Assessment: Continuous Improvement of Student Learning

Undergraduate Goals and Rubrics

This page includes information for each Undergraduate Student Learning Goal (USLG). For each USLG, there is a description as well as links to approved Michigan Tech USLG rubric(s) and information about the goal committee that is working on that goal.

Learning Goal Rubric Committee/Resources
1. Disciplinary Knowledge
Students demonstrate a depth of knowledge in one area/discipline, as well as a breadth of knowledge that (1) enables adaptability and flexibility as knowledge grows and changes, and (2) recognizes linkages/complementarity to other areas/disciplines.
2. Knowledge of the Physical and Natural World
Students demonstrate knowledge of the physical and natural world.  This is accomplished by studying mathematics and the physical and natural sciences. 
PDF Canvas link
3. Global Literacy
Globally literate students analyze issues on multiple scales from diverse perspectives while acknowledging interconnectivity and complexity. In order to achieve this goal, a globally literate student must be aware of the following: 1) the diversity that exists both within and beyond one’s socio-cultural groupings, 2) the multiple scales of human impact on the social and natural world, and 3) the ways in which solutions to problems may contribute positively or negatively to the complex global challenges that persist in the world today.
PDF Canvas link
4. Critical and Creative Thinking
Students are able to think critically and creatively, as demonstrated by their broad, adaptable, and versatile use of reasoning, logic, and evidence to access and evaluate information and solve complex problems.
PDF Canvas link
5. Communication
Students are able to communicate effectively orally, in writing, and in new media to a wide variety of audiences.
  Canvas link

Written Communication Rubric


Oral Communication Rubric

6. Information Literacy
Students are able to analyze the need for, strategically access, critically evaluate, and use information effectively, ethically, and legally.
PDF Canvas link
7. Technology
Students demonstrate knowledge of technology and its implications in society and are able to design and/or use technology for creative activities or innovative solutions to problems.
8. Social Responsibility and Ethical Reasoning
Students are able to identify and address conflicting ethical values and develop a sense of responsibility for the broad impacts of individual actions, social institutions and public policy. They understand their role as citizens and their responsibility to work with others in promoting quality of life and a sustainable society. Social responsibility, like civic engagement, means promoting the quality of community life through both political and non-political processes. Ethical reasoning is reasoning about right and wrong human conduct.
PDF Canvas link

About the USLGs

These goals are achieved by student engagement in learning opportunities across the university -- in the general education program, the degree programs, and student affairs programs. They were designed to align with the university’s strategic plan, professional accreditation outcomes (ABET, AACSB, SAF), and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. Michigan Tech is a member of the AAC&U LEAP campus action network.

To measure students' success in achieving these goals, we emphasize direct, embedded assessment of student work in Michigan Tech courses. We also use discipline-specific examinations and surveys such as the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE). Assessment results enable us to identify opportunities to improve courses and curricula, teaching practices, and student life activities, as well as make informed decisions about degree programs.

About the Rubrics

Goals are assessed using Michigan Tech rubrics that are adapted from AAC&U's VALUE rubrics. It is important that these rubrics are used for assessment of the goals in all programs to develop a consistent measure of student progress from matriculation to degree completion. The rubric identifies student learning at four levels: 1-beginning, 2-developing, 3-proficient and 4-exemplary. For more information about assessing student learning using the VALUE rubrics, see these FAQs.

Broader Objectives

These eight learning goals are integrated, interrelated, and interdependent. They are consistent with the broader impacts of the National Science Foundation to advance knowledge and benefit society. These goals are also consistent with the broader aims of lifelong learning, which LEAP defined as having acquired the skills and dispositions of curiosity, transfer, independence, initiative, and reflection.

Helping our students to achieve these learning goals will enable Michigan Tech to meet the University’s strategic goal on education: 


Provide a distinctive and rigorous action-based learning experience grounded in science, engineering, technology, business, sustainability, and an understanding of the social and cultural contexts of our contemporary world.

Student Learning

Integrate instruction, research, and innovation to achieve the student learning goals for undergraduate and graduate programs.

  • Provide research, service-learning, project-based, entrepreneurial, and international opportunities for students.
  • Promote mutual appreciation of, and collaborative opportunities across, academic disciplines.
  • Continually assess, review, and improve programs and develop new offerings in emerging disciplinary and interdisciplinary areas.

Transformative Education

Provide a technologically-rich education grounded in a residential and experiential learning environment.

  • Encourage and support high quality, innovative, and effective instruction and experiences to enhance student learning.
  • Provide student mentoring, career and professional development, and leadership opportunities.
  • Enhance student learning and experiences to promote long-term physical and mental health.
  • Foster mutual respect in personal and professional interactions.

Educational Programs

Expand programs in response to social and economic needs and challenges.

  • Develop and enhance pathways to completion of undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • Increase both scholarly productivity and number of doctoral and master’s degrees awarded.
  • Improve access via online and other non-traditional delivery of educational programs.
  • Promote lifelong learning by providing opportunities for continuing education.
  • Encourage understanding of public policy issues.