Baccalaureate Review

Baccalaureate Purpose Statement, Goals, and Learning Outcomes

Approval timeline— Submitted by NIU Baccalaureate Review Task Force

  • September 16, 2010: Purpose statement, goals, and learning outcomes presented to Committee on the Undergraduate Curriculum (CUC)
  • October 14, 2010: CUC voted to approve 
  • November 4, 2010: Undergraduate Coordinating Council voted to approve

Purpose statement

The NIU baccalaureate degree experience enables graduates to think critically, create, and communicate by participating in an engaged learning environment to prepare for success in a diverse, global society. This learning environment emphasizes the importance of context. Graduates will be prepared to understand the impact of history on modern society, the relationship between our society and others around the globe, and the unity and diversity of the American experience. Students will be exposed to a broad range of experiences and knowledge through the study of natural science, social science, the humanities, and the arts. Students will develop their knowledge, capacities, and abilities through an intentionally developed curriculum that integrates general education, the students’ majors, and opportunities outside the classroom. NIU graduates will become life-long learners who are empowered, informed, and responsible citizens.

Goal definitions—"Three Cs"

Critical thinking—involves literacy, reflectivity, and understanding how to gather and make sense of various forms of information before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.

Creativity—uses a combination of imagination, intellect, insight, and emotion to solve problems and transform existing ideas, images, or techniques in innovative and original ways.

Communication—includes the mastery of basic skills, such as language, technology, and collaboration.


Baccalaureate learning outcomes

  1. Integrate knowledge of global interconnections and interdependencies
  2. Exhibit intercultural competencies with people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives
  3. Analyze issues that interconnect human life and the natural world
  4. Demonstrate critical, creative, and independent thought
  5. Communicate clearly and effectively
  6. Collaborate with others to achieve specific goals
  7. Use and combine appropriate quantitative and qualitative reasoning skills to address questions and solve problems
  8. Synthesize knowledge and skills relevant to one’s major or particular fields of study and apply them creatively to develop innovative outcomes


Task Force Reports

Fall 2010 Report -
Extended Version


View All Reports >>

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