Core courses in communications focus on understanding the transactional nature of oral communication in its relation to audiences of one or many. 

Student Learning Outcomes will include the following: 

• explain the transactional nature of human communication

•demonstrate critical and innovative thinking.

•research and utilize evidence to logically construct a speech appropriate for the occasion.

•speak publicly adapting to feedback from audience members.

•display competence in oral, written, and visual communication.

•apply communication theories

• logically critique images intended to educate or persuade.

*Apply appropriate communication skills across settings, purposes and audiences.

*Communicate ethically.


Composition courses should demonstrate a fundamental commitment to the writing process consistent with the objectives and outcomes as Composition I and Composition II courses offered in the English department, and for which there will be a portfolio assessment process. 

Student Learning Outcomes may include the following: 

•be able to read attentively and critically

•be able to engage in brainstorming, informal outlining, drafting, editing, and proofreading

•be able to develop and support a thesis

•become proficient in basic elements of research and documentation

•be able to edit and revise effectively

•be able to focus thought in writing along critical, analytical, or argumentative lines

•be able to exercise effective organizational, structural, and paragraph ability in university writing

•be able to index written expression to audience with appropriate voice, tone, and levels of formality

•be able to control syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling at the university level

•be able to integrate one’s own ideas with those of others in written form

•be able to demonstrate growth in writing abilities over two semesters

•be able to manipulate and master the sequential, propositional character of the written words

•be proficient in the analytic management of written knowledge

•be able to follow advanced lines of thought, which requires considerable powers of classifying, inference-making, and reasoning

•be able to uncover lies, confusions, and over-generalizations, to detect abuses of meaning and help recover and define common sense

•be able to weigh ideas, to compare and contrast assertions, and to connect generalizations



Core math/logic courses involve the intrinsic study of and application of formal deductive modes of inquiry.

 Student Learning Outcomes may include the following: 

Students will be able to:

i. Utilize the formal structure of mathematical, symbolic, logical, graphical, or statistical analysis for the statement and interpretation of problems.

ii.Recognize and differentiate formal and informal fallacies in deductive and inductive reasoning.

iii. Construct and diagnose proofs, arguments, and derivations using symbolic and natural language.

iv. Apply mathematical, symbolic, logical, graphical, or statistical analysis to describe and derive solutions to real world problems. 


Core courses in religion are academic rather than devotional, and explore the traditions, doctrines, and practices of religious life. From the perspective of the liberal arts, the academic study of religion is the critical and rigorous investigation of matters of belief in God, faith, and ritual practice, and includes theological and confessional traditions. Given the historic role of the Brethren Church and the Judeo-Christian heritage at Ashland University, it is expected that many of these courses will have Christian themes and Biblical content. Courses that examine other world religions may be included. 


Students will be able to:

  1. Interpret how religious traditions, practices, and texts shape our lives and our world.


Core courses in aesthetics should focus on the application or development of levels of expressive or technical skill in artistic production or aesthetic inquiry.

Student Learning Outcomes: 

•be able to articulate aesthetic theories and values through the interpretation of symbolic, nonverbal, non-literal communication in the arts

•be able to apply parameters of aesthetic expression in the performance, exhibition, or creation of artistic works

•be able to compare and contrast artistic works in their historical context

Performance outcomes   

Core Aesthetics Student Learning Outcomes for ensembles include the following: 

• be able to apply parameters of aesthetic expression in the performance, exhibition, or creation of artistic works

• be able to identify and interpret symbolic, nonverbal, non-literal communication in the arts

Course Student Learning Outcome for music ensembles:

  • Students will perform compositions in a variety of genres appropriate to the ensemble, with substantial accuracy, expression and stylistic awareness


Core Humanities courses involve the application of uniquely literary and interpretive modes of inquiry with regard to the study of written and spoken languages, literatures, and to the traditions of interpretation, theory and criticism of religious, philosophical, and literary textuality and ideas. 

 Student Learning Outcomes may include the following: 

1.    Examine and critically engage important texts in history, foreign languages, literature, religion, and philosophy.

2.    Demonstrate sophistication in writing skills, including developing a thesis and supporting it with logical arguments and interpretive justification and synthesizing concepts.

3.    Demonstrate the complexities of research, documentation, and handling textual evidence.

4.    Organize and analyze moral and religious perspectives in a coherent and informed manner.

5.    Identify one's intellectual and ethical parameters within existing traditions.

Natural Sciences

Student Learning Outcomes may include the following: 

  • be able to design, implement, and/or evaluate scientific inquiry as an instrument of argument, investigation, and discovery in areas of the natural world 

  • be able to formulate hypotheses, make predictions from those hypotheses, test those hypotheses, and make revisions to hypotheses based on those tests 

  • be able to diagnose scientific claims from unscientific claims

  • be able to recognize the scientific reasoning and methodology in current research and/or in examples from the history of science

  • be able to communicate scientific findings to a variety of audiences

  • be able to articulate the challenges of interaction between humans and their natural environment

Social Sciences 

Social Science courses focus on the study of how people live, both as individuals and as members of society.  Such courses might study humans as individuals, as members of various groups, as participating in and shaped by various institutions, or as members of society as a whole.  While no single method characterizes the social sciences, each social science course is concerned to understand the method used in its attempt to understand how humans live. 

Social Science Core SLOs must include the ability to:

Think deeply about an important question or problem of individual behavior and/or social phenomena using political, psychological, social, or economic theories or classic texts 


Apply the scientific method to an important question or problem (quantitative and/or qualitative) relating to individual behavior or social phenomena

Additional SLOs may include the ability to: 

*Explain the method and categories of understanding used to examine individual and/or group behavior, and explain how they are suited to the study of the particular question, problem, theme, or subject under investigation 

*Identify and analyze the practical implications and consequences of individual and/or group behavior 

*Make inferences from and draw conclusions about individual and/or group behavior 

*Use hypothetical reasoning to conduct inquiries into and to explain individual and/or group behavior 


Historical Reasoning

Historical Reasoning courses employ primary sources to inquire into the character of the past and to examine and attempt to account for change and persistence in human events over time, not in one particular sphere of life but in human life more generally across a variety of disciplines.

  Student Learning Outcomes will include the following: 

•recognize, analyze, interpret, evaluate, prioritize, and draw conclusions from primary sources

•handle and prioritize different kinds of primary sources (a political speech, a philosophical text, a biography, laws, a painting, a prayer, trade or population statistics, a travel narrative, a diary, etc.)

•use historical evidence to give an account of the forces of continuity and change in human affairs, especially at the level of the social or political order

•explore and evaluate the relative merits of different claims concerning historical causation (for example, claims based on ideas, economic or political interests, technological developments, religion)

•identify, follow, interpret, and compare major events in human history


 CCI [Critical Cultural Inquiry] 

Core experiences in the CCI initiative focus on getting students to communicate effectively across linguistic and cultural boundaries, to understand the world from a perspective other than one's own, and to interact effectively and critically with diverse societies and cultures in an increasingly globally interdependent world.

Core courses in the CCI category must meet all SLOs

To the point where critical cultural inquiry can be engaged, students will:

  1. apply cultural knowledge through interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication that cross linguistic and national boundaries.

  2. analyze the contexts and manifestations of cultural expression.