University Studies Goals

2015-2016 GOAL OF THE YEAR - Inquiry and Critical Thinking


Students will learn various modes of inquiry through interdisciplinary curricula—problem-posing, investigating, conceptualizing—in order to become active, self-motivated, and empowered learners.

UNST has designated INQUIRY AND CRITICAL THINKING its 2015-2016 Goal of the Year, with a program-wide focus on conversations about inquiry and critical thinking, implementing new rubrics, and assessing our students’ learning related to our inquiry and critical thinking goal.

Inquiry and Critical Thinking Rubric (word)


2014-2015 GOAL OF THE YEAR - Communication


UNST Communication Goal:  Students will enhance their capacity to communicate in various ways—writing, graphics, numeracy, and other visual and oral means—to collaborate effectively with others in group work, and to be competent in appropriate communication technologies.

UNST has designated COMMUNICATION its 2014-2015 Goal of the Year, with a program-wide focus on conversations about communication, implementing new writing rubrics, and assessing our students’ learning related to our communication goal.

Freshman (FRINQ) and Sophomore Inquiry (SINQ) courses meet PSU students' writing requirement.  To be sure our courses support students' writing, the UNST Writing Coordinator worked with a group of faculty to refine and clarify writing outcomes for FRINQ and SINQ courses.  We also surveyed SINQ students about the kinds of writing courses they took prior to enrolling in SINQ, piloted the writing outcomes with our freshman ePortfolios, and using the survey and ePortfolio information, worked with a group of faculty to develop new writing rubrics for use in UNST assessment.


Writing Outcomes

Assessment reports related to Communication.

Writing Rubric - Analytic (word

Writing Rubric - Holistic (word)

Quantitative Literacy Rubric (wordpdf)


Diversity, Equity and Social Justice

Students will explore and analyze identity, power relationships, and social justice in historical contexts and contemporary settings from multiple perspectives.

Diversity Rubric (word, pdf)
Updated rubric coming soon!


Ethics and Social Responsibility

Students will expand their understanding of the impact and value of individuals and their choices on society, both intellectually and socially, through group projects and collaboration in learning communities.

Ethics and Social Responsibility Rubric (word, pdf)