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Learning at Chapman

» Vision, Mission, Commitments, and Learning Themes


Chapman University will be a student-centered institution, recognized nationally and internationally as a center of academic and personal excellence that prepares our students to contribute to a global society.


The mission of Chapman University is to provide personalized education of distinction that leads to inquiring, ethical and productive lives as global citizens.

Central Commitments

The mission of Chapman University finds expression through the following central commitments:

  • Create stimulating learning environments for a diverse population.
  • Recruit and retain an outstanding faculty that cherishes teaching, research and creative activity as primary professional commitments and that strives to build a creative intellectual community in which the inquiring life is exemplified by a shared commitment among students and faculty to the pursuit of knowledge.
  • Offer curricula that integrate liberal arts and professional learning in order to foster independent and critical thinking, effective communication and an international perspective.
  • Create learning, living and working environments that foster diversity, multiple perspectives and the free exchange of ideas.
  • Affirm our openness to diverse religious, spiritual, political and ethical traditions.
  • Encourage the linkage between a life of learning and service and vital interaction of the University with our wider communities.
  • Devote resources in a fiscally responsible manner to support outstanding teaching, scholarship and learning and develop facilities that enhance the living and learning environments.

Institutional Learning Themes

Chapman University’s five learning themes are the academic cornerstones supporting student learning experiences: general education and major field of study. The themes serve as guiding principles for academic programs. Programs, led by faculty, incorporate these themes as they develop their discipline-specific learning approaches and outcomes. As such, each program’s learning outcomes are representative of their respective disciplines and aligned to Chapman University’s learning themes. Chapman University believes learning to be a transactional process with transformational possibilities. Therefore, these learning themes serve as guiding principles for all members of Chapman University involved with student learning and not just our students.

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Faculty/Student Research

  • Collaborate on scholarly and creative pursuits and contribute to knowledge generation
  • Learn and use inquiry processes to discern the quality of information
  • Cultivate and value teamwork in scholarly and creative pursuits

Global Citizenship

  • Contribute knowledge and skills to strengthen local and global communities
  • Actively participate in organized action for social justice and social change
  • Serve and advocate for others, communities, and efforts with a focus on the common good


  • Integrate and synthesize seemingly disparate discipline-specific information and innovate new ideas
  • Adopt, inform, critique, and broaden perspectives by incorporating different types of information, approaches, and disciplines
  • Seek new and creative learning opportunities and partnerships

Personalized Education

  • Make learning relevant
  • Recognize and take ownership of the relationship between the self and learning processes
  • Actively engage with learning challenges and opportunities
  • Apply knowledge and skills gained to inform and improve academic, personal, and professional pursuits

Student Writing

  • Use written communication to effectively articulate informed arguments, ideas, proposals, questions, reports, etc.
  • Value the writing process as direct evidence of critical and logical thinking, content development, communication skills, positionality, and context awareness
  • Become proficient in a variety of writing genres and styles to communicate effectively

Chapman University’s Learning Themes Assessment and Review Processes

What is the process for interpreting and analyzing the learning outcomes evidence?

There are three processes for understanding how academic programs address Chapman University’s Learning Themes: (A) program learning outcomes assessment, (B) general education learning outcomes assessment, and (C) campus-wide surveys on student learning.

A. Degree Program Learning Outcomes Assessment

All degree programs’ learning outcomes are aligned to Chapman’s Learning Themes. For details, please click below:

Program faculty determine how their program learning outcomes align with Chapman’s Learning Themes. Each year, each program’s analysis and interpretation of their learning outcomes data contribute to the analysis and interpretation of the learning themes. For details on how programs assess their learning outcomes, please click below:

Furthermore, when the Assessment Committee completes their review of a program’s annual learning outcomes assessment report, a copy of the response (along with the report) also is reviewed and aggregated by the Director Accreditation and Assessment. The Director creates a longitudinal assessment ratings matrix at the institutional level and reviews the matrix with the Vice Provost of Institutional Effectiveness, who then shares the findings with the Provost and Deans.

B. General Education Learning Outcomes Assessment

All General Education program learning outcomes also are aligned with Chapman’s Learning Themes. For details, please click below:

Faculty teaching in general education, the General Education Committee, the Undergraduate Academic Council, and the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education determine how each general learning outcome align with Chapman’s Learning Themes. When each General Education area learning outcomes are assessed, the analysis and interpretation of the learning outcomes data contribute to the analysis and interpretation of the learning themes. For details on how General Education area learning outcomes are assessed, please click below:

C. Campus-Wide Surveys on Student Learning

Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRADS) conducts surveys on student learning. For a list and details of surveys, please click:

The data collected through these surveys are analyzed and reviewed by IRADS and the Vice Provost of Institutional Effectiveness. Once findings are determined, they are shared with students, faculty, and administration. For a sample, please click:

How are the learning outcomes findings used?

The findings from the program learning outcomes and General Education learning outcomes assessments are used to make program improvements by their respective stakeholders (i.e., faculty, faculty councils, etc.). The specific uses are explained in each respective assessment explanation (see above).

In addition, the aggregated findings from the three areas explained above are reviewed by the Director of Accreditation and Assessment and Vice Provost of Institutional Effectiveness. These findings, along with program improvement recommendations, are reported to the Provost, and shared with the Deans of Colleges and Schools.