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General Education

General Education Competencies

NOC has identified the following five areas as general education competencies for graduates:

  1. Critical Thinking
  2. Communication Skills
  3. Cultural and Societal Awareness
  4. Consumer and Personal Wellness

In a plan developed in the 2008-2009 academic year, faculty voted on at least one course each, required for all transfer degrees, through which to assess each of the competencies above.  After several years of tracking success rates on all of these competencies and making curriculum adjustments as indicated, the Assessment Committee voted to expand its general education measures by identifying courses across all general education areas in which to assess the competencies.  Critical Thinking became the general education focal point for 2015-2016 with each competency to be integrated across the curriculum and assessed on a rotating cycle.  In 2018, the Assessment Committee voted to have Critical Thinking and Communication Skills assessed by every academic division every fall with each division also choosing either Cultural and Societal Awareness or Consumer and Personal Wellness to assess.

2023-2024 General Education Assessment Grid


 2023-2024 (updated February 2018)

Timeline          Competency

Fall 2023 1.        Critical Thinking
A.      Select, analyze, interpret, evaluate and defend a claim (orally and/or written) using a range of source materials.
B.      Solve problems using mathematical and scientific reasoning.
C.      Apply information to a variety of new situations.
Fall 2023 2. Communication Skills
A.      Create written responses that demonstrate clear purpose, logic, organization, support and proper mechanics.
B.      Develop and deliver oral presentations that demonstrate clear purpose, logic, organization, support and proper mechanics.
C.      Create visual representations that demonstrate clear purpose, logic, organization, support and proper mechanics.
Fall 2023 3. Cultural, Societal, and Environmental Awareness

A.      Analyze the impact of historical and political events.

B.      Examine ways to enhance and embrace multicultural diversity.

C.      Discuss how cultural, societal or environmental changes can impact a population.

Fall 2023 4. Consumer and Personal Wellness

A.      Analyze the process and develop a framework for making personal finance decisions.

B.      Analyze wellness, fitness, and nutrition scenarios pertaining to daily health and wellness choices.

Fall data will be collected and spring reviews by instructors from all campuses will determine needed adjustments.

Note:  In addition to the competencies listed above, the General Education Committee has emphasized the importance of a knowledge of and exposure to the arts and humanities.  Because of the diversity of humanities offerings, one standardized measure is not employed; however, students must complete six credit hours of humanities for general education requirements.  Leadership was also recognized as a valued competency but will be developed throughout the curriculum rather than through a single course.