Subject Area Learning Outcomes

GE Program

Those who successfully complete the UCSB GE program will be able to

  • Follow the protocols of scholarly inquiry within and across specific academic disciplines, including those for
    • developing research questions,
    • conducting research,
    • types and standards of evidence used to answer research questions,
    • conventions of knowledge organization (form, style, syntax, mechanics, citation), and
    • the relevance of inquiry for contemporary contexts.
  • Locate, interpret, and use academic and vernacular sources (such as documents, artifacts, performances) appropriately for specific contexts, audiences, and purposes.
  • Critically read and interpret qualitative, quantitative, primary, and secondary sources.
  • Demonstrate effective strategies for approaching and understanding key ideas within disciplines.
  • Articulate key concepts and ideas through texts, performances, or other materials appropriate to a discipline.

These broad learning goals are disseminated through 12 focus areas within the GE curriculum. The student learning outcomes for each of these areas contribute to the achievement of these overarching goals. Specific outcomes in each area are described below.

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GE Subject Areas

Area A: English Reading and Composition

In one lower- and one upper-division Area A course, students learn to analyze purposes, audiences, and contexts for writing. This is accomplished through study of and practice with genres as they circulate among a variety of sites.

Students who successfully complete the Area A requirement will be able to:

  • Produce writing that demonstrates the ability to conduct inquiry in specific contexts using appropriate sources (e.g., academic and non-academic sources; digital and print sources) and methods.
  • Apply analysis of purposes, audiences, and contexts for writing to the production of written work.
  • Use flexible processes for writing, reading, research, and analysis to formulate and express ideas.
  • Reflect on processes for writing, reading, and analysis and consider the relationships between those processes and specific purposes, audiences, and contexts for writing.
  • Develop and apply strategies to address unintentional violations of convention of content, form, citation, style, mechanics, and syntax.

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Area B: Language

In Area B courses, students will display basic familiarity appropriate to the discipline with a written and/or oral language other than their own.

Students who successfully complete the Area B requirement will be able to:

  • Communicate in and/or interpret at a basic level a language other than their own.
  • Analyze the basic structures and functions of a language other than their own.
  • Engage in language learning as a social activity.
  • Demonstrate basic understandings of cultures, practices, products, and cultural contexts where languages are or were used.

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Area C: Science, Mathematics, and Technology

In Area C courses, students learn to distill and solve problems through the application of appropriate models and methods, and to re-articulate their solutions using language appropriate to the discipline.

Students who successfully complete the Area C requirement will be able to:

  • Apply the scientific method to questions about the natural world.
  • Acquire key concepts, facts, and theories relevant to the biological, physical, or technological sciences.
  • Address the relevance of scientific hypothesis and scientific methodologies to life outside the classroom.
  • Critically evaluate evidence presented in numerical, statistical, cartographical, or graphical form.
  • Present clear reasoning containing quantitative information.
  • Extract the information needed to solve a particular problem and determine whether a solution to a problem is reasonable by means of estimation.
  • Create appropriate models to analyze a type of problem not seen before
  • Accurately manipulate symbolic information.

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Area D: Social Sciences

In Area D courses, students apply perspectives, theories, and methods of social science research in order to learn about what motivates, influences, and/or determines the behaviors and beliefs of individuals and groups.

Students who successfully complete the Area D requirement will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental social science concepts and theories.
  • Describe emergent levels of organization between and among individuals, groups, and/or societies.
  • Apply discipline-specific theoretical perspectives and methods to questions about interactions between individuals, groups, and/or cultures.
  • Use a range of sources to inform inquiry into questions related to behaviors and beliefs of individuals and groups in specific disciplinary contexts.
  • Critically evaluate the merit of claims on the basis of methods and empirical evidence from the discipline.
  • Explain how social scientific concepts and social phenomena relate to contemporary political and social issues.

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Area E: Culture and Thought

In Area E courses, students learn to situate and investigate questions about the ways in which human history and cultures are constructed and negotiated and the roles that citizens play in those processes with the intent of contributing to an informed citizenry.

Students who successfully complete the Area E requirement will be able to:

  • Recognize that definitions of culture are constructed by individuals and/or groups within specific contexts and situations and understand factors contributing to or shaping these definitions.
  • Identify how individuals and/or groups draw on thought and culture to find meaning in events, behaviors, places, objects, images, or ideas.
  • Understand how those who study culture and thought within specific contexts ask questions, gather and interpret evidence, and represent analysis.
  • Critically read, interpret, and evaluate primary and secondary evidence in order to address questions about definitions of culture and thought within specific contexts.
  • Draw on analyses of culture and thought within specific contexts to develop informed positions about cultures and identities.

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Area F: Arts

In Area F courses, students learn to analyze artistic products, articulate the connections between those products and the cultures in which they were produced, and describe the relevance of art in various cultures.

Students who successfully complete the Area F requirement will be able to:

  • Analyze works of art to understand their component elements and how those elements constitute a whole.
  • Be able to read and interpret texts and other materials related to the arts.
  • Represent analyses orally and/or in writing.
  • Identify relationships between artistic forms and their creators, the cultures in which they are created, and the social, political, cultural, and technological contexts that shape them and which they shape.
  • Express relationships between and among diverse artistic forms.
  • Articulate connections between authorial and/or cultural contexts in which works of art are created and their reception and/or performance.
  • Identify relevance of artistic forms to everyday experience.

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Area G: Literature

In Area G courses, students learn to analyze texts using methods appropriate to the discipline(s) and to situate analysis within contexts where texts circulate.

Students who successfully complete the Area G requirement will be able to:

  • Analyze the ways literary texts reflect, comment upon, and shape the cultural, social, political, economic, and technological contexts in which they are produced.
  • Evaluate and interpret literary texts in relation to literary techniques, genres, and traditions.
  • Apply standard conventions of literary analysis.
  • Provide evidence from appropriate sources to support textual analysis.
  • Identify relationships between literary forms and forms of authorship.

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Special Subject Areas

European Traditions

In European Traditions courses, students learn to analyze early and/or modern European cultures and their significance in world affairs.

Students who successfully complete the European Traditions requirement will be able to:

  • Identify origins, influences, and traditions of European cultures and societies.
  • Analyze interactions of European cultures and societies with other cultures and societies.
  • Develop strategies for interpreting actions, artifacts, documents, and/or languages of European cultures and societies.

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World Cultures

In World Cultures courses, students learn to identify, understand, and appreciate the history, thought, and practices of one or more world culture outside of the European tradition.

Students who successfully complete the World Cultures requirement will be able to:

  • Recognize how cultural patterns change and adapt over time.
  • Explore questions about the roles that cultures play in shaping institutions, identities, and/or practices.
  • Explore the methods used to investigate the study of cultures.
  • Reflect critically on their own cultures through an understanding of the cultural experiences of others.

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Ethnicity Requirement

In Ethnicity courses, students learn to identify and understand the philosophical, intellectual, historical, and/or cultural experiences of oppressed and excluded racial minorities in the United States.

Students who successfully complete the Ethnicity requirement will be able to:

  • Analyze the experiences of oppressed and excluded ethnicities and groups;
  • Understand the development of ethnic identities from a variety of perspectives
  • Situate their own experiences as students and learners of cultural and ideological contexts within the diversity of American society
  • Develop perspectives for understanding the experiences of ethnic groups and cultures
  • Develop strategies for interpreting cultural activities, traditions, documents, and/or the material cultures of members of particular ethnic groups

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Quantitative Relationships

In Quantitative Relationships courses, students develop and apply basic quantitative methods to relevant questions or areas of study.

Students who successfully complete the Quantitative Relationships requirement will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to collect, interpret, and effectively utilize data and quantitative information.
  • Use mathematical or other abstract models to express and understand causal relationships.

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Writing Requirement

In Writing Requirement courses, students study and practice with writing, reading, and critical analysis within specific disciplines. Students will demonstrate their abilities with these outcomes by producing written work that is independent of or in addition to written examinations and that is a significant consideration in the assessment of student performance in the course.

Students who successfully complete the Writing Requirement will be able to:

  • Produce writing that uses rhetorical conventions appropriate to different disciplines and, if appropriate, languages.
  • Identify the roles that types of writing play in the production and circulation of knowledge within specific disciplines.
  • Identify the role of evidence in writing within specific disciplines.
  • Locate, interpret, and use discipline-specific evidence appropriately.
  • Use conventions of organization, style, coherence, structure, syntax, and mechanics appropriate to specific disciplines.
  • Use citational style and form appropriate to specific disciplines.

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