Essential Studies

The Path to Success

Oregon Tech’s Essential Studies program provides support for university-wide learning outcomes common to all Oregon Tech bachelor’s degree programs, to ensure that all Oregon Tech students are prepared for leadership in solving complex problems in an interconnected world.

The Essential Studies program consists of pathways that support students’ development in six essential student learning outcomes (ESLOs), and signature experiences in which students tackle complex challenges that require them to apply all learning outcomes.

Program Requirements

ESLO Pathways
Six distinct pathways must be completed, one for each of Oregon Tech’s Essential Student Learning Outcomes (ESLOs)
Signature Experience
Students choose an Essential Studies Synthesis Experience (ESSE) and complete a Capstone Experience
Course Approval
Criteria and materials for course approval
ESLO Outcomes
Reflect the common expectations about knowledge, skills, and abilities that empower students to be successful in and after college

Specific Timeline:

Date Term / Week Event
September 21, 2016 Convocation Week General Education Departments meet during convocation and plan initial set of courses for submission Essential Studies Approval.
September 27, 2016 Fall Term, Week 1 Workshop with ESLO Committee members and interest faculty to support course application process. (2:00-3:00 p.m., Owens 206)
October 14, 2016 Fall Term, Week 3 Faculty submit initial courses for Essential Studies list consideration.
October 28, 2016 Fall Term, Week 5 ESLO committees have considered initial course submissions and produce list of initially approved and prospective courses for Essential Studies course lists.
November 4, 2016 Fall Term, Week 6 GEAC has approved preliminary and prospective list of courses for use in program mapping. Program directors (or designees) meet for workshop on program mapping process.
December 9, 2016 Fall Term, Week 10 Programs submit draft curriculum maps, identifying opportunities, challenges, and needed work.
Winter 2017 term Winter Term GEAC, ESLO committees, and academic departments consider feedback from curriculum mapping process; specific resource needs are identified, both broadly across the Essential Studies program and at the program and department levels.

Pilot Implementation
Oregon Tech's Essential Studies program is the culmination of a 3-year-long, university-wide review process that engaged the majority of Oregon Tech faculty, gathering extensive input from within and outside the university. The Essential Studies program was endorsed by Faculty Senate and by Oregon Tech’s Executive Staff in April 2016. Currently, work is underway to prepare for implementation with incoming students in Fall 2018.  

Details of Oregon Tech's 2013-16 General Education Review and the final report of the General Education Review Task Force are archived for those interested in the review process.

The General Education Advisory Committee will also use this website to provide detail on the implementation timeline and activities to the university community.


Seth Anthony

Seth Anthony, Interim Director

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Nellie Stewart

Nellie Stewart, Executive Assistant

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