Program and School Learning Goals at Fordham
Every degree- or certificate-granting program at the University should articulate its goals for students on its public website. When preparing a statement of program goals for a general audience, your statements should be accurate, honest appraisals of intended student outcomes framed in language students, prior to studying your discipline, can appreciate. Choose language that can also serve your students as they progress through your program, providing them an understanding of how their courses cohere, what they can achieve in the program, and even how to express those achievements to others (e.g., family, prospective employers, graduate or fellowship admissions committees). See also the Fordham Guide for Student Learning Goals on the Web, a version of guidelines from the Online Communications office.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. We already provide a mission statement, a list of degree requirements, and highlights about our program. Are we simply extracting a short, bullet-point version of that material?
A. Short statements are appealing on the web but not mandatory. The essential element is that your statements of goals address what knowledge, skills and dispositions your students will possess at the successful completion of your program. Those can be short, discrete statements like those offered by the Computer and Information Sciences Department or lengthier, contextualized statements like those offered by the Philosophy Department.
Q. Where should these statements appear?
A. Where students can find them. Fordham has not (yet) established more specific policies or articulated preferred practices for the location of statements of student learning goals. You can post them as a separate page, under a title like "Learning Goals" or "Learning Outcomes." The International Political Economy and Development program and Computer and Information Sciences Department illustrate these approaches. Such pages make the learning goals simple to find, especially by students and others searching deliberately for your learning goals. You can incorporate them on the page of your mission statement, like the Philosophy Department does, or a general description of your program, like Fordham College Lincoln Center does. Student learning goals are essential to your mission, after all. If your mission statement or program description appears in a prominent place, students and others seeking an understanding of your program(s) will discover the learning goals in that context, even if they are not searching for them deliberately. You can include them in tandem with course requirements, like English Department does, to provide the rationale for the requirements or describe how students will achieve these goals. Students may find this approach most useful, both because they may consult program requirements deliberately and frequently and because it links the learning goals to the course requirements.