2018-2019 Catalog

Core Competencies Requirement

Core Competencies are a required, noncredit, general education component of each degree program. Students complete assignments that are certified by faculty as demonstrating core competencies that faculty have identified as central to learning. Students will be completing assignments in general education, elective courses, and courses in all programs of study that will give them practice with these competencies in the context of different subjects.

The student’s instructor will identify the competencies that can best be demonstrated by the work the student will do in the course. In addition, the student may wish to talk to the instructor about the possibility of fulfilling a different competency in an assignment. All items must be graded C or better.

The instructor will notify the Registrar’s Office of his/her acceptance of a student’s work as demonstrating a competency. This office will keep track of the competencies completed as part of the student’s academic record.

No sample of work submitted for a competency may be used to satisfy more than one competency, and no more than two competencies can be satisfied through work in one course. Competency requirements must be met and certified during the semester the student is enrolled in the course. Some courses have embedded core competencies. In these courses the opportunity to demonstrate a particular competency is built in to the curriculum. A student completing the course with a grade of C or better is certified as having demonstrated the competency. The course description section of the catalog identifies courses that have embedded core competencies. Students not needing an embedded competency may inquire of the instructor whether a different competency could be achieved in the course.

Core competencies have become a graduation requirement for A.A. and A.S. students beginning with the 2004 catalog year. Students who have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited higher education institution, who have completed 15 or more degree credits prior to 2004 or who have transferred in 15 or more credits are exempt from the requirement.

Certificate and non-degree students are not required to complete the core competency requirement. They are, however, encouraged to do so since they may later wish to apply their coursework toward a degree.

Students required to complete the core competencies for graduation may, in extraordinary circumstances, request a substitution or waiver for part of the requirement. Such requests should be addressed to the program advisor for Liberal Arts, who will make recommendations to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students should contact their academic advisor if they have questions concerning the core competency requirement.

Learning to use competencies across the curriculum will help students:

  1. Apply similar skills and abilities to learn different course contents; and

  2. Integrate their education rather than thinking of it as a collection of separate, unrelated courses. To satisfy this requirement, a student must demonstrate competency in the following areas:


  • To consider information to form purposeful judgments by using cognitive skills in conscious, organized processes; and

  • To demonstrate the ability to analyze information for accuracy, balance, bias and agenda; to identify inconsistencies in data and argument.


  • To respond to complex questions in creative and thoughtful ways, considering multiple points of view; and

  • To critically evaluate and cogently present researched information in an organized, effective manner as verbal presentation; to develop physical control of delivery; to listen actively.


  • To respond to complex questions in creative and thoughtful ways, considering multiple points of view; and

  • To write essays focusing on one main idea logically developed with detailed paragraphs; to responsibly and accurately incorporate information from secondary sources.


  • To demonstrate the application of mathematical understanding either through elementary functions or algebraic equations or by appropriate graphing or modeling requiring analysis of a given problem; and

  • To show flexibility within the basis of analysis; and

  • To appraise problem-solving options using sequential or systemic logic.