Wisconsin Lutheran College strives to develop in each student a Christian mind and a servant’s heart that will allow him or her to excel in the world of ideas and in relationships with people. Each graduate will be committed to humble and responsible service through independent and creative thought and will use research and analytical skills to make critical judgments.
The Academic Goals of Wisconsin Lutheran College
The faculty of Wisconsin Lutheran College believes that a Christian undergraduate education based on scholarly activity, engagement with the liberal arts, and practical application of knowledge enlarges students’ perspectives and prepares them for the various vocations in which God places them. Consequently, graduates of Wisconsin Lutheran College will:
AG1: Articulate a world-view based on Holy Scripture, as interpreted by the Lutheran Confessions.
Students at a Christian institution of higher learning have the unique opportunity of learning to view the wonder and order of the universe as part of God’s creation. This coherent perspective of the world is based on an understanding of the biblical narrative, systems of doctrine, church history, and Christian vocation through the hermeneutical lens of the Lutheran Confessions. Students are thus enabled to comprehend synoptically the diversity of information to which they are exposed, as they effectively and faithfully carry out their roles in the church and society.
AG2: Think critically, clearly, and accurately in the pursuit of Truth.
Because students are exposed to a wide variety of social institutions, historical perspectives, manifestations of culture, and systems of belief, as well as the means by which people express themselves in these contexts, a comprehensive Christian education equips students to evaluate wisely and discriminate among the varied perspectives they encounter. The breadth and depth of knowledge they have gained in a variety of disciplines allows students to inquire with discernment and to reason validly. Moreover, the empirical skills they acquire allow them to engage with the structure, forces, and systems of God’s creation and relate scientific concepts to the phenomena of the physical universe.
AG3: Express themselves with grace and precision in a variety of contexts.
A comprehensive Christian education fosters students’ ability to listen, speak, and write respectfully, critically, and effectively. It also nurtures their ability to reason and express observed relationships in numeric, symbolic, and graphic forms, while at the same time integrating appropriate technologies into their studies. In order to communicate with integrity from a global perspective, students will develop a facility with the elements, structure, and cultural context of a foreign language. Finally, their exposure to the arts and humanities stimulates students’ willingness to depict ideas and emotions creatively in verbal, visual, and musical forms.
The General Education Outcomes
The Christian Vocation and Service general education curriculum is designed to fully incorporate WLC’s mission and its academic goals, which assert, “That a Christian undergraduate education [is] based on scholarly activity, engagement with the liberal arts, and practical application of knowledge [that] enlarges students’ perspectives and prepares them for the various vocations in which God places them.” It seeks to clarify the practical and vocational value of a Lutheran liberal arts general education curriculum through distinctive categories that emphasize service to the community and preparation for a career.
- Liberal Arts Core: The core classes are bookended to lay the foundation for collegiate scholarship, engagement with the liberal arts curriculum, and service to the community in the first year and allow for synthesis and application of the curriculum in the final year.
- Lutheran Theology: The theology requirements for all students attending WLC are integral to the mission and academic goals of WLC to provide quality teaching, scholarship, and service that are rooted in Holy Scripture; promote the spiritual growth of students, faculty, and staff; and prepare students for lives of Christian leadership.
- Professional Development: This set of courses will teach the foundational skills that employers seek and which prepare students for the remainder of their undergraduate careers.
- Approaches to Individual and Social Questions: These courses provide multiple avenues for students to broaden their exposure to academic disciplines, develop the ability to evaluate problems from different angles, and engage with the world in a variety of meaningful ways.
WLC has adopted six Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs), derived from the AAC&U’s VALUE rubrics, that we believe represent the essential skills that all students who graduate from WLC should exhibit. These ELOs interact closely with WLCs mission and Academic Goals and are embedded throughout the general education curriculum. They are as follows:
- Creative Thinking: Creative thinking is both the capacity to combine or synthesize existing ideas, images, or expertise in original ways and the experience of thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative way characterized by a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking.
- Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.
- Effective Communication: Written communication is the development and expression of ideas in writing, involves learning to work in many genres and styles, and can include working with many different writing technologies, and mixing texts, data, and images. Oral communication is a prepared, purposeful presentation designed to increase knowledge, to foster understanding, or to promote change in the listeners’ attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors. Visual communication comprises visual arts and may or may not include written communication and digital components to enhance delivery of a particular message. Digital communication encompasses the use of media and online technologies to transmit written, oral, and visual elements as determined appropriate for the setting and audience. Effective communication abilities develop through iterative experiences across the curriculum.
- Ethical Reasoning: Ethical Reasoning is reasoning about right and wrong human conduct. It requires students to be able to assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas, and consider the ramifications of alternative actions. Students’ ethical self-identity evolves as they practice ethical decision-making skills and learn how to describe and analyze positions on ethical issues.
- Inquiry & Analysis: Inquiry is a systematic process of exploring issues, objects, and/or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments. Analysis is the process of breaking complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them.
- Intercultural Knowledge and Competence: Intercultural knowledge and competence is a set of cognitive, affective, and behavioral skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts.
This matrix summarizes the General Education Curriculum at WLC. The far right column reflects the traditional liberal arts areas of study, while the far left column reflects a modern adaptation of those categories. Individual course requirements are listed by rows (credit requirements shown) and they intersect with the 6 adopted Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs) in the columns. Dark grey shading: ELOs primarily addressed by each course (major ELOs). Light grey shading: ELOs reinforced in each course (minor ELOs). Each course also supports the Effective Communication ELO in written (W), spoken (S), visual (V) or digital (D) format.