ILOs, Values, and Principles of General Education

Integrative Learning Objectives

The Integrative Learning Objectives (ILOs) provide a common understanding of the PLU approach to undergraduate education. These objectives offer a unifying framework for understanding how our community defines the general skills or abilities that should be exhibited by students who earn a PLU bachelor’s degree. Therefore, they are integrative in nature. The ILOs are intended to provide a conceptual reference for every department and program to build on and reinforce in their own particular curricula the goals of the General University Requirements. They also assist the University in such assessment-related activities as student and alumni surveys. Not all ILOs are dealt with equally by every program, much less by every course. The ILOs do not represent, by themselves, all of our understanding of education. Rather, they are a part of a more complex statement of educational philosophy.

The ILOs are meant to serve as a useful framework that unifies education throughout the University, while disciplinary study provides students with the knowledge and understanding of a field that will allow them to function effectively in their chosen area.

  • Knowledge Base

These four statements describe the knowledge base expected of all PLU graduates:

    • A broad knowledge of the basic liberal arts and sciences.
    • An understanding of the interconnections among these basic liberal arts and sciences that provide the broad framework for living with the complexities of life.
    • An in-depth knowledge of a specified area of knowledge designated as a major within the University.
    • An understanding of the interconnections among the basic liberal arts and sciences and the in-depth knowledge of her/his specified major area.

In addition to the knowledge base described above, and an awareness of how different disciplinary methodologies are used, every student at Pacific Lutheran University is expected to develop the following abilities:

  • Critical Reflection
    • Select sources of information using appropriate research methods, including those employing technology, and make use of that information carefully and critically consider issues from multiple perspectives.
    • Evaluate assumptions and consequences of different perspectives in assessing possible solutions to problems.
    • Understand and explain divergent viewpoints on complex issues, critically assess the support available for each, and defend one’s own judgments.
  • Expression
    • Communicate clearly and effectively in both oral and written forms.
    • Adapt messages to various audiences using appropriate media, convention or styles.
    • Create symbols of meaning in a variety of expressive media, both verbal and nonverbal.
  • Interaction With Others
    • Work creatively to identify and clarify the issues of concern.
    • Acknowledge and respond to conflicting ideas and principles, and identify common interests where possible.
    • Develop and promote effective strategies and interpersonal relationships for implementing cooperative actions.
  • Valuing
    • Articulate and assess one’s own values, with an awareness of the communities and traditions that have helped to shape them.
    • Recognize how others have arrived at values different from one’s own, and consider their views charitably and with an appreciation for the context in which they emerged.
    • Develop a habit of caring for oneself, for others, and for the environment.
    • Approach moral, spiritual, and intellectual development as a life-long process of making informed choices in one’s commitments.
    • Approach one’s commitments with a high level of personal responsibility and professional accountability.
  • Multiple Frameworks
    • Recognize and understand how cultures profoundly shape different assumptions and behaviors.
    • Identify issues and problems facing people in every culture (including one’s own), seeking constructive strategies for them.
    • Cultivate respect for diverse cultures, practices, and traditions.

Adopted by Faculty Assembly on November 11, 1999