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Queen's University

Degree-Level Expectations (DLEs)

The COU endorsed the Guidelines for University Undergraduate Degree Level Expectations (UUDLEs) (developed by OCAV), and the Graduate Degree Level Expectations (GDLEs) (developed by OCGS) in December 2005.  DLEs are a critical and foundational element of the new QUQAPs.  They define expectations and explicitly state what is appropriate for a given degree in terms of both discipline specific and generic knowledge and skills. DLEs allow academic programs to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of all aspects of instruction and to clarify the outcomes expected of graduates.

Because DLEs play a central role in the new quality assurance system, development and monitoring will be an ongoing process at Queen’s University.  Meeting DLEs is now a requirement for both existing and proposed Programs.  When approving new programs, the Quality Council will base its decision, in part, on whether or not the proposed new program’s learning objectives are expected to meet the appropriate DLEs by the program’s graduates.   Also, the outcomes of CPRs will depend to a significant degree on whether or not a Program has met the DLEs. 

At least once every eight years, a cyclical program review (CPR) will be conducted to evaluate to what extent the program is meeting its DLEs.  Because Units must demonstrate that their DLEs have been integrated into their program and curriculum, it is important that students are constantly assessed to make sure that the DLEs are being achieved.  If gaps or shortcomings are identified, Units are required to develop implementation plans to remedy the situation. 

In essence, DLEs for degrees awarded by Ontario’s publicly-assisted universities identify several broad categories of knowledge and skills that students must demonstrate in order to be awarded a degree that include (as a minimum):

  1. Depth and breadth of knowledge;
  2. Knowledge of methodologies;
  3. Application of knowledge;
  4. Communication skills
  5. Awareness of limits of knowledge;
  6. Autonomy and professional capacity

For further information, visit the CTLs website.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000