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SINQ/Cluster Learning Outcomes

American Identities

University Studies Goals—of the four listed below—each outcome addresses:

1.       An understanding of the tensions and contradictions of the American

Experience and its ethical, social, and political implications (UNST Goals #3, #4)

2.       A comparison of diverse American identities and how these identities have

 shaped cultural traditions and values and the distribution of power (UNST Goals #1, #3)

3.       An ability to engage with and write critically about primary texts (UNST Goals #1, #2) 

4.       An understanding of the how the American identity and experience has changed over time (UNST Goal #3)

5.       An awareness of how the United States is situated and circulates within a

hemispheric and global environment (UNST Goal #3)

6.       An ability to research and communicate about American identities and related ethical issues using both primary and secondary sources (UNST Goals #2, #4)


University Studies Goals:

1)      Critical Thinking and Inquiry

2)      Communication

3)      Diversity of Human Experience

4)      Ethics and Social Responsibility


Community Studies

Core Goals for the Community Studies Cluster

1-      Familiarity with the vocabulary and root concepts of community studies

2-      Familiarity with diverse theoretical approaches to understanding communities

3-      Awareness of the basic tools of community research

4-      Ability to take scholarship seriously, and discriminate among different sources of information

5-      Conduct and present independent research to understand some aspect of community

6-      Develop inquiry, critical thinking, and communication skills

7-      Develop an appreciation for and understanding of ethical issues and social responsibility, in particular, the relationships between individual, social, and global well-being, and individual judgment and action.


Design Thinking/Innovation/Entrepreneurship

     Holistic experience with the University Studies goals: The students will experience the intersection of diversity, ethics/social responsibility, critical thinking, and communication as they identify weighty problems to address, craft their design challenge, engage in field research, synthesize their findings, brainstorm solutions, and iterate their solutions.


     Appreciation of the Diversity of Human Experience: By drawing on practices in ethnography and empathetic design, students will develop capabilities in needs assessment across myriad stakeholders.  Issues of viewpoint legitimacy will be explored.  A critical investigation of power, voice, justice in design and delivery will be undertaken.


     Social and Ethical Responsibility: Students will understand their social and ethical responsibility to solve problems by using the tools of Design Thinking


     Communication: When getting to the essence of human and environmental needs via field work, students will learn how to ask probing questions, interpret the stories they hear, and communicate back to stakeholders their ideas. 


     Critical Thinking: After collecting the stories of key stakeholders, the students will engage in an interpretation process to draw out themes from those interviewed and determine how to brainstorm ideas around those themes. 


     Tools Acquisition: Students will develop the following tools: storytelling, how to conduct field research, how to conduct complementary library research, active listening techniques, and experience the full toolset of Design Thinking including needs assessment, brainstorming, and prototyping.


     Network development: Students will build out their professional network through their interaction with speakers and engagement with the design community in Portland. 



Families and Society

Critical Thinking:

Analyze the historical, social, cultural, and economic context of family groups through

application of relevant theories and conceptual frameworks.



Increase awareness and communicate with other students and faculty to understand diversity

of family, socially constructed views of family and the impact of assets and risks at the family,

community and societal levels.


Diversity of Human Experience:

Increase knowledge of the complexity of individual and family development and the impact of

culture, the economy, and public policies on historically marginalized family groups.


Social and Ethical Responsibility:

Increase understanding of individual and collective responsibility through examination of

disparities in social success of individuals and families based upon societal oppression and

privilege, and the responsibility of social structures to sustain diverse family groups.


Gender and Sexualities

Include 3-6 outcomes that will provide the framework for the cluster. It is expected that each course in the cluster will incorporate one or more of these outcomes.



1.       Acquire knowledge of sexuality and gender studies, including some of the theoretical frameworks (such as feminist theory, critical race theory, queer theory, and decolonial studies) that shape knowledge in these areas of study.

-Critical Thinking and Inquiry

-Ethics and Social Responsibility

-Diversity of Human Experience

2.       Critically examine the constructs of gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, ability, and nation and their intersecting relationships, both past and present.

-Critical Thinking and Inquiry

-Diversity of Human Experience


3.       Explore and contextualize the meaning of social identities historically, politically, and personally.

-Critical Thinking and Inquiry

-Diversity of Human Experience

Ethics and Social Responsibility

4.       Apply these ideas to our political practices, intellectual endeavors, and personal communities.

-Critical Thinking and Inquiry

-Ethics and Social Responsibility


5.       Create a collaborative and mutually beneficial learning environment.

-Ethics and Social Responsibility

-Diversity of Human Experience


6.       Acquire critical thinking skills through a variety of both written and verbal practices.

-Critical Thinking and Inquiry




Global Perspectives

Students in the Global Perspectives cluster will:

·         Demonstrate knowledge of the forces of tradition and modernity, nationalism, colonialism and empire, and globalization and development;

·         Demonstrate knowledge of perspectives, attitudes and beliefs of another culture;

·         Appreciate the diversity and interconnectedness of the human experience

Outcomes mapped on to University Studies Goals:

                Inquiry and Critical Thinking

Through learning to identify and describe cultural stereotypes and/or patterns of authority, power, and engagement, and to analyze how history and culture inform the present situation in one or more regions of the world, students will gain an understanding of the concepts of tradition and modernity, nationalism, empire and colonialism, and globalization and development.


In the Global Perspectives cluster, students will have the opportunity to explore visual, verbal, acoustic, and other forms of expression representative of a variety of cultures. In sophomore inquiry students will develop the ability to write clearly, with a special emphasis on the clear organization of their information and ideas. Students will learn effective ways to work in small groups to develop a solid understanding of the writing process. 

                The Diversity of Human Experience

Students will enhance their appreciation for the understanding of the complexity of the human experience through the study of beliefs, attitudes, and the social and cultural systems of societies around the world.

                Ethics and Social Responsibility

Students will expand their understanding of the impact and value of individuals not only by sharing their learning through group projects, but through examination of ethical questions imbedded in the history and society of specific regions of the world that will offer perspectives on the meaning of global citizenship.


Interpreting the Past

Inquiry and Critical Thinking

·         Students will be able to identify and apply basic methodologies in the study of history, culture, the arts, and archaeology.

·         Students will demonstrate ability to interpret texts, artifacts, and events in their historical contexts.

·         Students will recognize the existence of multiple historiographic perspectives, such as contrasting theories of influence, causality conflict, and change, and will examine history not as a predetermined story but as a collection of narratives that we are constantly revising and contesting.

·         Students will identify and respond to interpretive questions appropriate to the study of past societies and cultures.


·         Students will evaluate original sources from the past and construct evidence-based arguments orally and in writing.

·         Students will demonstrate the ability to assess these sources and deploy appropriate skills in research-based assignments.


·         Students will be introduced to and therefore be able to identify texts, images, and artifacts that represent a diversity of perspectives. Depending on the particular historical period and region, these perspectives will include different genders, social classes, religious, ethnic, age, ability, and racial groups, and sexual minorities.

·         Students will learn to recognize these very categories as historically determined and culturally mediated.

Ethics and Social Responsibility

·         Students will recognize that interpreting the past can be an ethical, social or political act. They ill identify and describe moments of conflict or contestation in history, and learn to enter into debates about the meanings or implications of these events or practices. Students will learn to identify and describe the concept that human actions have consequences that go beyond their immediate context.


Knowledge, Values, Rationality

·         Students will acquire knowledge of major approaches to rationality and models for rational decision making for both individuals and collectives.

o   Through its focus on formal and informal reasoning and quantitative and qualitative models, the objective contributes specifically to achieving both the critical thinking LO of UNST including goals of scientific literacy.

o   Through its focus on different conceptualizations of value and risk – including subjectivist traditions – the objective contributes to achieving both the Diversity of Human Experience and Ethical and Social Responsibility LO of UNST.

o   Through the incorporation of hermeneutical perspectives to rationality and the demand that all models of rationality be at least to some extent communicable in prose – including individual’s narratives relevant for personal identity – it contributes both to the Writing and Diversity of Human Experience LO of UNST.

·         Students will acquire a basic understanding of the methods and goals that govern major areas of scientific and academic study. Students will also enhance their ability to critically reflect on the applicability and limits of the methods including general attacks against and alternatives to rational inquiry.

o   Through its focus on methods of public knowledge – ones that demand intersubjectively accessible evidence, publicly verifiable criteria of success, and material processes of social epistemology – that may differ across disciplines and their history, the objective contributes to the Diversity of Human Experience LO of UNST.

o   Through the contrast between public knowledge and private belief, opinion, and meaning as well as collective dogma including pseudoscience and faith-based belief systems, the objective contributes specifically to achieving the Critical Thinking LO of UNST.

o   The major means for exploring the possible historicity and variability of methods as well as the debated between advocated of rationality and champions of irrationality is argumentatively well-structures prose so the objective contributes to the Writing LO of UNST.

·         Students will acquire knowledge of value theories and through them explore the normative presuppositions of science, policy, technology, and individual decisions and develop cognitive strategies for tracking their normative implications including impact on the larger community.

o   Through its focus on values including moral values in individual, collective, and even global settings, the objective contributes to achieving both the Diversity of Human Experience and Ethical and Social Responsibility LO of UNST.

o   Through its focus on argumentative strategies necessary for unearthing and articulating tacit presuppositions and tracking plausible wider ramifications including future ones which are often expressible also in the context of individuals’’ narratives, the objective contributes to achieving both the Critical Thinking LO and Diversity of Human Experience LO of UNST.

o   Because the most accurate and impactful means of representing and recording knowledge of values is argumentatively well-organized and structured prose,   the objective also contributes to the Writing LO of UNST .


Leading Social Change

We have developed a set of cluster-specific student learning outcomes that will be the basis for cluster content and for assessment of student progress.  These outcomes are organized using Bloom’s taxonomy and progress through knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

Students in the Leading Social Change cluster will:

1.      Describe and analyze leadership theories and apply leadership concepts to historical, current, societal, and personal contexts.

2.      Explain social and political mechanisms for facilitating social change.

3.      Demonstrate an understanding of individual and collective responsibility to multiple communities, cultures and political constituencies.

4.      Apply the theories of leadership to multiple social issues in varied community and cultural contexts through community-engaged learning and projects.

5.      Critically evaluate personal roles in social and political structures.

6.      Analyze learning and application through various applied structured learning activities.

7.      Synthesize concepts of leadership, collaboration, community engagement, culture and social justice.

8.      Critically reflect upon the applicability of these theories in the contemporary context.


Outcomes (numbers from above) mapped to University Studies Goals:

Ø  Inquiry and Critical Thinking: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8

Ø  Communication: 4, 5, 7, 8

Ø  The Diversity of Human Experience: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7


Ø  Ethics and Social Responsibility: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8