Written by Deneb Falabella, Associate Provost for Assessment and Accreditation and Christina Sax, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
An important indicator of the integrity and quality of academic programs is that they are built on a defined set of learning outcomes. Learning outcomes state what students will be able to do after completing their courses and degree. They serve as the foundation for the curriculum, as the framework for consistent teaching and learning, and as a guide for assessing student learning. At MUIH, the learning outcomes are the same regardless of the online or in-person delivery format and which faculty are teaching the courses. MUIH is transparent in communicating the learning outcomes to students, faculty, and the public through its website, Academic Catalog, and course syllabi.
MUIH’s learning outcomes are determined through an inclusive process involving the expertise of faculty and professionals in the field. This process ensures quality and rigor in learning outcomes, the curriculum, and teaching and learning. The academic department curriculum committees and faculty first develop learning outcomes with an eye to the critical and current knowledge and skills needed in the workplace in their field. These are then considered by the University Curriculum Committee, which is composed of representatives from all program areas as well as individuals with academic and assessment expertise. This committee provides feedback about the draft learning outcomes and endorses the final outcomes once they have achieved a set of educational quality standards. Finally, the learning outcomes are reviewed and approved by the Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.
Together, these features are an indicator that MUIH adheres to high academic standards and that its programs are academically rigorous. This helps ensure the credibility and value of your degree in a competitive job market.
MUIH has three layers of learning outcomes. These three types of learning outcomes are connected to one another and have increasing levels of specificity and detail.
- University Learning Outcomes (ULOs)
- Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)
- Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)
University Learning Outcomes (ULOs)
MUIH’s ULOs are written with the broadest scope and apply to all degree programs. They directly connect the curriculum to the university’s mission and vision, and its approach to integrative health. They articulate the common characteristics and essential learning outcomes that underlie all MUIH programs. While cross-cutting learning outcomes are common at the undergraduate level, MUIH is unique in having them at the graduate level. The ULOs identify and define elements that all students will know and be able to demonstrate by the end of their program. They lay the framework for all curriculum, how students will demonstrate their learning, and how learning will be assessed. They also connect the curriculum to the skills and attributes sought by employers after students’ graduation. MUIH has eleven ULOs:
Business/Practice Management: Graduates apply best principles and practices in business management to sustain their livelihood while providing in-demand quality services to patients and clients.
Cultural Responsiveness: Graduates demonstrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes to respectfully collaborate with individuals and groups of diverse and intersectional lived experiences, backgrounds, and identities.
Discernment: Graduates analyze information from a variety of perspectives to make a reasoned judgment based on evidence and reflection.
Ethics: Graduates apply ethical principles and standards in alignment with the guidelines of their profession to make decisions and take actions.
Healing Presence: Graduates demonstrate professional qualities, relationship skills, and professional behaviors that support the innate wholeness of individuals and their capacity to heal themselves.
Inter-professionalism: Graduates collaborate with individuals of other professions to address health and healthcare needs and maintain a climate of mutual respect and shared values.
Relationship-Centeredness: Graduates demonstrate awareness of self, individuals, and the community to develop shared goals, identify opportunities and barriers, and facilitate meaningful change.
Research Literacy: Graduates access, evaluate, and apply the best available evidence to answer questions and inform decisions.
Resilience: Graduates utilize personal assets, external resources, and positive coping strategies to adapt and thrive in changing environments.
Scientific Principles: Graduates use knowledge of scientific concepts as part of analysis and decision-making in health and health care.
Skillfulness: Graduates demonstrate proficiency in their field of study, integrating the knowledge and theories of their discipline into sound practice.
Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)
PLOs provide more specificity than ULOs regarding what students will achieve within each degree program uniquely, based on the knowledge and skills needed in the workplace for the particular field. PLOs are published on each program webpage and in the Academic Catalog. The PLOs for all programs are also provided HERE.
Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)
CLOs are nested within the PLOs and ULOs and represent the most specific and granular statement of learning goals. A scaffolding of CLOs across multiple courses supports the achievement of the PLOs and ULOs. In each of these courses, students are asked to learn to demonstrate their increasing level of knowledge and skill related to a PLO, and these multiple touchpoints provide opportunities to reinforce learning.
For example, a program’s Discernment PLO and ULO are achieved through a series of discernment-related CLOs in multiple courses. Students are asked to learn to demonstrate an introductory level of discernment in early courses, a further developing level of discernment in midpoint courses, and a mastery level of discernment in later courses. CLOs are published in the course syllabi within the Canvas learning management system.