Scientific Literacy

UCORE-designated courses advance Scientific Literacy as appropriate to the designator, with a minimum of four credit hours in UCORE-designated courses that include instruction and/or engagement with Scientific Literacy (see the UCORE Curriculum Map (PDF) and UCORE Curriculum webpages for more information). At the senior-level, Scientific Literacy may be required in the senior capstone experience course [CAPS] as appropriate to the course and discipline. Students also complete at least one Inquiry in the Biological Sciences [BSCI] or Inquiry in the Physical Sciences [PSCI] course, which advance Scientific Literacy, during the UCORE curriculum. 

WSU Undergraduate Learning Goal: Graduates will have a basic understanding of major scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision-making, participation in civic affairs, economic productivity and global stewardship. Graduates may demonstrate scientific literacy by:

  • Identifying scientific issues underlying global, national, local and personal decisions and communicating positions that are scientifically and technologically informed.
  • Evaluating the quality of scientific and health-related information on the basis of its source and the methods used to generate it.
  • Posing and evaluating arguments based on evidence and applying conclusions from such arguments appropriately.
  • Recognizing the societal benefits and risks associated with scientific and technological advances.

Current Evidence of Student Learning Related to Scientific Literacy

Click on the heading for current evidence of student learning from assessments aligned with Scientific Literacy in the context of the UCORE curriculum:

  • Student Learning at the Senior Level: AY 2020-21 [CAPS] Course Assessment Results As reported in the AY 2020-21 [CAPS] Course Assessment Reporting Summary of Key Evidence for UCORE, assessment results indicated that 82% of students met or exceeded expectations at the graduating undergraduate level for Information Literacy. Additionally, 83% of students met or exceeded expectations for Integrative Learning. In courses where faculty members found enough elements to evaluate student learning on additional learning goals, instructors indicated that 82% of the students met or exceeded expectations for Scientific Literacy, and 81% for Quantitative Reasoning.