Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning

Learning Competencies

A competency is defined as “mastery of learning by students through their demonstration of knowledge, attitudes, values, skills, and behaviors” (Gervais, 2016). Based upon the Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) conceptual framework and CEL learning outcomes, the following competencies are aspirational for Loyola students to develop.

As students engage in service-learning courses, academic internship courses, undergraduate research experiences, and as they construct learning portfolios in these areas, they will develop and deepen in these competencies. The explanation of the competencies are adapted from a number of resources, including the Five Characteristics of a Jesuit Education, Principles of Catholic Social Teaching, AAC&U’s Essential Learning Outcomes, the NACE Career Readiness Competencies, and the Civic-Minded Graduate framework.

  • Apply principles of Catholic Social Teaching, critical theory, and social analysis to the topic
  • Identify underlying systemic structures contributing to complexity of community issues 
  • Apply learning to address identified community issues
  • Facilitate freedom of inquiry, pursuit of truth, and care for others, working toward the common good
  • Identify personal role and responsibility to work toward the common good
  • Actively demonstrate commitment to community issue
  • Demonstrate civic skills and participation to contribute to social change
  • Articulate current events and complexity of issues in modern society locally, regionally, nationally, or globally


  • Demonstrate personal integrity and ethical behavior aligned with principles of Catholic Social Teaching
  • Act responsibly with the interest of the larger community in mind
  • Leverage strengths of others to achieve common goals
  • Utilize interpersonal skills to develop others
  • Assess and utilize empathetic skills to guide and motivate
  • Demonstrate appropriate balance between justice and fairness, aligned with Catholic Social Teaching principles
  • Communicate (in writing and orally) with others, and listen to divergent points of view
  • Create dialogue with multiple constituencies, including community members
  • Practice active listening
  • Identify opportunities for multi-modal communication
  • Build collaborative relationships with colleagues representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints
  • Work within a team structure, negotiate and manage conflict, and develop shared goals working toward a larger vision
  • Work with others, including those with diverse opinions, and work across differences to come to an agreement or solve a problem
  • Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions
  • Demonstrate openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact with all people and understand individuals’ differences
  • Identify how the world’s people and societies are interrelated and interdependent
  • Demonstrate a commitment to excellence by applying lessons learned and skills to achieve creative and innovative ideas
  • Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems
  • Obtain, interpret, and utilize knowledge, facts, and data in this process
  • Demonstrate originality, innovative ideas, and inventiveness
  • Articulate an action plan to be personally involved in community service in the future
  • Demonstrate realistic disposition that the action will produce the desired results
  • Completes a staged project through different stages of initial ideas, developing research questions, methodology, implementation, data analysis and interpretation, assessment, and evaluation
  • Facilitate stages of project on a timeline to completion, with personal accountability and effective professional work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, time workload management
  • Make meaning of experiences in connection with academic knowledge, personal experiences, and civic development
  • Demonstrate critical perspectives and analysis
  • Cultivate reflective practice
  • Demonstrate new frames of reference emerging from connections between experiences
  • Make connections across learning contexts
  • Connect knowledge, skills, values, ethics, and behaviors together
  • Identify patterns and themes across experiences
  • Articulate meaning in relation to life context