• Problem solving—an ability to define problems and integrate a range of abilities and resources to reach decisions, make recommendations, or implement action plans.

  • Values within decision making—an ability to reflect and to habitually seek to understand the moral dimensions of decisions and to accept responsibility for the consequences of actions.

  • Social interaction—an understanding of how to get things done in committees, task forces, team projects, and other group efforts.

  • Global perspective—an ability to articulate interconnections between and among diverse opinions, ideas, and beliefs about global issues.

  • Effective citizenship—an ability to make informed choices and develop strategies for collaborative involvement in community issues.

  • Aesthetic responsiveness—an ability to make informed responses to artistic works that are grounded in knowledge of the theoretical, historical, and cultural contexts.

The abilities cut across disciplines and are subdivided into six developmental levels. The six levels represent a developmental sequence that begins with objective awareness of one’s own performance process for a given ability and specifies increasingly complex knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Students must demonstrate consistent performance at level 4 for each of the eight abilities prior to graduation. An example of the development levels for problem solving appears in Box F-7.

Each of Alverno’s educational programs also defines a set of abilities distinctive to each major and minor area. These outcomes, identified by faculty as essen-

BOX F-7 Levels of Learning Outcomes for Problem Solving




Articulate own problem-solving process, making explicit the steps taken to approach the problem(s)


Analyze the stucture of discipline- or profession-based problem-solving frameworks


Use discipline- of profession-based problem-solving frameworks and strategies


Independently examine, select, use, and evaluate various approaches to develop solutions

In majors and areas of specialization:


Collaborate in designing and implementing a problem-solving process


Solve problems in a variety of professional settings and advanced disciplinary applications

SOURCE: Alverno College Faculty, 1973/2000.

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