General Education Skills and Abilities

The mission of the College’s Instructional Division is to foster the professional and intellectual growth of students and faculty by offering contemporary curricula that are taught by qualified faculty comprised of lifelong learners who provide a supportive environment intended to develop critical thinking, an appreciation of global diversity and the capacity for life-long learning. In order to validate this mission, Rhodes State College has implemented a process for measuring student academic achievement. This assessment process will be used to identify opportunities for (1) improving teaching and learning, (2) aiding student retention, and (3) verifying the job preparedness of graduates.

It is our belief that we add value and enhance the personal growth of our students, which is essential to changing lives, building futures, and improving communities through education. Therefore, Rhodes State College has chosen five General Education core skills and abilities to be assessed at the course, program and academic institutional level. The General Education core skills and abilities are: (1) Writing, (2) Global and Diversity Awareness, (3) Critical Thinking (4) Information Literacy, and (5) Computation Skills. The College expects students to demonstrate growth in these five areas and will document the extent of that growth. Our ability to affect growth is realized only through a systematic, and on-going process of collecting, sharing, and interpreting data in a cooperative effort. The following are the General Education student learning outcomes.

Writing:

Graduates’ written documents reflect their ability to think critically about a topic; to organize and develop ideas effectively; to present those ideas in an appropriate, mechanically correct, professional style; and to follow a standardized documentation format (when specified by the assignment).

Critical Thinking:

Graduates can understand and interpret data, analyze and synthesize information, and draw unbiased, logical conclusions after fairly considering all-important aspects of a situation.

Global and Diversity Awareness:

Graduates of Rhodes State College will demonstrate:

1. Appreciation for others as measured through effective interpersonal and collaborative skills with individuals and groups.
2. Awareness of the interdependence and interactive effects of such factors as culture, history, sexual orientation, psychological functioning, education, economics, environment, geography, language, politics, age, gender, ethnic heritage, physical challenges, social class, social skills and religion.

Information Literacy

Graduates will "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information". They will also demonstrate the ability to extract appropriate information from hard-copy and electronic media, to manipulate current software and hardware to access and communicate information appropriately, and to have a basic understanding of copyright rules and the ethics of extracting, sharing and citing source information. (Association of College Research Libraries, 2006)

Computation Skills:

Graduates of Rhodes State College will demonstrate computational skills in the context of solving real-world problems by following some or all of these competencies:

  1. 1. Read and understand the situation to determine a solution strategy.
  2. 2. Set up the problem with the pertinent information.
  3. 3. Solve the problem with the given data using appropriate technology such as calculators or computers as needed.
  4. 4. Check the computational results for accuracy and reasonableness.
  5. 5. Communicate or utilize the results.

Rhodes State College has instituted four means to assist with communication and measurement of assessment activities targeting General Education core skills and abilities.