Academic Affairs

Assessment Goals

We assess our performance on both the institution-wide strategic plan goals, and the goals of each department, program, and office within the college. These goals are collected below.

College-Wide Strategic Plan Goals

The recently-adopted Strategic Plan expands on Union's mission statement and incorporates the following institution-wide goals:

Goal 1: Union will strengthen its vibrant community of learners, scholars and teachers, so that we can more fully blend the liberal arts and engineering, transcend disciplinary boundaries, bridge classroom and immersive experiences, and engage and embrace diverse experiences and perspectives.

Goal 2: Union will ensure that it has the resources required to thrive in a changing higher education landscape.

Each of these goals is divided into a number of objectives, which in turn present relevant activities. Assessment is periodic in nature and operates on a four-year cycle; each year, a certain subset of objectives is assessed.

Departmental and Program-Level Goals

The departmental and program-level learning goals are related to the aforementioned strategic plan goals, which are in turn linked to Union’s mission statement.

Academic Departments

  • Anthropology Learning Outcomes
    1. To develop in students the ability to express thoughts through clear and logical writing and speech.
    2. To instill in students a basic knowledge of the current state of knowledge in cultural anthropology, particularly as it applies to their thesis topic, a familiarity with major debates of the past, and ability to apply appropriate knowledge to analyzing their thesis material.
    3. To give students an understanding of anthropological methods and the ability to apply them in independent research.
    4. To develop in students an appreciation for the complexities of culture and society, including the way that cultural beliefs are linked to power relations.
  • Biology Learning Outcomes

    While at Union, biology students will:

    Biological Literacy
    • Master foundational knowledge of modern biology across different levels of organization (e.g., sub-cellular, organismal, population).
    • Develop proficiency in the use of laboratory and field techniques and biological instrumentation.
    • Learn suitable quantitative and statistical skills to analyze experimental outcomes.
    • Access and critically evaluate selected primary and secondary scientific literature in biology.
    Scientific Inquiry
    • Understand the nature of and relationship among scientific theories, hypotheses, models and knowledge (Theories and Models).
    • Generate testable hypotheses, design experiments, analyze and display experimental outcomes and draw appropriate conclusions (Hypothesis Testing).
    • Communicate effectively in conventional oral and written scientific formats (Communication).
    • Develop skills for self-directed study and independent learning.
  • Chemistry Learning Outcomes

    Graduating Chemistry and Biochemistry majors should master the following skills and
    competencies to become successful professionals:
    1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills. Be able to think critically to
    analyze chemical and biochemical problems. Possess a solid background in the
    topics of basic and upper level chemistry courses, including general chemistry,
    inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry,
    and biochemistry, as described by the American Chemical Society Committee on
    Professional Training.
    2. Laboratory and Instrumentation Skills. Be competent experimentalists,
    possessing fundamental laboratory skills and a working knowledge of good safety
    practices in the laboratory. Be able to design and set up an experiment, collect and
    analyze data, identify sources of error, interpret their results and make
    connections to related areas of science. Be able to use modern chemical research
    instrumentation as developed through a variety of hands-on experiences in
    teaching and research laboratories.
    3. Computer and Chemical Literature Skills. Be able to use computers to
    solve chemical problems, including the use of spreadsheets, a high level
    programming language such as Mathematica, and computational chemistry
    modeling software, such as Spartan. Be able to use modern library searching and
    retrieval methods to obtain information about research topics, chemical
    substances, chemical techniques, and other related topics.
    4. Research, Teamwork and Communication Skills. Be able to complete
    independent research. Be able to work successfully in groups both in the
    classroom and in the laboratory environment. Be able to prepare and deliver
    effective oral and poster presentations and written reports on their research
    projects and be able to answer questions about their work at local, regional and/or
    national scientific conferences.
    5. Interdisciplinary Awareness and Ethics. Be able to recognize the
    importance of cross-disciplinary approaches to modern research problems by
    participating in independent research and attending frontiers of
    chemical/biochemical research seminars from external speakers. Be able to
    participate as responsible citizens and effectively communicate the impacts of
    chemistry and biochemistry research on our local, national, and global
    communities.

  • Classics Department Learning Outcomes
    1. disciplinary knowledge
    2. written communication skills
    3. research methods
    4. critical thinking skills
    5. understanding of cultural and social complexity
  • Computer Science Learning Outcomes

    1. Understand the foundations of computing.

    2. Understand how computers function.

    3. Develop a strong foundation in the software development process.

    4. Carry out independent research or system implementation.

    5. Effectively express ideas in oral and written form.

    6. Recognize that computing has relevance to other disciplines.

  • Economics Learning Outcomes

    The economics department seeks six learning outcomes for its students:

    1. Students will develop a broad awareness of current events, issues, and problems in economics.
    2. Students will learn to “think like an economist” in posing questions about these events, issues, and problems.
    3. Students will learn the fundamental tools of economic analysis used to address economic problems.
    4. Students will learn to apply those tools to the analysis of a range of current economic problems.
    5. Students will learn to communicate the results of their analyses in written and oral forms.
    6. Students will develop the ability to learn independently, so as to maintain their knowledge of economics after graduation.
  • Electrical Engineering Learning Outcomes

    Program Educational Objectives

    Within a few years of graduation, our students will be working in their chosen profession or studying for an advanced degree, and will

    –Apply their technical, critical thinking, teamwork and communication skills to innovate in their chosen field

    –Reflect on how their engineering education experience within the liberal arts has prepared them to grow in their career and life paths

    –Promote inclusion in all aspects of their professional endeavors

    Student Outcomes

    Our students will have:

    1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
    2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
    3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
    4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
    5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
    6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
    7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
  • English Department Learning Outcomes

    1. We want our introductory students to be familiar with two major modes of literature --
    fiction and poetry -- their techniques and devices, and relevant critical approaches. We
    want this introduction to include literature from at least three cultures.
    2. We want for our majors some historical grounding (a requirement of a course pre-1700
    and one pre-1900 for majors), and for majors and all others the opportunity to take
    additional historically-based classes.
    3. We want our majors and other students to have knowledge of the work of Shakespeare.
    4. We want our students to have the opportunity to investigate a diverse range of
    literature as well as a variety of critical approaches. Therefore, our classes are grouped
    now as Historical Studies Courses, Cultural Studies Courses, Genre Studies Courses,
    Author Studies Courses, and Advanced Seminars for juniors and seniors.
    5. We want students to have the opportunity to be in smaller classes where writing and
    discussion are a central part of the course work.
    6. We want for our students a sense of intellectual self-reliance in dealing with a variety
    of literature combined with competence in writing (including creative writing workshops)
    as a way of responding to, and participating in, literary traditions.
    7. We want a program for our Honors students that informs them of research procedures,
    encourages them to work at the highest level, and creates a sense of shared goals and
    community.

  • Geology Learning Outcomes
    Working as a scientist

    • To be a critical thinker. To be able to think critically and to critically assess original data. To be
    able to devise a hypothesis-driven research project, and to understand the difference between
    observation and interpretation.
    • To master scientific communication both oral and written. This includes being able to put
    together a cogent oral presentation with clear illustrations that make sense to the audience. For
    writing, it includes papers that are logically constructed and conclusions supported with evidence.
    • To make coherent well-supported interpretations for primary data and observations. To work
    with diverse information and be able to put together a coherent picture in terms of an overall
    system or processes. To have some concept of what information is needed to advance
    understanding of a project.
    • To be technically literate. This includes being familiar with resources and databases, and to
    know how to go about finding missing information, either in terms of library/literature/web
    searching or in terms of what needs to be done in the lab or in the field to get the information.
    This includes knowing geology-related software, data manipulation, and modeling.

    Working as a geoscientist

    • To understand the place of the Geosciences in Society, and to know the links between
    academic and geology-related jobs or alleviating problems in society.
    • To be able to function effectively and be competent in the field. Including knowing how to use
    field and analytical tools. To be able to read, understand, and map an area that shows spatial
    distribution of rocks, processes, or surface materials.
    • To be able to function effectively and be competent in the laboratory and to have good analytical
    skills. Including knowing basic lab protocol, and safety.
    • To be able to work collaboratively on problems.
    • To understand use of literature in research. This includes evaluating current literature and
    thought in key geological topics, carry out a literature search, and an understanding of scientific
    literature.

    Core knowledge in the geosciences

    • To understand major principles in Geology, including: structure, sedimentology, stratigraphy,
    mineralogy, petrology, hydrology, and geomorphology.
    • To understand deep time. This includes an understanding of radiometric dating, and
    stratigraphic principles.
    • To understand global climate change and its impact on humans. Includes an understanding of
    proxy records for global climate change, the carbon cycle, and the hydrologic cycle.
    • To understand the major geochemical processes that affect the Earth. Includes the
    geochemistry of low temperature

  • History Department Learning Outcomes

    Content outcomes:

    1) A core concentration. Students achieve this by completing a minimum of five courses in one
    core concentration. Typically students also take advanced courses in this same concentration.
    Students are also required to complete the two-term senior project in their core concentration.
    2) Experience beyond the core concentration. Students will be broadly educated in the different
    histories available for study in the department. Students achieve this by completing distribution
    requirements in two concentrations outside their core.

    3) Experience of different levels of scholarly difficulty and complexity. As well as breadth and
    depth in the subject field, students will study history at different levels of scholarly difficulty from
    the 100- to 300-level. Students achieve this by completing a junior seminar and at least two classes
    at the 300-level.

    Content outcomes:

    1) Conceptual Thinking: the student demonstrates the ability to define a valid topic of inquiry
    2) Evidence and Data: the student demonstrates the ability to identify, assemble, and select
    evidence appropriate to a defined topic of inquiry
    3) Critical Analysis: the student demonstrates the ability to analyze evidence and assess and
    reassess findings based on that analysis
    4) Argumentation: the student demonstrates the ability to structure a valid response to a defined
    topic of inquiry based on the critical analysis of evidence
    5) Presentation: the student demonstrates the ability to present an argument in a manner that is
    logical, clear, and precise

  • Mathematics Learning Outcomes

    Union College graduates in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics will demonstrate the
    following knowledge and abilities:

    1) Understanding of calculus of one and several variables.
    2) Competence in understanding mathematical definitions and theorems and using them appropriately
    in formulating proofs.
    3) Understanding of the core concepts of analysis and algebra (for graduates in Mathematics), or
    key techniques of applied mathematics and analyzing mathematical models (for graduates in
    Applied Mathematics).
    4) Effective written communication of mathematical reasoning, based on ability to understand
    and explain mathematical arguments derived from a variety of sources including textbooks,
    research papers, and research presentations.

  • Mechanical Engineering Learning Outcomes

    (a) A sufficient understanding of mathematics, the physical sciences, and engineering

    fundamentals and how to apply them to solve engineering problems (ABET

    EC2000 Criterion 3a).

    (b) The ability to design and conduct experiments, collect and analyze data, and draw

    conclusions from the results (ABET EC2000 Criterion 3b).

    (c) The ability to apply engineering fundamentals, creativity and accepted design

    methodology to design components, processes and systems (ABET EC2000

    Criterion 3c).

    (d) The ability to participate and contribute effectively as a member or a leader of a

    (1) team or (2) multidisciplinary team (ABET EC2000 Criterion 3d).

    (e) The ability to define, formulate and solve technical problems (ABET EC2000

    Criterion 3e).

    (f) An understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities in the engineering

    profession (ABET EC2000 Criterion 3f).

    (g) The ability to communicate effectively (oral, written, graphical, electronic).

    (ABET EC2000 Criterion 3g).

    (h) A sufficiently broad education that provides a context for understanding the

    impact of engineering solutions on society (ABET EC2000 Criterion 3h).

    (i) The ability to acquire new knowledge and capabilities on their own (ABET

    EC2000 Criterion 3i).

    (j) Knowledge of contemporary issues facing society (ABET EC2000 Criterion 3j).

    (k) The ability to use techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for

    engineering practice (ABET EC2000 Criterion 3k).

    (l) The ability to use computers effectively as a tool in engineering practice for

    analysis, design, research, and communication (ABET EC2000 Criterion 3k).

    (m)A significant exposure to a foreign culture to provide a better awareness of the

    global context of engineering practice (ABET EC2000 Criterion 3h).

  • Modern Languages Department Learning Outcomes

    Communicate effectively in more than one language to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes: Students learn to interact and negotiate meaning in spoken and written forms, developing gradually the ability to use, interpret, and analyze language in live exchange contexts while increasing the ability to present, narrate, and structure personal, intercultural, and contextual information (of a variety of topics whose range traverses the self and others) in order to share, persuade, debate information, and situate themselves in adapting to various situations, audiences of listeners, readers, and viewers.

    Interact with cultural competence and understanding: Students learn to use language in spoken and written form to analyze, explain, and reflect on (be critically alert about) the practices and perspectives of the cultures studied, in relationship with but also as different from their own. As students grow in their language competence, they learn to investigate, explain, reflect the concept of culture through comparisons.

    Connect with other disciplines and acquire information and diverse perspectives to use language to function in academic and career-related situations: Students learn to explore ways to investigate, analyze, and reflect on the language studied as well as the cultures studied as interconnected to global realities of diversity but also as singular. In doing so, they build, reinforce, and expand their knowledge of other disciplines while developing critical thinking to solve problems creatively and collaboratively.

    Develop insight into the nature of language and culture(s) to interact with and within them with appropriate competence: Students build, reinforce, and expand their language and cultures knowledge of various disciplines as applicable to their language performance and area interests, developing critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills in comparative—when appropriate interdisciplinary—and collaborative ways.

    Communicate and interact with other realities with cultural competence to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world: Emphasizing global awareness and international knowledge, this area goal helps students practice and develop all language skills (speaking, writing, listening, reading, analyzing, and reflecting on) and sequential knowledge of cultures studied within and beyond the classroom and beyond (but integrated into) their familiar worlds. Students learn to interact with and collaborate in their communities, emphasizing globalized, interconnected realities. As a result, they are trained to reflect on their own progress with respect to language, global connections and challenges, and intercultural knowledge.

  • Learning Outcomes for Music Majors and Minors
    1. To cultivate an appreciation for the arts by developing both breadth and depth of understanding of musics in their social and historical context. In order to do so, students must thoughtfully engage with various research materials and develop critical thinking and argumentative skills.
    2. To develop an understanding of a broad spectrum of musics by learning to listen analytically and learning to speak and write about various idioms with appropriate terminology.
    3. To develop creative habits of the mind through composition and collaboratively “making” music.
    4. To thoughtfully integrate a variety of technologies into learning experiences, including creative expression, research projects, and musical performances.
    5. Provide inclusive platforms for students to participate in diverse ensembles with a variety of solo and leadership opportunities, whose blend of collaboration and individual creativity enables them to explore their artistic vision.
  • Learning Outcomes for Philosophy Majors

    1) Be familiar with fundamental questions of philosophy.
    2) Be familiar with the best efforts to answer fundamental questions of
    philosophy and be able to critically evaluate those answers.
    3) Be motivated and able to critically and imaginatively examine their own
    answers to the fundamental questions of philosophy.

  • Physics and Astronomy Learning Outcomes

    1. Physics and astronomy majors should have a thorough knowledge and
    understanding of the fundamental concepts of classical and modern
    physics and be prepared for graduate work or technical careers.

    2. Physics and astronomy majors should have a set of fundamental,
    transferable skills that can be applied to a broad range of situations. These
    include problem-solving skills, laboratory skills, computational skills,
    oral and written communication skills, the ability to analyze data, and
    the ability to apply high-level mathematical methods to model real-life
    situations.

  • Learning Outcomes for Political Science Majors
    1. Build within students the knowledge, skills, and desire to be life long public and global citizens.
    2. Challenge students to think critically about their beliefs and understandings of the
      world around them
    3. Develop the language, analytical and writing skills necessary for them to present these ideas
      effectively to others.
    4. Beyond the classroom, provide students with the inspiration and opportunities to
      engage with politics in its multiple forms and locations.
  • Psychology Learning Outcomes

    1) the capacity to think deeply, critically, logically, complexly, and ethically

    2) the ability to evaluate claims to truth and to make educated, defensible judgments

    under conditions of uncertainty and complexity

    3) the capacity to use information resources and to learn new information independently

    4) the ability to express one’s thoughts in writing and speech

    5) to give students an understanding of the basic ideas which the field of psychology has contributed to general intellectual discourse, and which are part of the conceptual

    repertoire of a well-educated person

    6) to give students, especially majors, a basic understanding of the current state of

    knowledge in the field

    7. to give students, especially majors, an understanding of the scientific character of

    contemporary psychology, the various methods of psychological inquiry, and the

    experience of creating psychological knowledge through the application of those

    methods

    8) to prepare a portion of our students for graduate study in psychology, both in

    academically-oriented fields and in applied professions

    9) to help students reach a deeper understanding of themselves and other people -- i.e.,

    the part of the world that psychology studies -- including an understanding of the role

    of culture and the ways in which cultural differences shape people's behavior,

    experience and relationships

  • Learning Outcomes for Sociology Majors

    Students develop a wide range of skills and a background of knowledge that
    enables them to:

    1. critically analyze ideas and theories
    2. put ideas and theories into quantifiable contexts,
      examine many points of view concurrently
    3. identify social patterns and changes close to home and far away
    4. systematically and courageously search for answers to common problems.
  • Learning Outcomes for Theater and Dance Majors

    Students taking courses in the Theater and Dance curriculum will:
    1. Develop a willingness to take risks and to push boundaries of personal knowledge and
    experience
    2. Develop collaborative skills
    3. Develop an awareness of and appreciation for the historical, political, social and technical
    framework of performance in a global context.
    4. Develop critical judgment and an understanding of aesthetic principles
    5. Develop skills to create performance and present it in a public context.
    6. Develop proficiency and confidence in a particular aspect of the creative disciplines.

  • Learning Outcomes for Visual Arts Majors

    1. Knowledge of the materials and techniques used to make visual art
    2. Ability to identify and analyze how aesthetic problems are resolved in visual art
    3. Ability to identify and analyze how conceptual problems are resolved in visual art
    4. Ability to interpret visual art in its historical and cultural context

Interdisciplinary Study (IS) Programs

  • Asian Studies Learning Outcomes

    1.Language proficiency level at Intermediate-low/mid level or above.

    2. Students will appreciate Asia as a conceptual whole while at the same time learn how to make connections across national and cultural boundaries by taking one core course on Asia.

    3. Students acquire the skills to conduct scholarship.

  • Biochemistry Student Learning Outcomes

    Upon completion of the biochemistry program, graduates should:

    1. Have mastered a basic minimum of factual knowledge that is critical to most areas of biochemistry.
    2. Be competent experimentalists, possessing basic laboratory skills and a knowledge of good safety practices in the laboratory.
    3. Be exposed to the frontiers of biochemical research and recognize the importance of cross-disciplinary approaches to modern research problems.
    4. Be able to effectively communicate in both written and oral forms and be able to work successfully in groups both in the classroom and in the laboratory environment.
    5. Be prepared to think about the philosophical underpinnings of science and the ethical and societal implications of utilizing science and technology in society as a whole. Students can then participate as responsible citizens and effectively communicate the impacts of scientific research on local, national, and global communities.
  • Biomedical Engineering Program Outcomes

    Program Educational Objectives

    Within a few years of graduation, our students will be working in their chosen profession or studying for an advanced degree, and will

    –Apply their technical, critical thinking, teamwork and communication skills to innovate in their chosen field

    –Reflect on how their engineering education experience within the liberal arts has prepared them to grow in their career and life paths

    –Promote inclusion in all aspects of their professional endeavors

    Student Outcomes

    Our students will have:

    1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
    2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
    3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
    4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
    5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
    6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
    7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
  • Computer Engineering Learning Outcomes

    Program Educational Objectives

    Within a few years of graduation, our students will be working in their chosen profession or studying for an advanced degree, and will

    –Apply their technical, critical thinking, teamwork and communication skills to innovate in their chosen field

    –Reflect on how their engineering education experience within the liberal arts has prepared them to grow in their career and life paths

    –Promote inclusion in all aspects of their professional endeavors

    Student Outcomes

    Our students will have:

    1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
    2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
    3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
    4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
    5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
    6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
    7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
  • Environmental Science, Policy, & Engineering (ESPE) Learning Goals
    1. Understand environmental problems and solutions through the perspectives of multiple disciplines in science, engineering, humanities, and social sciences.
    2. Demonstrate critical and analytical thinking skills in relation to environmental problems and solutions with an awareness of interdisciplinary approaches.
    3. Effectively communicate ideas from the perspectives of environmental science, environmental policy, environmental justice, and environmental engineering to a wide range of audiences.
    4. Learn how to devise solutions to environmental challenges and develop policy to enact the solution by applying aspects from both Environmental Science and Environmental Policy.
    5. Be able to devise a hypothesis-driven research project, and to understand the difference between observation and interpretation.
    6. Understand the relationship between scientific research and environmental policy.
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies Learning Outcomes

    Upon completion of the major program students should have acquired the skills, knowledge, and/or abilities to:

    1. Identify major issues/problems/trends concerning Latin America and the Caribbean, with emphasis on the specialization of one country in particular.
    2. Demonstrate proficiency in Spanish, French, Portuguese, or any other official language of Latin America, or demonstrate knowledge of major themes in the literature and culture of the chosen Latin American language.
    3. Conduct a sustained and independent research project on a topic related to LACS that includes research in a Latin American or Caribbean country.
    4. Develop cultural proficiency by spending extended time (one full trimester) in Latin America or the Caribbean
  • Neuroscience Learning Outcomes
    1. Acquire a comprehensive understanding of the basic principles of neuroscience including general vocabulary, components of the nervous system, and interdisciplinary approaches to NS.
    2. Develop proficiency for fundamental laboratory techniques where appropriate.
    3. Develop quantitative and statistical skills necessary to analyze relevant data where appropriate.
    4. Organize and represent data in an appropriate format for presentations and/or publications.
    5. Read and critically evaluate primary literatures including data, results, and interpretation.

Office-Level Goals

For office assessment of institutional effectiveness, goals of units that fall under Academic Affairs are shown below:

Academic Affairs

  • Office of Student Success
    1. To provide academic support to students looking to develop new skills and strategies to enhance their academic success.
    2. To assist first year students in adapting to the college environment, to promote student success and encourage use of academic resources through effective peer mentoring.
    3. To maintain high levels of participation in the Supplemental Instruction program and assist students in successfully completing historically challenging courses, as measured by grades of C- or better.
  • Academic Opportunity Program / Higher Education Opportunity Program Statement of Goals
    • Enrollment. Enroll appropriate number of students each year who are consistent with the profile established by the New York State Education Department for HEOP—academically and economically disadvantaged. Academic eligibility is to be established in collaboration with the Admissions Office; economic eligibility is to be determined in collaboration with the Financial Aid Office.
    • Graduation rate. Graduate AOP/HEOP students at the same rate as general admission first-time first-year students. The graduation rate within four years for AOP/HEOP students has historically been lower than the four year graduation rate for general admission first-time first-year students.
    • Retention rate. Retain AOP/HEOP students at a rate equal or exceeding the retention rate for general admission first-time first-year students. In this case, we are referring to the rate at which students are retained from first-year to sophomore year.
    • Support services. Provide a variety of support services to AOP/HEOP students as identified by developing student needs. AOP/HEOP provides an additional network of support on top of what our students would normally receive from Union College. This includes a pre-first-year summer program, mandatory tutoring, and being assigned to an AOP adviser. We seek to increase the variety of support services provided to our students, and to design them to meet emerging trends.
    • Academic excellence. Maintain internal system for monitoring AOP/HEOP students’ academic progress. Consult with faculty on strategies for improving student performance; evaluate and review individual student progress at conclusion of each term, and make referrals as deemed appropriate.
    • Provide resources for post-graduate opportunities. Provide resources for career preparation as well as information about graduate school opportunities. We seek to have our students develop interview skills, resume and cover letter experience, and networking resources.
  • Advising Director Goals

    The primary mission of the advising program is to help students explore the Union College curriculum in a way that allows them to find their passions and pursue them while maximizing their academic experience and to give faculty/staff advisers the tools to encourage their students to reach these goals.

    To achieve this mission, the following goals will be met:

    1. To provide accurate, timely information to students and their faculty/staff advisers with regards to course offerings, graduation requirements, and academic policies
    2. To help students with transferring credits from AP courses, courses taken at partner institutions, and courses taken at other institutions
    3. To liaison with (as an ex-officio member of) the Common Curriculum Board to stay up to date with changes to the graduation requirements.
    4. To help departments and programs articulate their major or minor requirements in a manner that gives students a clear understanding of the requirements and the most effective way to complete those requirements.
    5. To work with the Dean of Studies to improve 4 year graduation rates and retention rates by making sure that students have the information and guidance needed to help them get the most of their Union education in a timely manner.
  • Assessment Goals
    1. To provide and maintain a formal assessment plan for the college, including a statement of the college’s objectives at various levels and a system of regularly reporting the extent to which they are being achieved.
    2. To provide a system by which units of the college will regularly assess their own performance, and assist unit directors in reporting as needed.
    3. To integrate assessment with planning, both at the level of the strategic plan and the level of departments, programs, and offices of the college.
    4. To maintain expertise in methods of assessment and provide that expertise to other units of the college requesting it.
  • Department of Athletics Statement of Goals
    1. Student-athletes are expected to be fully engaged and integrated into the campus community and perform academically at a level that mirrors the student population as a whole.
    2. Student-athletes, coaches and staff should display the highest level of dedication, character, integrity and sportsmanship on the fields of competition and in the campus community.
    3. Provide the entire campus community with the opportunity for spirited participation, promote physical activity and the opportunity to learn the skills of selected lifetime sports.
    4. Coaches, staff and administrators will provide quality participation opportunities to student-athletes, by:
      a) Ensuring male and female students access to equitable opportunities in intercollegiate athletics, relative to the demographics and interests of the student body
      b) Recruiting student-athletes of color and those from less-represented geographic areas to campus, in order to diversify the athletics department and Union College
    5. Create an environment of tolerance, acceptance and inclusion when working with students and fellow staff.
    6. Encourage student-athletes to be engaged in their intellectual experience and lead and participate in rewarding service initiatives locally, nationally and globally.
  • Engineering Director Goals
    1. Maintain and enhance Union’s presence and reputation in the external regional and national engineering community
    2. Present Union’s engineering programs to prospective students
    3. Inform the Union community of developments in engineering elsewhere and the current important topics in engineering education
  • Faculty Development Goals
    1. In conjunction with LDDI and the MakerSpace Director, support and promote College efforts to increase effective teaching and innovative instructional design, and help faculty adjust to changing teaching environments.
    2. In conjunction with the Grants Office and the DADP, support and promote faculty scholarly activities, including writing, conducting research, presenting at conferences, publications, and grant writing.
    3. Support the development of early career faculty through orientation programs, workshops, and mentoring opportunities.
    4. Support the development of mid-career faculty through workshops and mentoring opportunities.
  • General Education Learning Outcomes

    Through the Common Curriculum, students will develop the breadth of knowledge and flexibility of mind needed to participate in meaningful academic, community, and global conversations informed by the Liberal Arts. They will do so by achieving these learning outcomes:

    1. Communicate Critical and Analytical Thinking. Students will examine and evaluate evidence, data, artifacts, arguments, and theories according to the diverse analytical traditions of the Liberal Arts; students will communicate clearly and persuasively the results of such analysis.
    2. Make Original Connections or Contributions. Students will make original connections or contributions to academic, community, or global questions through their writings, theories, designs, objects of art, or other innovative projects.
    3. Reflective Learning. Students will demonstrate the ability to link their experiences in the Common Curriculum with their intellectual development as lifelong learners.
  • Health Professions Programs Goals

    Goal #1 To support students interested in a health profession and provide them with information and advice on how they can best meet their professional school goals
    Students will be able to access information and advising services on various program requirements, application procedures, and ways to tailor their academic and extracurricular plans in light of their interests.

    Goal #2 To engage students interested in a health profession in opportunities for personal and professional development
    Students will be able to engage in opportunities for career exploration, standardized test preparation, interview skills development, community based learning and clinical outreach.

    Goal #3 To support students with the professional school application process by offering a credential file service, providing feedback on strengths and weaknesses prior to professional school application, and preparing/submitting support letters on applicants’ behalf.
    Students will be able to prepare an electronic credential file that captures their strengths and documents their accomplishments, and they will be able to have a committee packet prepared and sent on their behalf in support of their professional school applications.

  • Information Technology Services Goals
    1. Support the advancement of Union’s academic, research, administrative and campus life through the use of information technology resources.
    2. Create and maintain an information technology infrastructure that is reliable, accessible, and secure.
    3. Maintain and improve user support for students, faculty and staff.
    4. Provide facilities that are equipped with appropriate, state-of-the-art educational and research technology in addition to required support services.
    5. Provide efficient and effective access to administrative systems to various constituencies (student, faculty, staff) through the utilization and deployment of web-based interfaces and advanced productivity tools.
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (IS) Goals
    1. Develop connections with admissions at Union College to attract students to IS programs by spotlighting the novelty and utility of IS majors/minors
    2. Develop administrative structures that reflect the equity of departmental and IS majors/minors
    3. Facilitate intentional pathways through GenEd that emphasize IS major/minors
    4. Develop budgetary policies to support IS program development
      1. Facilitate programs to obtain budgets that support their recurring needs.
      2. Develop a forward looking Director of Interdisciplinary Studies (DIS) budget to support important but less frequent needs.
    5. Build a hiring culture that provides for the institutional emphasis on IS program connections.
    6. Develop hiring practices to support the evolution of institutional hiring both in departments and programs
  • International Programs Learning Outcomes

    Goals for global education

    To achieve a sense of global connectedness in our scholarly community, we will work toward the following goals for providing opportunities:

    1. Increase the range of opportunities for students studying abroad.
    2. Provide a meaningful and rigorous academic experience abroad.
    3. Foster a greater understanding and appreciation of other cultures and promote awareness of cultural diversity and sensitivity to cultural differences among the Union community.

    International Programs Student Learning Outcomes

    Students who participate in an international program will significantly increase their:

    1. Understanding of the host culture, of cultural differences in general, and of the world as a linked global enterprise.
    2. Language proficiency (where applicable).
    3. Ability to apply analytical skills to conducting research projects (where applicable).
  • Leadership in Medicine Goals

    Goal 1: Union College LIM students will matriculate into Albany Medical College (AMC). Target: a minimum 80% of each entering LIM class will matriculate to AMC at graduation from Union.

    Goal 2: LIM students will achieve academic success at AMC. Target: No more than 10% of students in either their first or the second years at AMC will be flagged with a “Promotion Committee Action”.

    Goal 3: LIM students will meet AMC’s non-academic expectations in terms of experiential activities and personal qualities. Target: 100% of students will meet the target by December of the senior year at Union.

  • Library Goals
    1. Collections Goal: We build collections that reveal the story of the College’s past, remove limits on current research endeavors and create the foundation upon which its future will be built.
    2. Facilities Goal: We design and create a welcoming space that stimulates creativity, encourages critical inquiry and fosters thoughtful reflection and research.
    3. Processes Goal: We develop and improve library processes and roles and responsibilities make visible what we do, encourage collaboration, highlight what we are doing well and help us focus on where we need to improve and build effective working relationships among library staff and the campus community.
    4. Services Goal: We cultivate an environment that places every user’s experience at the center of our work.
    5. Work Environment Goal: We build an inclusive community of diverse, knowledgeable and engaged staff who work together to enrich the user experience and to act as agents of change in a dynamic cultural landscape.
  • National Fellowships and Scholarships Office Goals
    1. Cultivate the office’s reputation as a welcoming and supportive space which provides valuable, high-quality advising that inspires students to explore, connect, and path-find and nurtures the core skills of self-reflection, planning, and communication.
    2. Maintain a steady pool of applicants for well-regarded but attainable core awards that appeal to broad groups of students while also building awareness of niche awards that will only interest, support, or be feasible for very specific students.
    3. Develop applicants’ abilities to craft strong applications and perform well in interviews. Specifically, applicants should be able to understand eligibility criteria, write relevant personal statements in their own voice, develop and present cogent proposals, select strong supporting documentation, present their ideas in a convincing manner, and understand the relevance of the scholarship/fellowship to their future goals.
  • Registrar’s Goals
    1. Maintain accurate and up-to-date academic records and provide transcripts, when requested, to current and former students in a timely fashion.
    2. Produce a conflict free final exam schedule with the fewest number of exams in one day for each student, while making special accommodations for faculty at their request.
    3. Respond to requests for ad hoc reports on student or course information at the request of chairs, program directors and administrators.
    4. Provide students with the tools necessary to help them monitor their progress towards completion of their degree requirements, including scheduling a “senior audit” to ensure they are on track to graduate.
    5. Establish web registration procedures to assist students in registering for their courses online in an efficient and effective manner.
    6. Monitor the processing of end of term grades from faculty, including late submission and changes, so as to report them to students in a timely fashion.
    7. Assemble course offerings each term and publish a document that students can utilize in consultation with their advisers to plan their upcoming class schedule.
    8. Oversee the publication of the annual online Academic Catalog, ensuring that it provides accurate and up to date information in an accessible format.
  • Union College Scholars Program Goals
    1. Recruit the best students to Union College, and retain them in the Scholars Program.
    2. Scholars should be able to identify opportunities for intellectual growth, articulate their personal goals, and select opportunities that will help them achieve those goals.
  • Union College Academy for Lifelong Learning (UCALL) Goals

    Goal 1: Provide a series of non-credit courses and special events that are intellectual in nature

    Goal 2: Engage participants in the development of UCALL programs and provide them with opportunities to share their knowledge and leadership skills

    Goal 3: Ensure that the UCALL program is financially sustainable

    Goal 4: Integrate UCALL activities with the broader community

    Goal 5: Provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all who want to learn

  • Goals of the Undergraduate Researchunder Program
    1. To engage students in investigative and creative activity to experience firsthand the processes of scholarly exploration and discovery.
    2. To develop critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills.
    3. To prepare students for professional work or further study where in-depth analysis and synthesis are important for success.
    4. Focus on diversifying participation in undergraduate research programs across campus, as well as with students from typically under represented backgrounds.
  • Writing Center Goals

    Through the Writing Center, we seek:

    1. To sustain the writing of students across their academic careers. Though not our only objective, we seek to increase the amount and frequency of student writing, as well as offer students more sustained instruction in writing, in more courses, spread out over their academic careers.
    2. To increase student engagement with learning. Results from the National Survey of Student Engagement show significant correlation between extensive writing and both higher order thinking and integrative learning (NSSE 2008 Results). Union’s Office of Writing Programs offers increased attention and support for student writing in the belief that such attention will lead to further engagement with course content and increased retention.
    3. To increase student writing proficiency. Writers become more proficient as they write across a wide range of rhetorical situations, genres, purposes, and discourse communities, and compose using a range of media. At Union, the Office of Writing Programs creates opportunities for this range of writing experiences across student’s academic career.
    4. To create a campus culture that supports writing. We seek to promote a cultural shift in how writing is perceived and valued, and thus may sponsor speaker series, faculty writing retreats, and platforms that highlight student writing awards, student conferences, or venues for publishing student work.
    5. To create a community of faculty around teaching and student writing. The Office of Writing Programs seeks to highlight common ground in academic disciplines through its focus on teaching and learning, often accomplished through cross-disciplinary faculty development programming.
  • WAC Program Learning Outcomes
    1. Students will demonstrate proficiency in writing genres appropriate to the various disciplines addressed to critical readers.
    2. Students will demonstrate proficiency in constructing discipline-appropriate claims/theses/questions to put forward ideas in a focused manner.
    3. Students will use evidence appropriately to support claims.
    4. Students will use analysis/synthesis/reflection/argument to develop ideas, which may include organization, structure, coherence, and depth of thinking.
    5. Students will integrate the ideas of others appropriately for the discipline.
    6. Students will practice ethical and professional standards of citation.
    7. Students will demonstrate use of language appropriate for the audience and purpose.
    8. Students will use constructive feedback from readers to revise writing to be more effective in achieving its purpose for readers.
  • College Grants & Sponsored Programs Goals
    1. Bolster resources for academic department-level curricular and co-curricular innovation, faculty research, scholarship, and creative activity
    2. Facilitate short- and long-range resource planning to prioritize, develop, pilot, implement, and sustain presidential projects, academic initiatives, and college-wide programs.
    3. Ensure prudent stewardship of grant funds and compliance with federal grant regulations, sponsor terms, conditions, and reporting requirements, institutional policies, and professional practices.
  • Institutional Research Goals
    1. Coordinate data collection and methods to provide timely and accurate external reporting for the purposes of accreditation, college guides, and state and federal compliance
    2. Influence internal decision-making, planning, and effectiveness with data driven analysis with interactive and customizable reports and dashboards
    3. Reform and/or establish institutional methods for data storage, retrieval, and self-service
  • Learning Design & Digital Innovation (LDDI) Assessment Goals

    Goal 1: In conjunction with other faculty development leaders at the College, cooperatively coordinate and execute strategic, pedagogical faculty development efforts in order to help faculty embrace an evolving teaching landscape effectively. Faculty are able to engage in opportunities for evidence-based, pedagogical development focused on sound, innovative, and inclusive approaches to teaching. Faculty are able to effectively apply what they've learned and produce student-centered, meaningful learning experiences, where all students can achieve mastery of desired understandings and apply those understandings in new and novel contexts.

    Goal 2: In conjunction with Information Technology Services and the Library, bolster technological resources for curricular and co-curricular innovation, accessibility, inclusivity, and creative activity. A learning technology infrastructure that addresses teaching and learning needs is researched, maintained, reliable, accessible, and secure.

    Goal 3: Support the advancement of Union’s academic initiatives by providing faculty support for the adoption and use of appropriate learning technology resources within learning environments. Faculty are able to engage in learning technology training opportunities and effectively incorporate learning technology (including emerging technologies) within the physical classroom, student learning activities, and/or assessments. Faculty are able to receive support and resolve any issues that may arise with supported learning technology in a timely manner.

  • Maker Web Goals
    • Goal 1: Culture and Integration: Promote the maker culture at Union College by engaging faculty and students and assisting with the integration of making and Maker Web tools and resources into courses and research.
    • Goal 2: Labs and Facilities: Manage, maintain and improve distributed campus Maker Web Labs including maintaining and enhancing user support for students, faculty and staff along with hiring, training and supervising an interdisciplinary group of students who oversee daily operations of the different Labs.
    • Goal 3: Community Engagement: Establish community connections and partnerships and develop STEM/STEAM programming that leverages the knowledge, tools and resources in the Maker Web.