Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes

A Student Learning Outcome is a statement identifying knowledge, skills and abilities the student will be able to demonstrate upon completion of the course or program of study. Student Learning Outcomes are seen at the institutional, program and course levels at Macomb Community College. Institutional outcomes are integrated into program and course outcomes.

Institutional Outcomes

Common Degree Outcomes (CDOs) are the knowledge, skills and abilities students acquire as they progress through an individualized program of study. CDOs are linked to General Education Group requirements in addition to course and program outcomes. The Assessment Committee leads assessment initiatives and is responsible for the assessment of these institutional level outcomes.

Macomb Community College’s Common Degree Outcomes*


The graduate can communicate effectively for the intended purpose and audience.


Clear communication imparts messages to others, constructs knowledge, fosters understanding and/or influences opinion. The ability to communicate can be demonstrated in many ways, including through essays, reports, poems, narratives, dialogues, presentations, formal and informal speaking, and a variety of other methods.

Performance Indicators:

  1. Content Development: Develop a clear central message or purpose
  2. Organization: Use a logical sequence to organize ideas and supporting materials
  3. Grammar & Mechanics: Create a message in which errors do not interfere with the meaning
  4. Delivery: Use appropriate format or medium to convey central message or purpose
  5. Technology: Digitally create documents, charts, graphs, schematics, images, video, audio, etc., that correctly represent data or express an idea or message

Critical Thinking

The graduate can make informed decisions after analyzing information or evidence related to the issue.


Critical thinking is a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration and reflection of issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.

Performance Indicators:

  1. Analysis: Analyze key elements of the problem, task, question or issue
  2. Exploration: Examine multiple perspectives or bias related to the problem, task, question or issue
  3. Evidence: Include relevant information to support decision making
  4. Application: Apply a method or approach relevant to the task or problem
  5. Conclusion: Develop a logical conclusion or solution to the problem, task, question or issue

Global Literacy

The graduate can analyze human behavior or experiences through cultural, social, political, or economic perspectives.


Global literacy provides opportunities to learn about human expression and experiences of other cultures. Global Literacy is the ability to recognize, analyze and evaluate local and global issues, building an awareness of diverse values, belief systems and behaviors.

Performance Indicators:

  1. Cultural Knowledge: Examine systems, events or artifacts from a cultural, social, political, or economic perspective.
  2. Environmental Influences: Identify how the physical environment shapes culture and subculture.
  3. Self-Awareness: Explain the impact of personal culture and experience on one’s worldview and behavior, including stereotypes, assumptions, biases, and prejudices.
  4. Global Awareness: Analyze the impact of current or historical events, perspectives, or cultures on world societies, human interaction and expression, and the natural environment.
  5. Cultural Expression: Generate an idea or artifact that expresses the human condition and one’s relationship with the world. 

Information Literacy

The graduate can responsibly use information gathered from a variety of formats in order to complete a task.


The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand.

Performance Indicators:

  1. Topic: Articulate topic or focus of task
  2. Sources: Incorporate information resources
  3. Information: Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  4. Ethics: Produce a work without plagiarism or falsification of information by citing sources and using citation, quotation, summary or paraphrase to give credit for the ideas of others
  5. Technology: Digitally create documents, charts, graphs, schematics, images, video, audio, etc., that correctly represent data or express an idea or message

Quantitative Reasoning

The graduate can apply quantitative methods or evidence to solve problems or make judgment.


Quantitative Reasoning is the ability to interpret numerical, mathematical or statistical information. Individuals possess the ability to apply the appropriate methods to reason and solve quantitative problems from a wide array of authentic contexts and everyday life situations. They can draw inferences and make judgments supported by quantitative evidence and they can clearly communicate those arguments in a variety of formats (using words, tables, graphs, mathematical equations, etc., as appropriate).

Performance Indicators:

  1. Calculation: Perform mathematical calculations to solve a problem, complete a task or make judgments.
  2. Representation: Present data in mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, tables)
  3. Interpretation: Explain data presented in mathematical forms (e.g., equations, graphs, diagrams, tables)
  4. Application: Provide an appropriate solution, model, or hypothesis to solve a problem or complete a task
  5. Analysis: Make judgments or draw appropriate conclusions based on quantitative analysis

Scientific Literacy

The graduate can produce or interpret scientific information presented in a variety of formats.


Scientific literacy implies that a person can analyze evidence and formulate conclusions that are scientifically and technologically informed. Scientific literacy provides individuals with fundamental principles, concepts and knowledge of the sciences, and allows them to practice methods of scientific inquiry.

Performance Indicators:

  1. Scientific Knowledge: Explain scientific concepts or conclusions
  2. Process: Collect information related to scientific questions, observations or phenomena
  3. Interpretation: Formulate conclusions or solve problems based on experiment results or data collection
  4. Analysis: Explain scientific discoveries including conclusions, bias or ethical implications
  5. Technology: Utilize technology to support scientific inquiry, processes, procedures or techniques

*Approved by the Curriculum Committee, January 2020

Program Outcomes

Outcomes at the program level concentrate on the totality of the curriculum (i.e. learning outcomes across the curriculum), rather than a focus on a single course. A strong program outcome identifies an essential high-level skill graduates for a program can be expected to have gained as a result of the experiences they encountered in program coursework.

Currently at Macomb, there are approximately 70 academic programs that lead to degrees (in addition to many transfer plans, certificate options and areas of study). Faculty, as discipline experts, are the leaders and responsible for developing and assessing program and student learning outcomes.

Course Outcomes

Outcomes at the course level focus on specific skills and evidence of student learning in individual courses. Course learning outcomes build the foundation for sound assessment practices and allow for the continuous examination and improvement of the relationship between the course outcomes and course strategies such as assignments and examinations.

Macomb Community College has over 1,000 active courses. This is a fluctuating number as courses are added, deleted and/or updated regularly to meet the need of students, transfer partners and industry standards. Curriculum design and updates are faculty led and supported through the Office of Academic Development. Numerous curriculum updates occur; approximately 250 curriculum actions are approved through the Curriculum Committee each year.

Course outcomes are identical for all sections of a course and are listed on the corresponding First Day Handout, which is distributed to the students in class.