What is General Education Assessment?
General education assessment is the systematic and continuous process of collecting and analyzing empirical data in order to improve general education student learning outcomes (SLOs).
General education SLOs are measurable statements about the expected knowledge, skills, values, and dispositions that students are expected to attain as a result of the general education learning experience.
An individual who has received a sound general education is characterized by intellectual curiosity and an awareness of the social significance of education in a diverse world. General education thus fosters personal growth, as well as providing a strong academic base that will lead to the successful completion of a baccalaureate degree. General Education Requirements at York College have been designed to introduce students to the content and methodology of diverse academic disciplines and to appreciate their interrelationship.
This serves not only to expand students’ knowledge but to help them formulate goals regarding future careers and graduate study, and provide a foundation for a well-lived life. General Education Requirements provide a foundation for a life of learning and professional success by enabling students to:
- Develop skills of critical analysis and problem-solving.
- Construct an effective argument based on evidence and reasoning.
- Generate, synthesize and clearly express ideas through writing and speaking.
- Develop research skills, using both traditional and electronic media.
- Acquire quantitative literacy and essential mathematical skills.
- Develop skills of visual literacy in order to analyze and interpret information presented in diverse forms.
- Gain knowledge of diverse world societies, cultures and languages.
- Understand the economic, political and social structure of contemporary society and the background of ideas and events that contributed to its formation.
- Appreciate diverse forms of creative expression in literature and the fine and performing arts.
- Develop opportunities for self-expression through writing, speaking and artistic activity.
- Understand the workings of the human mind and body and learn activities that promote health and well-being.
- Gain scientific knowledge of the physical environment and the ecological impact of human behavior.
Why Assess General Education?
The goal of York College’s General Education curriculum is to enable students to acquire knowledge that will deepen their understanding of the complex world in which they live; productively engage in the political process; and develop their skills of communication, critical analysis and problem-solving. General Education courses are designed to enhance students’ academic background, promote understanding of the historical context of current issues, foster creative expression, develop students’ self-knowledge and capacity for reasoning, emphasize the importance of obtaining and analyzing information from multiple sources, and enhance student appreciation of the diversity of world societies and cultures.
In order to ensure that the intended goals of York's General Education curriculum are being met, SLOs specific to the aims of general education need to be specified and continuously evaluated. This not only acts as an internal check on the General Education programming but provides a systematic means for continual improvement of student learning.