CFCC's General Education courses provide to learners the opportunity to attain a diverse set of skills, knowledge, and attributes. General Education courses may enhance learners' existing skills or introduce learners to new disciplines and subject areas. Upon completing CFCC's General Education Core of two-year programs, learners will have had the opportunity to develop competency in the following areas: Critical Thinking, Communication--Written and Oral, Quantitative Skills, Scientific Concepts and Application, and Computer Skills. These areas of emphasis provide the academic foundation that learners need in order to succeed at the advanced levels of their academic and professional careers. Furthermore, these areas of emphasis reflect CFCC's commitment to building a "future-oriented workforce and a community of lifelong learners." Finally, the General Education Core aims to promote learners' appreciation for intellectual rigor, academic integrity, cultural diversity, and responsible citizenship.
North Carolina General Education Curriculum
All two-year degree programs at Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) comply with the program standards established by the North Carolina Community College System and include the appropriate number of general education core requirements: each degree program has a minimum of 15 credit hours in the general education core. The Associate in Applied Science and the Associate in General Education have the required 15 credit hours. The Associate in Arts and the Associate in Science programs have the minimum 44 credit hours while the Associate in Fine Arts programs have the required 28 credit hours. In the transfer programs, the core classes may be used as electives, but the electives may not be used as core requirements.
The general education subject areas may include some or all of the following: communications, humanities and fine arts, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences--physical and biological, and mathematics. CFCC has identified the following as general education core competencies:
- Communication Skills - Students will write, speak, and use nonverbal communication effectively:
- Written Communication - The student will write an effective essay, which entails the following: formulating a clear thesis statement, developing focused topic sentences and supporting details, varying sentence structure and methods of paragraph development, using appropriate transitional devices, using standard American English grammar and mechanics, and composing an effective conclusion.
- Oral Communication - Using appropriate eye contact, volume, pronunciation, articulation, and posture, students will deliver an oral presentation which incorporates the following elements: an introduction that captures the attention of the audience and identifies the purpose, subject, and overview of the main points; a body that contains three main points supported by details; and a conclusion that summarizes the main points.
- Computer Skills - Students will demonstrate a level of computer competency that is appropriate to their programs.
- Critical Thinking - CFCC defines critical thinking as the deliberate process of questioning, evaluating, and responding to problems, scenarios, and arguments in order to reach sound solutions, decisions, and positions. Students demonstrate critical thinking learning outcomes when they
- Ask pertinent questions that clarify and focus a problem, scenario, or argument;
- Evaluate the quantity, quality, and usefulness of information;
- Articulate a sound solution, decision, or position based on appropriate standards of reasoning; and
- Monitor and reflect upon the quality and fairness of their reasoning.
- Quantitative Skills - Quantitative skills refer to a wide variety of concepts and learning goals. These range from the ability to change units and read graphs to skills as sophisticated as representing real world observations in numerical models. There are three different situations in which students use quantitative skills:
- Computational, where a number is the desired result
- Decision-making, where numerical results guide the decision-making
- Interpretative, where quantitative information is combined with other information and value judgments to come to an understanding.
- Understanding Scientific Concepts and Applications--Students will demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental laws and concepts appropriate to the course of study and apply laboratory experiences to the concepts presented.
Global Awareness: Learners will build the knowledge and skills necessary for an increased understanding of world events, cultures, and social institutions. Students will demonstrate global awareness when they:
- Identify the physical, political, cultural, and economic features of various countries, regions, and cultures
- Describe how various cultures, countries, and economies are interconnected
- Analyze the political, cultural, and economic components of current world issues
- Evaluate the opportunities, challenges, and responsibilities of global citizenship
The General Education Committee meets at least once a year and is comprised of the Dean of Arts and Sciences; Arts & Sciences and Vocational/Technical instructors; a Basic Skills Representative ; the VP of Instruction; the VP of Institutional Effectiveness; the Humanities and Fine Arts Department Chair; the Math and Physical Education Department Chair; the Science Department Chair; the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department Chair; the English Department Chair; the Business Department Chair; the Distance Learning Department Chair; theLearning Lab Coordinator; the Director of Counseling; the Director of Career and Testing; and the QEP Director.
The purpose of CFCC's General Education Committee is to monitor and review the following: the mission of the committee, the general education core competencies, the methods of assessment, the list of courses being assessed, and the data resulting from the assessment instruments, thus creating a more unified process of evaluating student learning outcomes in the core general education curriculum.