The Undergraduate Learning Outcomes

A liberal education is never complete. It is a continuing process of discovering one’s talents, developing one’s abilities and adapting to change. A liberal education involves development of knowledge, skills and attitudes. Liberal education takes place through all of the experiences of college life, both in and out of the classroom. Liberally educated persons understand that they are part of a broader community. They appreciate the need to serve in that community and be responsible for themselves, for others and for the natural environment.

Colby-Sawyer College students will:

  • Learn and use a broad body of knowledge with depth in their major fields
    Through their liberal arts education, students will acquire knowledge produced by their experiences and the scholarly disciplines and will develop interdisciplinary understanding. Through their major program of study, students will gain significant depth of disciplinary knowledge, integrating the liberal arts and sciences with career preparation.
  • Enrich and deepen their self-knowledge
    Students will explore the elements of their private and public selves and integrate their personal, social and academic experiences. They will explore the roles of intellect, emotion, body and spirit in a person’s well-being and strive to lead lives that demonstrate responsibility to themselves, their society and the earth.
  • Think creatively and critically
    Students will analyze, evaluate, understand and synthesize new information and respond to it in considered and creative ways. They will develop qualitative and quantitative skills and use evidence to support and question opinions, ideas and beliefs in personal, public and professional life. They will be able to put ideas together in new ways and to engage in hypothetical reasoning — to imagine that which does not yet exist.
  • Communicate and interact effectively
    Students will articulate and understand their experiences through speaking, reading, writing, listening, movement and the various modes of artistic appreciation and expression. They will develop competence with new and traditional methods of communication. They will apply these skills, demonstrating effective collaboration in their personal, social and professional lives.
  • Act ethically and professionally
    Students will understand the ethical standards of their society and professions, make considered choices in their academic, personal and professional lives and accept responsibility for those choices. Students will develop effective ways to make moral distinctions, attain the qualities of character required to act on their ethical principles and behave in a professional manner.
  • Understand and employ multiple perspectives
    Students will understand how diversity affects perspective. They will use personal, disciplinary and interdisciplinary skills to explore the complexity of the past, present and future. Through their understanding of diversity and history, students will develop an active sense of themselves as members of varied local and global communities. They will interact successfully with people whose experiences and world views differ from their own.