Student Learning Outcomes


Institutions of higher education (IHEs) are paying increased attention to the development and assessment of student learning outcomes (SLOs) in all realms of campus life, not just in the classroom. As part of the movement to include student services in the student learning mission of the institution, ACHA conducted a survey on the degree to which Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are utilized by student health services. It is hoped that the survey results posted below will also assist to benchmark knowledge and resources pertaining to the assessment of learning outcomes.


A Student Learning Outcome (SLO) is defined as: particular levels of knowledge, skills, and abilities that a student has attained at the end (or as a result) of his/her engagement in a particular set of collegiate experiences (Ewell, 2001).

Further, the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, (2009) CAS professional standards for higher education (7th ed.). Washington, DC: author, designated six broad categories (called domains). These domains of learning include:

  • knowledge acquisition, construction, integration and application
  • cognitive complexity;
  • intrapersonal development;
  • interpersonal competence;
  • humanitarianism and civic engagement;
  • and practical competence.

Lastly, learning can be understood as “a complex, holistic, multi-centric activity that occurs throughout and across the college experience” (ACPA and NASPA, Learning Reconsidered: A campus-wide focus on the student experience. Washington DC: authors, 2004).

A Student learning outcome can sometimes refer to a written statement that denotes what students should learn (the “intended learning goals for students”) from participating in student affairs programs and services.


The student will be able to define three health-related stress impacts on the body when interviewed two weeks after the clinical appointment with back pain as a chief complaint.

The student will be able to explain the meaning of self-validation after participation in a session of a writer’s block group at the counseling services.

The student will be able to analyze the institution’s food purchasing policies for the level of support they provide to a healthy choices environment and submit an editorial for possible submission to the student newspaper.

The student will be able to design a proposal for a “sleep zone” in a campus residence hall and present the proposal at a student government meeting.


CAS professional standards for higher education (7th ed.). Washington, DC: author, 2009.

FALDOS – Frameworks for Assessing Learning and Development Outcomes

Learning Reconsidered: A Campus-Wide Focus on the Student Experience ACPA, NASPA 2004.

Learning Reconsidered 2: A Practical Guide to Implementing a Campus-Wide Focus on the Student Experience ACPA, NASPA, et al 2006.

Assessing Student Learning and Development: A Handbook for Practitioners (2004) Marilee J. Bresciani et al.

Assessing for Learning: Building a Sustainable Commitment Across the Institution (2004) Peggy L. Maki.