Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 77.56
Liaison Ruairi O'Mahony
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Lowell
AC-2: Learning Outcomes

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.94 / 8.00 Julie Nash
Vice Provost for Student Success
Office of the Provost
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of graduates from degree programs (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, certificates, and other academic designations):

Number of students that graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Percentage of students who graduate from programs that have adopted at least one sustainability learning outcome:

Do the figures reported above cover one, two, or three academic years?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the institution level (e.g. covering all students)?:

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the division level (e.g. covering particular schools or colleges within the institution)?:

A list or brief description of the institution level or division level sustainability learning outcomes:

Through UMass Lowell’s robust Core Curriculum requirements all of UMass Lowell’s undergraduate students graduate from the institution with required sustainability learning outcomes as defined in AASHE’s STARS Credit “AC-2 Learning Outcomes”.

The Core Curriculum at UMass Lowell ensures that students are learning deeply and broadly, developing essential intellectual abilities that prepare our students to thrive in and affect real world change. The UMass Lowell Core Curriculum addresses this challenge with a framework of requirements which include Essential Learning Outcomes.

Through the Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs) students practice seven key intellectual skills- the Core ELOs- in ways that are tailored and relevant for their major. Under UMass Lowell’s Core Curriculum, students are required to master each of seven Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs). These ELOs may be met within the major or through other courses.

The seven ELOs are:

• Applied and Integrative Learning (AIL)
• Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (CTPS)
• Diversity and Cultural Awareness (DCA)
• Information Literacy (IL)
• Quantitative Literacy (QL)
• Social Responsibility and Ethics (SRE)
• Written and Oral Communication (WOC)

The Diversity and Cultural Awareness (DCA) and Social Responsibility and Ethics (SRE) learning outcomes are consistent with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), student learning outcomes. Specifically, as it relates to sustainability, SRE and DCA provide our students with the knowledge and skills that address sustainability as an interdisciplinary concept having social, economic, and environmental connections.

Examples from each include:

• Identifying, analyzing and defending one’s own attitudes and beliefs towards key societal moral issues including economic, environmental, and societal factors.

• Evaluating the impact of actions taken by individuals and organizations that have made or attempted to bring about change for social good.

• Designing and implementing a project that addresses a community need, explaining and defending the importance of that project from a moral standpoint. (Often these projects are community based working with different socio-economic groups in Lowell).

• Applying moral reasoning to concrete ethical problems in their cultural, social, economic and environmental context, showing an awareness of the competing values at stake and the implications of the moral decision.

• Identifying the diversity and commonality of moral values across cultures.

• Articulating answers to complex questions about other cultures and diverse groups, reflecting an awareness of diverse cultural and social group perspectives.

Sample Activities or Assignments:

• Produce a tangible product (a piece of legislation or policy, a business, building, or civic infrastructure, water quality or scientific assessment, needs survey, research paper, service program or organization) that integrates your academic work with community engagement. Show how you engage community constituents and respond to community needs and assets through the process.

• Create and manage a service project that engages others (such as youths or members of a neighborhood) in learning about and taking action on an issue they care about. In the process, teach and model processes that engage others in a deliberative democracy forum, one that includes multiple perspectives on the issue and seeks how best to make positive changes. Examples include volunteering with Mill City Grows, a local food access organization, leading service projects at the campus Urban Agriculture Greenhouse.

• Analyze a system (e.g., educational, health care, economic) in terms of access and barriers to diverse groups.

Furthermore, through a supporting program called Enriching ELOs (E2LOs) students enrich their learning and build connections between the core outcomes achieved in the classroom with the experiential, co-curricular opportunities beyond the classroom. A recent E2LO program that was hosted was called “Sowing SEEDs”, which encouraged students to draw connections between what they learned in the classroom related to sustainability and community engagement and, to brainstorm projects that would solve problems on campus and in the wider Lowell community and simultaneously make both more sustainable. Students would then work together after the event to submit proposals under our campus’ sustainability SEED Fund.

Finally, as co-chairs of the UMass Lowell 2020 Academic Sustainability Committee, Professor John Wooding, and Director of Sustainability, Ruairi O’Mahony work directly with Vice-Provost Julie Nash, under the University’s Strategic Plan Transformational Education Committee, to pursue increased sustainability learning outcomes within the core-curriculum, specifically through the Essential Learning Outcome process.

Does the institution specify sustainability learning outcomes at the program level (i.e. majors, minors, concentrations, degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other academic designations)?:

A list or brief description of the program level sustainability learning outcomes (or a list of sustainability-focused programs):

Do course level sustainability learning outcomes contribute to the figure reported above (i.e. in the absence of program, division, or institution level learning outcomes)?:

A list or brief description of the course level sustainability learning outcomes and the programs for which the courses are required:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Affirmative totals include all awarded completions of Bachelor and Associate degrees in Academic Year 2018. Bachelor and Associate degrees are only awarded after the successful completion of the core curriculum requirements.

All undergraduate certificates, graduate certificates, Master degrees, Doctorate degrees, and Ed. Specialists were excluded from this calculation. The awards do not require the successful completion of the core curriculum requirements.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.