Mission and Student Learning Outcomes

Mission

UNC Asheville’s vision is for our students to “experience liberal arts education at its best.” Each major or area of concentration in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program seeks to achieve this goal, and is consistent with the University’s Mission Statement of undertaking “concentrated study in one area while simultaneously developing an understanding of the connections among disciplines.” The inherent diversity of approaches and perspectives reflected in interdisciplinary study promotes the mission of encouraging “students to clarify, develop and live their own values while respecting the views and beliefs of others," as well as cultivating “an understanding of the dimensions of human diversity while recognizing the common humanity of all.” In our role as a public liberal arts university, our mission statement emphasizes that students “respond to the conditions and concerns of the contemporary world” and develop a commitment to engage a “diverse and increasingly connected world.”

The Interdisciplinary Studies program provides distinctive paths to achieving these goals. The three major concentrations (Individualized Degree; Ethics & Social Institutions; International Studies) and four minor concentrations (Asian Studies; International Studies; Neuroscience; Legal Studies) within the IST program educate students in the exploration and analysis of diverse approaches to critical thinking and to participatory and interactive learning. Each major and minor concentration within the Interdisciplinary Studies program prepares our students for understanding and working toward solving the problems facing contemporary society, both at the local and global levels.

Student Learning Outcomes

Outcome 1

Students develop critical thinking skills that would allow them to see the intellectual connections between disciplinary fields in their area of concentration.

Links to University SLOs

  • University SLO 1: Students develop skills in critical thinking, clear and thoughtful communication, creative expression, and honest open inquiry.
  • University SLO 2: Students develop mastery of a specific major and an understanding of the connections among disciplines.

Outcome 2

Students develop an awareness of diverse peoples, cultures, and ideas, and appreciate the importance of engaging in lifelong interdisciplinary learning to become informed and responsible global citizens.

Links to University SLOs

  • University SLO 3: Students develop respect for the differences among people and ideas, and learn to clarify and articulate their own values.
  • University SLO 6: Students are prepared to engage in lifelong learning.

Outcome 3

Students learn to develop linkages between their interdisciplinary intellectual inquiries and their own ethical positions in terms of contemporary challenges facing individuals, communities, and societies

Links to University SLOs

  • University SLO 2: Students develop mastery of a specific major and an understanding of the connections among disciplines.
  • University SLO 6: Students are prepared to engage in lifelong learning.