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 Assessment of Student Learning

Political Science B.A. Outcomes

 

The Mission of the Department of Political Science includes teaching, research, and service on all aspects of politics and political science. The Department strives to provide high quality teaching to prepare future political scientists and analysts and to prepare students for lives of active citizenship in an increasingly interconnected and culturally diverse world. To these ends the Department offers both a major and a minor in Political Science and contributes to the university’s programs in liberal education and international studies. The Department also strives to produce first-rate pure and applied research generating new knowledge on, and better understandings of, all aspects of politics and political science and, where appropriate, puts its expertise at the service of the University and the community at large.

Departmental Learning Outcomes

The Department of Political Science has identified the following ten learning outcomes for students in its undergraduate program. These include: cognitive outcomes –what we expect out students to know; behavioral outcomes –what we expect our students to be able to do; and affective outcomes –what we expect our students to value, all as political science graduates.

 

Cognitive Outcomes

Students completing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science will be able to demonstrate the following knowledge:

  1. Knowledge of the main fields in political science. Graduates will be able to identify the main fields in political science (including American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory), the conventions they use in organizing and analyzing information and in making and assessing arguments, and the way in which they contribute to and are enriched by scholarship in other fields and disciplines.

 

UMD Outcome(s):
Demonstrate competence in a major field;
Construct, integrate, and apply knowledge from instruction and experience.

  1. Knowledge of main concepts, theories, positions and problems in the study and practice of politics, and the key figures associated with them. Graduates will be familiar with a variety of analytical frameworks used in the study of politics, with the types of problems, puzzles and questions at stake in the study and practice of politics, and with the (often competing) values at stake in political activity. Graduates also will be able to identify, where appropriate, the people who made substantial contributions to the study and/or practice of politics.

 

UMD Outcome(s):
Demonstrate competence in a major field;
Construct, integrate, and apply knowledge from instruction and experience;
Apply understanding of cultural differences in diverse environments.

  1. Knowledge of the institutions, structures and processes of politics and government at local, national, regional, international and global levels. Graduates will be able to understand the organizations involved, planning and collaboration required, process and limitations of execution, and the purposes for and trends regarding participation in political activity at all levels of political life today and in the past.

 

UMD Outcome(s):
Demonstrate competence in a major field;
Construct, integrate, and apply knowledge from instruction and experience;
Apply understanding of cultural differences in diverse environments.

Behavioral Outcomes

Students completing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  1. Skill in arguing within disciplinary conventions about the concepts, theories, positions and problems at stake in the study and practice of politics, in both written and oral forms.  Graduates will be able to demonstrate skill in writing and speaking about political ideas, issues, and problems by developing, researching and defending an argument within disciplinary conventions of analysis, with effective and critical use of sources and/or evidence, with attention to reasonable counterarguments, and through clear, graceful and logically organized prose.

 

UMD Outcome(s):
Demonstrate competence in a major field;
Construct, integrate, and apply knowledge from instruction and experience;
Communicate effectively through writing, speaking, and interpersonal and group interactions;
Think critically and creatively in seeking solutions to practical and theoretical problems;
Apply understanding of cultural differences in diverse environments.

  1. Skill in identifying political science research problems, questions or puzzles and applying appropriate methods and techniques for their investigation. Graduates will be able to demonstrate skill in identifying an original research agenda within political science and applying appropriate methods and techniques for their investigation including, but not restricted to, the creation and interpretation of data sets, formal reasoning, the construction of narratives, and the deconstruction of language and symbols.

UMD Outcome(s):
Demonstrate competence in a major field;
Construct, integrate, and apply knowledge from instruction and experience;
Think critically and creatively in seeking solutions to practical and theoretical problems;
Apply understanding of cultural differences in diverse environments.

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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on 02/20/14 09:10 AM
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