STOGoals: College-wide Goals for Student Learning

 


As a residential liberal arts college rooted in the Christian gospel, nourished by its Lutheran heritage, and enlivened by global perspectives, St. Olaf offers a rigorous undergraduate education that encompasses the entire collegiate experience.  Student learning is nurtured not only in classrooms, labs, libraries, and studios, but also in residence halls, rehearsal rooms, practice fields, worship services, student employment, community organizations, and off-campus programs.

Students bring to the college a wide variety of gifts, experiences, backgrounds, and beliefs, and they pursue many different paths to a St. Olaf degree.  While their curricular and co-curricular experiences may vary, they share a common destination:  to become “seekers of truth” and “responsible and knowledgeable citizens of the world.”  To that end, St. Olaf College aims for all its students to achieve the following goals for student learning, developed both within and beyond the classroom.

Intentional and holistic self-development
Students will nurture and connect their intellectual, spiritual, physical, social, and emotional gifts. Learn more…

Broad knowledge of human cultures and the natural world
Students will use tools and ideas from many fields of study to understand human experiences, natural phenomena, and the relationships among them. Learn more…

Specialized knowledge of a particular field or topic
Students will develop deep knowledge of a field of study and its distinctive modes of inquiry, creation, and expression.  Learn more…

Critical thinking and inquiry
Students will investigate, analyze, critique, and construct arguments. Learn more…

Effective communication and collaboration
Students will convey ideas with clarity, and work constructively with others. Learn more…

Insightful integration and application of learning
Students will synthesize and apply their knowledge and skills in creating, performing, innovating, and problem-solving.  Learn more…

Responsible interpersonal, civic, and global engagement
Students will develop knowledge, skills, and commitments for enhancing the well-being of peers, families, and communities.  Learn more…

Informed vocational discernment and resourceful planning
Students will develop their gifts in pursuit of lives of worth and service. Learn more…

Download the complete statement

Resources consulted in developing these goals


 

STOGoals “Campus Map”

Below is a simple “map” intended to help all members of the St. Olaf community reflect on the ways these goals are made visible in their work as educators and as learners.  Students can use the map to identify the many different places in their St. Olaf experience where they are developing these learning goals. Faculty and staff can use the map to identify the educational and developmental purposes of the specific programs, services, and activities they offer, both in and out of the classroom. 

The boundaries between the different categories of experience identified in the column headings are quite permeable, since many programs and learning experiences fall into more than one category simultaneously.  For example, a General Education course may meet a major requirement and include an experiential learning component, and a program housed in Student Life may provide various kinds of academic support. The overlapping and blurred boundaries among different types of experience is represented by the openings in the lines between each column.   

For students who would like to use the map to track their own learning experiences, and faculty and staff who want to “locate” their existing programs in relation to each learning goal, an editable version of the map can be found here.