General Education Competency Assessment


The assessment of General Education Competencies at NC State is coordinated through the Office of Assessment in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs (DASA). The five General Education Competencies are Quantitative Literacy, Written Communication, Oral Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creative Thinking. 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.

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 how we measure each of our General Education Competency outcomes.

General Education Competency Champions

The Office of Assessment has identified a faculty champion for each of the 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. More information about current champions may be found under each general education competency below.

List of General Education Competencies

Written Communication

Oral Communication

Critical and Creative Thinking

Quantitative Literacy

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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