SCAN Program Mission Statement &
Student Learning Outcomes

Mission Statement (Amended November 9, 2013)

The Scandinavian Area Studies Program at PLU integrates multiple disciplinary approaches in studying the peoples, cultures and societies of Scandinavia, providing students a broad-based and rigorous liberal arts education that equips them with critical intellectual tools and prepares them for constructive engagement with the world.

Students will have the opportunity to engage in the study of a variety of disciplines in their Scandinavian contexts, including language, cultural studies, politics, literature, history, economics, music, folklore, communication, religion and film studies.

Student Learning Outcomes (Approved April 14, 2009)

Students graduating with a B.A. or minor in Scandinavian Area Studies will:

    • Demonstrate competency in a Scandinavian language;
    • Use their command of a Scandinavian language to intelligently discuss how language influences identities, societies and worldviews;
    • Evaluate key historical contexts and contemporary influences on Scandinavian cultural and political life;
    • Access the complex diversity of Scandinavian cultures and societies, both internally and in connection with regional and global trends, networks and influences;
    • Analyze Scandinavian involvement in international processes and politics, including such topics as nation-building, colonialism, peace-brokering, migration, governmental institutions, globalization and development; and
    • Examine Scandinavian literature, cinema and music as sites for both confirming and questioning ideologies and identities.

Level-specific Student Learning Outcomes

SLOs for PLU Lower-Division Courses in SCAN (100-200 level)

1)  Demonstrate proficiency in Norwegian (or another Scandinavian language) in the following essential skill-areas: reading, writing, listening, and speaking

2) Build an informed fluency in the region and cultures of Scandinavia, including the geography of the Nordic region and its historical and contemporary contexts; cultivate respect for diverse cultures, practices, and traditions in Scandinavia

3) Cultivate analytical skills, shaped by academic procedures and methods in at least two of the following PLU departments and disciplines that participate in the SCAN program: Languages and Literatures, Political Science, History, Economics, Religion, Music, Philosophy, and Art

4) Recognize the differences between Disciplinary, Multidisciplinary, Interdisciplinary in order to appreciate the distinctiveness of the Scandinavian Area Studies Program

5)   Read, and learn to distinguish between, primary and secondary written texts (sources) in the field of Scandinavian Area Studies and other disciplines

6)   Identify, comprehend, and explain the structure of written arguments and claims made in specific sources; begin to analyze and interpret texts (broadly defined) through genre and theoretical lenses

7)   Develop and practice skills of critical oral expression and dialogue through interpreting and analyzing readings and other materials in small-group and large-group discussions

8)   Develop and practice the evaluation of evidence as a means of forming and supporting a written or oral argument about a topic or question

9)   Develop the ability to write a clear, cogent, and formal paper that uses a thesis statement to make an appropriate evidence-based argument about a selected topic or question in Scandinavian Area Studies

10)   Recognize conflicting evidence and demonstrate the ability to evaluate and explain multiple, complex sources or ideas when explaining a thesis statement

11) Develop the capacity to recognize and critique the complex ethical dilemmas present in the study of Scandinavian societies, such as issues of diversity, justice, and sustainability

12)   Use proper citations and footnotes within formal written assignments (papers should conform to style guides such as the MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style notes-bibliography format)

SLOs for PLU Upper-Division Courses in SCAN (300-400 level)

In addition to the skills for Lower-Division SCAN Courses (100-200 level), the SCAN program upper-division student learning outcomes (SLOs) will help students to:

1) Engage primary and/or secondary sources more deeply than at the 100 and 200-level; read longer documents and learn to recognize and explain the literary, historical, philosophical, or artistic contexts from which they emerge

2) Independently identify and apply a thorough understanding of a critical question or problem related to course content (i.e. develop the critical thinking skills and research skills needed to frame a successful research project)

3) Develop the ability to locate, read, and interpret accurately a variety of interdisciplinary source materials in the library and other locations; use appropriate academic and other databases and search engines to locate primary sources and secondary sources (e.g., books, articles, and reviews)

4) Write a research paper that presents a clear, original thesis; situates that thesis within a thorough understanding of a critical question or problem; and explains that thesis through well-organized, pertinent interpretations of numerous sources and interdisciplinary materials

5) Use one or more Nordic languages in the research and writing of a significant research project; analyze original language texts in the project and use literary theory and other disciplinary tools to offer appropriate interpretation and analysis

6)  Analyze the shifting social pressures that arise in Scandinavia as a result of cultural homogenization and globalization; pursue interdisciplinary research on issues that impact life and policies in the Nordic region

7) Present work in class to student peers and professors; the hallmarks of well-presented work includes presenting and supporting a specific thesis or claim, showing and explaining related evidence, engaging an audience and answering questions, and doing these things within a pre-established time period. Select and use appropriate methods and means of presentation (e.g., lectures, discussions, visual technologies, web-based tools, etc.)

8) Develop and demonstrate professional work habits, including clear communication with student peers and instructors, adherence to written and oral instructions, punctuality, attention to deadlines, and responsible collaboration with fellow students

9) Articulate and cultivate one’s own values through engaging selected ethical questions and issues in the context of a deeper understanding of Scandinavia and its peoples