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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences


Student Assessment

Student Outcomes Assessment Anthropology

University of Northern Iowa Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology

March 2009
Bachelor of Arts: Anthropology

Departmental Philosophy of Student Outcomes Assessment: Anthropology

The Student Outcomes Assessment Plan for the Anthropology Program is designed to help Anthropology faculty identify strengths and weaknesses in the overall program on the basis of student achievement. The Student Assessment Plan centers on evaluating skills and perspectives that are not easily evaluated through successful course completion alone. These include skills and understandings that have applications related both to responsible living and to success in the working world, regardless of whether or not the student plans a career in anthropology. Our plan helps to guide us as we make program changes to enhance the learning of our students.

Target Outcomes and Competencies for Anthropology
OUTCOME I. Anthropology students will understand the nature of the anthropological perspective including the history, theory and methods of the four major sub-fields (Cultural Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, Archaeology and Biological Anthropology).
Competency 1.1 Be familiar with major anthropological theories and historical figures in: Cultural Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology.
Competency 1.2 Be able to understand cultural relativism and the holistic perspective.
Competency 1.3 Have experience with the methods of anthropological research.
Competency 1.4 Be able to explain to an individual who has not studied archaeology why
 the common practice of collecting artifacts found in the woods is wrong from a scientific, ethical and often legal perspective.
Competency 1.5 Be able to articulate evolutionary change as it relates to the origin of the human species.
Competency 1.6 Be able to give specific examples of how differences in communication patterns can lead to cross-cultural misunderstanding or hostility.


OUTCOME II. Anthropology students will be able to apply the anthropological perspective to a critical understanding of themselves and the world in which they live.
Competency 2.1 Be able to articulate how studying anthropology has increased awareness of how the student’s beliefs and behaviors are shaped by culture.
Competency 2.2 Be able to discuss how culture, biology and the environment interact in shaping human behavior.
Competency 2.3 Be critical when it comes to interpreting generalizations about human behavior.
Competency 2.4 Be able to relate and critically apply anthropological knowledge in a variety of situations outside of the classroom


OUTCOME III. Anthropology students will be able to relate Anthropology to their career and future goals.
Competency 3.1 Be able to explain to their prospective employers with confidence how what they have learned in anthropology will help them do an excellent job.
Competency 3.2 To be well prepared to pursue graduate-level training.
Competency 3.3 To be able to use their anthropological knowledge to clarify their career goals.


OUTCOME IV. Anthropology students will possess the capability to conduct library research, to communicate verbally and to write in the form according to the standards of the discipline.
Competency 4.1 Be able to produce a written document for a variety of appropriate audiences.
Competency 4.2 Be able to use a variety of library resources (both print and electronic) that can be used to research anthropological topics.
Competency 4.3 Be able to orally present research or ideas comfortably and competently.


2009 Student Learning Outcomes (PDF)