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Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning General Education

University Common Requirements (UCORE)

All undergraduates, regardless of major, are expected to meet WSU’s Seven Learning Goals of Undergraduate Education, which identify core skills and knowledge that all students should develop through their undergraduate studies. WSU’s Learning Goals of Undergraduate Education are faculty developed and expressed broadly so as to frame study in the major as well as in general education. WSU’s general education, known as University Common Requirements (UCORE), provides balance between the specialized focus of the major and the broader traditional objectives of higher education.

UCORE is bookended by a required first-year course [ROOT] and a senior capstone experience [CAPS]. Foundational courses and inquiry-based learning in the disciplines are complemented by a diversity requirement that embraces both American and global issues. The program’s structure includes coursework in contemporary issues, social sciences, humanities, creative or professional arts, quantitative reasoning, natural sciences, and diversity, as well as communication, computation, and human relations. While the greater part of students’ courses of study is devoted to their major fields, the UCORE curriculum offers a wide variety of elective choices and provides many individual pathways through the curriculum, including introductory, advanced, and integrative forms of learning. For more information, see UCORE’s Curriculum webpages.

While all WSU undergraduate degrees align their program-level student learning outcomes with WSU’s Seven Learning Goals of Undergraduate Education (with some variation based on disciplinary focus), UCORE is the centerpiece of the undergraduate curriculum supporting the advancement of WSU’s Learning Goals. All UCORE-designated courses require students to demonstrate Critical & Creative Thinking, Information Literacy, and Written Communication (a sub-goal of the Communication goal), while Oral Communication (another Communication sub-goal), Quantitative Reasoning, Scientific Literacy, Diversity, and Depth, Breadth, & Integration of Learning are advanced in UCORE courses as appropriate to the designator (see UCORE’s Curriculum webpages for more information).

UCORE Assessment

UCORE Assessment Framework depicting Student Learning Goals, Assessment Planning, Assessment Resources, Current Assessment Activities, Evidence of Student Learning, and Use of Student Learning Evidence.UCORE Assessment is intended to help faculty, departments, and university leadership determine to what extent undergraduates are achieving WSU’s Seven Learning Goals of Undergraduate Education in the context of the UCORE curriculum. The UCORE Assessment website is guided by the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) Transparency Framework, which seeks to make evidence of student accomplishment readily accessible and potentially useful and meaningful to various audiences.

UCORE Assessment is a collaborative process that includes faculty, students, staff, administrators, and others. Faculty participate on UCORE’s subcommittee for assessment and also contribute to assessment of key programs and courses. The Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL) supports UCORE assessment, by managing specific assessment-related initiatives, and works with university leadership to develop policies and infrastructure to sustain assessment and meet standards for university accreditation.