NECC’s Core Academic Skills grew out of the college’s 2009 Vision Statement , and reflect those skills which faculty and staff determined are essential to ensure students’ adequate preparation for further academic pursuits and careers. In their current form, the six skills are as follows:
- Global Awareness
- Information Literacy
- Public Presentation
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Science and Technology
- Written Communication
These skills are assessed at the institutional level on a regular, rotating basis in order to provide faculty with feedback necessary to monitor students’ acquisition of the skills, and to plan actions to address any areas needing improvement. NECC’s institutional-level outcomes assessment work is documented at Institutional Level Outcomes Assessment.
Intensive Courses Initiative
In AY 2010-2011, the Core Academic Skills Committee, consisting mainly of faculty, considered various models which would allow adequate opportunities for students to develop the core academic skills, irrespective of the degree program. The model adopted is characterized as “inclusion”, and involves having within each program at least one course labeled as “intensive” in each of the core skills.
For each core skill, the Committee subsequently identified criteria which would define an intensive course in that skill, and recommended a process for programs and/or departments to identify and/or develop courses to be designated as “intensive” in these skills. It would be entirely the decision and responsibility of departmental faculty to select which, if any, courses would be appropriate for intensive designations in any of the core skills. If a course was designated, all sections of that course would be required to meet the criteria of that intensive designation.
In AY 2011-2012, the Core Academic Skills Committee began to operationalize the process by delineating skill-associated learning outcomes for each core skill and finalizing the applications for courses to receive “intensive” designations in each of the core skills.
In the years since the Core Academic Skills were determined, the Core Academic Skills Committee has continued to refine each skill, providing a range of workshops to support faculty in developing courses with the Core Academic Skills designation as well as revising the criteria for each skill based on national standards and faculty feedback.