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, or OLE Core courses in Writing and Rhetoric, The First-Year Seminar, Christian Theology in Dialogue, and Quantitative and Computational Reasoning
  • Competing on the St. Olaf debate team
  • Working with or as an SI leader, SOAR peer leader, or tutor through the Center for Advising and Academic Support
  • 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 pages below:

Student survey data

Assessment Committee website

(2021 HEDS Alumni data) Percentage of Alumni that said their college experience substantially contributed to their:


Critical Thinking


Careful Reading


Information Literacy