Hallmarks Goal Descriptions

Curiosity (rigorous inquiry)

Create strategies for expanding knowledge through reflection and research.

This learning goal emphasizes the skills that allow you to identify gaps in your knowledge (reflection) and then take action to fill those gaps (research).  Satisfying your curiosity requires you not only to identify what you don’t know, but also to have a set of tools that you can use to learn on your own.  These include information literacy skills and an awareness of how you can use different academic disciplines and methodologies to find reliable answers.

You are developing your Curiosity skills when you:

  • Develop new content knowledge independently by identifying information needs, locating relevant quantitative and/or qualitative information from multiple sources, evaluating the reliability of sources, and using information ethically.
  • Design a systematic approach for generating or compiling data relevant to a given problem or project and carry it out rigorously.
  • Reflect on your existing knowledge and skills and independently expand them into new areas.
  • Assess the major methodologies for creating new knowledge and apply academic disciplines appropriately when investigating our social and natural worlds.


Confidence (critical reasoning)

Challenge concepts, practices and experts with reasoning and evidence.

This learning goal encourages you to apply your critical thinking skills to everything around you.  The status quo can always be questioned and you can test your own ideas to see if they hold up to scrutiny.  The power of reasoning and the use of relevant evidence give you the confidence to question conventional wisdom before deciding whether to accept it or not.

You are developing your Confidence skills when you:

  • Defend the reasoning for proposed solutions to a problem.
  • Evaluate the assumptions behind a given idea or viewpoint and apply appropriate theoretical frameworks to challenge it.
  • Synthesize and critique information from diverse points of view and use logical reasoning to draw conclusions.
  • Integrate skills and knowledge from mathematics, natural science and the liberal arts to develop new insights into real-world problems.


Contextual Understanding (clear communication)

Develop and share insights using appropriate means of expression.

This learning goal emphasizes the importance of communication skills for developing and expressing your ideas and understandings.  Effective communication requires multiple drafts of your message and attention to your audience, your format and the organization and mechanics of your product.  It is not just a tool for expression, but also a strategy for developing your thoughts and insights.

You are developing your Contextual Understanding skills when you:

  • Use prototyping, drafting and revising practices to generate and refine insights.
  • Produce works of communication that respond to the requirements of different audiences and contexts.
  • Combine written, oral and graphic communication skills as needed to convey knowledge and present ideas.
  • Choose content, language and organizational strategies that maximize the clarity of communication.


Global Perspectives

Navigate diverse environments and complex issues by managing multiple systems of knowledge and behavior.

This learning goal allows you to find your way through a world of diversity and competing value systems.  In an increasingly globalized world, you need to be able to orient yourself in a variety of different contexts and cultures.  Your knowledge of world societies and civilizations helps you understand yourself and others as you manage the complexities of cross-cultural interactions.

You are developing your Global Perspectives skills when you:

  • Reframe knowledge of political, economic, environmental and cultural developments of the past to understand current U.S. and global issues.
  • Consider how the specific cultural values and achievements of different civilizations and societies shape the behavior and responses of individuals, groups, and nations.
  • Explain the significance of globalization and the social, political and economic implications of the global power dynamics that it creates.
  • Assemble and apply multiple perspectives and disciplinary concepts when addressing real-world challenges.


Empathy (social insight)

Consider multiple perspectives in order to relate to others and strengthen communities.

This learning goal highlights the ability to view situations from the perspectives of others.  This skill can allow you to overcome barriers to communication and cooperation to build stronger relationships and communities.  Thinking empathetically gives you new viewpoints, and can help you see and appreciate aspects of a situation that you might have otherwise missed.

You are developing your Empathy skills when you:

  • Appraise the impact of ethnocentrism and the challenges it poses for understanding cultural differences between people and within communities.
  • Acknowledge the diverse cultural, political and economic experiences of different racial, ethnic, social and religious groups, locally and globally.
  • Manage cross-cultural knowledge sensitively when addressing real-world problems.
  • Integrate an appropriate variety of professional, academic and cultural perspectives when addressing community and professional challenges.


Collaboration (strategic teamwork)

Achieve goals by integrating skills and knowledge in a team setting.

This learning goal recognizes that working in teams is required for many tasks and can multiply your effectiveness even when it isn’t. Successful collaboration is a combination of leadership, cooperation, planning and the harnessing of diverse skill sets.  Managing your work, coordinating the contributions of your teammates, and holding yourself and others accountable for the team’s performance are all part of the art of collaboration.

You are developing your Collaboration skills when you:

  • Distinguish diverse working and learning styles and manage them to maximize team performance.
  • Integrate a variety of listening and cooperation strategies to ensure effective communication and contributions from all team members
  • Formulate team goals collaboratively and accomplish them using a mutually agreed upon timeline and the application of project management techniques.
  • Distribute tasks among team members strategically and integrate the results to meet team goals. 


Initiative (intellectual risk-taking)

Take creative and intellectual risks when exploring ideas and real-world problems.

This learning goal emphasizes the power of connecting new ideas with your existing knowledge in bold and innovative ways.  Creative breakthroughs occur when you cross intellectual boundaries and apply knowledge outside of its original context.  Initiative is also needed to extend your creative and academic ideas beyond the classroom for real-world problem solving.

You are developing your Initiative skills when you:

  • Cross intellectual boundaries by applying or extending ideas and concepts outside of their original contexts.
  • Integrate contradictory or alternative perspectives or ideas relevant to addressing a problem.
  • Include untested, risky, or previously under-explored approaches when proposing and evaluating multiple solutions to a problem.
  • Improve work by processing feedback and learning from the shortcomings of earlier efforts.


Ethical Reflection

Affirm an ethical compass to guide personal, civic and professional life.

This learning goal prepares you to use ethical reasoning to make responsible choices about your behavior as a person, citizen and professional.  Defining your obligations to others is a personal undertaking, but the study of ethics can provide the framework for you to find your answers.  Your education as a professional requires you to understand the ethical standards and reasoning skills required for your practice.

You are developing your Ethical Reflection skills when you:

  • Assess the impact of major world belief systems on moral values and standards of behavior at the individual, group and national levels.
  • Evaluate personal core beliefs regarding values and behavior and determine their origins.
  • Examine complex real-world situations to identify ethical issues and apply ethical reasoning appropriately.
  • Interpret the obligations and rights of citizens in local, national and global communities.