursework and other experiences (such as internships and capstone courses), and thus the achievement of our programmatic objectives.

Undergraduate Learning Goals

Students who graduate with a B.A. from Huxley College will have the following attributes:

  • Understand the natural environment as a system and how human enterprise affects that system.
  • Acquire the knowledge and skill to apply a systems approach to the analysis and management of natural and human-made environments.
  • Understand that the modern world is an entity that is ecologically, economically, and politically interconnected and interdependent and what the implications are of this for environmental problem solving.
  • Be able to deal in complex wholes – to view the self and social situation in their full ecological, cultural, and social context.
  • Understand the temporal dimension of the environment, including what forces have created the contemporary environment and what effects current behavior may have on future environments.
  • Perceive the future of society and environment as a range of alternate possibilities, which will be determined by the policies and decisions of the present, and understand the processes through which these policies and decisions are made.
  • Acquire a measure of logical skill in working through the moral dilemmas implicit in the assignment of social priorities and in the risks involved in seeking to attain those priorities.
  • Acquire specific skills necessary to achieve understanding of and solutions to environmental problems, including those necessary for assessment of environmental impact of human activity, and for monitoring of the health of environmental systems.
  • Be prepared for entry into professions involved in environmental monitoring, assessment, management and education, and/or for entry into graduate and professional school.

ENVS Graduate Program Goals

Students who graduate from the ENVS Graduate Program will be able to:

  1. Critically understand an environmental issue using appropriate knowledge
  2. Investigate that environmental issue using an interdisciplinary framework
  3. Effectively communicate through written, visual, and oral means
  4. Independently design, implement, and complete a research project

ENVS Graduate Program Learning Objectives 

Upon graduation, Environmental Studies masters students will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain the complexity of issues and processes which contribute to an environmental problem.
  2. Describe how their research is situated in the history and scope of environmental studies.
  3. Identify a range of theoretical frameworks and methodologies used in environmental studies and explain the appropriate contexts for their application.
  4. Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of disciplines relevant to their research topic.
  5. Explain, justify, and correctly execute a method(s) appropriate to their research topic.
  6. Use effective verbal presentation skills to share their research plans and results.
  7. Use writing skillfully to communicate theory, methods, results, and relevance of their research project.
  8. Independently design, implement, and complete a research project (thesis or field project).
     

Read more about ENVS Undergraduate Student Learning Outcomes (pdf) and/or ENVS Graduate Student Learning Outcomes (pdf), navigate to student learning outcome information for individual ENVS majors, or read more about ENVS goals and outcomes in the Department of Environmental Studies 2007 Accreditation Report (pdf).