Center for University Studies and Programs (CUSP)

Learning Goals

The First Year Learning Goals are designed to encourage students, faculty, and staff to dynamically claim our own education as we practice ever more effective forms of learning. Emerging from UW Bothell's central values of transformative learning, engaged scholarship, and the fostering of an inclusive culture, the goals are shaped to create the context for understanding the many traditions that converge here at the university, to support the creation of knowledge, and to shape new social practices. In the context of progressively more challenging questions, problems, projects, and standards for performance, we will focus together on exploring these goals, which culminate in the spring Discovery Core in which students create a portfolio, engage in research, and participate in experiential learning.

Inclusive Practices focus on how best to deepen the richness of human experience- with its differences of race, gender, ability, religion, age, language, sexual orientation, and class- by developing capacities to

  • identify our own and others' ways of knowing- verbal, visual, kinetic, auditory- and make use of those different capacities.
  • understand relationships between individuals, institutions, and authority.
  • compare and contrast different cultural voices, traditions, and ways of interacting with the world.
  • exchange ideas with different communities, both on campus and beyond.

Critical and Creative Inquiry joins reason and imagination to make, investigate, critique, and pursue meaning in the arts, humanities, and the social and natural sciences. It includes the ability to

  • employ different ways of creating, interpreting, and transmitting new ideas, works, and knowledge in a responsible manner.
  • make effective use of information across print, visual, electronic, and other media to seek, shape, and evaluate evidence.
  • respond, both critically and creatively, to a variety of texts, questions, and problems in order to draw informed conclusions
  • become more aware of personal and collective assumptions.

Ethics and Social Responsibility explores our connections with each other across cultures, languages, natural resources, and values by learning to

  • articulate the relationships between local, national, and global events.
  • understand how values are shaped and influence decisions.
  • analyze the relationship between knowledge and ethics in specific contexts.
  • create connections between individual and social identities.

Quantitative and Qualitative Literacies are complementary ways to understand problems, issues, and questions. These practices foster the ability to

  • design quantitative and qualitative methods to approach problems and inform evidence-based responses.
  • mobilize evidence across quantitative and qualitative skills, such as interpreting magnitudes, measurements, statistics, narratives, ethnographies, and maps.
  • understand how different types of data are generated, their range of precision, validity, and limits.
  • use symbolic representations- graphs, formulate, words, diagrams, maps, and equations- to identify, analyze, and communicate relationships among sets of information.        

Communication is the process of written, oral, performative, and multimedia interaction that enables us to share ideas and practices. This goal includes the ability to

  • communicate persuasively to different audiences with appropriate media.
  • practice writing in its many genres across the curriculum.
  • develop dialogical skills that include listening actively to alternative perspectives.
  • understand relationships between knowledge, power, and communication.