Apr 17, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Institutional Learning

University Learning Goals | Program Learning Outcomes | GE Learning Goals | Course Learning Outcomes


In collaboration with nearby industries and communities, SJSU faculty and staff are dedicated to achieving the university’s mission as a responsive institution of the state of California: To enrich the lives of its students, to transmit knowledge to its students along with the necessary skills for applying it in the service of our society, and to expand the base of knowledge through research and scholarship.Institutional Pyramid - University Mission at top, Institutional Learning Goals, General Education and Program Learning Outcomes, and Course Learning Outcomes at bottom

Relationship of Course Learning Outcomes through the University Mission: Adapted from National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.

University Learning Goals (ULGs)

In 2013, SJSU developed University Learning Goals to uniquely define the skills and knowledge of San Jose State University graduates. These goals help students understand the purpose of their time at SJSU and guide academic planning and curriculum development. 

The SJSU experience is designed to ensure that students have the power to be lifelong learners and have successful futures. This preparation begins as students complete their general education requirements, and continues through SJSU Studies and their majors.

Begin here to learn more about the goals SJSU has for its students, and how those goals power the student experience from lower-division general education programs, through majors and concentrations, and capstone courses. 

University Goals Power Lifelong Learning

The student learning experience at SJSU is centered on helping students achieve seven important goals. These goals represent the skills and knowledge that power lifelong learning and career success. San José State University graduates will have developed:

1. Social and Global Responsibilities. An ability to consider the purpose and function of one’s degree program training within various local and/or global social contexts and to act intentionally, conscientiously, and ethically with attention to diversity and inclusion.

2. Specialized Knowledge. Depth of knowledge required for a degree, as appropriate to the discipline.

3. Intellectual Skills

  1. Fluency with specific theories, assumptions, foundational knowledge, analytical and interpretive protocols, tools, and technologies appropriate to the discipline or field of study. 

  2. Skills necessary for mastery of a discipline at a level appropriate to the degree and leading to lifelong learning, including critical and creative thinking and practice, effective communication, thorough and ethical information gathering and processing, competence with quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies, and productive engagement in collaborative activities. 

  3. For undergraduate students in a baccalaureate program: an understanding of critical components of broad academic areas, including the arts, humanities, social sciences, quantitative reasoning, and sciences. 

4. Integrative Knowledge and Skills

  1. Mastery in each step of an investigative, creative, or practical project (e.g., brainstorming, planning, formulating hypotheses or complex questions, designing, creating, completing, and communicating) with integration within and/or across disciplines. 

  2. An ability to articulate the potential impacts of results or findings from a particular work or field in a societal context.

5. Applied Knowledge. An ability to apply theory, practice, and problem solving to new materials, settings, and problems.  

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Co-Curricular Programs

General Education Learning Goals

Students who complete the General Education curriculum should be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World
    (focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring through study in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, humanities, histories, languages, and the arts)
  • Intellectual and Practical Skills
    (practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance)
  • Personal and Social Responsibility
    (anchored through active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges)
  • Integrative Learning
    (demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems)

The advancement of academic discourse requires civility and a respectful attitude toward all in the expression and consideration of a variety of viewpoints. All courses shall reinforce the ethical responsibility of students and instructors to acknowledge respectfully the learning styles and forms of expression of individuals and members of all groups.

Basic Skills of an Educated Person

Basic Skills of an Educated Person (A1-3, B4)  courses help build key skills for learning - communication and critical thinking. An educated person can communicate ideas effectively both verbally and in writing. Being able to organize and express ideas is a key part of learning. An educated person must also have strong reasoning powers in order to analyze critically all types of information. The skills courses within General Education provide an opportunity for students to gain and enhance critical communication and analytical skills.

Basic Knowledge of an Educated Person

Basic Knowledge of an Educated Person (B1-3, C1-2, D1-3, E)  courses help students gain the fundamental knowledge of an educated person. Students will have an opportunity to demonstrate an appreciation of the fundamentals of science, arts and letters, and the forces that shape the individual and modern society throughout the lifespan. This fundamental knowledge is crucial to understanding more advanced topics, including a major field of study

Integrated Knowledge of an Educated Person

Integrative Knowledge of an Educated Person (R, S, V, Z)  courses will help students become integrated thinkers who can see connections between and among a variety of concepts and ideas. An educated person will be able to apply concepts and foundations learned in one area to other areas as part of a lifelong learning process. These courses will help students to live and work intelligently, responsibly, and cooperatively in a multicultural society and to develop abilities to address complex issues and problems using disciplined analytical skills and creative techniques.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Course Learning Outcomes are identified on each course syllabus (per University Policy S16-9).