STOGoals: Critical Thinking and Inquiry

Students will investigate, analyze, critique, and construct arguments.

For example, students will be able to:

  • Read carefully, critically, and reflectively
  • Ask insightful and sophisticated questions
  • Conduct systematic, imaginative and effective academic research
  • Understand and use both quantitative and qualitative information
  • Articulate, critique, and support arguments with compelling evidence and sound reasoning
  • Revise a point of view in response to new arguments and information
  • Reflect critically on the meaning and truth of religious claims, including those of Christianity

 Students can develop these abilities through experiences such as:

  • Completing General Education courses in First-Year Writing, Biblical and Theological Studies, and Abstract and Quantitative Reasoning
  • Competing on the St. Olaf debate team
  • Working with or as an academic consultant through the Academic Support Center
  • Attending worship services at St. Olaf or in another faith community
  • Conferring with a librarian in planning a significant research project
  • Having conversations about important issues with classmates or residence hall neighbors
  • Attending events sponsored by the Political Awareness Committee


For more information about student learning outcomes, visit the college’s Assessment Results pages.

Percentage of Alumni that said their college experience substantially contributed to their (2018 HEDS Alumni data):


Critical Thinking


Careful Reading


Information Literacy