Life Skills: Iowa Wesleyan University’s Institutional Learning Outcomes

Iowa Wesleyan University’s Institutional Learning Outcomes – the Life Skills – of Communication, Critical Reasoning, and Civic Engagement help foster coherence across the curriculum and in all elements of co-curricular life. They embrace the meaning of community to include learning from each other and from the whole of the larger community to which Iowa Wesleyan University belongs. As student’s progress through curricular and co-curricular experiences, students develop communication, critical thinking, and civic engagement skills, and by the end of students’ time at IW, students are proficient in the Life Skills.

Communication: Students will show proficiency in acquiring, processing, and transferring information in a variety of ways, including written communication, oral communication, and information literacy.

Written Communication: Students will develop and express ideas in writing, including working with various genres, styles, texts, technologies, data, and/or images.

Oral Communication: Students will deliver a prepared, purposeful presentation designed to increase knowledge, to foster understanding, or to promote change in the listeners’ attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors.

Information Literacy: Students will show the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand.

Critical Reasoning: Students will strategically apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Problem Solving: Students will design, evaluate and implement a strategy to answer open-ended questions or achieve desired goals.

Critical Thinking: Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.

Civic Engagement: Students will develop the knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to actively engage in communities to promote social justice and human welfare.

Civic Engagement: Students will demonstrate their ability to make a difference in the civic life of communities and develop the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make a difference in the quality of life of those communities.

Global Learning: Students will critically analyze complex, interdependent global systems and legacies (such as natural, physical, and social, cultural, economic, and political) and their implications for people’s lives and the earth’s sustainability.

Iowa Wesleyan University provides a transformational learning experience where students develop into citizens who excel in the Life Skills – Communication, Critical Reasoning, and Civic Engagement. Over their time at Iowa Wesleyan, students learn these skills through educational and co-curricular opportunities that expand student knowledge while engaging students in active learning. It is through this learning that students are empowered and inspired to lead meaningful lives and careers. Education at Iowa Wesleyan transforms students, allowing students to realize their potential.

Assessment Committee

The Committee on Assessment will consist of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director for Adult and Graduate Studies, Dean of Students, the Assistant Dean for Wesleyan Studies, Director for Campus Ministry and Service Learning, Director for Career Development and Internships, Assistant Dean of Academic Resources/Library Director, divisional faculty representatives, and one (1) student nominated by the Committee on Assessment and approved by the Representative Student Government.

Divisional faculty representatives will be appointed by the Executive Committee with the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Each division shall be represented. The faculty terms will be for three years with one replaced each year.

The chair of the Committee on Assessment will be a faculty member, who is appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the President.

The duties of this Committee are as follows:

  1. Direct the academic assessment process;
  2. Integrate the assessment standards of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association with the Iowa Wesleyan University assessment program;
  3. Establish an Assessment Calendar;
  4. Conduct assessment of student learning within the Wesleyan Studies curriculum and the Institutional Learning Outcomes (i.e., the Life Skills);
  5. Serve as a resource for assessment activities of the major academic and co-curricular programs;
  6. Guide the use of the assessment findings for program planning;
  7. Guide the Integration of assessment findings with strategic planning;
  8. Guide the linking of the assessment process with the budget process; and
  9. Maintain documentation of the academic and co-curricular assessment activity.

Assessment Practices

Extensive testing and data-gathering operations are conducted as a means of evaluating and documenting instructional effectiveness and progress in fostering student learning. All first-year students are requested to participate in the Beginning College Survey of Student Engagement (BCSSE) and both first-year students and seniors are asked to complete the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) shortly after the second semester begins. Course evaluations indirectly measure student achievement on course identified student learning outcomes. Other indirect measures of student learning are administered as deemed appropriate. The Wesleyan Studies curriculum is evaluated through the use of the ETS Heighten Outcomes Assessment or other standardized tests. These exams are given once the student has completed the basic curriculum. Additional evaluations are completed through Service Learning and Internship which are required of all students. Major Field Tests (MFT) are given to graduating seniors in some majors at the end of the spring semester. Adult and Graduate Studies students are required to complete all testing related to the major field and the ETS exams when participating in relevant courses. Course-Embedded assessments occur across the Wesleyan Studies curriculum and as identified within Academic and Co-Curricular Program. When appropriate, student work is collected and assessment data are stored in LiveText. This program of testing is crucial to the design and evaluation of the University’s emphasis on Life Skills.