Learning Outcomes

The Department of Economics shares the Illinois commitment to assessment of educational and student programs to ensure continuous improvement of learning and development.

A regular and thoughtful practice of articulating and assessing student learning outcomes allows for our campus to ensure that our graduates are receiving the world-class education that we promise. Increasingly the university is called on to demonstrate that our students have met certain learning goals, and to continuously review and affirm or improve our curricula based on feedback obtained through assessment. Read more about Illinois Learning Outcomes Assessment

Economics Student Learning Outcomes

To accomplish the educational objectives and to fulfill accreditation criteria, all economics programs provide the knowledge, experience, and opportunities necessary for students to demonstrate their attainment of the following outcomes:

  • Analytical Skills/Problem-Solving: ECON students will effectively visualize, conceptualize, articulate, and solve complex problems or address problems that do not have a clear answer, with available information, through experimentation and observation, using microeconomic and macroeconomic theory, as well as calculus and statistical tools.
  • Critical Thinking: ECON students will apply economic analysis to everyday problems helping them to understand events, evaluate specific policy proposals, compare arguments with different conclusions to a specific issue or problem, and assess the role played by assumptions in arguments that reach different conclusions to a specific economic or policy problem.
  • Quantitative Reasoning: ECON students will understand how to apply empirical evidence to economic arguments. Specifically, they may obtain and/or collect relevant data, develop empirical evidence using appropriate statistical techniques, and interpret the results of such analyses.
  • Specialized Knowledge and Practical Application: ECON students will develop deeper analytical, critical, and quantitative skills in specialized areas by applying economic concepts to real world situations.
  • Interdisciplinary Knowledge, Diverse Issues, and Global Consciousness: ECON students will broaden their global and disciplinary knowledge, enhancing their understanding of the world around them both within economics and beyond.
  • Communication and Leadership: ECON students will build skills to work as part of a team and lead others, ensuring they are prepared to navigate diverse audiences and situations.

The Department of Economics ensures students are meeting the learning outcomes through the following assessment activities:

  • Successful completion of our core coursework (ECON 102, 103, 202, 203, 302, 303, and MATH 220/221 and 231).
  • Selection and successful completion of advanced coursework (400-level courses) in a variety of topical areas.
  • Completion of individualized supporting coursework outside of the major courses which help to enhance their economics knowledge and increases interdisciplinary study.
  • Audits of student major and overall grades each semester, and proactive intervention.
  • Student surveys to understand the student experience and gather information about their classes within and outside the major.
  • Advising meetings with students, informal discussions, and observations about the curriculum and specific courses.
  • Focus group discussions with students, specifically with student groups and specific populations.
  • Discussions with Alumni, Recruiters/Professionals, and Graduate Programs about students, preparation, and need.
  • Benchmarking against similar economics programs across the United States.