Pathway to Academic and Career Success

Of the 180 credits needed for a bachelor’s degree from Southern Oregon, you will earn 60 to 62 within University Studies, SOU’s general education curriculum. Built on student learning outcomes and progressively challenging courses, University Studies helps you adapt knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new challenges. The curriculum allows you to align courses, balance learning in the majors with a broader perspective of liberal arts, and foster civic, social, and personal responsibility. The curriculum is also based on student learning, with specific learning goals embedded in courses that qualify for University Studies. The purposes of the learning goals are these:

  1. Foundation Learning Goals (A, B, C, D) stress developing and enhancing fundamental communication, critical thinking, information literacy, and quantitative reasoning skills.
  2. Exploration Learning Goals (E, F, G) stress acquiring a broadly informed knowledge of the various disciplines and becoming familiar with the kinds of inquiry that occur within the aesthetic, social, and scientific worlds.
  3. Integration Learning Goals (H, I, J) stress the deepening, application and transfer of knowledge across the disciplines. Students explore ethical perspectives in science and technology, citizenship and community, and diversity and global awareness.

The main divisions of strands and goals are listed below, and they show the breadth and depth of the University Studies curriculum.

Foundation Strands (A, B, C and D)

Foundation Strands

16 credits, earned through University Seminar and Math classes

Strand A: Communication Goals

Communicate effectively using writing, speech, and image.

  1. Demonstrate ability to use Standard American English.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Use standard conventions of grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.
    2. Structure sentences in varied and appropriate ways.
    3. Use vocabulary and phrasing appropriate to purpose and audience.
  2. Accurately comprehend written, verbal, visual, and/or symbolic communications.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Summarize relevant components and structures in messages.
    2. Interpret communications’ purposes and cultural assumptions.
    3. Identify arguments used to justify a position.
    4. Critique and assess meanings.
  3. Communicate in ways appropriate to purpose and audience.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Use effective styles, content, and or images.
    2. Adapt messages to facilitate mutual understandings.
    3. Target varied audiences for specific communication purposes.
    4. Develop claims and supporting information.
  4. Collaborate with others to achieve a common goal.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Demonstrate accountability to group processes and goals.
    2. Practice norms of effective communication and active listening.
    3. Use a variety of conflict management skills.

Strand B: Thinking Goals

Conceptualize ideas holistically, logically, and creatively.

  1. Demonstrate awareness of multiple perspectives.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Understand how thinking relates to historical and cultural contexts.
    2. Articulate the salient points of any idea.
    3. Identify the questions at issue.
  2. Identify perceptions, assumptions and biases in any point of view.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Distinguish between critical thought and subjective reaction.
    2. Assess claims and conclusions in relation to points of view.
    3. Evaluate inferences in thought.
  3. Apply logical thought to theoretical and practical issues.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Summarize an argument’s main claim(s) and conclusion(s).
    2. Analyze and evaluate an argument’s logic, evidence, and efficacy.
    3. Weigh evidence to determine accuracy, relevance and sufficiency.
    4. Assess implications and consequences of ideas.
    5. Produce effective arguments using claims, evidence, and valid inferences.
  4. Creatively shape ideas, evidence, and experiences.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Use ideas to structure and solve problems.
    2. Frame decisions using sound interpretations, findings, and solutions.
    3. Effectively create a course of action or communicate a point of view.

Strand C: Information Literacy

Access and use information resources effectively and ethically.

  1. Determine the nature and extent of information needed.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Develop and refine research questions.
    2. Identify key concepts and terms required to locate information.
    3. Examine and assess potential resources specific to research purpose.
  2. Access information effectively and efficiently.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Differentiate among keywords, subject headings and descriptors.
    2. Differentiate between primary and secondary sources.
    3. Implement a variety of information search strategies.
    4. Use full array of library services to retrieve information.
  3. Evaluate information and resources.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Determine accuracy of information by questioning source of data.
    2. Analyze limitations of information gathering tools or strategies.
    3. Investigate differing viewpoints in the information.
  4. Integrate information ethically and legally.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Retrieve and manipulate information across contexts and in multiple formats.
    2. Understand intellectual property, copyright, and fair use of information.
    3. Cite sources using appropriate documentation style, without plagiarism or misrepresentation.

Strand D: Quantitative Reasoning

Effectively formulate and use mathematical models and procedures to address abstract and applied problems.

  1. Recognize and express relationships using quantitative symbols.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Translate real world phenomena into algebraic expressions that correctly reflect quantitative relationships among variables.
    2. Know the four forms of quantitative symbols
      • given numbers
      • unknown constants
      • parameters (unknown numbers fixed by an applied context)
      • variables (unknown numbers that vary within an applied context) and use them appropriately.
    3. Apply fundamental mathematical models to a variety of academic contexts.
  2. Interpret, evaluate, and manipulate quantitative representations appropriately.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Know the important features of various quantitative models (algebraic, graphical, numeric, tables, charts, verbal).
    2. Use various quantitative models to analyze phenomena.
    3. Choose critically among quantitative models to efficiently discover relevant conclusions.
  3. Communicate quantitative concepts and relationships in plain language.
    Proficiencies: Students will be able to
    1. Reason inductively in a quantitative context by imagining, testing, and communicating general relationships from patterns.
    2. Reason deductively in a quantitative context by identifying mathematical premises, inferred conclusions, and errors in reasoning.
    3. Translate and communicate quantitative results into real world contexts.

Lee Ayers, EdD, PhD
Division Director, Undergraduate Studies
CS 211
Ashland, OR 97520