The Five Competencies
Preparing students to succeed in the 21st century world is at the heart of a liberal arts university. Today's world is one where:

  • Technology makes information easy to find but sometimes overwhelming to manage
  • Learning and action are integrated and learning lasts a lifetime
  • Multiculturalism and diversity are valued
  • English and ASL are cherished equally

The General Studies program is a culmination of many years studying the most effective teaching practices used by other top universities in the U.S. and the world. Emphasis was given to research about what employers expect and value in successful employees and what graduate and professional programs require from students in many different fields. Successful citizens in the 21st century can use thinking skills from many different disciplines to solve problems in the world inside and outside of the classroom. They know what information they need to solve problems and they know where and how to get that information. Successful citizens can communicate in more than one language and with respect to cultural differences. Successful citizens in the 21st century understand their ethical and social responsibilities as part of an interdependent world. To ensure graduates have these important abilities, five competencies have been established. All students must demonstrate proficiency by the time they graduate.

  • Language and communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Identity and culture
  • Knowledge and inquiry
  • Ethics and social responsibility


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