CRITICAL CORE Competencies

What is the CRITICAL CORE?

The CRITICAL CORE is an update of CORE4 that incorporates and aligns with our General Education Foundation (the 18 hours of general education courses required in all programs of study). The CRITICAL CORE Competencies reflect CPCC Institutional Learning Outcomes, and emphasizes that our students must attain proficiency in four CRITICAL CORE skill areas: Communication, Information Technology & Quantitative Literacy, Personal Growth & Cultural Literacy, and Critical Thinking.

The CRITICAL CORE articulates a pathway between General Education Foundation requirements and program-specific courses in a manner that provides students opportunity to gain proficiency in different indicators of a CRITICAL CORE competency. This pathway identifies key indicators for each CRITICAL CORE competency, and ensures that students, upon completion of a degree program, will have been exposed to a minimum of two key indicators per competency.  The General Education Foundation provides opportunity for exposure to one key indicator per competency, and the mapping in all remaining curriculum courses within a program of study ensures students are exposed to minimum of one additional key indicator per competency area.

Why is CPCC doing this?

The CRITICAL CORE emphasizes the attainment of 21st century skills that are expected by employers and four-year educational institutions, and required for personal, academic, and professional success.

How does the CRITICAL CORE benefit students?

Critical Thinking, Communication, Personal Growth & Cultural Literacy, and Information Technology & Quantitative Literacy all establish a transferable skill set within our graduates.  In a survey of employers from the Association of Colleges and Universities:

  • 95% of employers give hiring preference to college graduates with skills that will enable them to contribute to innovation in the workplace.
  • 93% of employers say that a “demonstrated capacity to think critically (Critical Thinking), communicate clearly (Communication), and solve problems (Information Technology and Quantitative Literacy) is more important than [a candidate’s] undergraduate major.
  • 9 in 10 of employers say it is important that those they hire demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity; intercultural skills; and the capacity for continued learning (Personal Growth and Cultural Literacy).


Want to know more?

Visit the CRITICAL CORE website here or contact anyone on the CRITICAL CORE leadership team here.