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Core Abilities


In addition to completing General Education Requirements for specific degrees, OC has developed
a set of Core Abilities that each student should develop before graduation. Acquisition of each of the Core Abilities is a graduation requirement for students in the Associate in Arts and Associate of Science degree programs.  This applies to students who started at OC in or after summer 2012.  Students will achieve them by taking identified courses within the Core Abilities Graduation Requirement list.

The ongoing development and implementation of the Core Abilities is the focus of the Faculty Curriculum Team.

In keeping with our institutional mission and vision, the Olympic College faculty
promotes the development of five core abilities: Communication, Thinking,
Information Literacy and Technology, Lifelong Learning, and Global Perspective.
These core abilities address the broad-based general education requirements that will
prepare a student to pursue her/his chosen profession or field of study and to develop
themselves as individuals and as citizens. These essential core abilities are taught
across programs and disciplines so that each Olympic College student can expect to work
towards improving and applying these core abilities regardless of their program or
area of concentration. Specific outcomes and competencies within Olympic College
courses support the development of these five core abilities.


Communication

Rubric: Outcomes, Performance Indicators, Evaluation Statements

  • Graduates understand and produce effective oral communication.
  • Graduates understand and produce effective written communication.
  • Graduates understand and use effective non-verbal communication skills.

Thinking

Rubric: Outcomes, Performance Indicators, Evaluation Statements

  • Graduates engage in critical analysis.
  • Graduates engage in creative problem solving.
  • Graduates engage in quantitative reasoning.

Information Literacy and Technology

Rubric: Outcomes, Performance Indicators, Evaluation Statements

  • Graduates use strategies to search for information that enhance the acquisition of knowledge.
  • Graduates evaluate and appraise sources.
  • Graduates access and use information and/or technology ethically, legally and/or responsibly.
  • Graduates use various inquiry tools and different formats of information (e.g. media).
  • Graduates use technology and information appropriate to field or discipline, synthesizing information to formulate insights and create knowledge.

Lifelong Learning

Rubric: Outcomes, Performance Indicators, Evaluation Statements

  • Graduates demonstrate self-monitoring and self-advocacy skills to effect positive life changes.
  • Graduates demonstrate the ability to recognize, understand, and accept ownership for their own learning and behavior in varied and changing environments.
  • Graduates demonstrate the ability to adapt to technological innovations and to understand their implications.

Global Perspective

Rubric: Outcomes, Performance Indicators, Evaluation Statements

  • Graduates demonstrate an understanding of their own cultures and the framework upon which their society has been built.
  • Graduates demonstrate an understanding of how cultural differences (e.g. beliefs, traditions,communication, norms) shape human interaction and perceptions of others.
  • Graduates demonstrate that they are aware of, and understand, world events (e.g. religious, historical,environmental, political, economic) and the role of human decisions and physical conditions shaping these events and their outcomes.
  • Graduates demonstrate an understanding of their own region/bioregion and recognize that other parts of the world are different in both physical and human attributes.
  • Graduates demonstrate an understanding of universal processes involving both distribution and circulation of resources and their byproducts; e.g. wealth, food, water, oil, gases, energy, and pollutants.


Assessment of Student Learning


To determine whether the curriculum at Olympic College helps students achieve these core abilities, faculty members identify which courses address the core abilities and a team of faculty use explicit criteria to score student work solicited from professors in courses where these learning outcomes are taught or utilized. Once a faculty member has determined which course outcomes and assessments address the core abilities, this information is recorded on the Core Abilities Course Mapping Database. The student work is scored at the Faculty Institutes.

Scores based on explicit criteria for a core ability, as well as other course- and program-level assessments, help to create a continuous process that improves learning and ensures the quality of education at Olympic College.

Updated 6/21/13