General Education Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

General education is that portion of the collegiate experience that addresses the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values characteristic of educated persons. It is unbounded by disciplines and honors the connections among bodies of knowledge.

The associate degree programs at RCC support a collegiate experience that focuses on this definition and attendant areas. RCC degree graduates will demonstrate competency in the following general education areas:

Communication: A competent communicator can interact with others using all forms of communication in order to understand and to be understood. Degree graduates will demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Understand and interpret complex materials.
  • Assimilate, organize, develop, and present an idea formally and informally.
  • Use standard English.
  • Use appropriate verbal and non-verbal responses in interpersonal relations and group discussions.
  • Use listening skills.
  • Recognize the role of culture in communication.

Critical Thinking: A competent critical thinker evaluates evidence carefully and applies reasoning to decide what to believe and how to act. Degree graduates will demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Discriminate among degrees of credibility, accuracy, and reliability of inferences drawn from given data.
  • Recognize parallels, assumptions, or presuppositions in any given source of information.
  • Evaluate the strengths and relevance of arguments on a particular question or issue.
  • Weigh evidence and decide if generalizations or conclusions based on the given data are warranted.
  • Determine whether certain conclusions or consequences are supported by the information provided.
  • Use problem-solving skills.

Cultural and Social Understanding: A culturally and socially competent person possesses an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the interconnectedness of the social and cultural dimensions within and across local, regional, state, national, and global communities. Degree graduates will demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Assess the impact that social institutions have on individuals and culture—past, present, and future.
  • Describe their own as well as others’ personal ethical systems and values within social institutions.
  • Recognize the impact of arts and humanities upon individuals and cultures.
  • Recognize the role of language in social and cultural contexts.
  • Recognize the interdependence of distinctive world-wide social, economic, geo-political, and cultural systems.

Information Literacy: A person who is competent in information literacy recognizes when information is needed and has the ability to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively (adapted from the American Library Association definition). Degree graduates will demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Determine the nature and extent of the information needed.
  • Access needed information effectively and efficiently.
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into a personal knowledge base.
  • Use information effectively, individually or as members of a group, to accomplish a specific purpose.
  • Understand many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information.
  • Access and use information ethically and legally.

Personal Development: An individual engaged in personal development strives for physical well-being and emotional well-being. Degree graduates will demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Develop and/or refine personal wellness goals.
  • Develop and/or enhance the knowledge, skills, and understanding necessary to make informed academic, social, personal, career, and interpersonal decisions.

Quantitative Reasoning: A person who is competent in quantitative reasoning possesses the skills and knowledge necessary to apply the use of logic, numbers, and mathematics to deal effectively with common problems and issues. A person who is quantitatively literate can use numerical, geometric, and measurement data and concepts, mathematical skills, and principles of mathematical reasoning to draw logical conclusions and to make well-reasoned decisions. Degree graduates will demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Use logical and mathematical reasoning within the context of various disciplines.
  • Interpret and use mathematical formulas.
  • Interpret and draw inferences from mathematical models such as graphs, tables, and schematics.
  • Use graphical, symbolic, and numerical methods to analyze, organize, and interpret data.
  • Estimate and consider answers to mathematical problems in order to determine reasonableness.
  • Represent mathematical information numerically, symbolically, and visually, using graphs and charts.

Scientific Reasoning: A person who is competent in scientific reasoning adheres to a self-correcting system of inquiry (the scientific method) and relies on empirical evidence to describe, understand, predict, and control natural phenomena. Degree graduates will demonstrate the following abilities:

  • Generate an empirically evidenced and logical argument.
  • Distinguish a scientific argument from a non-scientific argument.
  • Reason by deduction, induction, and analogy.
  • Distinguish between causal and correlational relationships.
  • Recognize methods of inquiry that lead to scientific knowledge.


Last modified on 03-20-2019