MFA Student Learning Outcomes
SLO 1 (Thesis Outcome Learning #1)
Student should be able to generate complex, original subject matter of literary quality and value:
- Student avoids formulaic or clichéd elements of content.
- Student effectively integrates researched material, contributing to the overall complexity and quality of the work.
- Student presents a preponderance of original observations and images.
- Student demonstrates original and/or fresh use of language and diction.
SLO 2 (Thesis Outcome Learning #2)
Student should be able to utilize form, style, and technique in effective and sophisticated ways:
- For a collection of essays, stories, poems, or hybrid-genre pieces, Student has organized and presented work in a form that shows overall unity and coherence.
- For fiction and nonfiction, Student demonstrates effective use of narrative structure, e.g., pacing, summary, scene.
- Student demonstrates graceful, skillful, and wide-ranging (varied) use of style, e.g. choices regarding line length, tone, voice, etc.
SLO 3: Critical Thinking (MFA Exam Learning Outcome #1)
Student should be able to write a comprehensive analysis of a literary work in his/her genre (a poem, story, or essay):
- Student identifies and discusses multiple aspects of form, e.g., narrative structure, line length, word choice, tone, point of view.
- Student illustrates his/her discussion with appropriate examples from the text.
- Student incorporates cited material effectively and gracefully into his/her essay.
- Student correctly uses standard format for citations and bibliography.
- Student identifies and evaluates creative choices made by the author, which may include discussion of alternative choices.
- Student considers the relationship between the work’s form and its content (its subject matter or concerns).
- Student demonstrates an accurate understanding of the work’s historical and stylistic context.
SLO 4: Critical Thinking (MFA Exam Learning Outcome #2)
Student should be able to articulate his/her own aesthetic as a writer:
- Student cites examples of at least three primary and at least two secondary sources that have influenced his/her aesthetic development.
- Student elucidates specific elements of form, theme, and content (subject matter) that characterize his/her own aesthetic.
- Student cites references from both contemporary and historical major writers in his/her genre.
- Student demonstrates familiarity with the historical context and development of his/her genre.