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Student Learning Outcomes

General Education Skills & Abilities

Like most Rhodes State College students, you have probably enrolled in college to better your life and the lives of your family. By the time you graduate, you will have received the needed knowledge and skills to pursue your career goals, and you will have received much more. Besides receiving a quality education in your chosen major, you will have also developed your social, communication, and critical thinking skills. In fact, all programs have made a commitment to graduate students who are competent in both program-specific and Core General Education Skills and Abilities.

What are Core General Education Skills and Abilities?

General Education deals with skills and knowledge that relate to communicating effectively, reasoning clearly, and understanding and working with people. These skills and abilities are important regardless of your major. The College has made a commitment, at the introductory and program levels, as well as at the institutional level, to assess student progress in General Education so that we can continue to add to the value of our students' college experience and to their lives in general. The College has identified four Core General Education Skills and Abilities that reflect students' General Education growth: 1) Writing, 2) Critical Thinking, and 3) Cultural Diversity, and 4) Information Literacy.


Graduates’ written documents reflect their ability to think critically about a topic; to organize and develop ideas effectively; to present those ideas in an appropriate, mechanically correct, professional style; and to follow a standardized documentation format (when specified by the assignment).

Critical Thinking

Graduates can understand and interpret data, analyze and synthesize information, and draw unbiased, logical conclusions after fairly considering all-important aspects of a situation.

Global and Diversity Awareness

Graduates of Rhodes State College will demonstrate:

  • Appreciation for others as measured through effective interpersonal and collaborative skills with individuals and groups.
  • Awareness of the interdependence and interactive effects of such factors as culture, history, sexual orientation, psychological functioning, education, economics, environment, geography, language, politics, age, gender, ethnic heritage, physical challenges, social class, social skills and religion.

Information Literacy:

Graduates will “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information”. They will also demonstrate the ability to extract appropriate information from hard-copy and electronic media, to manipulate current software and hardware to access and communicate information appropriately, and to have a basic understanding of copyright rules and the ethics of extracting, sharing and citing source information. (Association of College Research Libraries, 2006)

Computation Skills

Graduates of Rhodes State College will demonstrate computational skills in the context of solving real-world problems by following some or all of these competencies:

  • Read and understand the situation to determine a solution strategy.
  • Set up the problem with the pertinent information.
  • Solve the problem with the given data using appropriate technology such as calculators or computers as needed.
  • Check the computational results for accuracy and reasonableness.
  • Communicate or utilize the results. Rhodes State College has instituted four means to assist with communication and measurement of assessment activities targeting General Education core skills and abilities.

Why Are These General Education Core Skills and Abilities Important?

General Education is an invaluable part of your Rhodes State College experience. The Core Skills and Abilities that you acquire as part of your college education will position you to become a life-long learner. They will also help to enhance your quality of life, and will aid you as you become a significant contributor to the community.

Additionally, employers value these skills. A recent Rhodes State College survey of area employers showed that these qualities were highly sought after in the work place. National employment surveys also support the importance of General Education skills, often placing them above program-related ones.

General Education is an important aspect of your Rhodes State College experience, and a part of your education that will serve you for the rest of your lives.