Departmental Assessment Plan, 2017 - 2022

The purpose of the Liberal Studies program at Montana State University is to provide a degree program that is flexible, rigorous, and multidisciplinary. Students challenge and expand their thinking, learn how to connect their growing knowledge to the outside world, and gain the skills necessary to succeed – in college, the workplace, and life.

The capstone course, LS 499, offers significant opportunity for summative assessment of the extent to which students have mastered the principal learning objectives of the program. In this class students conduct research, write their senior theses, and present their results and conclusions. Papers are assessed holistically by the course instructors for argumentation (structure, development), research (integration, citation format), and style (clarity, mechanics). The interdisciplinary aspect of the papers is also noted. In the future, the program director, advisors, and the program manager will evaluate a random sampling of projects produced in the capstone.

Key student outcomes of the Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree are:

All Options:

  • Critical thinking:  Students will be able to consider multiple perspectives; discuss critical assumptions, findings and alternative interpretations; and draw well-founded and cautious conclusions.
  • Teamwork and collaboration:  Students will be able to offer constructive, specific and accurate feedback on the work of another student.
  • Written communication:  Students will be able to write a paper with appropriate scope, strong argumentation, clear arguments, relevant and properly cited evidence, and strong mechanics.4.
  • Oral communication:  Students will be able to give a compelling, focused, well-organized and well-delivered presentation on a research topic.

Environmental Studies Option: 

  • Students will be able to apply  natural science perspectives to problems of natural resource and environmental management.
  • Students will be able to apply  social science perspectives to problems of natural resource and environmental management.

Global Studies Option: 

  • Students will be able to analyze multicultural literature using techniques from literary study.
  • Students will be able to explain  trends and inter-relationships among global, economic and political systems and their effects on social change, quality of life and inequalities.

Quaternity Studies Option:

  • Students will be able to apply tools and perspectives from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and fine arts to analyze a text or problem.

Current Plan

Current Liberal Studies Options Assessment Charts

 Reports