General Education Competency Assessment


The assessment of General Education Competencies, called the “Pack Proficiencies,” at NC State is coordinated through the Office of Assessment in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA). The five Pack Proficiencies (General Education Competencies) are Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Oral Communication, Quantitative Literacy, and Written Communication. These competencies were identified and defined by NC State faculty and were vetted through Faculty Senate, the Council on Undergraduate Education, and the Associate Deans in spring 2012. The competencies are areas that NC State students in every major should develop during their undergraduate careers and be proficient in upon graduation. Development in these competencies begins in the General Education Program, and is sustained throughout major program coursework.

Development of the general education competencies starts with the foundation provided in the General Education Program. The competencies are reinforced and continuously developed in the degree program curriculum. The result is a "generally educated" NC State student.

General Education Competency assessment efforts measure undergraduate proficiency levels in each competency area. The Office of Assessment partners with faculty from across campus to collect and analyze data for General Education Competency Assessment, including authentic assessment artifacts and standardized assessments. For example, authentic assessment evidence of student work is collected and scored by the Office of Assessment and faculty partners for oral and written communication competencies using rubrics. The Office of Assessment assesses written communication, quantitative literacy, and critical thinking for first-year and senior students using the ETS Proficiency Profile, the Critical Thinking Assessment Test (CAT), and ETS HEIghten Quantitative Literacy Assessment. Additionally, the Office of Assessment supports the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) which assesses critical and creative thinking through testing, surveys, and rubrics applied to student products. The resulting data are used by faculty and administrators throughout the university to make decisions regarding student learning.

In keeping with best practices, the Office of Assessment uses multiple instruments to measure student learning outcomes. As a result of this practice, our instruments (e.g., rubrics, standardized test questions, or survey questions) may map to multiple outcomes. The Outcomes Map outlines each of our Pack Proficiencies (General Education Competencies) outcomes are measured.

General Education Competency Outcomes Map

General Education Competency Assessment History Timeline

General Education Competency Assessment Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

General Education Competency Champions

The Office of Assessment has identified a faculty champion for each of the Pack Proficiencies (General Education Competencies). The role of General Education Competency Champions is to engage with faculty across disciplines and encourage improvement in student learning through teaching and use of assessment data. Faculty then use these data to make decisions about courses and curricula related to the competency. Champions work closely with the Office of Assessment to collect evidence of how faculty across campus are specifically using data to improve student learning. Faculty were selected as champions based on their content area expertise and their interest in assessment and faculty development. Learn more about the current champions.

NC State Pack Proficiencies (General Education Competencies)

Critical and Creative Thinking
Oral Communication
Quantitative Literacy
Written Communication

More Information

For more information about General Education, please visit the General Education Program (GEP) website.

For more information about General Education Competency Assessment, please contact:

Samantha Rich
Assistant Director, Office of Assessment

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