Introduction to the Core4
Vice President of Learning, Richard Zollinger, speaks about the importance of the core competencies as an integral part of the Learning College initiative.
In support of the Learning College initiative, four core competencies have been identified as critical to the success of every CPCC graduate. The competencies were developed in response to requests from area employers, survey results from College faculty and staff, best practices of other learning colleges, results from the 21st Century Learning Outcomes Project, the CPCC general education goals, and current research on teaching and learning.
The core competencies and the general education goals support one another. However, the core competencies focus on individual mastery of the competencies and are assessed at that level. These competencies are infused throughout program curricula, not just the general education courses. The general education goals establish broad curriculum objectives that are achieved through the courses that comprise the general education component of program offerings. The College determines its progress toward the general education goals through aggregate classroom assessments. Stated more succinctly, the core competencies focus on the progress of the individual student toward these broad educational objectives. The general education goals focus on institutional progress toward a set of related, but more specific, course-imbedded objectives.
The goal of this initiative is for every graduate of Central Piedmont Community College to demonstrate mastery of the core competencies (communication, critical thinking, personal growth and responsibility, and information technology and quantitative literacy) in addition to the requirements of individual programs.
The core competencies are defined in broad, conceptual terms. However, each core competency is described in more detail by a list of key indicators that help operationalize the terms. All areas of the College are expected to support development of student core competencies and have instituted a variety of programs in this effort. Different core competency initiatives are highlighted monthly on the Learning College webpage.
The core competencies represent tangible proof of two important guiding principles for a learning college:
Improved and expanded learning is documented for learners – students will demonstrate what they know and what they can do as a result of their learning experiences at Central Piedmont Community College.
Creating substantive change in learners – students not only learn skills that will earn them a spot in the workforce; they learn and practice skills that will prepare them to engage with the world around them.
Discipline knowledge and application is expected for all graduates. In addition, all graduates are expected to demonstrate achievement in each of the following competencies that go beyond simple content mastery:
- Communication: the ability to read, write, speak, listen, and use nonverbal skills effectively with different audiences. (Take the Communication self assessment.)
- Critical Thinking: the ability to think using analysis, synthesis, evaluation, problem solving, judgment, and the creative process. (Take the Critical Thinking self assessment.)
- Personal Growth and Responsibility: the ability to understand and manage self, to function effectively in social and professional environments and to make reasoned judgments based on an understanding of the diversity of the world community. (Take the self assessment)
- Information Technology and Quantitative Literacy: the ability to locate, understand, evaluate, and synthesize, information and data in a technological and data driven society. (Take the Information Technology and Quantitative Literacy self assessment.)