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Assessment 101: General Education

General Education Learning Goals

From the AAC&U on the importance of General Education:

There is an emerging—and necessary—revolution occurring within general education. This revolution is led not by higher education “disruptors” intent on breaking apart existing systems, but by innovators creating intentional, coherent, engaging, and integrated educational experiences. College and university faculty, cocurricular professionals, and other academic leaders are leveraging research on what facilitates and strengthens liberal learning for all students seeking the benefits of higher education. Their revolution is based on the recognition that twenty-first-century general education

  • must be a central mechanism for integrating knowledge and developing higher-order learning skills and abilities rather than a set of unconnected introductory courses;
  • must connect with the learning goals of the major, the work of student affairs, and the goal of preparing students for lifelong learning;
  • is the foundation for equity in preparing current and future civically engaged graduates;
  • is a potentially powerful tool for retention and completion; and
  • provides valuable and enduring professional development for the current and future workforce.

In the context of urgent social challenges such as growing economic and demographic segregation and a breakdown of public trust in higher education at large, general education must prepare students to

  • create meaning and sense in the face of the active denigration of reason, evidence, and facts;
  • use critical thought, reflection, and considered judgment to countervail a culture defined by snap decisions, distrust, and division;
  • value difference and diverse viewpoints as the cornerstone of a thriving democracy.

CCAC graduation
Photo: CCAC Commencement

CCAC's General Education Learning Goals embrace both the College Vision and the Assessment of Student Learning Committee's definition of an educated person. The College Vision of providing "an exemplary learning community where individuals can develop their full potential" in an environment of the highest standards "of academic excellence, technological advancement, innovative responsive programming and economic development" is the foundation for CCAC's General Education program. An educated person is one who acquires and continues to expand upon the following (ASL July 2005):

  • A broad range of knowledge upon which to make value judgments
  • The skills to locate valid information and comprehend that information
  • The ability to analyze critically and synthesize efficiently valid information
  • The ability to listen carefully and to communicate effectively
     

General Education Learning Goals support the above definition of an educated person by uniting student learning experiences across all programs, courses and services at CCAC. General Education Learning Goals include essential knowledge and skills that help students to adapt to and to participate in global, cultural, social, political, economic, personal and technological change. The Learning Goals support students in achieving:

  • successful pursuits in higher education
  • successful careers
  • life-long learning

general education goals
PDF File

Communication

Employ written and oral communication skills in order to convey clear and organized information to target audiences for specific purposes.

The following are ways in which this goal may be achieved:

1. Generate communication that addresses audience and purpose.
2. Employ syntax, usage, style and tone appropriate to academic disciplines and professional environments.
3. Present ideas in an organized framework appropriate to the subject.
4. Develop ideas using concrete reasoning and clear explanation.

 

Technological Competencies

Use digital technology, productivity software, discipline-specific applications, and technology-mediated collaboration tools to complete tasks.

The following are ways in which this goal may be achieved:

1. Use technology resources to design, develop, present and publish information products.
2. Employ technology resources to conduct research, analyze data, solve problems, synthesize information and inform decision-making.
3. Use technology ethically and legally.

 

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Identify problems, explore and prioritize solutions and revise priorities as a means for purposeful action.

The following are ways in which this goal may be achieved:

1. Identify and summarize the problem and/or question in clear and concise terms.
2. Collect and review information from credible sources.
3. Consider the influence of context, assumptions and underlying bias of resources.
4. Synthesize and integrate information in order to support conclusions.
5. When supported, articulate findings and prioritize solutions appropriately.

 

 

Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning

Apply appropriate mathematical and/or scientific concepts and theories in order to interpret data and solve problems based on verifiable evidence.

The following are ways in which this goal may be achieved:

1. Identify and extract relevant data from problems, experiments or projects.
2. Organize data into tables, spreadsheets, graphs, symbols, equations and/or other visual representations.
3. Analyze and interpret quantitative and qualitative data using sound mathematical/scientific concepts.
4. Evaluate evidence and decide if conclusions based upon data are valid and consistent.

 

Culture, Society and Citizenship

Describe and explain behaviors and beliefs of various populations throughout the United States of America and the world.

The following are ways in which this goal may be achieved:

1. Discuss the role of diversity and equity in the context of the United States of America and the world.
2. Review social and cultural conventions within their historical contexts.
3. Examine the interdependence of people in their respective environments.
4. Examine artistic and aesthetic values of various cultures.
5. Explain the nature of a democratic society.
6. Articulate the values of civic engagement, community involvement and the role of service.

 

Information Literacy

Acquire, analyze, organize and evaluate information through technological and traditional means.

 

The following are ways in which this goal may be achieved:

1. Determine the nature and scope of information needed for a specific task.
2. Critically evaluate and organize information sources and content.
3. Acquire and use information ethically and legally.

Have a question? Email: awg@ccac.edu