General Education

Goals and Learning Objectives

The Core Fluencies

The entire General Education curriculum is designed around a set of core fluencies, which each of the courses develop to varying degrees. The core fluencies are basic to all the coursework, including the required English composition, foreign language courses, mathematics, natural science courses, Distribution Area courses, capstone LEH300-LEH301 sections, and writing intensive sections. These fluencies represent skills and abilities that overlap one another, as this diagram suggests.

Five Fluencies

Fluencies (also called Basic Skills, Competencies) are common to all the General Education required courses.  They are skills or abilities to think, communicate, analyze, interpret, etc.  These fluencies are developed over the student’s entire undergraduate career.

Communication and Language (written, oral, using English and other languages; also visual-graphic, aural non-verbal languages): Students will

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of context, audience, and purpose that is responsive to the assigned task(s) and focuses all elements of the work.
  • Use appropriate, relevant, and compelling content to illustrate mastery of the subject, conveying the writer's understanding, and shaping the whole work.
  • Demonstrate detailed attention to and successful execution of a wide range of conventions particular to a specific discipline and/or writing task(s), including organization, content, presentation, formatting, and stylistic choices.
  • Demonstrate skillful use of high-quality, credible, relevant sources to develop ideas that are appropriate for the discipline and genre of the writing.
  • Use graceful language that skillfully communicates meaning to readers with clarity and fluency and is virtually error-free.

Scientific (using laboratory technology and methodology, experimentation and demonstration, observation and confirmation): Students will

  • Exhibit mature understanding that scientific inquiry is based on the search for mechanistic laws and predictability.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the major principles and theories of a particular scientific discipline.
  • Recognize the cycle of systematic study resulting from the interplay among hypotheses, experiments, and theories.
  • Make defensible claims based on scientific evidence and experimental conclusions.
  • Exhibit skill in formulating complete and clear hypotheses, and in designing and testing working hypotheses, including use of appropriate experimental controls.
  • Produce analyses, interpretations, or sound scientific conclusions fully and clearly supported by the data collected.

Informational and technological (using Internet and similar shared resources, computerized and multimedia data): Students will

  • Effectively define the scope of the research question or thesis, effectively determine key concepts, select types of information (sources) that directly relate to concepts or answer research questions.
  • Access information using effective, well-designed search strategies and most appropriate information sources.
  • Thoroughly (systematically and methodically) analyze their own and others' assumptions and carefully evaluate the relevance of contexts when presenting a position.
  • Communicate, organize and synthesize information from sources to fully achieve a specific purpose, with clarity and depth.
  • Correctly employ information use strategies such as use of citations and references; choice of paraphrasing, summary, or quoting; using information in ways that are true to original context; distinguishing between common knowledge and ideas requiring attribution.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical and legal restrictions on the use of published, proprietary, confidential, private, and/or personal information.

Quantitative (using and understanding mathematical concepts, expressions, graphical representations): Students will

  • Provide accurate explanations of information presented in mathematical forms, and make appropriate inferences based on that information. (For example, accurately explain the trend data shown in a graph and make reasonable predictions regarding what the data suggest about future events.)
  • Skillfully convert relevant information into an insightful mathematical portrayal in a way that contributes to a further or deeper understanding.
  • Attempt calculations that are essentially all successful and sufficiently comprehensive to solve the problem elegantly (clearly, concisely, etc.)
  • Use the quantitative analysis of data as the basis for deep and thoughtful judgments, drawing insightful, carefully qualified conclusions from this work.
  • Explicitly describe assumptions and provide a compelling rationale for why each assumption is appropriate, as well as show awareness that confidence in final conclusions is limited by the accuracy of the assumptions.
  • Use quantitative information in connection with the argument or purpose of the work, present it in an effective format, and explicate it clearly and effectively.

Critical and Analytical (using multiple disciplinary tools to compare and contrast, to make connections and explain relationships): Students will

  • State the issue/problem clearly and describe it comprehensively, delivering all relevant information necessary for full understanding and to develop a comprehensive analysis or synthesis.
  • Thoroughly (systematically and methodically) analyzes their own and others' assumptions and carefully evaluate the relevance of contexts when presenting a position.
  • Synthesize others' points of view within a position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis).
  • Provide conclusions and related outcomes (consequences and implications) that are logical and reflect the student’s informed evaluation and ability to place evidence and perspectives discussed in priority order.
  • Independently create wholes out of multiple parts (synthesize) or draw conclusions by combining examples, facts, or theories from more than one field of study or perspective.
  • Adapt and apply independently skills, abilities, theories, or methodologies gained in one situation to new situations to solve difficult problems or explore complex issues in original ways.

Last modified: Oct 13, 2011

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