Essential Studies Student Learning Pathways

There are six distinct pathways that must be completed, one for each of Oregon Tech’s six Essential Student Learning Outcomes (ESLO).

A typical pathway includes:

Taught by content-area experts, foundational courses in each ESLO area give students initial exposure to ideas in each area. Typically with significant scaffolding. (29 credits total).  

Essential Practice
Rather than simply scratching the surface, practice-level courses explicitly build upon a clearly-established foundation to deepen students’ abilities. Assignments reflect moderate scaffolding, but students are learning how to apply their skills to unstructured or open-ended problems and situations. (15 credits minimum).  

Program-Integrated Practice
Programs identify courses within their discipline where students apply and continue to practice the skills in each outcome area in the context of their discipline. (no specific credit requirement; courses specified by programs).  

Essential Studies Student Learning Outcomes

Oregon Tech's Essential Student Learning Outcomes (ESLOs) support Oregon Tech's institutional mission and core themes. The outcomes and associated criteria reflect the rigorous applied nature of Oregon Tech's degree programs.

Oregon Tech students will demonstrate these institutional student learning outcomes:

Seth Anthony

Seth Anthony, Associate Professor

Nellie Stewart

Nellie Stewart, Executive Assistant


The ESLOs reflect the common expectations about the knowledge, skills, and abilities that Oregon Tech students will acquire and are reflected in the General Education requirements that lay the foundation upon which the major curricula build. Engaging in these ESLOs will support Oregon Tech graduates in developing the habits of mind and behaviors of professionals and lifelong learners.

Oregon Tech students will:
  • communicate effectively orally and in writing;
  • engage in a process of inquiry and analysis;
  • make and defend reasonable ethical judgments;
  • collaborate effectively in teams or groups;
  • demonstrate quantitative literacy;
  • explore diverse perspectives.

Oregon Tech celebrates its new Essential Student Learning Outcomes following a year-long review conducted by the Assessment Commission Executive Committee. Reports for the institutional assessment of the original eight outcomes which began in 2007 can be found in the link from this page. Full descriptions and criteria for assessment, as well as the assessment cycle for the six new ESLOs are also linked from this page.

Six-Year ESLO Cycle

1 2 3 4 5 6
2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Communication Design Collect Analyze Engage Evaluate Reflect
Inquiry & Analysis Design Collect Analyze Engage Evaluate
Ethical Reasoning Design Collect Analyze Engage
Teamwork Design Collect Analyze
Quantitative Literacy Design Collect
Diverse Perspectives Design Collect Analyze Engage Evaluate Reflect Design

ESLO 6 Year Cycle Diagram