University of Charleston

Our classes are geared to do two things: engage you in active learning and let you grow as a person.

We offer a truly unique approach to how we do just that – by identifying six liberal arts-related outcomes that we believe provide you with the foundation to think, act and respond appropriately and responsibly, called Liberal Learning Outcomes.

The six areas are citizenship, communication, creativity, critical thinking, ethical practice and inquiry.

These LLO’s are tightly woven into every major at UC, so every class becomes an exercise in understanding and applying how the coursework relates to the real world – and your own goals.


What does it mean to be a citizen – of your community, the nation, the world? We believe it is the responsibility of every student to understand the impact each of us has as a member of our local and global communities. This outcome offers a historical perspective of human civilization, as well as a proactive approach to understanding and improving the world in which we live.


The ability to communicate is essential to everything we do in life. At UC, effective communication is a mandatory requirement. We believe the ability to write, speak and read with clarity and purpose is a skill that will put our graduates ahead of their peers. It is also a “soft skill” that employers believe is critical to success.


Creativity is more than the ability to draw or build – it is learning to see the world differently, and to bring a new perspective to your coursework, your career, your life. You will understand why and expressing how our imaginations can be one of life’s most powerful tools. Creativity can certainly be expressed in the arts, but it can also be expressed through innovation and entrepreneurship as well.

Critical Thinking

To effectively lead, you have to be prepared to make critical decisions. Sound solutions are integral to both personal and professional success. This outcome fosters human curiosity and teaches students how to acquire, analyze and evaluate information. You will learn the process of reflection, reasoning and imagining through which you examine and explore statements, problems, issues, beliefs and social constraints.

Ethical Practice

We believe morals are integral to who we are – as a University, a community, as human beings. No education is complete without a better understanding of how our decisions impact others, and just as importantly, how to resolve ethical conflicts when they occur. This outcome supports learning to treat others with honesty, fairness, justice, integrity and altruism within communities and areas of professional service.


It is essential that UC students have a working knowledge of scientific concepts and methods to solve problems. But as importantly, we want our students to have a lifelong sense of curiosity – to examine why things are, to develop new approaches to solving problems, to create a life of exploration and an open-minded approach to all the world has to offer.

We believe college success is about what you learn, not how much time you spend in a classroom.

The embedding of LLOs into your courses means you don’t take hours of specific general education classes. Instead, many of our students choose to complete a second major or minor.

Debbie Bannister
Deborah Bannister, MA

Assistant Professor and Director of First Year Programs and Advising