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Second Annual Core Competencies Forum a Success!

Office of the ProvostNov 9, 2017

On October 31, the University Assessment Committee (UAC) and the Office of Strategy and Educational Effectiveness hosted the second annual Core Competencies Forum, attended by more than 40 faculty members, students and student life and academic support program staff. Attendees participated in discussion groups and provided valuable feedback that focused on three important topics - strategies for raising undergraduate student awareness of the core competencies, development of assessment standards and a quantitative reasoning measure.

Here are just some of the ideas that came out of these discussions:  

Increase Student Awareness of the Undergraduate Core Competencies

  • On syllabi, list learning objectives and core competencies 
  • Correlate course activities to core competencies 
  • Integrate core competencies into activities in and outside the classroom
  • Publicize in classrooms, the libraries, Canvas, Prowl TV, Tiger Radio, etc. 
  • Update program and university websites with the core competencies  

Assessment Standards of the Undergraduate Core Competencies

  • Increase competency standards when students consistently meet the current standards
  • Do not settle, even when students meet our standards
  • Provide more real world assessments (e.g., employer mock interviews) 
  • Increase undergraduate students' confidence in their core competencies skills 
  • Offer more opportunities for authentic self-reflection around undergraduate core competencies  

Quantitative Reasoning

  • All graduates will need to be able to read and interpret graphs and tables 
  • Although a challenge to teach, graduates need to also be able to draw appropriate conclusions from numerical facts 
  • In order to develop the habit of appropriately questioning correlation as evidence for causation, students need practice doing it 
  • To develop the quantitative reasoning skill set, students will need a great deal of scaffolded practice across the curriculum
  • In the context of career and civic contexts, all programs could potentially reinforce some numeracy skills  

The UAC will review these ideas and follow-up with participants later in the year about ways they have incorporated the core competencies in their programs. If you would like to provide additional ideas or ways you are integrating undergraduate core competencies, please join the conversation here. (PacificNet login required).

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