Southwestern College


What Students Want To Know about Student Learning Outcomes

What are Student Learning Outcomes?

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are statements that specify what knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes, values, feelings a student should be able to demonstrate AFTER an educational experience (e.g. reading a chapter in a textbook, completing a course, working on a group project, completing a lab experiment, earning a degree or certificate or completing a program of study).

Why Write SLOs?

The US Department of Education believes that SLOs are the most effective way to measure actual learning and are more telling than a grade in a course which is a culmination of all the educational experiences in the course. When faculty measure whether a student can perform a specific outcome, then we know that true learning has happened.

How Do Faculty Measure Them in My Course?

Faculty use assignments in your course to measure specific SLOs. Those assignments range from quizzes, to essays, to department –wide finals, to oral presentations. The assignment used depends on the SLO to be measured.

Where Can I See My SLOs?

SLOs are required to be on your class syllabus. SLOs are also available on SWC’s curriculum management system CurricUNET which is accessible to the public by clicking here. Search for your course and click on the SLO Report Icon.

What Will SLOs Tell Me? Why Do I Care?

SLOs tell you what you’re expected to be able to do after you finish an assignment, a course, or even an entire program. Knowing what’s expected of you allows you to prepare for a course or program and to focus on achieving those outcomes, which increases your likeliness of success. Program-level outcomes show you what skills you will walk away with after earning a degree or certificate which can help in career planning. To see the program student learning outcomes for your degree or certificate program, as well as historical results on how well other students are doing on those outcomes, click here.  

Where Do I Go if I Want To Know More

SWC’s Website on Student Learning Outcomes provides more comprehensive information on outcomes and contact info. Click here for the website.  

Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes

Program-level Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs) assess the knowledge, skills, abilities, competencies, attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and values students learn while completing a program of study (e.g., certificate, degree). The purpose of PSLOs is to guide program improvement to support all students in achieving the program’s learning outcomes. Results in PSLO reports represent recent students’ levels of attainment for each PSLO assessed within a program.

When researching a Major (Academic Program of Study), consider comparing PSLOs (what you can learn) to Gainful Employment (what your education will cost) by the time you complete a certificate or degree in a technical field.

Last updated: 6/16/2016 11:49:00 AM