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    Queen’s updates Degree Level Expectations to better reflect our mission

    Additional Degree Level Expectations to ensure students complete their studies with the ability to contribute to a diverse world in a more inclusive and equitable way.

    A group of students gather around a desk in Stauffer Library.
    Queen’s University Senate has approved updates to the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents' Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Level Expectations (DLEs), including revisions to language explicitly focused on equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigenization, and accessibility (EDIIA). (Queen's University)

    Queen’s continues to move forward on a path to ensure graduates are equipped with the ability to recognize, embrace, and contribute to a diverse world. This enduring commitment has now been applied to the institution’s Degree Level Expectations.

    At its most recent meeting, Queen’s University Senate approved updates to the Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents' Undergraduate and Graduate Degree Level Expectations (DLEs). The revision includes language explicitly focused on equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigenization, and accessibility (EDIIA). The revised DLEs emphasize the objectives of a global mindset and research and learning to benefit society and the public good, embodied by the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the curriculum. The newly revised  Degree Level Expectations are required rather than optional and apply across the full curriculum, including undergraduate and graduate programs.    

    Originally adopted in December 2005, Degree Level Expectations ensure students – at both the undergraduate and graduate levels – complete their studies with specific academic outcomes that include: depth and breadth of knowledge; knowledge of methodologies/research and scholarship; application of knowledge, communications skills, autonomy and professional capacity; and awareness of the limits of their knowledge.

    Degree Level Expectations connect to program and course learning outcomes, which in turn shape teaching and learning strategies, methods of assessment, and course content. In addition to the original DLEs, Queen’s students must also demonstrate a number of supplementary skill sets that include the ability to:

    • Identify the potential for inequities in the production and dissemination of knowledge;
    • Recognize diverse worldviews, ways of knowing, abilities, and experiences, including Indigenous perspectives;
    • Describe limitations of methods they use, recognizing potential inequities, biases, or implicit assumptions;
    • Explore problems from local and global perspectives;
    • Explore the complex interactions between individual, society, economy, environment, and/or technology;
    • Communicate information, arguments, and analyses to a broad range of audiences in ways that are accessible and inclusive; and
    • Ethically engage diverse communities and participants to advance research and scholarship and to benefit communities.

    There will be various mechanisms and pathways to communicate with faculty members about the revised DLEs, which includes faculty deans communicating with their instructors. The Centre for Teaching and Learning supports instructors in integrating equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigeneity and accessibility into their teaching, and will run workshops on the DLEs in the fall. Academic units will consider, in detail, how their program learning outcomes align to the DLEs when they carry out cyclical review of their programs through Queen’s Quality Assurance Processes.

    “Queen’s University has always been successful in graduating learners who are leaders in their disciplines,” says Klodiana Kolomitro, Associate Vice-Principal (Teaching and Learning). “As we adopt new standards to the Degree Level Expectations, we are ensuring Queen’s graduates are positively contributing to the world in a more inclusive and equitable way by intentionally designing learning experiences that equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to do so.”

    The additions to the Queen’s DLEs are based on recommendations from the Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion (PICRDI), Queen’s University Truth and Reconciliation Task Force’s Final Report,  and Declaration of Commitment to Address Systemic Racism.

    To learn more about Degree Level Expectations and to see the full list of additions, please visit the Queen’s University Degree Level Expectations page.