Institutional Student Learning Outcomes (ISLOs) describe the learning students will achieve while completing an Associate Degree at Mendocino College and are designed to recognize that the skills we foster in our students are applicable across disciplines and describe the entirety of the student experience at Mendocino College. Each one is explained with a “definition,” a “goal” for student learning and more specific and measurable bullet points beginning with the heading, “Students will be able to...” The bullet points are the focus of the ISLOs and will be assessed institutionally.

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes - ISLOs

Definition: Creative and critical thinking represents students’ ability to analyze and evaluate texts, materials, experiences, and positions, as well as to develop solutions to problems and issues.

Goal: Students will be able to develop, evaluate, and explore ideas and opinions with appropriate evidence and argument; maintain the ability to reevaluate positions based on new evidence; and solve problems.

Students will be able to:

  • Identify and apply multiple methods for addressing issues and solving problems
  • Consider issues from multiple perspectives
  • Reevaluate positions based on new evidence
  • Compare and contrast texts, ideas, opinions, experiences, and beliefs
  • Evaluate sources for validity, bias and applicability to research topics

Definition: Inquiry and analysis represents students’ ability to gather and interpret research, information, or data using systematic, discipline-specific approaches, along with asking meaningful questions that expand on existing ideas. 

Goal: Students will be able to develop systematic methods for gathering research; designing and performing experiments; exploring ideas, issues or artifacts; and interpreting data, arguments, or information.

Students will be able to:

  • Apply numeric reasoning to mathematic and scientific issues
  • Create research questions and hypotheses
  • Develop research methods or experiments to gather information or data
  • Craft and support an argument with informed evidence
  • Examine and analyze cause and effect relationships
  • Use appropriate technology to collect, display, and analyze results
  • Analyze the factors that lead to global, social, and cultural changes or issues

Definition: Communication is meaningful exchange. Students communicate in diverse situations to deliver, interpret, express, and question information, ideas, and experiences.

Goal: Students will be able to communicate effectively in at least one language or medium to accomplish relevant academic and professional tasks for various objectives. They will do so with an awareness of their audience or interlocutor, including the ways race, ethnicity, economic class, culture, gender identity, ability, and language background contribute to the construction of meaning.

Students will be able to: 

  • Written, spoken, and signed communication: Convey ideas clearly, accurately, and logically, incorporating relevant evidence and citing credible, pertinent sources.
  • Interpersonal collaboration: Meaningfully foster interpersonal communication to complete relevant academic and professional tasks in group and/or partner settings.
  • Aesthetic and creative expression: Engage in the creative process while following respective conventions to produce work in disciplines and/or genres of interest.
  • Digital Literacy: Effectively use digital programs, services, platforms, and tools for applicable academic and professional purposes and technological communication.

Definition: Lifelong wellness represents students’ ability to capably pursue physical, emotional, and social health.

Goal: Students will develop the knowledge and skills to effectively advocate for their own and their communities’ emotional and physical wellbeing. Students will practice resiliency strategies to maintain lifelong wellness.

Students will be able to:

  • Identify and practice the components of a physically healthy lifestyle
  • Identify and practice the components of socially and emotionally healthy lifestyles
  • Identify and access appropriate resources for academic success
  • Recognize trauma and identify strategies to develop the resilience necessary to overcome adversity

Definition: Intercultural knowledge represents the awareness of global diversity in culture, art, language, religion, and history with respect toward the ability to interact across cultures.


Goal: Students will study different governments, economies, artistic and literary traditions, religions, and other cultural institutions and how they are produced. They will develop the ability to recognize how cultural expectations impact interactions, to consider how culture shapes human experiences and perceptions, and to identify, analyze, and challenge their own cultural assumptions.


Students will be able to:

    • Articulate aspects of cultures, religions, and ethnic groups throughout the world
    • Evaluate and analyze interactions between global communities both historically and in the modern world
    • Recognize and reflect on the cultural experience of others
    • Interact with diverse cultures