The following tips are meant to assist you in your development of program SLO statements.

Begin Development with the Major: Focus on the foundational courses within the program. These are identified on the program’s curriculum guide as “required” courses.

Begin Development with the Capstone Course or Experience: Focus on the program’s capstone expectations to derive SLOs for the entire program.

Begin with the Areas of Concentration in the Program: Areas of concentration of study manifest as certificates or groupings of courses noted on the program’s curriculum guide.

Begin with the Courses: One program may contain various tracks of study, which build from the program’s foundational (required) courses. These tend to be distinct lines of study within the program’s curriculum that reflect professionally emphasized categories of learning.

Begin with a Curricular Map: This process assumes that the program has recently reviewed its curriculum, articulating for itself the courses within the program, as well as the requisite requirements outside of the program (department, school, institution) into a curricular map.

How to Write Program Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes Overview:

Program Learning Outcomes are measurable expectations or anticipated outcomes. A comprehensive and well-developed list can provide information about student learning, curriculum, and teaching. Assessing or measuring learning outcomes can inform the institution about the educational environment. Learning outcomes are measured at various points during the educational experience. The degree to which outcomes are achieved will shape curricular planning and resource decision making. A culture of assessment enhances the ability to meet the changing needs of students and the University.

Writing PLOs:

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) are an essential element of learning-centered institutions. By stating clearly, the outcome that occurs as a result of the education, institutions and programs become better positioned for using techniques and pedagogies that are effective for advancing student learning.'

PLOs are statements that specify what students will know or be able to do as a result of an activity and are expressed as knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values. They should be observable (and when appropriate measurable). They should be clearly written and easily understood by faculty, students, staff, administrators, and external constituencies. Each set of outcomes should be comprehensive, coherent, and contextualized for a specific discipline.

To ensure that all these components are being addressed, download this PLO worksheet.

Example Worksheet Guide to Creating a Program Learning Outcome 


GOAL What students will be:

Be effective communicators in business settings

WHAT Students will be able to:

Organize and deliver cogent oral presentations

HOW WELL Expectations:

Strong oral presentations

OPTIONAL (More for student learning outcomes in syllabus):

HOW Which material:

PowerPoint presentation

WHEN Time frame it should be completed by:

Final project due at the end of the semester

Final goal and outcome:

Goal: “Students will be effective communicators in business settings”

Outcome: “Organize and deliver cogent oral presentations (for syllabus: meeting above expectations for each criterion with a PowerPoint presentation due at the end of the semester)”